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Buried Treasure

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  1. Cat could well have misspoken: it is easy to say 'all my children' but 'four of my five children' is a mouthful. None of the characters present would have felt the need to challenge it - they all know the truth of which children he delivered - and the statement got across her intended point that Luwin would not be shocked by her naked body. For the the first time reader the statement established that Luwin had served the Starks for years and was knowledgeable and trusted. It was possibly also intended as an early lesson that this is not a story where characters always speak in unrealistic and awkward exposition - training the reader to not believe every word of dialogue literally as it is written.
  2. Roose had said that he would keep Harry close, and indeed did keep much of the Karstark foot with his own forces. So Robb might not have known the detail that Karstark was captured, and assumed he still with the intact Bolton army (as an aside & independent of my theory - why was Harrison at Duskendale with Glover rather than with Bolton and his own foot soldiers?) Harrion was an imperfect choice, but even if Robb had named someone riding by his side to the Neck, that individual could die in the same battle that killed Robb. Harrion at least has the advantage of his own heirs - a sister, paternal uncle & cousin we know of - which means the succession is resolved beyond him. I don't reckon he was any less secure a choice than Jon, who could have been lost like Benjen since Robb was last in contact, or might not be released from the NW by the Lord Commander, and who has no heirs of his own which would put the northern succession back at square one in the event of his death.
  3. I don't think you are playing fair there! You know full well that Aegon IV had the epithet 'the Unworthy' and that his actions cannot be taken as precedence of what a responsible ruler would do. Robb was trying to be a responsible ruler and prevent a succession crisis, not create one. ...Which is part of the reason I also think Robb named Harry in his will, only not Harry the Heir, rather Harrison Karstark. I reckon that Robb would have imagined two scenarios: 1) Robb does not die in battle, and goes on to beget heirs by Jeyne; knowledge that he had named Harrison in the will opens the doors to future rapprochement between the two Houses and in a generation or two the rift could be sealed by a marriage. 2) Robb dies in battle. Karstark emnity dies with him, and a Karstark can become a Stark (not on the basis that they are particularly closely related, having not intermarried for several generations, but because that is the entire Karstark identify/mythos as a Cadet House. Thus whilst Robb's death would create one problem for his kingdom (loss of a beloved young leader) it would solve another (rebellion of one of the major Houses). It would also give an answer to why the will has not been acted upon yet. Harrison Karstark is a Lannister prisoner. The northern/Riverland loyalists are waiting till the prisoners are on the open road to free them, rather than trying to spring them from the dungeons of a defended castle.
  4. The will was known those members of the war council that were required to sign it as his Lords (including Lady Mormont as a ruler in her own right). It may not have been known to Catalyn, who is not the head of any House and would not be required to witness - and Robb was not inviting any discussion; he was committing his lords to a decision he had already made. There is no indication the will was made public knowledge to the camp, and good reason the lords would not discuss it casually. Morale was already low in the army and would not have been improved by the camp dwelling on the possibly of their king dying in the next battle. As for Robb naming a Vale cousin his backup heir to garner support from the Vale, his maternal aunt was already ruling the region, as regent for his first cousin. That wasn't sufficient for the North to get aid, so the prospects that a more distant relative who had not yet inherited anything would give better aid were not good. I'll also mention that Cat only half remembered which lordlings were related to the Starks - Robb may have known even less and was on the march with his army so with limited opportunity to research the identities of distant cousins.
  5. 'Taming' seems to require only a single dragon-ride. Even with the feral dragons of the Dance, after an individual has ridden a dragon once they have mastery of that dragon, until the person dies and the dragon has to be claimed anew. I don't see that Aegon will be the first person to ride any of the dragons, for the simple reason that he went west instead of to Meereen. The two dragons in the pyramid are currently uncontrollable; men died just dragging them into the pit, even though Dany was present for that. It will not be be possible to get them into the hold of a ship, or to follow the march of an army without attacking the camp, unless they have already been mastered by a dragonrider. That leaves the question of whether Aegon (or anybody else in Westeros not Meereen) could become the second rider of any of the dragons after it has been ridden to Westeros and the first rider has died. I don't believe Aegon will survive until the story's endgame, so it become a question of which other characters he will outlast in the narrative. Tyrion remains a possibility for one of the dragonriders out of Meereen, but he's too significant a character to be killed of just so someone else can inherit his dragon. Who else in Meereen could become a dragonrider just long enough to reach Westeros before George kills them off?
  6. Lady Dustin was not present to express her wishes for her husband's body. That she wishes the body has been returned does not mean Ned wasn't trying to honour her husband when he made a different decision. Your example of Jon Arryn's squire, slain in a tourney 'mishap', is not directly comparable to honourable men dying in war. Especially my point that Ned chose to honour all eight men that died equally, by putting them to lie together in death. Ned did not take the easiest /least effort course to bury the eight men. It would have been less work to transport 9 bodies away than to have the tower destroyed and the cairns raised. If labour was a limiting factor - if it was only Ned, Howland, the baby and perhaps Wylla present then it would have been more likely the bodies would have been removed. At a minimum they had the 5 spare horses of their dead companions to transport the bodies. The great deal of effort that goes into turning a tower into cairns makes the case that there was a larger force of labourers available to Ned.
  7. Everybody that died at the ToJ was honoured. It wasn't the crypts for Lyanna and shallow graves for the rest. Ned was sentimental and loved his family, which is the reason Lyanna came home. But Ned was also sentimental and honourable, which is the reason the others did not. The men died fighting honourable foes, so in death Ned have all eight equal honour and lay them to rest together because with their deaths their cause to fight was over.
  8. The destruction of the tower and construction of the cairns is a greater feat of labour than the funerary preparation of a single body. In Ned's recollection he pulled down the tower, but I interpret that as a great lord's idea of taking an action - he gave the order and common men under his command did the work. Ned went into Dorne with an army, and although he rode to the tower with only six others, for all we know he left the bulk of that army over the brow of the next hill. I'd suggest that he did in fact leave a force within riding distance - and that after the fight Homeland left to fetch others from that camp Then Ned gave orders for the construction of the cairns, rode off to Starfell, and returned to the location of the former tower around the time his men had finished destroying it. Though his force may not have included Silent Sisters (being primarily northmen), preparation of bodies is a skill that one could easily expect to find amongst camp followers.
  9. Should versus Could. If the question one is answering is R+L=?, then the child one is looking for could be anywhere between a few months older than Robb, to roughly Danys age. Conception can happen the first time, but in real world it doesn't always. For Rhaegar & Lyanna, there are a number of reasons we can throw out for why they might not have had a child 9 months after the kidnapping; low sperm count, miscarriage, stress, missing the ovulation window (travel or living in close quarters with the KG could limit their opportunities to sleep together) etc. The R+L=J theory is more typically presented as the answer to the question 'what is Jon's parentage?' For some less popular theories of Jon's parentage then Jon should be older than Robb. Brandon and Rickard were both dead before Robb was conceived, so for either to be Jon's father then Jon would have to be the older child. But the established window for R+L allows for Jon to be both the age is he believed to be, and their child.
  10. Broadly agree on his creepiness. On the specific of Cat's maidenhead however, Littlefinger may actually believe she gave it to him. When he was wounded after his duel with Brandon, Lysa snuck into his bed and there is an implication that in his fevered state he confused the two, as he cried out Cat's name.
  11. Renly was an enemy of the King's Landing Baratheons/Lannisters regardless. He fled KL for fear of arrest by Cersei's order the night Robert died, and would never have obeyed Joff's summons to prominent lords to swear fealty, as he would likely have never known freedom again. In choosing not to pay homage to Joffrey, he had a choice between sitting in Storms End with his household until the Crown rooted him out, fleeing into exile, or calling his banners to defend himself. That is the likely reason for his raising an army, not for a crown or for the incest (which he was ignorant about until much later). There is an assumption that Renly decided to be a king then went to war to fulfill that goal. I say the order was reversed; he was planning for war (with a probable goal of weakening the Lannisters and replacing Cersei as Regent for King Joff), then saw the size of the host at his command and let that get to his head. It would fit with what he said to Cat as the reason he was worthy to be king.
  12. There's a gap between being able to pull equal weight in a conversation and being a vegetable. I could well imagine Robert visiting Jon to find him in a confused and delirious state, telling a story, and getting positive feedback as Jon followed his conversational lead and was comforted by the old memories. It wouldn't be too different to telling a story to an inebriated drinking buddy.
  13. Infant mortality is high enough that I don't feel we have to strain too hard for an explanation of why she did not have a child at breast when Jon was newborn. Her own baby could have died or else it was old enough to be already weaned. Your latter point also gives a strong possible explanation for why she would not go to Winterfell: prior commitments. Even a servant can have other priorities in her life than serving the needs of a distantly-landed Lord, maybe she had other family, or loyalties, in Dorne. If she had no living children at the time, she might still have had a husband/lover who was father of her firstborn. They could have been planning for more children together; Edric Dayne is 2-3 years younger than Jon, and whilst it is possible she was a professional wetnurse with no intervening pregnancies, it is also possible she had milk to spare for Edric from having a child between Jon and Edric's births. Going to Winterfell and returning seems like a non-starter for a peasant woman. Travelling to Winterfell with an escorted party under the authority of a Great Lord is safe enough. But you would not expect the lord to contract a ship from White Harbor to Starfell for the sole purpose of returning a servant? Which would leave her making the long return journey alone. There is ample evidence in the books of how much risk a woman alone would be taking to travel half the continent. It makes more sense that Ned have contracted a second wetnurse who was willing to travel to Winterfell, with the promise of a place in his household, to make a new home in the North
  14. Bloodraven could have been considered 'lost on a ranging', though whether that would count as stepping down would depend on whether he left the Wall intending to return or knew he would never go back. A LC losing his mental capabilities like Waymar Stout might not have been formally removed, if he had a strong Second to actually fulfill his duties. Much as Grand Maester Walgrave no longer has duties even though we saw in the AFFC prologue he has kept his rank.
  15. A good point, that I hadn't considered before. It also shouldn't be overlooked that legal status isn't the only aspect of marriage - if they were in love then they may have married for their own sakes, or to be wed in the sight of their gods. Lyanna wasn't even of the Faith, and although weirwoods are rare in the south, it seems any mature tree can substitute for a Heart Tree in a pinch. If Jon was legitimate there is a question about how we will learn of that as the most of the actors and witnesses are long dead, which comes back to the theory they married before the weirwoods of the Isle of Faces, close to Harrenhal. Another question is why Lyanna would have been to the second wife, rather than setting Elia aside or asking her to join a convent. My explanation is that Rhaegar wasn't planning anything - he eloped with Lyanna a year after first meeting her because he was acting rashly after learning that Aegon was not his son and the PWWP, but a changling (Elia's stillborn daughter / Ashara's healthy bastard boy). But I know that is a niche theory and not accepted by most, but for those that say he was planning for a legitimate son to be the third head of the dragon, why does his hasty abandonment of Elia show so little sign of planning?
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