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maidenandwarrior

Howland Reed + Ashara Dayne = Meera & Jojen?

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I never caught the "lieS" aspect in Neds monologue. Nice catch.

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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!

Maybe 'just filling in the gaps' is an overly flippant way to describe what GRRM is doing. Basically, ToH is one of the most pivotal moments of the narrative that precedes ASOIAF and we are told about it from many different perspectives. Meera's conversation with Bran is a chance for GRRM to elaborate on what actually happened, and give us another interpretation of events. However I think it is unlikely that GRRM was more concerned with how he can define that passage as Howland Reed's or Meera Reed's interpretation of events, than he was with relaying the information that he wanted to about ToH at that point in the story. I agree that phrasing is always important - nothing in literature is accidental - but sometimes there are structural issues with the story that overwhelm concerns about how certain characters would perceive certain events.

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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.

There's a huge one at Harrenhal, of course. Which somehow survived dragon fire. This is one of the more curious things to me in the books actually, which has made me ponder exactly what 'living wood' is. But one being there is curious in R+L=J, but it could be here, as well. There's a slender one at Riverrun too, but that doesn't really matter here.

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Maybe 'just filling in the gaps' is an overly flippant way to describe what GRRM is doing. Basically, ToH is one of the most pivotal moments of the narrative that precedes ASOIAF and we are told about it from many different perspectives. Meera's conversation with Bran is a chance for GRRM to elaborate on what actually happened, and give us another interpretation of events. However I think it is unlikely that GRRM was more concerned with how he can define that passage as Howland Reed's or Meera Reed's interpretation of events, than he was with relaying the information that he wanted to about ToH at that point in the story. I agree that phrasing is always important - nothing in literature is accidental - but sometimes there are structural issues with the story that overwhelm concerns about how certain characters would perceive certain events.

That is a very good point, and I don't totally disagree with you. I would say commenting that the Princess brought her ladies with her, alone would mean nothing. But I think that when you look at all the other attention Ashara gets from a total stranger who mentions it to his daughter, it means something.

Think too that Jojen is constantly going Are you sure you've never heard this Bran? Didn't your lord father tell you? Jojen obviously thinks its important, and it is--to Bran and Jon. Aside from Howland making friends and leading to his being on the front lines of the Rebellion, when in all other circumstances I think he would have been defending the Neck, the tourney itself isn't that important to Howland. Unless, of course, some significant event happened besides making friends. Yes, Harrenhal's tourney was amazing and huge, and I can imagine it would be an impressive tale to tell little children, but it is the detail I question, not the story itself.

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Btw [email protected], I never seen a post catch on as much as yours. You have some heavy hitters from this forum giving you mad credit. ( butterbumps and mladen for sure) great job.

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There's a huge one at Harrenhal, of course. Which somehow survived dragon fire. This is one of the more curious things to me in the books actually, which has made me ponder exactly what 'living wood' is. But one being there is curious in R+L=J, but it could be here, as well. There's a slender one at Riverrun too, but that doesn't really matter here.

Could be another hint about weirwood vs dragons.

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There's a huge one at Harrenhal, of course. Which somehow survived dragon fire. This is one of the more curious things to me in the books actually, which has made me ponder exactly what 'living wood' is. But one being there is curious in R+L=J, but it could be here, as well. There's a slender one at Riverrun too, but that doesn't really matter here.

Good point! I didn't even think about that one at Harrenhal. Certainly, Howland and Ashara, as well as Rhaegar and Lyanna's stories all revolve around this idea of the old gods and the weirwoods. We don't know what the Daynes believed when it comes to religion, the assumption of course, is that they followed the Faith. It is possible, though, that they didn't.

It would be very interesting to me if H+A=M&J, if for no other reason than it puts Howland and Ashara's story in direct contrast with Rhaegar and Lyanna's. Lyanna probably would have heard about H+A from either Howland or from Arthur when he was guarding her. I can't imagine what her thoughts would have been like. Did she think she would get a happy ending, that the both would? One of the very interesting things about this theory, is that it presents a clear parallel. One attachment/marriage worked out, the other ended in tragedy.

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Btw [email protected], I never seen a post catch on as much as yours. You have some heavy hitters from this forum giving you mad credit. ( butterbumps and mladen for sure) great job.

Thanks!

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It would be very interesting to me if H+A=M&J, if for no other reason than it puts Howland and Ashara's story in direct contrast with Rhaegar and Lyanna's. Lyanna probably would have heard about H+A from either Howland or from Arthur when he was guarding her. I can't imagine what her thoughts would have been like. Did she think she would get a happy ending, that the both would? One of the very interesting things about this theory, is that it presents a clear parallel. One attachment/marriage worked out, the other ended in tragedy.

Part of their success might be the secrecy involved - her faking hew own death to the realm - which further accents the contrast with R+L's indiscreet involvement.

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Could be another hint about weirwood vs dragons.

Do you mean that weirwood arrows might be used to kill them? Like Brandon Snow was planning?

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wow, this is a really good theory

it makes sense

I also believe something odd happened in the Tower of Joy

my only fear is that Ned in his thoughts narrated to us that just he and Howland Reed survived

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It would be very interesting to me if H+A=M&J, if for no other reason than it puts Howland and Ashara's story in direct contrast with Rhaegar and Lyanna's. Lyanna probably would have heard about H+A from either Howland or from Arthur when he was guarding her. I can't imagine what her thoughts would have been like. Did she think she would get a happy ending, that the both would? One of the very interesting things about this theory, is that it presents a clear parallel. One attachment/marriage worked out, the other ended in tragedy.

Part of their success might be the secrecy involved - her faking hew own death to the realm - which further accents the contrast with R+L's indiscreet involvement.

Yes, they would definitely benefit by their relative obscurity. Neither Howland nor Ashara are of great houses (though I think the Daynes are pretty high up), and they are both from disparate parts of the kingdoms, and few people would connect them.

There is something sad about it, as well. While I am not saying Ashara regrets her choice--we can't know what she feels about it--if the theory is true, she literally had to give up her family in order to marry the man she wanted...just like Lyanna did.

No easy choices in GRRM's world.

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Could be another hint about weirwood vs dragons.

That's what I think. It started me on a tangent a few weeks ago, and still might get made into a thread RL distracted me, about exactly what living wood means.

Good point! I didn't even think about that one at Harrenhal. Certainly, Howland and Ashara, as well as Rhaegar and Lyanna's stories all revolve around this idea of the old gods and the weirwoods. We don't know what the Daynes believed when it comes to religion, the assumption of course, is that they followed the Faith. It is possible, though, that they didn't.

I've always found it curious that the Daynes were specifically mentioned to be First Men, when no one else in Dorne is that I can recall. Especially as the FM moved from the south/Dorne to the North, so they should have been prominent in Dorne at some point. A lot of the folks that assume Ashara=Lemore assume she's a worshiper of the Seven, but I've never found that to be something firm. The best evidence for them worshiping the Seven is Arthur, actually. Him being an anointed knight and KG to boot seems to say Seven, but I've never been completely convinced all knights go through the whole ceremony with regard to the Seven. So, I'm not completely sure.

It would be very interesting to me if H+A=M&J, if for no other reason than it puts Howland and Ashara's story in direct contrast with Rhaegar and Lyanna's. Lyanna probably would have heard about H+A from either Howland or from Arthur when he was guarding her. I can't imagine what her thoughts would have been like. Did she think she would get a happy ending, that the both would? One of the very interesting things about this theory, is that it presents a clear parallel. One attachment/marriage worked out, the other ended in tragedy.

One interesting thing in this vein is how Ashara's eyes are described in the story, and why I don't agree with Furious George up thread. They're described as laughing in Meera's telling of KotLT tale, but Barriston describes them as haunting, which to me reads sad or troubled, it's definitely not merry, jolly, or happy. The two very opposite descriptions of her eyes are extremely curious and of course done for a reason.

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*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.

I'm having a lot of fun going through this bit by bit. I wasn't so into the connections you made with the towers and falling and summer and then I started going through it again and looking at it through your lens and wow! I've read that chapter several times, the one where the Reeds come to Winterfell and I had never considered that Jojen touching Summer and Summer having that vision of a tower and falling was anything more than remembering what he went through but the idea that Jojen was imparting some knowledge is interesting. Some nice stuff there.

Btw, anyone know exactly where Meera's eyes are described? I did a lazy search trying to find something and I couldn't seem to find Meera in any mentions of green eyes.

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That's what I think. It started me on a tangent a few weeks ago, and still might get made into a thread RL distracted me, about exactly what living wood means.

I've always found it curious that the Daynes were specifically mentioned to be First Men, when no one else in Dorne is that I can recall. Especially as the FM moved from the south/Dorne to the North, so they should have been prominent in Dorne at some point. A lot of the folks that assume Ashara=Lemore assume she's a worshiper of the Seven, but I've never found that to be something firm. The best evidence for them worshiping the Seven is Arthur, actually. Him being an anointed knight and KG to boot seems to say Seven, but I've never been completely convinced all knights go through the whole ceremony with regard to the Seven. So, I'm not completely sure.

One interesting thing in this vein is how Ashara's eyes are described in the story, and why I don't agree with Furious George up thread. They're described as laughing in Meera's telling of KotLT tale, but Barriston describes them as haunting, which to me reads sad or troubled, it's definitely not merry, jolly, or happy. The two very opposite descriptions of her eyes are extremely curious and of course done for a reason.

¿Que pasa?

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That's what I think. It started me on a tangent a few weeks ago, and still might get made into a thread RL distracted me, about exactly what living wood means.

I've always found it curious that the Daynes were specifically mentioned to be First Men, when no one else in Dorne is that I can recall. Especially as the FM moved from the south/Dorne to the North, so they should have been prominent in Dorne at some point. A lot of the folks that assume Ashara=Lemore assume she's a worshiper of the Seven, but I've never found that to be something firm. The best evidence for them worshiping the Seven is Arthur, actually. Him being an anointed knight and KG to boot seems to say Seven, but I've never been completely convinced all knights go through the whole ceremony with regard to the Seven. So, I'm not completely sure.

One interesting thing in this vein is how Ashara's eyes are described in the story, and why I don't agree with Furious George up thread. They're described as laughing in Meera's telling of KotLT tale, but Barriston describes them as haunting, which to me reads sad or troubled, it's definitely not merry, jolly, or happy. The two very opposite descriptions of her eyes are extremely curious and of course done for a reason.

The Daynes have been around "since the dawn of days." Now, I think this means they were First Men, but obviously, it could mean something else. Arthur's knighthood definitely points to the Seven having some influence in their lives, but they could have easily done a combo religion, like the Stark kids except for Jon.

Even after all these years, Ser Barristan could still recall Ashara’s smile, the sound of her laughter. He had only to close his eyes to see her, with her long dark hair tumbling about her shoulders and those haunting purple eyes. (ADWD 879)

Yep, and Catelyn calls then haunting too. If you look at the quote I provided above, it almost seems like Barristan is describing two separate incidences. Perhaps laughter before Harrenhal or at Harrenhal (where we know she was laughing), and the haunting eyes after. This to me says that above all Ashara had something momentous happen to her, most likely a love affair. We know she was pregnant, and that would have meant she had to leave court. What is not known are the circumstances.

What is interesting about this would be that Meera describes Ashara as a maiden with laughing purple eyes. It is very possible that Meera doesn't know her any other way. If you look at Bran's descriptors for Meera, he calls her cheerful and laughing, over and over. She obviously has very good spirits, that only changes when she is worried, especially about Jojen.

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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.

I'm seldom on the forums anymore so I count myself lucky to have crossed paths with your post. IMHO, the effort you have put into your analysis harkens back to some of the best theories to be proffered on Westeros. Although, I might be biased by the fact that your therory involves some of my favorite characters and passages from ASOIAF. All and all - nicely done.

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¿Que pasa?

You'd said that the passage describing Ashara is really just informing the audience and not really saying something about Howland's feelings toward her. I think the fact that Barriston describes the same pair of eyes as 'haunting' rather refutes that. Both have a purpose and meaning, and are very different descriptions of Ashara's eyes.

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I'm having a lot of fun going through this bit by bit. I wasn't so into the connections you made with the towers and falling and summer and then I started going through it again and looking at it through your lens and wow! I've read that chapter several times, the one where the Reeds come to Winterfell and I had never considered that Jojen touching Summer and Summer having that vision of a tower and falling was anything more than remembering what he went through but the idea that Jojen was imparting some knowledge is interesting. Some nice stuff there.

Btw, anyone know exactly where Meera's eyes are described? I did a lazy search trying to find something and I couldn't seem to find Meera in any mentions of green eyes.

It gets even better as you go. ACOK is great, but re-read the ASOS chapters. They will blow you away. Even the ones at the Nightfort, because there is all this imagery of falling and climbing and towers.

Meera's described here:

Meera Reed was sixteen, a woman grown, but she stood no higher than her brother. All the crannogmen were small, she told Bran once when he asked why she wasn't taller. Brown-haired, green-eyed, and flat as a boy, she walked with a supple grace that Bran could only watch and envy. (ASOS 127)

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