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Buried Treasure

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  1. I'd expect Aegon to know languages not through education but because he is exile, a serving boy with the Golden Company would probably be entirely uneducated but still able to speak several languages. The rest of his education seems about in line with what I'd expect of the son of well off Landed Knight. He has a father figure to train him at arms and as he grows older, retainers to train against. He has one septa and one maester to educate him, which seems about right for any noble House not to small or impoverished. Varys is trying to spin a narrative where Aegon has all that and a fairytale-like prince-raised-among-the-peasants-before-returning-to-right-a-wrong destiny. He may as well be plotting it direct from Joseph Campbell. Sure Aegon has played with peasant kids and skipped a meal, but I expect the same of many noble boys whilst they were in training as squires and taken on hunts (though certainly not all, and Tommen hasn't had that upbringing). Aegon was hidden but not hunted because nobody knew he existed, and he would never have known true hunger with rich Illyrio as his patron his whole life.
  2. Buried Treasure

    Could Robert have simply named Tommen his heir?

    Kings may be able to choose their heir, but only if they don't have a clear line of succession, so Robert couldn't just decide Tommen was his heir. However, Tommen was already second in line, and Kings can disbar an unsuitable heir. If Joffrey had been feeble of wits or infirm of body or traitorous then Robert could have disbarred him and Tommen world automatically been the next King. But a cruel edge would never be enough for an heir to be considered unsuitable and Joff was twelve his true character was not yet known so Robert would not know of a justification to disbar him.
  3. Buried Treasure

    Did Robb act better than Tywin conducting the war?

    The northmen who are raping in the riverlands are either Karstark men let loose by their lord when he turned traitor against Robb, or broken men after the red wedding. Neither one is something Robb would have sanctioned, not least because Riverland peasants were his own peasants and it was against his own interests that they were harried. In the west harrying of the peasants was in Robb's interests. We know cattle were seized and fields burnt because Cat was told as much when she returned to Riverrun. There is always some level of unauthorised looting and rape in war but Blackfish was in charge of outriders and I consider him competent enough that not much was done without his permission (just as there were rapes at Maidenpool under Tarly but not many as he punished them harshly). But there are no claims, either from the northern army that was there or angry westerlander lords, that there was widespread raping of peasants or looting of septs, so we must presume Robb did not authorise it of the army under his command.
  4. How do you figure that? Ned fought in Robert's name under Robert's banner so staying loyal to that cause strikes me as more honourable. Loving his sister and her child doesn't mean Ned was honour-bound to make his nephew king ahead of the man he was already pledged to as the next king.
  5. Robb was a 'Summer child'. He was 15 when the books started, and that was at the end of an 7 year Summer. He didn't have the same grizzled hardness of northern adults because he hadn't truly known what defines northerners - a hard Winter. The same is also true of other highborn northern youths such as Benfred Tallhart and his Wild Hares. Robb isn't out of place as a northerner, after being at war he had hardened and he was well liked by his personal guard that included many northern lordlings; it was his rank not any southern-ness that set him apart.
  6. Buried Treasure

    The truth about Ashara Dayne's suicide

    'soon after' is relative. Barristan is an old man reflecting on events 16+ years ago; two events seperated by around around a year could seem close together to his mind. Cersei suggested Ashara as a possible mother for Jon yes, but because Ned and Ashara are linked by his journey to see her in Dorne, and the existence of Jon. Cersei (nor anybody else outside Barristan) does not hint of any rumours of Ashara having a non-Jon pregnancy.
  7. Buried Treasure

    The truth about Ashara Dayne's suicide

    I lean against Ashara being in Dorne for most of her pregnancy because Barristan knows or thinks he knows what happened at the end of her pregnancy. Barristan was not in Dorne, and certainly not late in the war when he was Robert's prisoner, and there is not otherwise gossip of her stillborn (such rumours as there about her work backwards from Ned's acknowledged bastard's mother being unknown). I would suggest that Ashara and Barristan were in proximity in KL or Dragonstone, which allowed him to see or hear something to conclude that she had a stillborn baby.
  8. It's Westeros, a horrific number of people come to bad ends. If Maggy had told her granddaughter to avoid everyone who had a foreboding prophecy she wouldn't be able to leave her chambers.
  9. Buried Treasure

    The truth about Ashara Dayne's suicide

    Her suicide was because when Ned arrived she learnt of her son's death at the hands of Gregor Clegane. An unwedded noblewoman having a pregnancy would be considered dishonorable, so she would have good reason to keep it secret. There are reasons Barristan would know things about Ashara that are not common gossip - he was infatuated with her so would have paid close attention to her actions, and he was a KG so would have had access most do not. As you say Ashara was close to Elia so anytime they were together in Dragonstone or Kings Landing is a time Barristan might have been close enough to learn some of Ashara's secrets. What Barristan thought he knew might not be the whole truth though; Elia gave birth in the year after Harrenhal, so the possible windows for when the two women conceived / were pregnant overlap. Elia was sickly, and her husband had already started looking elsewhere, so if she had given birth to a stillborn girl she might have been afraid of being set aside, and if Ashara had given birth to a healthy bastard boy whose Dayne looks resembled Targ looks then switching could have solved problems for both of them.
  10. Which do people think? For me, prophecy is a weather forecast that people in-universe have a tendency to try and force by ticking off items like a shopping list. Most prophecies seem to arise from visions (the wolf dreams of the Starks, Daeron's dragon dreams, Mel looking in the fire etc.) which the prophet then interprets when they try to describe the prophecy to a second party. That may not be true for all prophecies, for instance we don't know if Patchface has visions or if his little verses come to him fully formed. When a prophet describes the vision it could perhaps be like describing a picture of a crime scene - they might describe the most obvious features, not the most relevant ones. I'll take a simplified version of the dragon hatching as an example. This was a momentous event so it cast a big shadow forward and some prophet long ago was able to see it; most prophecies are about event significance to the fates of fewer people, so only prophets close to the individuals or events can foresee them. The prophet foresaw a complex series of visions, but picked out petrified dragon eggs, a mighty fire and silver hair & purple eyes to tell people about: so for hundreds of years everybody thought Stone Eggs + Targs + Fire = Dragons and a load of royals managed to get themselves killed by trying to force the prophecy into fulfillment through assembling a list to recreate the reported parts of the vision, this roughly what Mel has been trying with her 'take two kings...' approach to prophecy . But let's say that anybody could have hatched a dragon had they put a stone egg on a fire on the day of the red comet - Hot Pie could have done it, and if he had then the prophet might or might not have described the baker at the centre of the scene. I actually don't think the comet was relevant to hatching dragons, I think Dany succeeded where others had failed was because she was a pregnant woman who was able to give create life, to literally be a mother, and that it just so happens she is a Targaryen, with the main significance of that is only Targs are mad / bold enough to try walking into fire. But, much as a storm will arrive whether you see the weather forecast or not, so would the the dragons have been hatched even if a prophet had not foreseen it.
  11. Rhaegar saying that 'his is the song of Ice and Fire' isn't the only title drop in the series, it's merely the only one so far, with hundreds of thousands of words still to come. Prophecy is moving from the background to a more prominent feature as the series progresses. The last couple of books had more emphasis on things such as the Ref Priests' beliefs concerning AA, and prophecy in the Jade Compendium, and I would expect that to continue so that by the series conclusion we know the full picture of what was prophesised, and how that was fulfilled or subverted. I wouldn't take a vision of Rhaegar having spoken about this prophecy years earlier as anything more than a hint that at some point we will learn more about about an individual having a song of ice and fire.
  12. Buried Treasure

    why the marriage alliances?

    The point of the great lords of the realm coming together as a political bloc would surely be to limit the power of the throne. In broad terms a Magna Carta type situation where strong lords can unite against a weak king (in this case due to his weakening mental state) not to overthrow him, which could be costly to themselves in case of war, but to limit his authority and this strengthen their own positions.
  13. Buried Treasure

    Who did Robb name as his heir?

    You have the order right, but the problem Robb was facing was: Bran - to Robb's knowledge, dead Rickon - to Robb's knowledge, dead Sansa Arya - to Robb's knowledge, dead Jon - as a bastard not in the succession by default, and in the the NW anyway Robb's only remaining heir (to his knowledge!) was unsuitable by dint of her Lannister marriage. I don't think anyone would dispute that a king can strike a particular heir from their line of succession for cause, like treason, and Sansa was almost be described as unwilling traitor by virtue of her forced marriage to Robb's enemies. If Robb had disowned Sansa and had Arya by his side, or Uncle Benjen (if he had never joined the NW), or Jon (if he was a legitimate cousin and had not joined the NW), then that would have been his next heir by default - Robb would not get free choice of who to name. It is the fact that Robb had reason to disown Sansa and then had no other direct successors that make it such an open question of who he would name to succeed him.
  14. Buried Treasure

    Who did Robb name as his heir?

    Harrion's father committed treason, and was punished for it, Harrion himself had committed no crime. Harrion was probably already a prisoner by the time Robb made his will, but that would not have been known to Robb at the time - Harrion was with Bolton's army and Robb had sent orders to Roose to keep Harrion close, Robb did not learn of Duskendale (where Harrion was recaptured) until after arriving at the Twins. A Karstark is not so ideal as a trueborn Stark, but in the absence of one of those to hand it makes a decent political choice. Robb's goal was to leave a strong, united kingdom in the event of his death and one of the greatest internal weaknesses to his kingdom at the time was that one of his major northern bannerhouses had marched home. Naming Karstark as heir would mean that in the event of his death that rift would be instantly healed, and even if he did not die it would be a major olive branch towards healing the division eventually. By contrast if Jon or Edmure were named heir they would still have to deal with the Karstarks being divided against the kingdom.
  15. Buried Treasure

    Bael the Bard is Jon Snow's father

    Snow if the name of highborn bastards. It signals their noble blood, their bastard and usually that they are acknowledged by their father. Many peasants that are probably offspring of married peasants do not themselves have surnames, there is no reason that their bastard children would. Men in the NW are mostly peasants who mostly sleep with the whores of Moles town, south of the Wall. When they did sleep with wildling women whilst ranging north they would have little reason to know they had fathered children and less reason to acknowledge them. The mothers of those children would not have reason to follow the southern custom of southern surnames and would probably be reluctant to let it be known that their children were offspring of the hated 'crows'. We even have examples possible NW offspring that lacked bastard names; one of the new recruits (Horse?) was from Moles town and perhaps the son of a whore, and Craster whose father is rumoured to be a crow which is one of the reasons he was hated.