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  1. They were not fighting for the Targaryens. When they arrived, Robert had been badly wounded and his army wasn't keen to rally for another, more pointless battle after the Trident. Ned and his Northerners had probably headed to King's Landing before the Freys turned up. I'm guessing the other Riverlands houses were wanting to return home by then, and they didn't want the armies of the North and East and Stormlands living off their land any longer than they absolutely must. Hoster Tully might mock Lord Walder as 'the late Lord Frey' but he would want the causeway to the North accessible from the Green Fork as well as the Ruby Ford. The Freys would get none of the spoils of war - in fact, as Merrett ruefully discovered, those that had married into families that were favourites at court got less than they anticipated. Except Ser Emmon Frey, who married a Lannister. Whatever damage had been done to their lands, they would have to wear. But there probably wasn't a lot, because Aerys forces had no reason or desire to target the Freys, with their ties to so many loyalist families. Hoster would also prefer the Freys saw him as an ally not a threat. Even after the war was won. So a deprecating nickname would have to do. Plus not attending any of Lord Walder's weddings. That was a wise move. And both moves were felt, and rankled with Lord Frey.
  2. These people who refer to Lynesse might not be bigots but they are all in situations which prejudice them against Lynesse. All except Sam and 'the people of Hightower' Sam has nothing to say about Lynesse. Sam asks the captain of the Huntress what Lord Leyton Hightower is doing to fight the Ironborn raiders, when the Cinnamon Wind is sailing through the Whispering Sound, a couple of days out of Oldtown. The Captain tells Sam (AFfC, Ch.45 Samwell V) This man's bitterness is mostly directed at Cersei, but there is a note of contempt in there for the Hightower ladies too. It is hard to say if he blames the sons of Lord Leyton for being too slow at hustling up a fleet, but he definitely does blame Lord Leyton for being distracted by his oldest daughter's books. He doesn't blame Lord Paxter for being on a leash, so much as he does Cersei for holding it. The canine metaphor hints at who he thinks ought be held on a leash. Sam is shocked by his bitter tone, and fears his resentment of the Iron Throne is widely shared in Oldtown. But I see the satin flames that line the captain's smoke-grey cloak, and wonder if this man worships the Red God that Stannis champions, and his opinions, while strongly expressed, are not a majority view. Neither we nor Sam are given reason to suppose the captain of the Huntress knows any Hightowers personally. His profession might bring him into contact with Gunthor's men, but there is no evidence to suggest the captain of the Huntress has been inside the Hightower, or seen Lynesse (or Cersei, for that matter) in person. You say he is not a bigot, but I can detect just a teeny taste of misogyny in the captain's regrets that Oldtown is not yet able to match the Ironborn in a pitched battle. He calls Lynesse a whore, but in the same breath he expresses the belief that she might be able to give her brother a proper fleet. It is quite unlikely she would have that ability if she had left Tregar's household to make her living as a sex worker. What he says of Humphrey's mission implies that Lynesse is still the favourite of the Lysene merchant prince with the fleet of galleys, and has never done any kind of paid work for her living. I think the contradiction arises because the Captain of the Huntress does not make nice distinctions between adulteresses, whores, and women who are taken into slavery for their husbands' unpaid debts. To be fair to him, he shows no hint of sexist prejudice against the wife of the Oarsman of the Lady of the Tower, who taught her husband Tyroshi, So only three out of the four women he mentions are given derogatory adjectives. Compared to none of the six men he speaks of. For me, the principle point of interest in his speech is that he almost certainly has not heard about Cersei's or Margery's trials in King's Landing yet, or of Aurane's defection to the Stepstones. I don't accuse Jeor of being a bigot. (AGoT, Ch.52 Jon VII) But I do think we should bear in mind that he is a father. Jorah's father. His dying words were for his son, “Tell Jorah. Forgive him. My son. Please. Go.” . No signs of forgiving Lynesse, According to Jeor, her vanity somehow led to Jorah selling those poachers. He blames it all on love, his son's love, not Lynesse's. But of course he does. He is not a bigot, but he is not an unbiased source. Did Jeor ever meet Lynesse in person? He once tells Tyrion (AGoT, Ch.21 Tyrion III) Note the plural. Lyanna Mormont is Maege's youngest child, ten in the year 300AC, as Stannis discovered to his chagrin. So in 289, when Jorah went south to put down Balon's first uprising, and returned to Bear Island with Lynesse, Maege was pregnant with Lyanna, whom Jeor has never seen. Jeor had also never seen at least one of Lyanna's older sisters, all of whom must have been born before Balon's first uprising. Of course, it is possible that Jorah and Lynesse visited Jeor at the Wall. They might have met with him at Winterfell if Jeor had escorted Lord Commander Qorgyle to Winterfell. But it is also entirely possible that all Jeor knows about Lynesse came to him second-hand. And the most likely hands to write to him on the subject are Jorah and Maege Mormont. Even without any personal or epistolary knowledge of Lynesse, Jeor could form an opinion of her simply by comparing the match that Jorah had made to the one he had made for him, or by comparing what he knew of Jorah's conduct before he married Lynesse with what he knew of his conduct after. Jorah was not known to have sold slaves before he married Lynesse. When Jeor knew him, he was not a knight, not enamoured with the trappings of Southron chivalry, not attempting to win glory at tourney, or spending any money on things for his wife. Ergo the new wife was to blame for Jorah's behaviour. Comparing the match with Lynesse to all the benefits of the match that he had brokered would have highlighted a number of deficits that her personal charms could not alleviate. The Glover wife was a Northerner, Lynesse was alien to the North. The Glovers live in a strategically useful place if the Mormonts were looking to allies to help defend Bear Island from Ironborn. The Hightowers are a notably unmartial family from a town that the Ironborn can only reach by sailing away from Bear Island. Jorah might think there was no risk of attack from the Ironborn since he had put them to the sword at Pyke, but Jeor would know that would only stay them for a season. The Glovers are a humbler house than the Mormonts, honoured to accept the heir of Bear Island as good-kin. Jorah himself had difficulty believing his luck when Lord Leyton accepted his proposal, though as far as we know, the Hightowers gave Jorah nothing but Lynesse and had nothing to do with him after. We could say the same about the Glovers. Still, Jeor's match had been a practical one, made without the bias of personal interest, while Lynesse was a match from lust, from desire for a pretty face and young blonde flesh, made in haste to repent at leisure. Jorah's first marriage was as much a failure as his second, in terms of his wife's happiness and the number of true-born heirs she bore him. But Jeor would not blame Jorah for her barrenness - Jorah had sucessfully impregnated her three times. Nor would he be inclined to sympathise with the unhappiness she found in marriage. Jeor did all he could to make her marriage rewarding for her. He made her Lady of Bear Island within the first year of her marriage, when he left for the Wall, foreswearing his lordship and leaving it to her to carry on his line. Jorah left to join the Northern banners and fight on the trident not long after, but at that early stage, they all might have hoped that she would deliver a true-born heir if and when he returned from the battles in the South. Jeor might choose to think Jorah's slave trading was confined to selling some poachers to a passing Tyroshi trader. Maybe it was. I find it a bit unlikely that a Tyroshi trader would just happen to pass Bear Island at a time when there were people Jorah was keen to sell into slavery because he needed the money. Still, as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and in need of men, Jeor could not have avoided knowing that the men Jorah sold into slavery should legally have been given the option of being sent to the wall. That Jorah had failed to give the Black Brothers their due. And because Jeor was also the former Lord of Bear Island, he would be aware that Bear Island was an island. Those poachers were not wildling raiders, that could be cut down like the outlaws they were, nor Ironborn raiders (not with Theon safely ensconced at Winterfell). They were not some other lord's lieges. These men were rent-paying Bear Islanders, who had fought beside Jorah on the Trident and at Pyke, who had endured his depredations on their daughters and wives, who had built a fine boat for him, that he had sailed to the Free Cities and learned what a good price he could get for skilled boatbuilders there. Then suddenly Jorah gets precious about his rights over the deer in the piny wood just around the time he replaced his cook for one who wasn't always serving venison? Around the time these men had finished building him his boat, the better for him to spend his time over seas, rather than hunting at home? Jeor must have been aware on some level that his son had betrayed his own men. He was scapegoating Jorah's young trophy-wife for Jorah's selfish calculations, to avoid feeling a shame too deep to express. Of course his father would rather attribute Jorah's crime to love, to his son having only too big a heart to see the evil this girl's vanity had reduced him to. Jeor at least accepts that it was Jorah's idea to trade slaves. He doesn't claim it was Lynesse's idea, only that Jorah wouldn't have thought of it if he had not married her. Jeor seems to know no more of him after he fled Bear Island. He doesn't seem to know, as the Captain of the Huntress and Humphry Hightower do, that Lynesse is no longer living with Jorah, or that Jorah has been making a living as a slaver without any input from her. Maege and her daughters also don't seem to know what has happened to Jorah and Lynesse in exile. Dacey's whole argument against Lynesse is that she was "a proper lady". (ASoS, Ch.45 Catelyn V) Lynesse's hair was too blonde, her complexion too flawless, and her hands too soft to wield an axe. Dacey is aware that she was not raised to be a proper lady, but she was raised a Mormont, and however questionable the taste of the carving on the gate, she identifies with it, and she'll protect her leige-lord to the end. Dacey is a young woman, Lynesse is no more than three or four years her senior. When Jorah left to fight the Ironborn on Pyke, she was the oldest of Maege's four girls, about twelve years old. Not too old to still be playing with her morningstar, but old enough to be a maiden newly flowered. Jorah had inherited her ancestral home of Mormont Keep with the She-bear on the gate, the only home she knew. And he was single, and heirless, and a new wife might want to turn the aunt and sisters out of the Keep in order to fill it with sons and heirs of her own. I think it is entirely possible that Maege had offered Jorah her Dacey in marriage, knowing it would secure the place of the Mormont women at Mormont Keep. Cousin Jorah left considering the offer, but then chose himself a wife soft hands to caress him, rather than one who could tower over him with an axe. When he brought his "proper lady" to Bear Island, Lynesse served as a constant reminder that she, Dacey, was not what men wanted in a wife. While they shared a roof, the contrast also served to remind every man who saw them together of what a savage she was. A decade later she was still unmarried. (ASoS, Ch.45 Catelyn V) Maege is a "hoary old snark" and even her own brother can hardly stand to be around her (AGoT, Ch.70 Jon IX). Her judgement that Lynesse's teats were not suitable for giving suck is probably because Lynesse had the small, highset breasts one would expect a slender maid of fifteen years to have. Maege was suckling her fifth daughter when she lived with Lynesse. No doubt about the utility of her large low-slung maternal breasts. Her daughters could have given Jorah heirs, but he chose an ornamental wife that he won as a knight, not a woman to defend his home and heirs. Maege had four daughters and one on the way when Lynesse descended on her so unexpectedly, shattering her hopes of securing Mormont Keep for her girls. At the time, it seemed she was destined to leave Bear Island when Jorah found husbands to marry her and her daughters. However little she liked the idea of leaving the Island and being separated from her girls, the lack of lordlings stepping up to facilitate the process could not have done much for her self-esteem or satisfied her maternal pride. We don't see anything of Maege's husband, if she ever had one. Given her surname, she either married a cousin, or never married at all. From what Jorah has said, it seems she was born and bred in Mormont Keep, about nineteen years after her brother. She seems to have been the mistress of the Keep before Jorah's first marriage. Not long after her brother had Jorah's first wife replace her in that position, and left for the Wall, she had her first two girls. The nearest thing I could find to a reference to their paternity is this: (ACoK, Ch.06 Jon I) Although, not much later, he sees the undead fifteen foot bear with his own eyes. More remarkably, Janos Slynt, the upjumped butcher from King's Landing has heard this rumour about Maege too. (ACoK, Ch.08 Tyrion II) Very mysterious. So it seems that Maege is unmarried herself, and her children are all bastards. I like the notion that Tormond raided Bear Island at this time and the two became lovers, but Dacey's long face reminds me that Maege was only in her early thirties when Brandon Stark was twenty and still sowing his wild oats. Maege is only about five years older than Jorah, who was also sowing wild oats at the time, and on Bear Island. Whomever the father or fathers of her children are, they have not acknowledged the girls or played an active role in raising them, as far as we know. Maege stayed on in Mormont Keep and let the 'fathered by bears ' rumours swell as she gave birth to one girl after another in the next dozen years or so. While she owed something to the grace of the Glover wife in this matter, it must have felt a bit of a reprieve for her when the Glover wife died without children, and Maege, pregnant once again, could resume her place as mistress of Mormont Keep while Jorah went to Pyke, and dare to dream that he might marry her Dacey, securing her family there forever after. But Jorah returning with Lynesse meant that she and her four (soon to be five) young girls were once again at the mercy of a new Lady of Mormont Keep. Maege might have dreamed of Jorah coming home a knight, or not coming home at all, but she could hardly have supposed he would come home with a nubile young wife to produce an heir to Bear Island that would shut out her and her daughters altogether. If Lynesse, when she arrived at Bear Island, looked like the death of every hope they cherished and every thing they loved, what did the Mormont women look like to her? She is also a young girl nobly born, but gently bred, raised in the light of the Seven, with a better than average enlightenment education thanks to her proximity to the Citidel, which creates a local surplus of quality teachers. Perhaps she might have visited her older married sisters sometimes and formed her expectations of marriage from thier circumstances. Alerie had married the Lord of Highgarden, and Alysanne, Lord Ambrose. Leyla and Denise had married mere knights of the Reach. At the Tourney of Lannisport, she is finally stepping out from the shadow of her older sisters, and her beauty is celebrated. Jorah is introduced to her as a peerless warrior, a knight, and the Lord of an ancient and honourable Northern house. He begged her favour and proved his skill in the manly art by winning every tilt, and his gallantry by crowning her Queen of Love and Beauty, and begging her father for her hand in marriage. After a week of being toasted and acclaimed as the newest Bride, they board a boat to the remote but beautiful island that her Lord rules over and calls home. She would have warned herself not to expect a well-developed island with two busy ports and rich orchards and vinyards like the Arbor, that she should not expect to be mistress of so large a castle as Highgarden, but nothing she knew could have led her to suspect she was to live in a Keep made of logs, fortified by an earthern palisade, in a windswept wilderness. The only ornamentation was an obscene depiction of a woman weilding a battle axe, clad only in a bearskin, with a child suckling at her bare breast, on the front gate. And far from being her own, it was crammed full of surly half-wild female bastards that acted like they owned the place and treated her like an unwelcome intruder. What we are told of Mormont Keep makes it seem very similar to Craster's Keep, although probably without the shared loft and the deerskin doors. A castle that looks like a midden heap with a roof and a firepit. Then, there are the habits of its inhabitants. While we know that Dacey had the foresight to pack a gown when Robb raised his banners, and Lord Jeor has a steward to wash his smallclothes, the other Mormonts seem to share Craster's habit of wearing the same soiled and sweat-stained woollens and furs day in and day out. And the mother of these surly violent she-bears have the hide to blame Lynesse for not carrying the axe, or the babe, or the bearskin pelt. Maege does have quite a hide, though. When Robb called his banners, she called him a boy and tried to get the Stark in Winterfell to agree to marring her seven year old bastard grandaughter, before his parents could come back and stop her. It reminds me of Alysanne, who has breasts like her mothers, turning to attack as a form of defence when she told Asha "better to start young than wait too late". I am pretty sure if Catelyn as a new bride had found herself living in unexpectedly close quarters with a heavily pregnant despoiled cousin and four noisy, wild, rude female bastards of the same, she might be horrified, she might want to know why. Alysanne would have been another horror for Lynesse. Just when people were starting to suspect or accuse Lynesse of being barren, Alysanne falls pregnant and she is just twelve years old. Even if Lynesse does not suspect her husband, the only man in the Keep, there are those that will. Twelve year olds, even wild ones, do not stray far from the family home, and Bear Island is an Island. Jorah has form when it comes to taking the Lord's right, by his own admission, and people who have tongues will talk. Also, because Alysanne was with child so young, it is possible that the sex started before she 'flowered'. In the south, they have child brides, so perhaps it isn't such a big deal (as long as the couple are joined in the light of the seven before consummation) but in the North, respectable families preserve their daughters' virtue until they have 'flowered'. And Maege turns this awkward fecundity, bastards having bastards, possibly Jorah's bastards, into an attack on Lynesse for being childless! Lynesse tries to bring some sense of normalcy to this situation, does her best to give them nice things, like fine dining and beautiful music. The she-bears despise her for taking the trouble to dress for dinner, for her pointless insincere courtesies, her showy, ornamental, expensive, barren tastes. They have no use for a woman who fails to bear children, and can't weild an axe. How could they not be delighted to discover she could not outbreed them? They fill the nursery of Mormont Keep with their own line pushing her out, Jorah did nothing to stop them and his milk-sop wife had no means to stop them, and can only weep silently. Jorah, like his aunt and her daughters, is quite unconcerned that he exudes an 'earthy' smell, slurps the soup, expects his main meal to be served in a single bowl, and wears the same clothes he has worn all day to it. The Mormonts only notice, unfavourably, suspiciously, the smell of people who prefer to bathe and perfume themselves and dress in well-laundered clothes. I can understand why Lynesse wouldn't want to spend any part of a summer in close proximity to them, and wouldn't imagine she would be required to, when she wed the Lord of Bear Island. Unlike Jeor, Maege and her girls don't value Lynesse's beauty, youth, or grace, and they are not afraid of making remarks about how useless she is. Even when they technically owed the roof over their heads to her good grace. When Jorah went into exile he decided to take his trophy-wife with him and the She-Bears were given the run of Bear Island officially while Lynesse shared her husband's disgrace. Anyone who listens to the Mormont family version of the story is under the impression that she drove him to it. It is a bit of a triumph for Maege to be made a Lady by Jorah's disgrace, and Dacey the heir to Bear Island, their family united and secure. Much better than they had any reason to expect with Jorah and Lynesse both still alive, and still married (note that Lynesse and Jorah were never divorced, merely separated). (ASoS, Ch 45 Catelyn V) Catelyn met Lynesse in person, and unlike Maege and Dacey, Lynesse was not a threat to her status or her place in the family home. Lynesse, in her beauty and refinement, her gentle manners and high birth, could not be taken as an inherent criticism of the type of woman Catelyn was. At the time Catelyn met Lynesse, she had no dog in that fight. Catelyn shared Lynesse's southron education and sensibilities. This view of Lynesse hints of a drinking problem, a woman whose inhibitions would normally let her hold her own counsel, rather than reveal that her life at Bear Island was miserable, she was treated like an outsider and intruder, useless and irrelevant, in the household that she was technically the mistress of. That her attempts to make a home of it had failed. That her husband is the type of person who tries to patch up every fight with a pretty gift and make-up sex, or by running away to another tourney. Anything but respecting her, supporting her, seeing her side of the story. There might be a hint of wounded pride in there too - what a step down in the world for a Miss Hightower, what a humiliation, to be taken down by the bastard she-bears. Catelyn does not seem aware that her words, intended to be consoling, have the power to cut Lynesse to the quick. Catelyn makes it clear (to us at least), that the change that time would make, that would reconcile Lynesse to the North, was simply the breeding Northern children from her own loins. It was really the same thing that Maege was using to attack her with, from a different angle. If Lynesse knew by then that she wasn't going to have children, perhaps wasn't able to, Catelyn's misreading of her situation, and her apparent happiness with her own life and satisfaction with her own husband, would not be a source of strength and inspiration. Really, we learn very early on that Catelyn still finds the Northerners a queer breed, that she was still felt like the Godswood resented her intrusion, still hoped to secure her cold, dutiful husband's affection with more sons, still resented having to share Winterfell with just one declared bastard, in part because Jon Snow is a reminder that there was another woman once, that Lord Eddard truly loved. (ASoS, Ch.45 Catelyn V) Catelyn is the closest thing to a sympathetic perspective on Lynesse. But she isn't. She tried unsuccessfully to console Lynesse at the time that she knew her, and on the eve of the Red Wedding, she is comparing Lynesse (and herself) unfavourably to the warlike Mormont women. This newfound respect for the Mormont women seems to come from Maege's kind assurance, when Catelyn apologised for attempting to exchange Jaime Lannister for Sansa and Arya, that she would have done the same to save her daughters. Perhaps having Brienne as her sworn sword had inured her to the shocking sight of armed women. Makes me wonder how she would react if she meets Arya again. I think GRRM does not share Catelyn's admiration of Maege's fierce mothering. After all, in this very scene she plods across the leech-filled Hag's Mire, foreshadowing her own descent into Mother Merciless. And Dacey's death, single and childless, of an axe in the womb, her mother unable to protect her, and she proved unable to protect Robb. It seems to me, too, that Maege, the GreatJon and Rickard Karstark are too often grouped together, and too often grouped together by the side of Lord Bolton, before Robb died. They are the first to test Robb with idiotic ploys before he left Winterfell, the first to protest against declaring a truce with the Lannisters, the first to name Robb the King in the North (in the South) and to lay their swords at his feet. The Karstarks and the Umbers are still part of the story, spouting more heirs and grandchildren with every book, strategically placed all over the place, eg. Harrion in the care of Lords Mooten and Tarly at Maidenpool, Alys Thenn marching to the Karhold with her new Wildling army, Cregan in the undercroft of the King's Tower deciding whether he will take the Black, Arnolf and his boys with Stannis but in league with Roose, and his daughters presumably at the Karhold, the unmarried ones. The Greatjon is at the Twins, his treacherous uncles with Stannis and Roose, and presumably someone remains to head the Last Hearth. But it seems to me that the Mormonts are even more entrenched in the plot. Alysanne with Stannis and Asha, Lyanna on Bear Island with Alysanne's children, Lyra and Jorelle with Maege on the Greywater, looking for the mysterious Howland Reed. Jeor has left a few mysteries behind him at the Wall, as well as a sword and a dying wish, and of course, Jorah has been making his way back from Volantis to Meereen for another battle. Their ages, their experiences, their characters have all been carefully fleshed out. There is a lot more to Jorah than what Dany thinks of him - his role in A Dance with Dragons shows us that. His mentions in Eddard's chapters show us that as well. And I'm pretty sure that most of the imagery that involves bears (eg. Tyrion borrowing a bearskin from Benjen on the road north to the wall, the song "Bear and the Maiden Fair", Sansa, Kevan's messenger boy and other people so swaddled in furs they look "like a bear cub", Harle the Huntsman's bear claw necklace) are all foreshadowing something that involves Mormonts. Lynesse is another weeping woman of Lys. Another fair haired blue eyed Lysene beauty of the kind Illyrio buys by the dozen, apparently. She connects us to a Lysene merchant prince that is not Sallador Saan. If Jorah's source tells it true, and "she is his chief concubine now, and even his wife goes in fear of her.”, that is a sign that Lynesse learnt something from her time in Bear Island, about how to take over a household when the mistress by rights is someone else entirely.
  3. Rhaegar abducting and raping Lyanna is Robert's version of the story. We are not told any other version, but what we learn of Rhaegar's character doesn't match the lust, the impulsivity, the dishonor of the act. We are never sure Eddard really believes it (although both Catelyn and Bran clearly accepted the story without question.) So, the massive stupidity might have been bestowed on Rhaegar by Robert, as an excuse for his rebellion. Not that Robert really needed that excuse. Brandon and Lord Rickard had been killed by Aerys, who was now demanding him, and Ned, and Jon Arryn. Brandon strikes me as impulsive, lusty, the kind of guy whose honour is little more than an excuse to attack weaker opponents in single combat. He is such a tool, I wonder if someone told him Rhaegar was at the Red Keep. Or maybe they told him Rhaegar wasn't at the Red Keep. That would suit Brandon better, because Rhaegar was the better fighter. He could defeat Brandon one-on-one. Brandon was playing into Aerys hands, with his entourage of lord's heirs. He might not have realized that Aerys would kill them all, and their fathers too, but he must have been aware that yelling at the gates of the Red Keep for Rhaegar was unlikely to achieve anything worthwhile. Whether Reagar was there, or not. Robert seems to me far more canny in military matters and diplomacy than he is given credit for. He clearly intended Eddard to rule and to make of Joffrey a better king than Cersei and Tywin would. I think he knew Joffrey was not the fruit of his loins, but accepted that as the price of peace for the kingdom. Just as he accepted that he was unlikely to make old bones when Jon Arryn died. Robert's ride into rebellion was more successful than Brandon's, and from the start. He managed to win the Vale, the Stormlands, the Riverlands to his side without tipping Aerys off. Aerys continued to regard him as a nuisance that would soon be dealt with, like an outlaw in the Kingswood, until his son was dead and his realm was riven. Robert may well have had some help in this respect from Varys. If so, he had the nouce to know that and to keep Varys serving him in his own rule. Robert didn't do anything hysterical when he heard Rhaegar had gone off with Lyanna. That was just the excuse a year later, when he fought Rhaegar on the Trident. Not one-on-one, as he knew Rhaegar outclassed him. Sometimes I wonder if the guy whose chest he stove in on the Trident was Rhaegar. Or if Rhaegar was already dead and his corpse strapped to the horse. There is probably a gap between the story we are given and what happened that day. Robert's obsession with killing Targaryens, especially Rhaegar, who is already dead, needs some explination. Robert is lusty and not at all honourable, with a mercurial temper, but he has a track record of acting strategically, getting consensus, and using diplomacy. If he secretly believed Rhaegar could still be alive, his killing obsession would be understandable. His decision to kill Viserys and Dany made sense to me. While they lived, they were a threat to his throne and actively planning to return to Westeros with an army and take it. Eddard Stark underestimated the long-term threat they posed, and ignored how much easier it would be to take them out while they were still exiled children, without fortune or influence. Identifying Dany as the wife and future mother of a Dothraki war lord as a particular threat, shows great insight to me. He is practically the only one who does, and while Eddard was right about the many things that would get in the way of Daenerys's plans to retake the throne, Robert was right to believe that she would be plotting actively to overthrow him, and wouldn't give up until at least one of them died. TL:DR Brandon. No contest.
  4. The duel could also be evidence of Petyr's ambition, evidence of his desire to rile Brandon Stark, or Hoster Tully. It is indirect evidence in support of whatever motive one chooses to ascribe his decision to fight a duel to. I overlooked that. But now you mention it, I have to say she addressed the matter of who took her virginity directly, to herself, in her own point of view (ACoK Ch 45 Catelyn IV) The only quibble I have (and it is only a quibble) is that maidenhood is not maidenhead, so I suppose GRRM could argue that if in the future he wanted to represent Petyr Baelish as an honest man and true, and not creepy at all. There is Lady Smallwood's accusation that Tom Sevenstreams left maids pregnant to back up that interpretation. We know from Sansa and Margarey and Myranda that a woman is not a maid if her marriage has been consumated with or without conception. It is unclear if an unmarried mother would be regarded as a maiden or a matron (perhaps a despoiled maid?). Dany is clearly 'no maiden, but still fair', and Cersei is still King Robert's widow, and a mother regardless of the paternity of her children or the variety of her lovers. More intriguing to me is whether Ashara Dayne would be classified a maid or a matron. Delana Florent was a maiden when Robert took her, which seems to have influenced Robert's public acknowledgment of Edric Storm (and cast a shadow over Selyse's womb that left her unable to bear sons, yeah sure Selyse). Delena is no longer a maid, but that might be because she married Norcross ten years ago and has had two legitimate sons to him. Why she is now hiding in Lys is a separate puzzle. It seems that Edric has lived apart from her for years. Or maybe only since he left Storm's End, and she left to join him across the narrow sea. Also off topic - Catelyn believes Jon was conceived after she married Eddard. Based on nothing at all, except perhaps a desire to believe Robb was the elder of the two, and the heir to Winterfell even if Jon was ever legitimised. But yeah, I am digressing and think that to claim "took my maidenhood" merely means "married me" would be too contrived. For me, that monologue is definitive. If Catelyn had sex with anyone before marriage, she ought to have shown a qualm about it in that monologue. After all, Catelyn is the queen of qualm. I no longer believe Catelyn had sex with anyone before marriage. But I still can't see the duel as something Petyr did for love, or for Catelyn's hand in marriage. For a start, if Petyr's goal was marriage, fighting with Brandon Stark is not going to convice Hoster or Catelyn to accept him. He must persuade at least one (and ideally, both) if he wants to marry Catelyn. He made his challenge without consulting Catelyn. She pointedly collaborated and lent all her support to Brandon, from before the duel started, letting Petyr know what side she was on and giving him every opportunity to back down. Petyr could not have believed she preferred him to Brandon, or wanted to marry him. Petyr could not suppose Hoster would allow him to marry Catelyn if he won the duel, any more than he could suppose that killing her betrothed would make Catelyn want to marry him. It was obvious from the start that the outcome as far as Hoster was concerned would be Petyr being sent home from Riverrun, dead or alive. Dueling with Brandon is a spoiling strategy. It's a sour grapes strategy if he went into the duel believing he had deflowered Catelyn, a dog-in-the-manger strategy if he only said Catelyn's name to humiliate Lysa and assure her sister of his constancy. Catelyn's affection for him motivated her to beg for his life to be spared, but if Petyr had any genuine feeling for her, he would not have attempted to duel Brandon Stark. That duel announced in as public a way as was possible, that Catelyn was damaged goods. That might even have been the purpose of it. He might have foreseen his life would be spared. Starks are known to be touchy about honour, and Brandon had a reputation as a hot-headed gallant. It is not quite as suicidally stupid when you think about it - Petyr might have realised that Brandon could really only lose. If Brandon killed or seriously injured a small, barely teenage boy, he looks like a dishonourable bully, attacking a mere lad, who had only trained with wooden swords, and wasn't adequately armoured. Brandon wasn't going to gain Catelyn's hand in marriage by dueling Petyr, (no more than Petyr would). By agreeing to the fight, Brandon was being somewhat unchivalrous too, as it would be widely believed that Catelyn must have at least been accused of taking her pleasure with a very young boy, in her father's protection. To justify his 'defence' of his right to her hand, he legitimized Petyr's right to challenge for it. He was a fool to do it, and maybe Petyr was a fool too, but he didn't die, and he got out of Hoster's Riverrun with the absolute trust and deep affection of both Tully girls, and probably Edmure also wishing he had done more for Petyr. He had in fact shat on all of them, damaging Catelyn's reputation, leaving Lysa with child, and Edmure without a friend around his own age. Although I'm missing something here too - there has to be a greater gain to Petyr in returning home at that time, one that would seem worth the blood he shed. I wonder when Petyr's father died? Gulltown did not rise for Jon Arryn at first, and Petyr made his early connexions with the traders there. But it is hardly likely that he would have had any influence in the course of the rebellion before he had turned fourteen or been a year in the area. Perhaps, though, being sent home as he was would give him the friendship of families in the Sisters with no love for the Starks or the Tullys. If so, his friends would not have cared much for Lord Arryn's marriage or his defiance. The reason Cately gives for the duel (ie. for her hand) is not sufficient to explain Brandon agreeing to it. If it was just some lovesick child, Brandon could have laughed it off . I would draw a parallel with Joffrey wanting to fight Robb with a real sword. Joffrey suggested the duel because he had been losing against Robb with wooden swords, and as he couldn't win a fair fight against him, he wanted to set up an unfair one. He knew the Hound would step in and kill Robb before he could be bested with true steel. He put Robb in the infuriating position of knowing he couldn't lose, and couldn't win. Robb didn't want to back down because Joffrey was a little shit and he was basically a hot-headed fool. But in this instance Ser Rodrick and Theon Greyjoy stepped in. In the Riverrun case, Ser Desmond Grell and the Blackfish seem to have nothing to do with the matter, and Edmure was squiring for Brandon rather than playing the role of a second in a duel and attempting to negotiate a peace to avoid it. I am kind of sus on Grell (and Ryger, and Wayne) but it suprises me that the Blackfish did not figure in the duel or attempt to stop it. Petyr must have goaded Brandon into it, must have done or said something to rile Brandon's hot temper - merely wanting Catelyn's hand in marriage is not a good enough reason for Brandon, any more than it would be credited as the real reason by the gossips that would spread the story through Westeros. That was just the sanitised version told to Catelyn, which isn't enough to explain Brandon responding with anger rather than mirth. We know the duel was not enough to dissipate Brandon's anger, even though he seems to have barely kept his promise to spare the boy's life. Petyr wouldn't let it go either. Decades later, after Catelyn has had five children to a different Stark, he is goading her current husband about it, and listened to with interest. (AGoT Ch 20 Eddard IV) The "often, and with some heat" part is interesting. For a start, how often were Brandon and Eddard in each other's company in the time between that duel and Brandon's death? There was the Tourney of Harrenhal, assuming the duel took place before it. I believe Eddard and Robert were at the Eyrie when Brandon died and Jon Arryn was called upon to surrender them to the king, but we don't know so much about before then. Perhaps with the Stark party riding to Riverrun to attend the wedding when Lyanna was abducted (allegedly). Or maybe with Brandon, going to meet them. Anyway, I didn't get the impression the brothers had much to do with each other at that time. Still, nearly killing this stripling (while he was a guest to the Tully household, and notwithstanding that the boy was a ward Lord Hoster had under his protection) was not enough to dissipate Brandon's hard feelings about Petyr Baelish. Lysa said the duel was 'stupid' and I don't know that Brandon was smarter than Ned, or that the duel was really much more than a fairly inconsequential stunt that Petyr has to keep playing up because otherwise it would be forgotten. But for him at least, it has to have been about something more than Catelyn's hand in marriage.
  5. @Aebram, not a comprehensive or definitive collection, but here are some places in the text where this and related subjects are mentioned (AGoT Ch 31 Tyrion IV) (AGoT Ch 40 Catelyn VII) (AGoT Ch 71 Catelyn IX) (ACoK Ch 17 Tyrion IV) (ASoS Ch 80 Sansa VIII) (ASoS Ch 61 Sansa VI) As you can see, GRRM has left the matter open to interpretation. The only Point of View character that could definitively know is Catelyn, and the only time she addresses Petyr's claim directly, we are in Tyrion's point of view. * Petyr did not need to be told, and may have been told. He might have observed it was Lysa in his bed by the time the sky lightened, as she stayed until dawn, and he knew both girls well enough to tell one from the other, even when drunk. Alternatively, he might have noticed Catelyn had gone cold on him and was acting as if nothing had happened at breakfast the morning after. While, Lysa was suddenly acting like their relationship has gone to the next level. This riddle was posed to Petyr Baelish, not Jinglebell, after all. Lysa's "It was always meeee" speech directly disputes that Catelyn had given him anything, The way Petyr speaks to her implies it is a subject she has been wont to revert to in her cups when they are not as alone as he would rather. Her speech to Sansa was more specific, although we can't be quite sure when Petyr entered the hall, only when he made his presence known. But Petyr has been a part of Lysa's household for the best part of a decade, so there is every reason to suppose she has told him the "I gave you everything" story many times before. We can be sure he knew rather better than Sansa how Lysa would react to the sight of someone who looked like a younger, lovelier Catelyn kissing Petyr in the Godswood. That was why he waited until the sun was up and his wife was dressed and breakfasted and had fed and dressed her son. Petyr timed that kiss to happen when Lysa was downstairs, just as she opened the door to take SweetRobin to see the castle Alayne had made, but before she had put his gloves on. SweetRobin had continued out without his gloves, his mother had abruptly turned back inside. The number of guards and maids that ran out to restrain SweetRobin show the humiliating truth that many of the household staff had seen what was going on. Those that had not would have heard about the kiss and the fit and the giant's head before Alayne was summoned to the high hall. That is the nature of a small group of people who are continually in each other's company - it is very difficult to keep secrets from each other. In Riverrun as well as the Eyrie, I think it is unlikely that they would be living all together as they were, without sorting out who had done what with whom when in short order. The only impediments to understanding are Lysa's jealousy, that turns the sexual harassment by her male favourites into wantoness on the part of their victims. And the wilful insistance of those favourites, that they were encouraged and their victims were willing. Also, in the Riverrun case, a desire to keep secrets from Hoster (the only member of the household who spent much time away from Riverrun). It would take a large measure of wilful ignorance for Petyr to persist in thinking Catlyn had given him her virginity the night. It would take a large measure of wilful ignorance to had been mistaken in the first place. If he had merely been pretending to be mistaken, his persistence in error would not be so wonderful. (ASoS Ch 80 Sansa VIII) Here is the other thing - Petyr claims to have taken Lysa's virginity. But if he did not believe he took it the night he got drunk, then when did he think he had? Lord Hoster had removed Petyr from Riverrun when he discovered Lysa was pregnant - Lysa must have shown signs of pregnancy in the last fortnight Petyr was at Riverrun. Is it credible that Petyr would think he was taking Lysa's virginity if she was already showing signs of being pregnant to him? If Lysa conceived within the last fortnight of Petyr's time at Riverrun, there would have been no symptoms to justify hustling Petyr off to the Fingers before he was recovered enough to ride. I think it is still possible that Petyr had taken Catelyn's virginity (as he claims to Sansa and the Lannister boys) but before the evening Catelyn danced six times with him. Catelyn's denials to Tyrion seem uncharacteristically evasive to me; "loved me once" could mean "took my virginity". But Catelyn is clear throughout that she had not shared his passion. This is somewhat supported by Petyr's "Family, duty, honor meant I could never have her hand". Lysa also claims Catelyn never wanted Petyr, although she also claims Catelyn enticed Petyr. If we take his current recollections as accurate, even when he was a very young boy, Petyr saw himself as the smartest guy in the room, and self-destined for greatness. (ASoS Ch 68 Sansa VII) The World of Ice and Fire claims that the evening Lysa identified as the one Lords Blackwood and Bracken laid their claim before her father, when Catelyn danced six times with Petyr, then refused to kiss him, was also the day the date of Catelyn's wedding to Brandon Stark was announced at Riverrun. That might explain Petyr's drinking, but it would not motivate Catelyn to sleep with him. Especially if Brandon had attended the dinner. Jaime probably spent his first fortnight at Riverrun some time before then. He recalls he had been less than fifteen years old at the time, and Bynden Blackfish had been less than thirty-four years old. (AFfC Ch 33 Jaime V) When Jaime actually was fifteen, he was a knight, and he had sworn himself to Aerys kingsguard at Harrenhal, to forestall his father's plan to wed him to Lysa Tully. There is no mention of Lord Tully attending Lord Whent's tourney. No mention of many riverlords - the Heighs and the Freys are mentioned, but no Darry, Piper, Vance, Blackwood, Bracken, Vypren, Grell, Butterwell, Mallister, etc.etc. Catelyn reminds Eddard that she was only twelve when her father promised her to Brandon Stark.(AGoT Ch 6 Catelyn II). We know Catelyn is no more than two years older than Jaime Lannister and there is a wider age gap between her and Lysa than Sansa and Arya, although in both cases the gap is more than two years, less than three. Petyr is no more than two years younger than Jaime, and he is younger than Lysa, older than Edmure. Edmure is about half a dozen years younger than Catelyn. Catelyn was 18ish when she married Eddard, and Lysa was 16ish when she married Jon Arryn. Brandon had died about a year before the marriage, when Lysa was at most 15, Petyr 14. So at the time of the duel, Petyr was most likely about 13, and Catelyn had been betrothed to Brandon since Petyr was nine or ten. The idea that the duel had been for Catelyn's hand seems to me to be not enough reason to goad nineteen or twenty year old Brandon into it. He had been betrothed to Catelyn for three or four years, had just announced the date of their wedding, if TWoIaF tells it true. He has nothing to gain from humouring some foolish boy with a crush on his betrothed. However, if Petyr was claiming he had dishonoured Brandon's bride, that would be an insult to his bride-to-be's reputation that might have justified the quite savage satisfaction he took. Adding the notion that the winner would take Catelyn's hand sounds to me like Petyr Baelish pushing his luck. Catelyn gave Brandon her favor and Edmure acted as Brandon's squire, so they were at the very least invested in Catelyn marrying Brandon. Petyr made no attempt to gain Lysa's hand, in spite of taking her virginity and leaving her with child. He was happy enough to work on her husband's commissions for at least a decade, building an enviable power base in finance and trade circles, and at court. Petyr only offered to marry Lysa after he had been made Lord of Harrenhal by King Joffrey. More than a full year after Jon Arryn's death. Why? Because he had his sights on being Lord Protector of the Eyrie. Petyr let Cersei keep Sansa hostage, made no attempt to stop the beatings of Joffrey or the marriage to Tyrion. Apart from a possible attempt to take her during the riots of King's Landing, he has let the Lannisters manage her. Until Robb dies at the Red Wedding, making Sansa the heir to Winterfell. (Oh, and Catelyn dies too, but his pure and true love for her seems to be deader.) Once Sansa has a huge inheritance, she becomes irresistible. Lysa also. Jaime Lannister had heard something (ACoK Ch 55 Catelyn VII) If someone had Catelyn before the wedding, it would be either Petyr or Brandon or Eddard himself - or incest. And of the three, Petyr is the only one we know has spoken on the subject. At the time, Catelyn is quizzing Jaime about her son Bran, and that dagger. Jaime remembers that Petyr Baelish lost his dagger to King Robert, who bet against him. Catelyn realises he is telling her the truth, (ACoK Ch 55 Catelyn VII) Jaime has been joking that Catelyn has come to the dungeon where he is tied up because she wants to be serviced by him. He tells her not only how he defenestrated her son Brandon, but also how her fiance Brandon had been strangled by a Tyroshi machine as he struggled to grab his sword and cut down his father. He ends by goading her (ACoK Ch 55 Catelyn VII) by this point, Lady Catelyn has stopped defending Petyr. At no point has she explictly denied that Petyr slept with her. And it makes sense to me that Petyr could goad Brandon to fight with such fury by claiming he had dishonoured his fiance (and yes, this would be true of 'bloody sword' Brandon, because hypocrisy feeds outrage). I know it sounded pretty explictly denied when Tyrion had said "every man at court has heard him tell how he took your maidenhead", and Catelyn had told him emphatically "that is a lie". But the lie Catelyn was referring to might have been the notion that Petyr could convert his tragic and pure love for her into a bawdy tale of how he took the maidenheads of both Tully sisters. It might have been a way of evading the accusation that she had sex with Petyr Baelish before she married.
  6. (ACoK Ch 55 Catelyn VII) (ACoK Ch 55 Catelyn VII) Eddard did not marry Catelyn until after the battle of the Bells, where Denys Arryn died. He met and married her, and returned to the war a fortnight later. Robb was born nine montths after, at Riverrun, according to Catelyn. Brandon and his father had died before Robert's Rebellion, at least a year before Robb was born (Long enough for Jon Arryn to call his banners and fight the battle of Gulltown rather than surrender Robert and Eddard to Aerys, long enough for Eddard to get to Winterfell and call the Northern banners, long enough for Robert to raise the Stormlands and fight the three battles in the South before hiding in the Riverlands) Maybe as long as two years before Robb's birth. Did GRRM mean her to say "a tale seventeen years old"? Or was Catelyn lying to Jaime when she claimed her son was a man grown? Is it possible that Brandon was still alive when Robb was conceived?
  7. Petyr Baelish wanted what he could get from Hoster Tully if he was a good-son rather than an indigent ward. He would get more from dutiful Catelyn than capricious Lysa, Hoster would give more for Catelyn. If Edmure died, Catelyn would inherit, a role she had been raised for. There is also the fact that Catelyn was hard to get, while Lysa climbed into his bed. Winning Catelyn would mean spiting the Great Noble Family Stark, and Brandon seems like the type of person who would make that a very satisfactory thing to do. Really, Petyr is bold but extremely pragmatic. He must have known he was not going to win the duel for Catelyn's hand in marriage. He must have known that only Brandon's sense of honour would save his life, if Brandon felt there was no honour in killing a green young boy simply for being infatuated with his betrothed. The whole set-up, where he begs Catelyn for her favour, but she gives it to Brandon, begging Brandon to be merciful, but he isn't especially. Petyr didn't intend to win the duel, this was his chance to look directly at her and say "Cat!" as his heart is piereced, or the boiled leather on top of it. He is guilt-tripping Catelyn and turning her against the man she is going to marry, and leaving her flattered, looking kindly on him. Sure enough, Catelyn remembers him having a love so pure and innocent, he would have given his life for her. And trusts him completely, as her Stark husband did too. After Petyr had told at least Jaime and Tyrion but more probably the whole court (and later, her barely teenage daughter) how he had taken her virginity. When he sets up their meeting at Kingslanding in a brothel. I wonder how dire the situation was for Petyr. If he had been as near death as Catelyn and Lysa had believed, would he have been up to taking Lysa? I suspect too, the "mistaken identity" thing with Lysa was not from his extreme drunkeness, but from a desire to have Catelyn think his love for her was pure and constant, while he was popping Lysa's cherry. Plus that gives Lysa an excuse to be indignant and jealous and insecure about the way Cat treated poor dear Petyr, meaning he can play Lysa like a fiddle and put her in her place at the same time, so why not? I don't think Petyr has any genuine love for Catelyn. His actions when they meet after that long absense are to systematically make her a widow, kill her husband, destroy Winterfell and have Ramsey Bolton as the Stark in Winterfell. He replaces her presumed-dead daughter with the stewards girl, for Ramsey to starve and flay and hunt and stake his claim to Winterfell upon. The daughter that looks like a younger, more beautiful Catelyn (and Sansa is younger and more beautiful than Catelyn was when she accepted Brandon's favour), he watches on while Joffrey has his knights beat her. He arms Joffrey with a crossbow the better to persuade him to kill her traitor father and show her his head. While Cersei has her write those letters to her family, Littlefinger approved the phrasing. Littlefinger stage-managed the riots of Kings Landing (I might one day post a long post on why I believe this, but not today). Sansa was going to disappear like Tyrek, until the Hound stepped in. Petyr then witnessed her marriage to the Imp without interference. He has framed her and Tyrion for the poisoning of Joffrey. He talked Lysa into poisoning Jon Arryn (or at least, she believes she did) and into writing to Catelyn implicating the Lannisters. He threw her out the moon door after becoming Lord Protector of the Eyrie through her. He might even have been behind the catspaw that used the hidden dagger he identified as his own. Catelyn thinks the assassin came for Bran. I think he might just as easily have come for her. His "you weren't s'posed to be here" could easily mean that he had not intended to murder her in front of her son. "It's a mercy" might refer to the fact that Bran was still in a coma and would thus never witness his mother's throat being opened. Petyr talks sentimentally about Catelyn, but his behaviour is incredibly vengeful and resentful. Like Tyrion with Tysha, except Petyr never blames other people for misrepresenting situations to him. Rather, he takes control of the misrepresentation quite conciously, for his own benefit. Tywin pointed out to Catelyn that Littlefinger loves only Littlefinger. Sometimes he says things that suggest otherwise, but everything Petyr Baelish does suggests to me that Tyrion read him right.
  8. Because Jorah has Tyrion in chains and in Volantis it is illegal to help a slave escape ETA @Tyrion1991, "is okay with the Dwarf who confesses to wanting to rape and murder his Sister" - no need to bring Jorah into it, or even to amend your original point, her love of honesty seems morally questionable.
  9. She isn't helping Jorah, she is helping Tyrion. And Penny. And Dany. She believes that life has already become too dangerous for dwarves in Volantis, and that will only get worse when the tigers start their war against Meereen. She thinks Jorah is the kind of person who should be getting into a Volantene war ship to fight against Dany. But she is quite sure he won't be an appreciable increase of the threat to her, just as she is sure that he and his longsword alone were not enough to protect and defend her from the armies of Yunkai'i, Qarth, Tolos, New Ghis, and Volantis. I think her idea is that Jorah is one of the godless outlanders conspiring with the eye of evil to put Dany in peril, but Dany is Azor Ahai reborn and he will have to run, like a shadow from the light, or Kraznys' eyeballs. The Widow intends Tyrion to be her messenger, and her gift to Dany. Her message is "come free Volantis now. " ie. First Volantis, then Westeros, with the help of the freed devotees of the Red God. Slavery is banned by order of the Dragon Queen, so it is unlikely Jorah will get past the gates og the city dragging Tyrion in fetters behind him as a gift. Tyrion's head has a fair chance of staying on his shoulders because Dany and her loyalists shouldn't be overly interested in Westerosi Lordships (althoughit turns out Ben Plumm did not get the agenda). He will be able to advise Dany, and they can send Jorah packing again. Penny will have a better chance of living if she goes with them, because where Dany and her dragons are ,is like Canada in Antebellum America. Westeros and Pentos are like New York City (technically free, but lots of blackbirders around) and Volantis is Mississippi. Also perhaps because her schtick is a double act, so she needs another dwarf?(tbh I personally really dislike Penny and would much rather she had been helped along by the Widow in Volantis, than board the Selaesori Qhoran with Tyrion and Jorah)
  10. I disagree. For starters, the Widow of the Waterfront is learning who Jorah is as he speaks to her. She has sons everywhere, lives in the pub, and her warehouses and docks line the waterfront of Volantis (hence her sobriquet) When she says (ADwD Ch 27 Tyrion VIII) she is letting them know she has sons on the south side of the bridge selling monkeys, in the middle selling gloves, and on the north side selling fetters. the widow knows Jorah is a sellsword, and that he was exiled from Westeros. She speaks the common tongue herself, with only the trace of an accent, though we know she has lived in Volantis among the Volantene pureblood since she was young and lovely, and that she came to Volantis from Yunkai. Was her mother's tongue Westerosi? We know too, that the only people who can overhear their conversation are Westerosi speakers, like Penny. She knows he is a slaver She knows he is a fighter She knows Jorah has taken Tyrion as a slave You could point out that anyone could see at a glance that Mormont, in his mail and leather, and his woolen surcoat with a rampant bear upon it, was a knight of Westeros in exile. Anyone who saw his longsword and his stance would know he was a brutal fighter. Anyone who saw the dwarf he pulled in fetters alongside himself would know he was a slaver. One glance would tell anyone as much as the widow reveals about him. That is true. But what she says hints that she has heard things before she met them.That her son with the short sword and his tattoos cut off, has brothers still enslaved looking out for her. Like, for example the guard of the North gate that saw a knight with a dwarf strapped to his well-lathered warhorse come in on the Selhorys road just as they were closing last night. She might have laughed at the sally "the old ones know more tricks" overheard by dung-gathering slaves they passed. Riverboats travel downstream on the tide faster and more directly than horses on the road, and the Widow has business with many captains who travel up and down the river. It would not take too long for a river-boat pilot to tell how Qavo the customs officer had played Cyvasse with a dwarf from the Shy Maid going down with hides and honey, ale and tallow. The shining eyes of the previously bored old sex-slaves when Tyrion rolled down the stairs and was captured by Jorah, is a surety that they would be telling the story to anyone wanting to hear it. The Widow has sons that drive hathays (like the one the innkeeps 'cousin' loaned to Quentyn). She had sons whose worship of R'hllor had been interrupted in the middle of Benerro's sermon by that Westerosi slaver pushing a path through the worshippers like the godless outlander he was. One had sought to stop him, but Jorah drew his sword so fast, and he wanted no bloodshed to disturb their prayers. The slave with the horsehead on his cheek could tell her how much the horse and saddle were bought and sold for - and she would know, as Tyrion did, that Jorah really was looking for a ship. The ironsmith could have told how he attached the fetters after hours.The cutpurse urchin could tell her how he got his blood nose. The Widow would know that the skinflint knight passed by her jeweled tiara to the leathermakers, where he haggled down those gloves, saving his silver for himself. . She would hear of how cruelly the Bear knight had yanked his little slave along, until they arrived at the inn where she could see them herself. She might not have heard all these details at once, or from the one source, but the inn was rocking that night, and with her home-town advantage, it's a fair bet she knew more about what Jorah did last night than he did himself, and had heard the whole tale by the time she had finished her breakfast The recent history of Jorah and Tyrion would not be all or even the most important of the things she had heard last night. She was bankrolling captains and If she didn't already, she would want to know about Griff. Locally, she would know the names of the men Tyrion heard duelling last night, and which one died, and how, and why. Her circle is not just slaves and traders, she still knows people inside the black wall of Volantis Living on the docks between the river and the sea, the Widow receives information from other places too - Qarth, Westeros, Tolos, Yunkai ... and when Greenguts and Dornish Gerrold and Frog set off, whose captain gave the Windblown passage? With whom could they warehouse their niello plate armour and golden dragons, who gets the bailee copy of the duplicate receipt signed with their real names? There are so many interesting things about the widow. Like the gifts she has received that morning The fan suggests Qarth to me. Penny claims "the streets are paved with jade", and if this is not exactly true, there are at least jade fakes on the bronze snake arch (ACoK Ch 27 Daenerys II), and on the miniature knights that Xaro gave her, on one of the chairs of the Pureborn, and the crown the Tourmaline Brotherhood gave her. Was the widow given her fan by a representative of the Pureborn? Or the Guild of Spicers? Or the Tourmaline Brotherhood? Or perhaps she was visited by Xaro Xoan Daxos of the Thirteen (whose nose has jade flakes encrusting it). Silver goblets are associated with Starks. King Robert and Joffrey have jeweled goblets, Mace Tyrell has a gold one, Xaro has a matched pair in gold and jade. Most goblets are unspecified. There are silver cups in Renly's green silk pavilion. Lord Hewett, Tyrell bannerman, also has a silver cup But Eddard Stark drinks from a silver goblet with the life-like head of a silver direwolf raised on its side, at the welcoming feast for King Robert at Winterfell. Bran drinks from the same goblet at the harvest feast, and fArya toys with it at her wedding. Catelyn toys with her own silver goblet at Riverrun after she interrogated Cleos Frey. The only non-Stark silver goblets in the book are this one, and the pair brought out for wine with Eddard Stark by Tobho Motte, the Qohorik armorer who employed Gendry and knew the spells that could forge Valyrian steel anew. I remember seeing a bronze dagger like that (AGoT Ch 64 Daenerys VIII) Dany also saw bronze daggers for sale along the waterfront bazaar at Qarth. Lord Jeor Mormont says ( ASoS Ch 33 Samwell II) Ygritte's knife might be made of bronze (ASoS Ch 41 Jon V) Or of stolen steel or iron. After all, she is no Thenn. Bran saw a larger bronze blade in Winterfell's past (ADwD Ch 34 Bran III) At the Kingsmoot, Erik Anvilbreaker and the Drumm opened chests with gifts of bronze that might have Included daggers. Non-dagger bronze things with runes include the Crown of Winter and Bronze Yohn's armor. The unsullied have bronze name discs with Valyrian glyphs, on their sword hilts. On daggers or not, the runes might constitute a magic spell, although maybe it takes blood, or a life, to activate the magic. It is unlikely that the Widow of the Waterfront is being approached by Thenns, Wildlings, or First Men. So I guess one of her first three visitors was an Ironborn pirate, or a plundering Dothraki, or a maege from the hinterlands of Slaver's Bay. My best guess would be an Ironborn Pirate, based on the man with the splotchy purple beard, talking to his friend in the common tongue. (While Tyrion knew enough Tyroshi to summon an ale, call a man a cheat, and curse the Gods, he has some difficulty understanding things like monkeys and dwarf fights in any Valyrian dialect - see for example when the innkeep and the widow exchange words about Penny. Remember, he had been practicing his Volantene. Yet he overheard this man's exchange with effortless and perfect comprehension.) I'm thinking the "Tyroshi" might be one of the crew with green and purple beards that Brienne had spotted drinking at the Stinking Goose. Probably part of the same lot that was rumbled by Lady of the Tower outside of Oldtown a fortnight before the Cinnamon Wind reached Oldtown. (The Oldtowners not suspecting there was more than one ship) One of his crew mates might have been the Tyroshi that presented Cersei with the head of her Valonqar. We know the juggler murdered at the Temple of Trios really was Tyroshi. But his murderer/s, who knows? Stuffing his body into the mouths of Trios seems disrespectful to the God of Tyrosh. Daario has died his beard purple and gone to the Lhazarene hills, but his beard is more likely to be oiled than splotchy. His swagger and finery and his novelty-handled arakh and stiletto are not mentioned. Plus, Daario would be speaking Tyroshi. Euron, with his eye-patch/red eye, his blue lips, his black hair, and disruptive tendancies, is nowhere to be seen. Given the surprising number of Westerosi speakers in earshot, the conversation between Tyrion and Jorah gets very indiscreet So even if she started with little knowledge of Jorah (which I doubt), she knew him better when they parted company. Her potential influence is not lost on Tyrion. He doesn't order her to do stuff for money, he doesn't give her bs answers, he makes her smile, he listens and he hears what she is putting down. He flatters her with his hypothetical vote. He shows compassion for Penny. He smiles, he says thankyou when Jorah says "Qarth is not our destination." Tyrion knows the widow is able to tell the crew of the Shy Maid of his fate. Jorah is as ignorant of the widow in the end as he was in the beginning. He probably thinks she is talking out of her arse. But we know the Golden Company is heading west. That Tyrion is not the only dwarf trying to escape Cersei. That the Triarchs of Volantis did drop off their part of the Golden Company in the Stepstones. Dany has banned slave trading, and closed Meereen's famous fighting pits. The Widow has heard from a Yunkai'i source about Hazzea and Missandei and Irri and Daario. She knows Tolos and New Ghis and Qarth have allied with Yunkai against Dany. She knows Belicho will win the election and her captains will be sailing Volantene troops east.She knows Benerro has forseen that the Selaesori Qhoran won't make it to Qarth, and will get them to Slaver's bay. She knows Dany exiled Lord Jorah, and Tyrion is his gift to her. Or rather, he hopes will be his ticket of admission. For a couple of there things, we will have to wait for Winds, but most of this is confirmed in the books. So it is proof the widow isn't talking out of her butt.
  11. Pulled up this quote while compiling a post on free companies (ACoK Ch 30 Arya VII) 'Oh, that is interesting', I thought 'what spearmen are they?' Searching the book for spearmen soon showed me the only ones with the (green) colored stripes on their cheeks (ADwD Ch 22 Tyrion VI) So, these spearmen are former slave soldiers from Volantis. Fascinating. And then, I noticed this (ADwD Ch 6 The Merchant's Man) The Brave Companions have escaped Unsullied! The Tigers of Volantis are Unsullied from Astapor! (Well, from everywhere, driven by Dothraki and pirate slavers to Astapor as boys). At least, in Quentyn's understanding. ETA: And just now (ASoS Ch 23 Dany II) This explains why (ASoS Ch 8 Daenerys I)
  12. Dany reminds me of Alexander the Great, so I would say Euclid. The "no royal road to geometry" anecdote. (Which was probably what Euclid said to Ptolmy I Soter, not Alexander the Great, as I was first told, but oh well). I can see Tyrion acting as a poor man's Euclid and telling Dany there is no Dragon Road to geometry.
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