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  1. Seams

    Frozen Hell

    I think she just mentioned it offhand in a thread about something else. Not sure it's still findable through the search engine in this forum. (I tried a couple searches and couldn't find it.) Closest I can come is my earliest mention of it: Edit: Found her comment! She is French and her English was a little rough, but the idea is clear:
  2. Seams

    Frozen Hell

    This is very indirect evidence of Ned's desire to go to hell, but fun if you are at all open to hints that GRRM may have hidden in the subtext. @GloubieBoulga blew my mind a couple or three years ago when she pointed out that Dolorous Edd is a mummer version of Ned Stark - if you re-read the Dolorous Edd passages with Ned in mind, it is a fascinating way to imagine Jon's father (uncle?) speaking to him from beyond the grave. So here is a passage with Dolorous Edd wishing for a faster journey to hell: "Give the wildling an axe, why not?" He pointed out Mormont's weapon, a short-hafted battle axe with gold scrollwork inlaid on the black steel blade. "He'll give it back, I vow. Buried in the Old Bear's skull, like as not. Why not give him all our axes, and our swords as well? I mislike the way they clank and rattle as we ride. We'd travel faster without them, straight to hell's door. Does it rain in hell, I wonder? Perhaps Craster would like a nice hat instead." Jon smiled. "He wants an axe. And wine as well." "See, the Old Bear's clever. If we get the wildling well and truly drunk, perhaps he'll only cut off an ear when he tries to slay us with that axe. I have two ears but only one head." (ACoK, Chapter 23, Jon III) Keep in mind, Craster had referred to "the bite" that had maimed Gared over the years - referring to frostbite - and then joked about whether the bite had beheaded Gared. Of course, everyone knows that Ned Stark beheaded Gared for desertion in the early chapter of AGoT and that he used the sword Ice to do it. Craster then immediately requests that the Night's Watch provide him with an axe because his old axe has lost its bite: ". . . Gared wasn't half-bad, for a crow. Had less ears than me, that one. The 'bite took 'em, same as mine." Craster laughed. "Now I hear he got no head neither. The 'bite do that too?" ... "Had no good southron wine up here for a bear's night. I could use me some wine, and a new axe. Mine's lost its bite, can't have that, I got me women to protect." (ACoK, Chapter 23, Jon III) What would it mean that Craster wants to have a weapon that bites, and that the sword Ice "bit" off Gared's head? What additional meaning is there in "Ned" (Edd) wanting to provide the weapon to Craster in order to hasten the journey to the gate of hell? Is it possible that Craster is a gatekeeper and the Fist of the First Men is the gate to hell?
  3. Seams

    Frozen Hell

    I think it may be ironic. Ned is dreaming of Winterfell, which is the place he didn't want to leave and the place he longs to return to. Others in this forum figured out that Ned represents the Winter King and Robert represents the Summer King. (Other kings or would-be kings may also fit the summer / winter archetypes as Ned and Robert leave the scene.) The Winter King would like nothing better than to return to his frozen realm which is hell only in the sense that it is underground (the crypt and/or the pool by the weirwood tree) or in the sense that other people (non-Starks) would hate it. GRRM gives us one of his hints when you look at the context of the phrase. Right after this thought passes through Ned's POV, he is approached by Littlefinger who tells Ned that he is going the wrong way and adds (sarcastically) that Littlefinger will lead him to a dungeon, slit his throat and seal his corpse behind a wall. Ned's dream come true! Return to a crypt for eternity! It's interesting that Ned is met by Ser Rodrik Cassel when Littlefinger delivers him to their destination. I have a half-baked theory that Cassel represents Ned's castle - Winterfell. (Later we see Ser Rodrik die just as Winterfell is ruined. We can only hope that Beth Cassel can be present for the rebuilding of the family home. Similarly, Jeyne Poole represents the reflecting pool where we see Ned cleaning his sword during Catelyn's first AGoT POV.) With the arrival of Ser Rodrik, symbolically, Littlefinger has delivered Ned to Winterfell. "Frozen" may carry the meaning of "cold" but also of "motionless". We are told that the swords across the laps of the Stark statues in the crypt are put in place to keep the souls from wandering. Maybe Ned also wants to be "at rest" and not have to be reborn all the time, like so many of the characters who are constantly undergoing rebirths. Ironic, again, that Ned's bones later go astray and are not delivered to the Winterfell crypt as intended. His sword is also redirected, perhaps condemning his soul to wander instead of being at rest in his cherished frozen hell.
  4. I messed up the quotes, but the boxes are from @Sly Wren and the responses from @Ygrain. I don't know how to edit this to fix the quote boxes and it won't even let me highlight my own comments with a color to separate them from the parts I was taking from other posts. So I will just tell you, my comments beneath the Ygrain / Sly Wren dialogue begin with "If the quotes are tl;dr . . . " and continue through ". . . on his own merits." Then I comment again after the excerpt from @Bael's Bastard , beginning with "This is dynamite!" and continuing to the end of the post. I think you are sticking to the general concept and overlook how the concept of flowers develops in connection with Lyanna: flowers - roses - blue roses - the laurel. A sort of a gradual reveal, and emphasis is not on flowers in general but blue roses in particular. . . . How does it bear comparison when one incident led to haunting memories +14 years later, and the other never even got a honorable mention? That's like the "your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate" connection. . . . Sorry but this seems rather superficial comparison, and the insistence on the Stark Maid unnecessarrily narrowing the view. Loras only needed the trick at the end because Gregor was such a monster of a man. Loras as a parallel doesn't work, though, because he is described as exceptionally skilled and keen on particiating in tourneys. Jorah was neither and Rhaegar wasn't particularly interested. He might, but it doesn't fit with the accounts of him as being honourable. Plus, we see a much less skilled knight, Jorah, winning solely due to being inspired by Lynesse. If the quotes are tl;dr, the essence is that Ygrain and Sly Wren disagree on the meaning and/or details of Rhaegar's crowning of Lyanna at the Harrenhal tourney. This dialogue makes me think that we need a separate thread to debate the purpose of crowning a Queen of Love and Beauty. Aside from the Harrenhal example and the Ser Jorah victory, the example we have is from the Ashford Meadow tourney in The Hedge Knight. While the formats of the tournaments vary a bit (and the Dunk POV explains that the host gets to set the format), the Ashford Meadow tourney does not sound at all like a knight picking a girl on whom he has a crush. I think we need to consider the possibility that the Queen of Love and Beauty is the equivalent of sacrificing a virgin to the volcano gods or whatever supernatural entity demands the sacrifice of virgins. Maybe Lyanna is becoming part of the Targaryen attempts to hatch dragons. Rhaegar is singling her out for some kind of sacrifice, not for romantic love. This is why the Starks go crazy when he hands over the wreath. I realize Jorah falls in love with Lynesse at first sight, but keep in mind that he is a BEAR. If you read @sweetsunray's analysis of bear imagery, you know that the Scandinavian bear hunt tradition is that the bear is persuaded that he is being brought to town to meet a beautiful girl. In fact, he is being hunted for his meat and is brought to town for butchering. Maybe Jorah is the sacrifice in this scenario. We hear only his POV that he was supercharged by his love for Lynesse and was able to win the jousting. In fact, the matches may have been manipulated (as we have seen at other tournaments) and he was simply led to believe that he won on his own merits. This is dynamite! I had never thought to look at the ride of the King's entourage from Winterfell to King's Landing as a model for Lyanna and Rickard's travel to Brandon's wedding, but I think you must be right! There could be some important clues in the later journey to figure out what happened between Lyanna and Rhaegar, as well as other players in that run up to Robert's Rebellion. Holy cow. We have already discussed (in this thread or elsewhere - I can't remember) that the direwolf Lady is a symbolic Lyanna. She is a scapegoat, though, dying because Arya's wolf bit Joff. If the Lady / Lyanna parallel is correct, that would fit with the idea I put forward, above, of the Queen of Love and Beauty (Lyanna) as a possible blood sacrifice. Or is she a scapegoat? Does Lyanna die because someone (Aerys?) can't get his hands on the person he really wants to kill? The KotLT? Arya's wolf is named Nymeria - a Dornish princess's name. Maybe we are supposed to look for something done by Elia, who should have been crowned Queen of Love and Beauty, according to expectations, that was instead blamed on Lyanna. Ned regretfully volunteers to kill the direwolf Lady because Robert refuses to do it after passing the sentence. Who would be the person to slay Lyanna, if her story is parallel to the direwolf? Or is this where the twist comes in (history doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme) and Lyanna is "driven off into the woods" (like Nymeria) instead of being killed? Ned makes sure that the direwolf's bones are returned to Winterfell, similar to his (we are told) effort to ensure that Lyanna's bones are laid to rest in the Winterfell crypt. Brandon and Lyanna are compared to horses (centaurs?) by Lady Dustin. I have this nascent idea that horses in ASOIAF represent the souls of the person riding them. When Jon Snow rides south from Castle Black at the end of AGoT, intending to desert and join Robb's army, I believe he calls his horse "a lady" as he is saddling her. Don't know if this journey is another echo of the two southern journeys, and should be examined with them. I have had this sneaking suspicion for some time about the death of grandpa Rickard Stark. He was roasted alive in his armor, before many witnesses in the Red Keep. But the parallel scene for this is, I would think, the death of Mance Rattleshirt at Castle Black. We think that Mance is in the cage over the flames, but it's really Rattleshirt. Maybe someone else was in Rickard's armor and Brandon strangled himself unnecessarily. Sorry, I guess I'm getting all off onto tangents. I'll think about this and maybe start another thread.
  5. Seams

    Can Cat be happy?

    Here's a fresh idea, if anyone cares to dive in. What can we infer about the future of Lady Stoneheart by examining the stories of Serala (Lady Darklyn of Duskendale), and of the corpse queen of the Night's King? I felt the taking of Tyrion by Catelyn was similar to the Defiance of Duskendale, with Catelyn being blamed for starting the whole war by offending the Lannisters. But we know she was acting on input from Littlefinger and that Jaime had pushed Bran out of the window, resulting in his severe injuries. At the end of the books we have, it appears that Lady Stoneheart may be about to take the other Lannister brother, Jaime. Will there be another imprisonment and trial, or will Jaime simply be put to death? Are Melisandre or Selyse a third and fourth character for comparison to LSH (after Serala and the corpse queen)? To return to the OP, neither of these characters appears to be happy. We see both Rattleshirt and Mance taken as prisoners by one or the other of these "queens", with different outcomes. What about Cersei "taking" Margaery or some of the other accused people as prisoners? Is she a parallel in this situation? What else can we surmise about the future of Catelyn/Lady Stoneheart based on these parallels?
  6. Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
  7. No, I don't think I'd go that far, either. There may be an SSM somewhere where the author mentions the notion (attributed to Mark Twain) that history doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme. He explores each iteration with some fresh twist, or combines two archetypes. Major elements are similar but each character's experience is unique. Musicians would call it variations on a theme, I think. So each replay of an archetype contains a slight variation or, sometimes, a complete inversion - Baelor is celibate instead of fathering the heir (although Aegon IV apparently impregnates two of the three maidens Baelor had locked away); sometimes the father instead of the lover imprisons the maid (Doran and Arianne); sometimes the lovers go into a cave instead of a crypt (Jon Snow and Ygritte). In the latter example, the lovers don't have to hide. In fact, Mance believes Jon has given up the Night's Watch because Ygritte brags that Jon has had sex with her many times. I think it's not a coincidence that Ramsay and Jon are the only characters to share the bastard surname Snow. Roose and Ramsay Bolton are described as having eyes like ice. Because of my wordplay obsession, I see a link between eyes and ice anyway, but the latter word is also an allusion to the Stark family sword. I can't use the Search of Ice and Fire website on this computer, but I think the Bolton eyes are described as grey at some point - or maybe I'm just making the connection between dirty ice and the color grey - which would be another way of saying that their eyes are like Stark eyes. It's possible that Roose thinks Ramsay's eyes are just like his own but Ramsay's eyes are, in fact, just like Stark eyes. Ramsay also takes the title of Prince of Winterfell, which would rightfully be a Stark family title. There's also something going on with Ramsay helping Theon kill the two sons of the miller and pretending that they are Bran and Rickon. In that case, miller's kids = fake Starks. Ramsay is the son of a miller's wife and he has clawed his way into the Lordship at Winterfell. So there would be a nice symmetry if miller's (wife's) kid = real Stark. But it could also be an echo of the other scenario (miller's wife's kid = Stark wannabe). I know this is largely off-topic, though, and you have your hands full with this thread. I am not absolutely ironclad in the daddy-Brandon connection to Ramsay (although GRRM has said that Brandon might have fathered some bastards before he died). I just like it as a possible ironic twist on the messy events playing out at Winterfell.
  8. Yes but we quickly learn that Joffrey isn't really a Baratheon, so GRRM is giving us a little ironic foreshadowing here. I am also seeing quite a bit of hinting that Sansa isn't who she thinks she is. The betrothal arranged by Robert and Ned would actually sorta fulfill Tywin's goal of joining Lannisters and Targaryens, if my tinfoil Sansa theory is correct. (Of course, GRRM does a lot around the idea of babies having more than one father - Lollys is raped by half a hundred men , Tyrion may be a chimera of Tywin and Aerys, Joffrey thinks he is Robert's son but he is really Jaime's son, Jon thinks he is Ned's son but he is probably someone else's son, etc. So I will also theorize, below, that Sansa is responsible for killing her father, Ned, just as Bael's son grew up to slay him in battle.) I think GRRM shows us many echoes of the same archetypes. So there could have been hundreds or thousands of Jeyne / Ramsay parallels in the past or future. When GRRM shows us an event like that without attaching names to the characters or with names from legends (and he does this with dreams, visions, prophecies, myths, legends, "mummers" and various other forms) I think he is deliberately being coy and/or deliberately setting out the archetype without telling us that we are witnessing a single historical event. For instance, when Meera tells the story of the little Crannogman at the feast and tournament, she doesn't use names. We assume we know who the wolfmaid is and who the wild wolf is. Why, then, doesn't GRRM just use the name Lyanna and Brandon? Because he is describing more than one event, I believe. I realized that, in Meera's story, you could substitute Brienne into the role we had all assumed was assigned to Ashara - "a maid with laughing purple eyes." Brienne fights three of the four people who fit the description of (presumed) Ashara's dance partners: a white sword, a red snake, and lord of griffins, and lastly with the quiet wolf . . . " Since we have seen Brienne fight with Jaime, Timeon and Red Ronnet Connington, this story may tell us that she will eventually do battle (or fight in a tourney) with someone from the Stark family. Bloodraven tells Bran that trees don't measure time in a linear way, so the shrinking of the tree may or may not correlate with the passage of time. I think the Bael / Baelor / Baelish pattern goes beyond Stark Maids. Lyanna was one example of the Bael pattern, not the original archetype. So the maids don't necessarily have to be Stark maids. Somewhere in this forum, I have read a good analysis comparing Arianne, the princess in the tower, with the sisters of Baelor in the Maidenvault. I think characters get taken down in crypts or taken up into towers in a number of ways - limiting ourselves to people of the Stark bloodline would eliminate many possible examples that echo this legend. There are also some examples that might allude to the Bael legend without actually copying all of the details - Cersei is trapped in the dungeon of Baelor's Sept for a long time. When it is time for her to emerge, the septas shave off all of her hair - a step that seems to coincide with a rebirth in other character arcs. When she finishes her walk of shame and reaches the Red Keep, she is picked up in the arms of Robert Strong and she expresses a feeling of being like the baby Joffrey (iirc). So Cersei was imprisoned in the dungeon like the Stark maid (to borrow your term) but she also becomes the newborn baby that is born from that confinement. Bella is born after Robert Baratheon is hidden in the town called Stoney Sept, recovering from his wounds. Barristan is searching diligently for him, but can't find him. So Robert might be the "Stark maid" in that scenario. Ned's death on the steps of the sept (yes, I believe there is wordplay around steps / sept) is also a Bael echo. His death comes about because Sansa told Joff and Cersei that her father was secretly planning to leave King's Landing the next day. Varys tells Ned that Sansa will suffer unless he agrees to take the black. So here is Sansa again in the role of Bael's child, not in the role of the Stark Maid. My thought on why the miller's wife targeted Roose is that she knew Brandon was dead and assumed she wouldn't get any support from the Starks at that point. Or she may have even tried the get some money from Winterfell and Catelyn just sent her away, not wanting a bastard child of Brandon to further threaten the inheritance she wanted for Robb and/or Bran. The miller's wife may also have resented Roose for raping her and this was her way of getting a measure of revenge. Or maybe the Dreadfort was an easier day's travel, which would be a factor if you are the widow of a poor tradesman.
  9. The social constructs that get in the way of "doing the right thing" are a big part of GRRM's message. In addition to the "words are wind" nature of oaths and vows, he gives us several examples around "shit for honor" and the shit buckets that tip over, creating a mess. Sansa believes she is searching for a "true knight," but she ends up being more attracted to the candor and strength of Sandor, who refuses to be a knight. People who have taken knightly vows do things that many of us would consider to be inherently dishonorable: killing babies and children, beating and killing defenseless women, raping and pillaging. I think the point is, as @three-eyed monkey notes, that actions are more important than the vows. Be a good person, defend the helpless, and it doesn't matter whether you have taken a vow or not. The Jaime / kingslayer example of @A Ghost of Someone is a fine case in point, too: we think Jaime is a bad person for killing a king until we find out that Jaime was trying to save the entire city from a crazy lunatic determined to spitefully destroy the lives of thousands of people. It appeared that he broke a vow, but aren't we glad that he did so? We also see people take marriage vows and then treat their partners in cruel or disrespectful ways: Ramsay starving Lady Hornwood, Ramsay raping fArya / Jeyne; Cersei cheating on Robert, Robert cheating on Cersei. Children born outside of a recognized marriage are marginalized simply because of the vows or lack of vows of their parents, and through no fault of the child's own making. Grand Maester Pycelle probably took a vow of celibacy as part of his religious leadership, but Tyrion finds him in bed with a woman. The High Sparrow has apparently decided that his form of holiness is superior to that of his predecessors because he is not worldly and he helps the poor. But readers suspect that he is not the simply holy man he appears to be, and we are a bit taken aback by the harsh treatment of Cersei, even though there is a sense that she deserved some punishment for her many bad acts. Another example is the Rat Cook story: he is condemned not for the cannibalism he tricks his guest into committing, but for violating guest right. How absurd is that? Why is one crime seen as the true offense when the other crime strikes most of us as the greater taboo? Manderly is careful to avoid the problem by (it appears) murdering his Frey guests only after they leave his home and are no longer protected by guest right. I think George is making the point that we use law, religion, pledges and social expectations to excuse bad behavior as often as we use it to promote good behavior. Or bad stuff happens in spite of the laws. The lesson is to just try to do the right thing and not get hung up on whether one has spoken vows.
  10. I haven't finished reading this thread yet, but I'm lovin' it. The idea of mining the Bael legend for clues is right up my alley and you've gotten some rusty wheels turning in my mind, going off in lots of new directions. I agree that Arya is a great echo of Lyanna, and that their stories and characters can help us to make inferences and fill in the gaps for each other. I'm not quite as persuaded about Sansa and Jon Snow as examples of "Stark maids," although I see some of your points. I agree that there is some Lyanna imagery linked to the death of the direwolf Lady, which does seem to bring Sansa into the parallel. On the other hand, I think Catelyn Stark is the woman Petyr Baelish slept with (possibly only in his imagination, but possibly for real) and that Sansa represents the offspring of that Bael iteration, not the love interest. I also think the pregnant woman emerging from the Winterfell pool alludes to Jeyne Poole, and she wants revenge against Ramsay Bolton. So I guess my approach would be to broaden the notion of the "Stark maid" to look at parallel characters who are not necessarily literal Starks. Some relatively undeveloped thoughts: 1. Bael / Baelor / Baelish If we are going to make full use of the Bael pattern, I think we need to look at King Baelor as well as Petyr Baelish. Maybe also Prince Baelor, who appears in The Hedge Knight story. Mance as the singer "Abel" at the Bolton wedding has already been mentioned. I've never examined her closely, but I wonder whether Bella, Robert's natural daughter at the Peach, should also be considered? You already cited Ser Barristan's description of Rhaegar as "Able" above all else. I think he is a good fit for the Bael role in many ways. I also like the Stannis comparison you have laid out. We have Ned executed on the steps at Baelor's Sept. @sweetsunray has put forward an interesting theory that Ned's bones might have been returned to those steps, where Sparrows and Silent Sisters have piled the bones of murdered people around the statue of Baelor. Ned would have wanted his bones to be placed in the Winterfell crypt - the same place where Bael of legend conducted his affair with the Stark heiress and fathered the next Lord of Winterfell. The same place where Lyanna's remains and statue have been placed and where King Robert immediately goes upon his arrival at Winterfell. This may or may not be directly relevant to whether Stark maids like Bael figures. Maybe the point is that Starks like births (or rebirths) to occur in their crypt. 2. Flowers I know there is widespread acceptance in this forum that blue flower references are hints about Rhaegar's crush on Lyanna (perhaps mutual) and the paternity of Jon Snow. I think GRRM wants us to think that initially, but he has actually hidden a lot more information in the combination of the color blue with flowers. Recall that Brienne's color is blue - this is her color when she engages in the melee at Bitterbridge and the color she is awarded when she joins Renly's Rainbow Guard. Brienne also hates roses because she was given a rose by a suitor (Red Ronnet Connington) when he rejected her. Her hatred of roses is part of what motivated her to defeat Ser Loras in the last elimination in the melee. If we are considering the red rose given by Ser Loras to Sansa at a tourney, we should also sort out the meaning of Brienne's anti-rose sentiments in the context of a tourney. The Tyrell rose sigil is part of this larger point. I don't think we can assign roses as a symbol associated with Lyanna when there is so much imagery around the Queen of Thorns and the variations on the rose sigil among the Tyrell brothers. But some flowers are less obvious. I know I always belabor my favorite puns, so I will try to be brief: "wolf - flow - fowl" is a kind of chain of interrelated imagery. Flow is linked to flowers as well as streams and rivers, menstrual blood (Sansa "flowers" when she gets her period) and other flowing blood. I think flow is also linked to sewers because of Tyrion's teenage job of directing the maintenance of drains at Casterly Rock, which then leads from sewers to sewing, sows (pigs) and "We do not Sow" (House Greyjoy words about farming). More somewhat hidden flowers: Gilly's name is the name of a flower. Not just any flower, but it is another way of naming a wallflower, a type of flower that can easily grow on a Wall. I actually think Gilly seduces Sam in a way that could be compared to Bael, so she might need to become part of the analysis. She seems to like Sam, but I think her real goal was to get her baby through the Wall and she needed the right man to help her do it. I believe that Daario (maybe it's Ser Jorah?) gives Dany wildflowers while they are traveling, to help her to learn about the native plants of Essos. Also, the name Widow's Wail is the name of a blue flower. So there are lots of flowers, many of which have important symbolism, and not all of which are associated with Lyanna and/or Jon Snow. Or with Arya's brief interest in the flowers growing in the neck. (Although I am glad you called my attention to that passage, because I think GRRM hid some important information in that poison kiss passage and I had overlooked it in the past.) 3. Flowers as in House Florent. A blue wreath, to be precise. Your thread led me to examine House Florent, and I think it may be a critical source of clues for figuring out Rhaegar's three heads of the dragon strategy. I think we can compare Rhaegar to Florys the Fox, the daughter of Garth Greenhand. From the wiki: I think we're going to see something similar with Rhaegar's descendants. I agree with your surmise that Ashara Dayne and Rhaegar conceived Dany, although their baby might be one of several other characters. The comparison of Florys the Fox to Rhaegar is strengthened by the wreath of blue flowers in the Florent sigil. It surrounds the head of a fox, which is the traditional image of a trickster. I suspect that this wreath of blue flowers IS a hint about Lyanna (am I contradicting my previous section?) and that she and House Florent may also have been part of Rhaegar's plan to hide his children with various noble houses so they would not all be slaughtered in the coming strife and war. (Maybe war was part of the prophecy, along with the three heads of the dragon?) It's possible that Lyanna was the mother of one of Rhaegar's children, but I really like the "fit" of Jon Snow as a child of Lyanna and Arthur Dayne. But there is a Florent-connected child who never fit in with his family: Samwell Tarly. This reminder from the wiki might lead to further evidence that Sam's mother, Melessa Florent, has already taken in a bastard child (or served as the third mother for Rhaegar's planned trio of surviving children?): GRRM likes irony, and it would be ironic if Sam is confident about his mother's willingness to help pass off a legitimate child as a bastard because she already took part in a similar ruse a generation earlier. Wouldn't it be fun if Maester Aemon knew that Sam was part of the Targaryen bloodline? Even if he didn't figure it out, it's nice that they got to work together. Another clue about Sam as a possible hidden Targ is that the wooden statues of the Seven Gods burned by Melisandre at Dragonstone were made from the masts of ships that originally brought the Targaryen family over from Essos. Burning may actually empower Targaryens to be reborn, so she and Stannis may have been doing the family a magical favor when they set those carvings on fire. But there is a memorable scene where Sam is compared to a fat pink mast. I think the burned mast carvings may be connected to that detail of Sam's story. 4. Other candidates I know, I know. Everyone has a million hidden Targ theories. I think Rhaegar may have made some spare babies, just in case, and that there are other potential Targ descendants who we didn't even know were dragonseeds. Another recent thread led me to examine the three sisters of King Baelor I (whose crown, by the way, was made of flowers). His sister Elaena was locked away along with Daena and Rhaena so that Baelor would not be tempted sexually. An interesting inversion of the Bael legend. But Elaena becomes the matriarch of three houses through a succession of subsequent marriages/affairs: Plumm, Penrose and Waters/Longwaters. There goes that number three again, just like Florys the Fox and Rhaegar's dragon prophecy. I do have some theories about Elaena's descendants living on among the current generation in ASOIAF, but those are topics for other threads. For this thread, I'll just throw out a few possible hidden Rhaegar descendants: Ser Hugh of the Vale Brienne of Tarth Samwell Tarly Meera Reed Theon Greyjoy It might be that fAegon, Dany and Rhaenys were the three children Rhaegar was able to produce, with Ashara as the mother of Dany and Elia as the mother of the other two. But I have this feeling that another might be hidden from us. I don't think Ramsay Snow is a Rhaegar descendant, but I do think he might be a Brandon Stark bastard. So the Bael parallel might be that Brandon (Ned's brother) and the miller's wife were the romantic couple in the Bael parallel, with Roose Bolton fooled into thinking the child was his. Ramsay grows up to (we suspect) kill Domeric Bolton, which is the cowbird scenario - the egg laid in someone else's nest grows up to kill off the other chicks in the nest and to take all the nourishment provided by the unsuspecting parent birds. Lady Dustin would be the other "parent" bird whose chicks are pushed out of the nest by Ramsay / the cowbird. Ironic, if this theory is true, as she loved Brandon.
  11. Seams

    Can Cat be happy?

    There is so much overlap between Beric's last kiss, LSH and the Shrouded Lord that we have to assume the Shrouded Lord story (or stories) was GRRM was handing us clues to the nature of the magic that passed from Thoros to Beric to LSH. We have a magic person who comes from a river, a power bestowed with a kiss, a succession of people wielding the power with each choosing to pass it along to a selected successor, stonemen / Stoneheart, a lady statue that emerged from a grey fog, greyscale as possible wordplay on the grey Stark colors and fish scales, etc. Even the direwolf Nymeria pulling LSH's lifeless body from the river is an allusion to the Rhoyne because of the origins of Queen Nymeria. Nothing in the Shrouded Lord story indicates to me that the magical power is a force unto itself. The power is invested in the individual Lord and he/she controls who receives it when s/he is ready to give it up. There is an interesting possibility in comparing greyscale to magical power. Is disease passed on in the same way magical power is passed along?
  12. Seams

    Can Cat be happy?

    If Lady Stoneheart is bound by the mission she had in life, she will continue to seek the obliteration of all Freys. At least those connected with the Red Wedding. Were most of them descendants of Lord Walder's first wife, Perra Royce? LSH's last act as Catelyn was to cut the throat of Aegon / Jinglebell Frey. Another mission was to serve the King in the North. She believed that Bran and Rickon were dead. Would proof of their survival, and assumption of the northern crown by one of them, allow her to go to her rest? Of course, another mission was to get her daughters back safely. I guess we'll find out whether Jaime or Brienne is able to get her focused back on that priority. But it would be too tidy and happy-ending-ish for LSH to experience satisfaction and simply lie down and die once and for all. I suspect her final denouement will have something to do with Jon Snow, and it will be incredibly ironic. Her earliest POV established that she hated and resented Jon and one of her last conversations with Robb was about not recognizing Jon Snow as an heir of the Stark line. Before she dies, LSH will either bestow her resurrection kiss on Jon Snow or she will find out that she is somehow related to him - my only guess is that maybe Uncle Brynden Tully had an affair with Lyanna (major leap, I know). Telling Jon Snow that it should have been him to be in a coma, instead of Bran, might be our clue about the destiny planned for LSH. Maybe she will jump or fall out of the window of a ruined tower. This would be a match for one of the Ashara Dayne stories associated with the mystery of Jon's birth, but would also be a match for the death of Lysa Arryn.
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    Wow, I never noticed that v.17

    I think this is right. Sandor is Sansa's Brienne or Ser Duncan the Tall or Areo Hotah. (But he is also the Long Night!)
  14. No doubt about it. I am completely baffled. Have a nice day, though.
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    Can Cat be happy?

    I don't think she will rest until she can have Ned's eyes in some way shape or form. Those are the things she noticed missing when the Silent Sisters brought his bones to Riverrun. She also noticed his sword missing, but she already saw Oathkeeper and probably sensed its provenance. Maybe she needs Widow's Wail before she can rest in peace? Or maybe she will rest when Ned's bones are returned to Winterfell. Although that may never happen.