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Lord Vance II

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  1. I always assumed Volantis was the largest on Essos, but that the largest city in the known world was somewhere in Yi Ti. Lomas Longstrider said they had more and larger cities than in the West. And with Yi Ti's heavy Asian influence, it would make sense that their population overall is much higher. My only hesitation is that Yi Ti doesn't seem to have one dominant city after centuries of shifting dynasties and capitols. If they had a primary city, it would surely be the most populous in the known world.
  2. Lord Vance II

    The secret to Valyrian Steel?

    If Valyrian steel's secret is somehow fusing the souls/power/whatever of dead Dragonlords, I feel like they'd keep them closer. Sure, they're the only ones with the knowledge, but they seemed willing and eager to let the swords spread around the world. Even in relatively recent times, house Stark just straight up bought one. Of course, we know little of Valyrian culture, and maybe they didn't feel attachment to their forefathers like they do in real cultures, but I feel like they wouldn't be so willing to distribute weapons made with their forefathers remains. I've always liked the theory that the Lightbringer story lays out the secret of Valyrian Steel - absorbing the life of an innocent during the forging. Azor Ahai didn't temper his sword in Nissa Nissa's "bone coal", he drove it through her still-beating heart. I think Valyrian Steel was finished in the same way, though I figure they could use anyone, like a slave, instead of ancestor remains. Of course, that doesn't explain the chemical properties, but it could be the mystical element most of us believe is involved with Valyrian steel.
  3. Lord Vance II

    Cersei will know about Aegon

    I mean, I think she could see a positive DNA test and still say Aegon is fake because he's coming for her and her kids. I don't know if you've noticed, but morality and facts don't mean a whole lot to Cersei. She'll say whatever it takes to try to hold onto power. Who knows if Aegon is real, (I like to think he is) but one way or another she'll label him as a fake, a usurper and anything else to rile up the smallfolk.
  4. Slavery is only abolished as far as Dany's reach extends, and right now that's just Slaver's Bay. Honestly, the Free Cities might be benefiting is slavers are passing over Slaver's Bay and bringing their slaves west. Basically this. Illyrio is playing the long game and as long as Dany and Aegon succeeds, he wins. I'm sure he was kind of miffed when he found out Dany was freeing slaves, but I'm sure he would gladly free all his slaves if it meant having the ear of the Iron Throne. I wouldn't be shocked if he had been working to diversity his wealth since he found out about Dany. Honestly, he would have to sell them all anyways if he went to Westeros after Aegon takes over. Loss of money, but small peanuts compared to power.
  5. Lord Vance II

    Would be possible for Aegon and the GC to liberate Volantis?

    COULD he? I guess it's possible, but toppling the government of the largest city in the world (at least west of Qarth) seems like a long way to go just to try to make Dany swoon. IIRC, the GC broke their contract and joined up with Aegon VI specifically because they wanted to avenge their exiled forefathers and stake a claim on Westeros. If Aegon came up and was like "change of plan, we're taking Volantis" I'm not sure they would be on board, even with the potential wealth. As others have said, the Red Priests would have to be on board, but why would they? I mean, yeah, slavery is bad, but if they wanted to topple it, they would have already and some random kid claiming to be a King probably isn't changing their minds. Plus it would just open up the same can of worms Dany did in Mereen, only worse because he doesn't have dragons. Does he just up and leave whenever Dany shows up? He doesn't seem to care much about slavery, he's after the Throne. If he grew up around Illyrio, he likely has very different views on slavery than Dany. Conquering Volantis doesn't get him much closer. Maybe taking their fleet, but ships don't seem to have been an issue for him.
  6. Lord Vance II

    Are there any characters you don't like their names?

    Joffrey. Not Jeffrey or Geoffrey, but Joffrey. Never like the name Sansa either. I don't dislike them necessarily, but the random Lannister names always gave me pause. "Ty-someting" seems to be a family name for the Lannisters of the Rock and Tywin names his son & heir "Jaime"? Seems like he should've gotten Tyrion. Kevan also seems random. I always thought Martell was a very French sounding name for a family that's supposed to have a Mediterranean/Spanish influence (I'm aware France is on the Mediterranean too, but you know what I mean). And I stopped trying to remember names of folks in Slavers Bay and basically remembered them by how it looked, not how it read. I get that a foreign land will have foreign names, but sometimes it felt like GRRM was just fucking with us.
  7. Lord Vance II

    Make your own Westeros House.

    (In my head narrative I tacked on a whole new region for my house to Lord Paramount of haha, I'll scale it down) House: Vance of The Mountainlair (It's just too cool to me that my actual name is a Greathouse) Sigil: A silver-and-black Shadowcat on a Chevron'd field of green, black and white Colors: Green, Black and White. Keep: The Mountainlair. Words: TBD Ancestral Weapon: Valyrian steel single-handed longsword named "The Problem Solver" (reserve right to change questionable name) Blood: Andal (though more First Men than most non-northern peoples) Kingdom: Vale (though has strong ties to the Riverlands through proximity and blood) Appearance/Traits: Broad and muscular but of average height with green eyes. Handsome enough not to be ugly. Slow to anger but act quickly when roused from the Mountainlair. Book learning is supported. Founder: Willum the Wise Origin: 500 years before the Conquest (or close enough as not to matter), Willum Vance came to age as the eldest nephew of the Lord of Wayfarer's Rest. With no particular inheritance coming his way, Willum looked beyond Westeros for a fortune and convinced his aging father to let Willum purchase a ship. Make no mistake - Willum hated sailing. He hated the smell, he hated the grime, he hated the motion and was no stranger to puking over the side of the ship. But Willum DID want adventure, so he took to sea on the Constellation. And so Willum and the Contellation loaded up with what tradable goods he had and took to sea, departing from White Harbor. From there he sailed to Braavos and south down the far side of the Narrow Sea. Then it was east to Volantis and around the Freehold, past Qarth to the great island of Leng. By then, Willum's shrewd business had added several ships full trade goods to what became his fleet. Willum of course dealt in gold and silver, spices and silk - but what Willum wanted the most was books. History books, geography books, books of ancient lore - it if was written down, Willum was willing to buy it. Years later, the Lord of the Mountainlair would jest that he would have returned home with an extra ship or two if it wasn't for the chests of books. On calm days at sea Willum could often be found below deck reading (it made him sick to read on more active ocean). Willum had resolved to travel the make the rounds on the Jade Sea, but his plans changed at Qarth when he heard of upheval in Yi Ti. From there he sailed south and mapped a great swath of the west coast of Sothyros, discovering 4 rivers before turning back North. Near the north-west tip of Sothyros, Willum led a group of men to investigate a crashed trading vessel. While inside the cracked hull, Willum and his men were set upon by a group of pirates who were investigating as well. Willum, a competent but not extraordinary swordsman, was disarmed by their captain. Willum stumbled back and spotted a hilt sticking up from the belt of a dead trader. As the captain lunged, Willum grabbed the hilt, drew the sword and ran the captain through. It wasn't until he was back on the Constellation that he noticed the tell-tale ripple of his new Valyrian sword, which he named "The Problem Solver." After this latest near-death experience, Willum longed for dry land. His fleet sailed for Tall Trees Town, stopping just long enough to take on provisions and generate some more coin before headed back to the Sunset Kingdoms. Willum's first act upon returning to Westeros was to sell all his ships except the Constellation (out of affection for the ship). After 5 years at sea, Willum took tome with his family at Wayfarer's Rest before embarking on his new obsession - lands of his own and a great keep inspired by ancient techniques from the Bone Mountains - The Mountainlair. Willum cut a deal with Lord Arryn to purchase a tract of land along the western edge of the Mountains of the Moon. Willum selected a singular, tall, round mountain and hired engineers and artisans to build his seat. First, the mountain was completely stripped of trees and undergrowth. Then the dirt was removed, first with shovels and then with water pumped to the summit. Then, stonemasons leveled the top of the mountain off, leaving a flat stone plateau several acres wide. Then, stone was hewn away from the sides, more and more until they became sheer cliffs with one spiraling path upwards. The stone hewn from the top and sides was then fashioned into a keep at the top. It took 30 years and nearly all of his wealth, but finally, Willum had his seat, the Mountainlair, its stone pedestal rising several hundred feet above the valley below. The pedestal of grey stone was shot through with jet-black veins of coal. In Recent Years: The Mountainlair now has a modest town at it's foot and has grown to a mid-level player in the Vale (not a Royce or Corbray, but respected). Many Vances of the Mountainlair have become maesters. The Mountainlairs vast library is among the largest in Westeros and attracts the interest of many in search of wisdom. When Lord Jon Arryn called his banners to support Lord Robert Baratheon's rebellion, the Vances of the Mountainlair were eager to join. Vance forces helped subdue house Grafton, with Lord Lysander Vance fighting side-by-side with Lord Baratheon as entered the town. Knights of the Mountainlair then joined Lord Stark's mighty host as it moved south. Once King, Robert rewarded Lord Lysander for his support with additional land. During the War of 5 Kings, The Lord of the Mountainlair bucked the pacifism of House Arryn and chose to throw in with the other Houses Vance, sending 500 men with the Young Wolf. Only a few dozen returned from the campaign. As of now, Lannister loyalists are laying an ineffective siege on the Mountainlair. Storehouses and cisterns built deep into the stone pedestal mean life has gone on for the residents of the Mountainlair. That was fun.
  8. Lord Vance II

    Frey branch

    There are probably loads of cadet branches that we just don't hear about. I'd imagine most take their lead from the main branch so they're not really mentioned. To establish yourself as a noteworthy cadet you need a seat, land and money. I'd imagine Walder isn't too keen on spending his wealth on this plethora of sons, many of which he doesn't seem to care too much about.
  9. Lord Vance II

    What if Rebel Lords decided to seek independence?

    Would the great lords want to be kings? Of course. To be clear, are you proposing Robert plan to break up the kingdoms BEFORE rebelling? I like the thought experiment, but Robert's Rebellion just kind of popped off and no one had really planned anything. If it wasn't for Lyanna and the war was planned, I almost think they wouldn't have to fight - if all the Great Houses just said "we're done, screw you Aerys," what could he do about it? But, to answer the question - The Iron Islands would be so on board. Quellon might not be thrilled, but there is no way Balon and his brothers would let him pass up on the opportunity. If the weddings still went through and both of Hoster's son-in-laws declared themselves kings, I think he would easily follow suit. Tywin just wants to end up on the right side, so if 5 Lords declared themselves Kings, I think it would be a safe enough bet that he could do so safely too. He hates Aerys anyways. The only thing that would stop him is Jaime's safety. If Tywin declared freedom and the count was up to 6, Mace would probably follow suit. I want to say the Hightowers would make a bid to separate themselves and establish Oldtown at a city-state, maybe take some of the lesser lords in the region with them. And if all that happened, Dorne is alone one way or another and would probably only stay loyal for Elia and her sons. What happens after the dissolution of the 7K? If Quellon still dies, the Ironborn under Balon would quickly become a menace and the North, West and maybe Riverlands would have to deal with them by either occupying the islands or splitting them between them. I also think the Riverlands and Reach would be ripe for breaking up. Without the blessing of the Iron Throne, the Tyrells are suddenly very weak kings. I think for sure the HIghtowers would declare independence and houses like Rowan and Tarly could threaten Highgarden. The same would be true for the Tully's in the Riverlands, but if Cat and Lysa are still married as they are, the backing of the Starks and Arryns would probably be enough to keep them in power for a while. Could also see Tywin making a play for the Riverlands.
  10. Lord Vance II

    Military of Skagos/ Skagosi Rebellion

    I don't doubt the North could raise 30,000 for something big, I'm just saying it's very unlikely they mobilized every able-bodied man to deal with a rebellion on Skagos. In hindsight, maybe they should have considering it took 7 years and the death of the Lord of Winterfell.
  11. Lord Vance II

    Westerosi crops.

    Short answer, no, and I doubt he put much thought into it. He isn't a farmer, though he sure can write about food after it's cooked. If you want an in-world explaination - their plants aren't our plants. Ours grow the way they do because they evolved with our conditions and seasons. Their plants have, presumably, evolved over millions of years of their wacky seasons and have adjusted. I'm not a botanist, so don't ask me how. Besides, it seems like a mute point if they've adjusted by storing food.
  12. Lord Vance II

    Military of Skagos/ Skagosi Rebellion

    Ah, yep, my bad. Fire & Blood are much fresher on my mind. But still, I don't think anyone expects the North to be able to field an army even approaching the size of those hosts to deal with a backwater rebellion.
  13. To the original post - No, I don't think he had any real guidance before he got to the Wall. As others have mentioned, I think there are signs he at least had a hunch about Warging, but I think even if he was having green dreams he wouldn't know what they were necessarily. Bloodraven also had access to knowledge though, maybe he and Shirea started to research if he identified his powers? The big piece of textual evidence for me that he did not know about whoever was in the Weirwood Throne before him because he was at the Wall for nearly 20 years before he disappeared. If he suspected his destiny was out there for him, he wouldn't beat around the bush for nearly 20 years. Though I guess it's possible he needed 20 years to find it before he abandoned the NW. I would say this. Maybe Whoever couldn't sense him so far south. Though this still doesn't account for the 20 years at the Wall.
  14. Lord Vance II

    Rickon is destined to be new Lord of Winterfell

    I think there's a good chance that Rickon is brought back and becomes Lord of Winterfell, and I'm excited as hell to see The Black Wolf. I do think hes been "cared for" by the Skagosi, but I think he's still going to return as a wild boy, raised by (essentially) wildlings and angry as hell at the world for taking his home, his mother, his father, his brother and for all he knows his sisters. There has seemed to be a connection between Stark warg powers and their closeness to their wolves, and I think it's likely Rickon comes back as a powerful skinchanger. I think he would HAVE to have Jon (or maybe Sansa) as his regent to reel in his darker impulses. Once he grows a bit and if he can get past his (presumptive) anger, I think he would be a perfect Lord/King in the North. As for Sansa, I think there is a good chance she does not come back to the North. If she does, I think it will be as Sansa Arryn or Sansa Hardyng at the head of a relief army. And I'm not even going to touch this magic blood business.
  15. Lord Vance II

    Military of Skagos/ Skagosi Rebellion

    How did America "lose" in Vietnam? Basically those reasons you just laid out. It's hard to defeat locals who simply refuse to yield in the face of what would normally be enough to force surrender. Rocky, isolated Skagos seems the perfect place for a handful of guerrilla warriors to hold out. We don't really know squat about the campaign, but if I had to guess, I'd say it took so long because Winterfell didn't realize the extent at first. Maybe sent a smaller force that was defeated, then had to go at it with a bigger force, etc. If the Skagosi could field 3,000 warriors (which seems likely, even higher if they were being invaded) I think it would take at the very least 2-3 times that number to beat them into submission. The North brought 30,000 men to the Trident to stand against Aegon The Conqueror, I don't see them getting 45,000 men together just to put down the Skagosi. I mean, the largest host we've ever seen in the books was 55,000 men at the Field of Fire, and that was the combined might of the Westerlands and Reach (hastily assembled but still). I think around 15,000 would be the max they would call out for a fringe rebellion. Standing troops are very expensive.
  16. Lord Vance II

    Discussion of the real world history behing ASOIAF

    I think King's Landing is based on Washington D.C. - Both are named for the nations founding hero (King's Landing doesn't say Aegon but it's implied) - Both were built specifically to serve as a capitol instead of using an existing city (instead of using Oldtown/New York or Philly) - Both are situated on a major bay about mid-way down their nation's east coast (Blackwater/Chesapeake) - Both are dominated by massive, grand buildings, but most of the city is kind of crappy. and to top it off - Red Keep = White House. The Stark/Lannister war has always vaguely reminded me of the American civil war too if you flipped who the good guys are. The outnumbered and outsupplied Starks win early on because of skilled leadership and a willingness to gamble, until the Lannisters wised up and realized they didn't have to play by the same rules as the Starks. Of course, Grant didn't have Lee stabbed at a wedding, but in the broad stroke I think they're similar in how they were fought.
  17. Lord Vance II

    Boltons vs Manderlys'

    I'd push Manderly to the 8-10K range if they were pulling out all the stops, but yeah, I can see that generally.
  18. Lord Vance II

    Boltons vs Manderlys'

    Definitely the Manderlys and I don't think it's very close. I just don't see any measurement where the Bolton's come out on top over than tenure in the North and fear factor. If they were to go head-on, I think the Manderlys could easily field double the troops, maybe triple, along with better heavy horse and whatever help they could buy. The comparative wealth of White Harbor can't be overstated, I seriously doubt any other northern lord outside the Starks could just decide to build a navy, for example. If it came to blows between the two, I get the impression the Manderlys would be much more attractive allies to the lesser lords. Wyman definitely held back when he only sent 2,000 men with Robb, but I think it was on purpose. I think when Ned had Cat tell Manderly to reinforce White Harbor, I think there was a larger contingency plan where if the Northern army marched south, Manderly (and Reed I think) would keep most of their strength at home just in case. It looks like the internal threat ruined that plan, but as Wyman said, he still has most of his cards to play against the Boltons/Freys/Lannisters. I get the feeling the Bolton's long-time defiance of the Stark kings was a Dorne-type situation where the Bolton's would have lost by most measures but held out. This is definitely the bigger question. The Bolton's role in the main story and the defiance of the Red Kings give us an inflated view of them. It's starting to be evened out with TWoIaF and F&B. I've also always kind of thought the religion and migration factors against the Manderlys are overblown. It matters, certainly, but I mean, they've been at White Harbor for 700 years, even in a world that measures in the thousands, that's a long time. And sure, the Northern Lords probably think it's kind of weird they worship the 7, but it's not like the Mermen are out here evangelizing or burning weirwoods or anything. I'm not saying the other northerners don't make note of it, but I don't think its that big a deal. The Northern Lords don't seem particularly religious. I don't think Wyman is very representative of the Manderlys overall. He's fat as all hell, but his sons were knights. Manderlys brought up in F&B seem plenty competent and martial. And Wyman may not be a fighter himself but he's shown he isn't afraid to gamble and make big moves. Plus he seems pretty ready to die, so he's as wild a card as there is in the North right now. And to be fair, I'm a huge Manderly fan overall.
  19. Democracy? No way. I don't know if the Kingdom's will break back apart, but I think they should. As several folks have pointed out, the technology and transportation just aren't there to hold something that huge together, UNLESS you have dragons. The comparisons to England don't hold up because of size. I'm pretty sure GRRM has said Westeros is roughly the size of South America. England is 50K square miles, South America is 6.8 million. Again, as others have said, the North is virtually independent due largely to their remoteness. I could see Westeros eventually breaking back up into 3-5 kingdoms, though I don't see them all going independent again as it was before Aegon.
  20. Lord Vance II

    Cool ASOIAF knowledge and trivia for a quiz

    1) Name the 3 forks of the Trident - green, red, blue. 2) Which Stark king invaded Andalos? - Theon Stark 3) Who led the Winter Wolves? - Roderick Dustin 4) Which 3 Free Cities made up the Triarchy - Lys, Myr, Tyrosh (the lame ones) 5) What are the two rival factions of Volantine leadership called? The Tigers and the Elephants 6) What is the name of the great sea dragon who's bones lay on Old Wyk - Nagga 7) What fruit did Renly talk to Stannis about? Peaches 8) What are the names of the 3 waytowers on the way to Eyrie? Stone, Snow, Sky 9) Name a house with multiple castles (Vance, Baratheon, Fossaway, Dayne, others) 10) Who is the only Westerosi known to have sailed to the 1,000 Islands and Mossovoy? Corlys Velaryon 11) How many famous voyages did Corlys Velaryon make? 9 12) What was the nickname of the dragon Caraxes? The Bloodwyrm 13) What was the name of Brendyn River's elite archer company? The Raven's Teeth 14) Name a house that was forced from their land but not destroyed. Blackwood or Manderly 15) What are the three classes of Nights Watchmen? Steward, Builder, Ranger 16) How did House Stark acquire their Valyrian Steel Sword Ice? They bought it. 17) Which kings surrendered to Aegon the Conquorer without a fight? Stark, Arryn 18) How many great towers does Harrenhal have? 5 19) Which free city is home to the Mazemakers? Lorath 20) Which free city is known for dying their hair blue (among other colors)? Tyrosh 21) How do the Dothraki believe the world will end? Ghostgrass will kill all other life 22) What 2 colors represented the 2 sides in the Dance of Dragons? Green and Black. 23) Who taught Mirri Maz Dur the common tongue of Westeros? Marwyn the Mage 24) What is land is the castle of Pyke located on? Pyke (kind of a trick) 25) Name 4 of the 8 main Iron Islands - Pyke, Great Wyk, Old Wyk, Orkmont, Saltcliff, Blacktyde, Harlaw
  21. Lord Vance II

    Would Robert have been a better Lord than King?

    I mean that's true, but none of them ever sat the Iron Throne. Like someone else said, with less responsibility, someone above him and a wife and kids he didn't hate, maybe he could've risen to the occasion. Maybe. I just don't subscribe to Robert being an awful to the core person. Definitely not suited to rule though.
  22. Lord Vance II

    Would Robert have been a better Lord than King?

    He would have done just fine as Lord of Storm's End. GRRM has gone to near painful lengths to illustrate Lords Baratheron are generally cut from the same cloth - big, burly, black-haired, loud men to love to drink and fight. Orys, Borys, Rogar (though I'd say Rogar was definitely more capable than Robert), Lionel - If they worked out just fine, I don't see why he wouldn't. I think the judgement is a bit harsh, but I can definitely see the point. Robert Baratheon at the head of the Golden Company or the Second Sons would be a terror for Essos. Hell, if he did it after the Rebellion he would probably have the clout and cash to start his own company.
  23. Lord Vance II

    Why did Benjen take the black?

    I think there has to be a bigger reason for him to join the NW other than "it's the Stark thing to do," but I don't think it had to do with Lyanna and Rhaegar. I don't think Ned would try to dissuade Benjen from doing something so honorable, but frankly I'd think Ned would be asking Benjen for help in the aftermath of the war. One sibling was burned alive and another died in his arms. He was never supposed to be Lord and I think he would want his last brother to help him. I could totally see them having a Tywin/Kevan type of dynamic where Benjen serves as kind of "Hand of the Warden" (though I guess the Lannister dynamic is different - if Jaime is a KG and Tyrion disinherited, I guess Kevan is the heir?). I also think it's just ridiculous that the cost of supporting him and his family would make him leave Winterfell. They take new people into the castle all the time (Theon, Osha, the Frey twins, etc.). I don't think it was him pouting that he was dropped in secession either, if Ned never expected to be lord, surely Benjen didn't. It's definitely possible that Benjen was just convinced his talents would best be used by the NW though a combination of a silver-tongued recruiter and Stark family values, but I don't really buy it. Yet I don't really have an explanation. Crackpot - someone/something (the old gods/3EC?) wanted him North of the wall for unknown reasons and influenced events to make sure it happened. Who? Why? How? I have no idea. I've proposed before that Benjen is currently alive south of the Wall, sent on a mission by the 3EC (likely to the God's Eye), maybe the plan ran deeper? I've always kind of thought the same entity, if it exists, wanted Ned at the wall to, and would have succeeded if Joffrey hadn't fucked it all up. Don't ask me to defend this, I can't.
  24. Lord Vance II

    Is Benjen south of The Wall?

    So one of the longest-standing questions in ASOIAF is where is Benjen Stark? In AGoT Benjen is sent beyond the wall with 6 rangers to investigate the try to find Waymar Royce, but only two of the rangers return dead/wighted. Since then we haven't heard from or seen Benjen for 4 books outside Jon wondering where he is. Our possible options include... - Dead somewhere beyond the Wall, with or without the other 4 rangers. If a wildling had killed such a hated enemy, surely we would know it, so he probably would've been killed by the Others. - Still searching for Royce with the 4 other Rangers. - He is Coldhands - In the FAR North doing gods know what, maybe trying to find the source of the Others. - South of the Wall? Him being dead is too easy. Jon makes note that a ranger with Benjen's talent surly would have noticed the Great Ranging at at least checked in. GRRM famously ruled the Coldhands option out (he could have changed his mind I suppose). Him being in the Far North is possible, but what if he went south of the Wall at the behest of, say, The Three-Eyed Crow or the CotF? This isn't really based on textual evidence, so bear with me. What if while he was beyond the Wall, 3EC reached out to him (possibly through Coldhands) because he needs something done in the South? In my half-baked theory, 3EC/CotF sent him south to the Gods Eye. Not sure why, but a lot of theories I've seen on here suggest SOMETHING is going to happen with the Gods Eye sooner or later. Benjen definitely has a Stark look, but I think it would be easy for him to make his way South unnoticed, especially since literally no one in the south would have any reason to suspect he's around. If he really wanted to he has the skills to avoid roads and settlements on his way south. He could probably navigate the swamps of the Neck by himself, but if there was one person he could reveal himself to for help, it would be Howland Reed. In this case, it would be easy for the 3EC not to tell Bran, either by design or Bran simply didn't ask. The main hole (other than lack of real evidence) is that in 4 books time, surely Benjen would have made it to the Gods Eye by now, and possibly made the return trip too (if there is a return trip). The basis of this theory is basically "if he isn't where he should be, he must be somewhere he isn't supposed to be". I suppose him being the Far North is just as likely, but I like this more. Thoughts?
  25. Lord Vance II

    Is Benjen south of The Wall?

    He does it because his vows are to protect the realms of men, and if that takes him south, so be it. The NW vows don't forbid him from leaving the Wall or the North. The only line that may give a hiccup is "I am the watcher on the Wall," but Benjen was never a literal watcher on the wall. It needs to be secret because either A) We don't know because we don't know what the 3EC/Whoever sent him on this quest. B ) It's a total mess down there. We have no idea what the timeline is of when/if Benjen went on this maybe mission, but if it happened anytime after or in the buildup of the Red Wedding, he wouldn't be safe. Even with his NW status the Boltons, Lannisters or any of their underlings would love to get their hands on a Stark, especially if they could use the excuse that he's abandoned his post to seize him.