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maidenandwarrior

Howland Reed + Ashara Dayne = Meera & Jojen?

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First, I really like this theory. You actually built a case for it, and anticipated the most logical questions it would elicit, so I like the way you've gone about that too. I don't like the term "crackpot" to be applied to theories that are well supported by text and analysis, so I don't think this deserves that categorization.

The part that I remain unconvinced on is whether Arthur needs to be alive. I don't think this is a critical part of the H + A= M + J, which I think is the really valuable take-away from this. I won't categorically reject the possibility he's alive, but it might be straining a bit of credulity. It does not raise too many red flags for me that Ned delivered the sword in person; I'd gotten the sense that honor was a big part of both Dayne and Stark Houses, so death in honorable combat doesn't seem too unreasonable that Ned visited in person.

I think the bit about Barristan and mud is quite brilliant, btw.

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I'm definitely glad you took the leap and posted this theory. I still feel like there might be some issues, but right now it's just making too much sense. I can tell you really did your homework. I think this might be the best thing I've read on the forum in quite a while. I'm keeping it in mind as I reread certain sections just to see how it sits.

Honestly, I think as your theory evolves and you refine it, a lot of these bits can be removed. Some of it isn't quite right and it has the problem of weakening your thesis.

Because they are usually beyond stupid. Very few actually operate within canon. My eyes once got stuck in the back of my head from all the eyerolls I did in an "Ashara is alive" thread.

Thanks! And thank you for reviewing. I know it is easy to roll the eyes and call it crackpot, and I am certainly aware that it can fall into the realm of it, but this has just kept nagging at the back of my mind.

I certainly agree with you about the rest of the Ashara theories. I suppose she could be Septa Lemore but there are a lot of problems with it, namely that the purple eyes are never mentioned. I think Ashara would be pretty noticeable, no matter how much time has passed, so to still be alive, she would have to be hidden very well...like in the Neck.

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Thank you for your time and effort.

THIS is the reason I came to this forum. After having read The R+L+J theory I wanted to read more well though out and substantiated theories and this is one of them.

Well written interesting and enjoyable to read.

Your welcome! Thanks for the review! Yes, I am a huge supported of R+L=J, and I love to read other expansive theories. Even if you don't agree with them, they are often interesting.

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First, I really like this theory. You actually built a case for it, and anticipated the most logical questions it would elicit, so I like the way you've gone about that too. I don't like the term "crackpot" to be applied to theories that are well supported by text and analysis, so I don't think this deserves that categorization.

The part that I remain unconvinced on is whether Arthur needs to be alive. I don't think this is a critical part of the H + A= M + J, which I think is the really valuable take-away from this. I won't categorically reject the possibility he's alive, but it might be straining a bit of credulity. It does not raise too many red flags for me that Ned delivered the sword in person; I'd gotten the sense that honor was a big part of both Dayne and Stark Houses, so death in honorable combat doesn't seem too unreasonable that Ned visited in person.

I think the bit about Barristan and mud is quite brilliant, btw.

Thank you so much!

I am glad you found the theory interesting. I find it hard to argue a point without analysis and quotes, which is, I suppose, the problem with being an English major. The part about Barristan, when I saw it on the reread, was actually what put me over the top. It was kind of sitting in the back of my mind, and I wasn't sure if I was going to post it, and then I saw that quote. I actually like him quite a bit as a character, though he is very flawed, but I find his judgment suspect, at best. Though, I do think that he got very interesting at the end of ADWD, and I can't wait for TWOW. There is something, I think, inherently tragic about all the members of the Kingsguard. You sort of wonder what their lives would have been had the vows been more flexible. With Barristan, he thinks everything would have been perfect if he had crowned Ashara, and that is just heartbreaking.

With regards to Arthur still being alive, yep, that is the hardest part to prove, and really might not be necessary to the entire theory. But I like it for now. ;)

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Welcome aboard, Maiden! While I don't think this theory will turn out to be true, it's one of the best written threads this board has seen in some time. I look forward to reading your thoughts in future discussions.

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Welcome aboard, Maiden! While I don't think this theory will turn out to be true, it's one of the best written threads this board has seen in some time. I look forward to reading your thoughts in future discussions.

Thank you for the welcome! It's okay if it doesn't turn out to be true, I had a lot of fun writing it. Still, it would be great if it did. ;)

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Thank you for the welcome! It's okay if it doesn't turn out to be true, I had a lot of fun writing it. Still, it would be great if it did. ;)

If you ask me there's only one--maybe two--theories that are rock solid enough that it will be surprising if they're not true (R+L=J, and maybe Sandor on the Quiet Isle). What I mean to say is don't get put off if someone dismisses your theory--this board could use an Iron Fleet of posters like you. :cheers:

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If you ask me there's only one--maybe two--theories that are rock solid enough that it will be surprising if they're not true (R+L=J, and maybe Sandor on the Quiet Isle). What I mean to say is don't get put off if someone dismisses your theory--this board could use an Iron Fleet of posters like you. :cheers:

Oh, don't worry, I still believe it. I am not totally certain on how all the details come together, but I certainly haven't given up on it. I will stick to my guns, I promise you. Thanks for being so kind.

ETA: Sorry, I meant to say that I totally agree about R+L=J and Sandor too. Come to think of it, I am not certain there are any others I believe on the board with absolute certainty either, except maybe the Great Northern Conspiracy.

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That was an awesome theory. My new favorite, good job.

Thank you! It was a lot of fun to write, and everyone has been so nice.

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Wouldn't hiding Jon in the neck be "safer" than at winterfell? literally no one would ever think to look for him there

i like Ashara + Howland. though i doubt it'd be a love match. Probably more of a she's "damaged" goods and Howland will take care of her and then a relationship evolved over time type thing.

That would also give the Daynes "the key to the north" via the neck which would have been political incentive for the Daynes to go along with it.

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Wouldn't hiding Jon in the neck be "safer" than at winterfell? literally no one would ever think to look for him there

i like Ashara + Howland. though i doubt it'd be a love match. Probably more of a she's "damaged" goods and Howland will take care of her and then a relationship evolved over time type thing.

That would also give the Daynes "the key to the north" via the neck which would have been political incentive for the Daynes to go along with it.

I've actually often wondered why Jon wasn't raised in the Neck, even ignoring my theory. The only thing I can come up with is that Ned just couldn't part with him.

As for Howland taking Ashara later after the "dishonoring" at Harrenhal, that doesn't really work time-wise. Meera would have been conceived right around the time of Harrenhal, and she is too much like Howland to be Ashara's daughter by someone else.

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You can tell that you actually understand literature from the way you write about it and your attention to detail, but I think your reasoning is a little bit twisted in places to fit the theory. For example when you say that Meera wouldn't mention Ashara unless she were important to Meera's own story and background you are forgetting that the story, whilst included under the pretension that it is entertainment for Bran, is actually included so that the reader can fill in more gaps about what happened at Harrenhal. I think at this point the mechanics of the story dictate what Howland Reed 'sees' (conveyed through Meera), rather than the emotions or interests of Howland Reed the character. Absolutely ridiculous that you can write that and then be called crackpot though, it's hardly 'Asha Greyjoy is secretly a bloke' and far more coherent than most posts OTF.

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So I went back and read the KotLT again to see if the story really supports this or not and a few things pop out at me:

- Kids would likely wonder as they got to adolescence why their father remembered a woman other than their mother's eyes in such a descriptive manner. Kinda like Arya didn't like Ned Dayne bringing up Ned and Ashara.

- Catelyn not being there has always been curious to me, since she was cousins with the Whents, her mother was a Whent. Her not being there, however, means she can't dismiss the rumors of Ned and Ashara.

- Howland has no horse in the story, but Meera and Jojen ride. Which is kinda interesting considering they live on a floating castle and you'd think the crannogs would be like Ironborn and not really ride.

My favorite part of the theory is Jojen's eyes, btw. That is kinda brilliant.

Like I said in my first post I think Arthur is the weakest part of the theory, but I also can see the reasonings you give as valid. At least too valid to dismiss out of hand without at least exploring and thinking on them.

And like I said in my last post, not sure if you saw it, but Ned Dayne's last known location, I believe, is the Neck with the non Stoneheart part of BWB. It's kinda bizarre when you think about it that outsiders would be allowed into the Neck and not neutralized. Especially given the state of war of the SK currently. But if one of the people,is the nephew of the highest ranking lord in the Neck, that might smooth things over.

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You can tell that you actually understand literature from the way you write about it and your attention to detail, but I think your reasoning is a little bit twisted in places to fit the theory. For example when you say that Meera wouldn't mention Ashara unless she were important to Meera's own story and background you are forgetting that the story, whilst included under the pretension that it is entertainment for Bran, is actually included so that the reader can fill in more gaps about what happened at Harrenhal. I think at this point the mechanics of the story dictate what Howland Reed 'sees' (conveyed through Meera), rather than the emotions or interests of Howland Reed the character. Absolutely ridiculous that you can write that and then be called crackpot though, it's hardly 'Asha Greyjoy is secretly a bloke' and far more coherent than most posts OTF.

Hmm, I don't think GRRM ever does anything just to "fill in the gaps." The one thing I would say is that Ashara gets other mentions in ASOS, not just in Meera's story. Edric talks about her, and it could have easily come up through him in GRRM wanted it known that Ashara was at Harrenhal and she danced with Ned only cause Brandon asked her. The phrasing is, I think, important.

Thanks for the defense of my post too, even if you don't agree. I love a good discussion!

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Thank you so much!

I am glad you found the theory interesting. I find it hard to argue a point without analysis and quotes, which is, I suppose, the problem with being an English major. The part about Barristan, when I saw it on the reread, was actually what put me over the top. It was kind of sitting in the back of my mind, and I wasn't sure if I was going to post it, and then I saw that quote. I actually like him quite a bit as a character, though he is very flawed, but I find his judgment suspect, at best. Though, I do think that he got very interesting at the end of ADWD, and I can't wait for TWOW. There is something, I think, inherently tragic about all the members of the Kingsguard. You sort of wonder what their lives would have been had the vows been more flexible. With Barristan, he thinks everything would have been perfect if he had crowned Ashara, and that is just heartbreaking.

With regards to Arthur still being alive, yep, that is the hardest part to prove, and really might not be necessary to the entire theory. But I like it for now. ;)

lol, I have the former English major disease too.

Seriously, even if none of this plays out this way, the vast majority of what you've put together here makes for really interesting analysis, and that, in my opinion, adds something. It really doesn't matter if this is "true" or not, and the cool thing is that I can't think of any detail you've overlooked that can easily unravel it.

I'm uncertain about some of the assumptions you've made; I think in a few placed you might have over extended logic a little, as a few have mentioned, but I don't think that detracts from the H+A thesis necessarily. When I have more time I'll give it another read to give better feedback.

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There are also repeated images of summer, towers, falling, and stars associated with both the Reeds and Bran.

I'm just rereading some stuff and two things caught my eyes. First, the first time Jojen touches Summer while Bran is having a wolf dream:

The male walked toward them, unafraid, and reached out for his muzzle, a touch as light as a summer breeze. Yet at the brush of those fingers the wood dissolved and the very ground turned to smoke beneath his feet and swirled away laughing, and then he was spinning and falling, falling, falling...

Also, when Meera was introduced, she was carrying a greathelm. Wonder who it belonged to.

under her arm she carried an old iron greathelm spotted with rust;"

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So I went back and read the KotLT again to see if the story really supports this or not and a few things pop out at me:

- Kids would likely wonder as they got to adolescence why their father remembered a woman other than their mother's eyes in such a descriptive manner. Kinda like Arya didn't like Ned Dayne bringing up Ned and Ashara.

- Catelyn not being there has always been curious to me, since she was cousins with the Whents, her mother was a Whent. Her not being there, however, means she can't dismiss the rumors of Ned and Ashara.

- Howland has no horse in the story, but Meera and Jojen ride. Which is kinda interesting considering they live on a floating castle and you'd think the crannogs would be like Ironborn and not really ride.

My favorite part of the theory is Jojen's eyes, btw. That is kinda brilliant.

Like I said in my first post I think Arthur is the weakest part of the theory, but I also can see the reasonings you give as valid. At least too valid to dismiss out of hand without at least exploring and thinking on them.

And like I said in my last post, not sure if you saw it, but Ned Dayne's last known location, I believe, is the Neck with the non Stoneheart part of BWB. It's kinda bizarre when you think about it that outsiders would be allowed into the Neck and not neutralized. Especially given the state of war of the SK currently. But if one of the people,is the nephew of the highest ranking lord in the Neck, that might smooth things over.

Wow, I am impressed! Thanks for researching my theory. Sorry, I didn't see your last post til now.

From the top, yes, the weirdness of Howland Reed having described Ashara's eyes is one of the things that stood out to me on re-read. Also, thinking back, I can't remember all the people I danced with at my own Winter formal, only some of them. I do not doubt for a second, if I called my best friend and asked her if she remembered even one of them, she would tell me no, beyond my date, and maybe not even him. The idea that Howland, a stranger, was so fascinated by Ashara really stands out to me. Again, this all presupposes R+L=J, so Ashara Dayne is not important in the scheme of things otherwise.

Remember, Howland Reed spent years on the Isle of Faces just before Harrenhal. Who knows what he saw in the trees there? Supposedly most of the weirwoods are gone in the South, but they keep popping up, don't they? The Blackwoods and Casterly Rock have petrified ones, and who is to say that Starfall, being so old and with the Daynes being first men in descent, don't have one too? I didn't put this in the OP because there is no textual evidence for it, but it does make me wonder if there was a reason that Howland was so interested in a woman he had never seen before, so much so that he mentions it to his children several years later.

And going further, why would Meera repeat it when it has no bearing on the story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Unless, of course, the maid with "laughing purple eyes" weds with the boy who just spent years among weirwoods. Laughing Tree, anyone?

I've always thought that Catelyn not being there was strange too, especially because it was so close to home. I am not sure on the timeline for Lysa's abortion, but could it have been about that time? It would explain why Cat had to stay home if her sister was "ill", even if Catelyn didn't know the cause. And, of course, it led to her torturing herself about Ashara for years because of it.

Yes, the horse thing is very weird to me. Meera flat out says that they have no master of horse, but that they came to Winterfell mounted. Also, that they would know at all how to do it is very odd. And I think the two of them are very adventurous for crannogmen, rarities like their father.

Jojen's eyes, yep. I didn't even notice this at first, until I was looking up their chapters. We never know what color they were originally, which is interesting because they certainly weren't green.

As for Arthur Dayne, I agree he could still be dead. He does get mentioned though, over and over. With dialogue and everything. From Ned to Jaime, and so on. It certainly makes me think.

I agree that the Ned Dayne thing is weird. And, he wasn't actually mentioned in Brienne's chapter when she gets kidnapped by LS. So what happened to him? It is very odd, and his introduction was too pointed to mean nothing. And the BWB is a very interesting story, that has many levels, especially if you consider Tom's inflitration of Riverrun. I don't know if Ned (ETA: Ned Dayne) would know about Ashara, I'm thinking not, but if he does run afoul of the crannogmen, he has a get out of jail free card, and he doesn't even know it.

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lol, I have the former English major disease too.

Seriously, even if none of this plays out this way, the vast majority of what you've put together here makes for really interesting analysis, and that, in my opinion, adds something. It really doesn't matter if this is "true" or not, and the cool thing is that I can't think of any detail you've overlooked that can easily unravel it.

I'm uncertain about some of the assumptions you've made; I think in a few placed you might have over extended logic a little, as a few have mentioned, but I don't think that detracts from the H+A thesis necessarily. When I have more time I'll give it another read to give better feedback.

Yep, I think over time I will definitely be able to refine my thesis. And I am going to continue to look for other clues, and maybe foreshadowing. Analysis is always fun, as is people wanting to discuss the subject with you. Thank you for looking it over and giving it some thought. I would love to hear more of your thoughts later.

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I'm just rereading some stuff and two things caught my eyes. First, the first time Jojen touches Summer while Bran is having a wolf dream:

Also, when Meera was introduced, she was carrying a greathelm. Wonder who it belonged to.

*Cackles gleefully*

You are literally asking all the same questions I did once I started going through their chapters, one after another. It is awesome to see.

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