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Everything posted by Nevets

  1. I doubt this. The dagger itself came from Robert's private collection, which was probably in the royal family's quarters, accessible mainly to the family and close retainers. I doubt the members of the royal family or those close to them have any interest in casting suspicion on . . . the royal family. The dagger is described as being Valerian steel and dragonbone. Very nice, but not especially distinctive or memorable. In fact, it is probably one of the less distinctive and memorable items in the collection. I would expect the employer to use something more distinctive if he was trying to cast suspicion. There is also no assurance the dagger will be left behind to find. The catspaw could easily keep it, either to use himself, or to sell. And if it is left behind, it almost screams "plant". The only reason the Starks knew it was legit was because Summer killed the guy. Given that that was the first time one of the wolves had done that kind of thing, there was no reason to expect it. The dagger is a useful clue, but it only leads to the royal family or close retainers. And the servants and officials would likely be unable to afford the cash payment made. So we're pretty much looking at royal family.
  2. One important thing to remember about the dagger is that it came from Robert's personal collection. The logical place for that is within the royal quarters, access to which would be highly restricted. Whoever provided the dagger would have needed access to that area, severely limiting the number of suspects. Also, the dagger itself is not necessarily easily identifiable. It is plain, without markings, and we have no idea if it is unique, or one of several dozen, or several hundred, for that matter. Whoever took it likely didn't know much about its history, either. I've always assumed that the dagger was part-payment. It is valuable in its own right, and likely could be easily sold, albeit probably at a steep discount.
  3. Being "aged" points away from him being Howland. Howland was Ned's age, and Ned was in his mid-30's, which isn't old even by Westeros standards. I'm not certain she is all that bad at subterfuge. She was discreet enough to ask about Sansa by description, and not by name. And if it came to it, Shadrich could be sneaky, while Brienne could be more obvious, and draw attention away from Sahdrich. Plus the fact that she is female would help to reassure Sansa. And Shadrich (or Howland) would need all the help he could get in that department.
  4. I'm also very skeptical that he is Howland Reed. If he is, his actions make no sense. He is clearly coming from KL, but the only reason for Howland to be in KL would be to help Sansa. But Sansa has no reason to trust him, and he has no way to protect her if he does somehow get her out of KL. And Howland would have dealt with Brienne differently. Announcing hisi interest in the reward means either that he gets himself an unwanted companion he has to shake off, or drives off a potentially useful ally. Brienne is well-armed, well-equipped, probably competent (we know she is), and female - all very useful. And that's not even including the fact that she knows Sansa's mother, which we know but he doesn't. Plus, he has useful activities he can be doing in the Neck, like helping Norther stragglers get home. Shadrich is Shadrich, and his presence in the Vale is probably meant to distract us from more real threats to Sansa.
  5. it gives him no access to Ned. He is an outside instructor, not a member of the household. If he knew about the coup in advance, why not tell Ned, and earn his eternal gratitude, and lots of access? Or, refuse the position, and stay in KL where the action is. Going to Winterfell puts him in the middle of nowhere with a house that is on the Crown's shit list. What's wrong with simply changing his face and lying low until the fighting ends in a day or so? With his new face, he looks like anyone else. The detail is provided to the reader to eliminate the possibility that Syrio was simply chucked into a black cell and subsequently changed his face. it suggests that there were already 3 men, and they were no longer in the black cells, but Yoren's custody. Yoren provided a way out, but if Syrio could change his face, he can simply walk out. And if he needs to join Yoren's caravan, he can join as one of the petty criminals and down-and-outers. There were plenty of those. The black cells were empty by then, and Varys was wearing his own face. He used makeup and the like to disguise himself, but Ned recognized him when he realized who it was. Jaqen was put in the black cells by the author to advance Arya's story. I doubt he thought further than that. It was still early in the series; he was doing stuff like that. I agree that the FM will probably extract a price from Arya to leave without consequence. My guess is that it will be a promise to help them if they ask. As a scion of a Great House she would be in an excellent position to provide all sorts of assistance: information, shelter, money, cover-ups, and whatever else they might need. There may be a whole network of trainees doing this sort of thing. It's also more in line with the training they are giving her, which is more geared to spying and undercover work than it is to assassination. I doubt Varys was such a trainee, though. When did she do this? I've looked and I can't find it.
  6. No, he's not Jaqen H'ghar. We've seen no hints in that direction, and it would raise more questions than it answers. Why would a FM be training Arya? She's of no consequence at that point, and it gives no access to Ned. And his acceptance of a permanent position takes him to Winterfell, even farther from Ned. We are told in AFFC that Ned turned over 3 prisoners from the black cells to Yoren, and that those cells were empty until Ned was arrested. So how would Syrio end up chained in the wagon, and more importantly, why? If you need to be in Yoren's convoy, easier and safer to be an ordinary recruit. When Jaqen changed his face for Arya, why not show her Syrio. That would be more likely to get her to Braavos than anything else I can think of. And Arya's story becomes entwined with the FM only in AFFC. Before that, there are at most a tangential presence. There are plenty of possible reasons for Arya to leave the FM. They realize she's unsuitable; she realizes they aren't training her to kill people; she meets Jeyne Poole and decides to reclaim her identity, with multiple variations on all of these. Syrio isn't likely to come into it. Characters who return from being apparently dead do so quickly and/or with plenty of hints they might not be dead. Catelyn returned in the same book. Sandor and Gregor are given clear indications of survival, and in the next book after their apparent deaths. Benjen Stark and Tyrek Lannister are ongoing mysteries. Even Raynald Westerling has several characters wondering if he's really dead. Syrio has been gone for 4 books with no textual hints that he's not really dead.
  7. That assumes he can get hold of a sword and use it. The swords the men he killed or disabled were probably still held by them or partially underneath their bodies. I doubt any would be lying loose ready to be picked up. And he's not familiar with the longsword; rapier seems more his weapon. Also, if he did survive, where is he and why hasn't he reappeared? And why would he be brought back anyway? Syrio was a beloved, well-remembered character, but he served his purpose. His return would only serve as a surprise "gotcha!", and GRRM doesn't play that game. RIP Syrio.
  8. The problem with the catspaw is that there is no good solution. I suspect it may be a retcon; that GRRM intended to leave it unsolved, but later realized that wouldn't work, but had no good solution available. Joffrey is the least bad solution, but his motive is quite weak. Littlefinger might have motive, but the timing would be extremely tight, and he has no reason to expect the dagger to be recovered (without Summer's intervention, it wouldn't have been), much less for himself to be in a position to identify it (falsely). Other suspects, like Mance, are even worse. So we're stuck with Joffrey.
  9. I doubt there will be much of a relationship between them. Alysane has been ordered to accompany FArya on her journey to Castle Black, in the company of Justin Massey and the banker, along with an armed escort. Given the current situation at CB, they will likely not remain there. Given Alysane's loyalty to the Starks, I expect she will continue to accompany FArya as protector and chaperone, at least until she is settled. I don't see her returning to Stannis and doubt she has any real interest in Asha. They didn't seem to like one another much, not surprising given their houses' historic rivalry. Though she might regard Asha as a better candidate to lead the Iron Islands than the other possibilities.
  10. Arya has done something along those lines already. She's been eavesdropping by skinchanging cats; I expect that to continue. It could possibly get her in trouble though. Either she hears something bad about herself (her ego and self esteem are fragile) or she shows she knows something she could only know by eavesdropping (causing trust issues). Nothing is ever free in Martinland and GRRM likes to make magical processes in particular difficult and unreliable. Sansa has latent abilities, and I expect she will skinchange a bird, probably a small hawk, like a merlin. She has been called "little bird" and the hawk is a popular animal companion for a lady. I doubt she will spy much with it; she's too proper and rule-bound.
  11. When last seen, he was unarmed and facing a very pissed-off Meryn Trant, who was armed and armored. Very bad odds for Syrio. He's good, but he's not that good. If GRRM were going to bring him back, he would have done so long before now. If anything, he has been closing off loopholes, like making it clear that there were no unaccounted for prisoners in the black cells. Syrio is dead and we won't be seeing him again.
  12. First, Sansa has grown considerably since she went to Cersei. She is far wiser and much less naive, more observant, and more suspicious. She is not anti-Stark and never was, nor has she ever trusted Littlefinger. They are more likely to end up enemies than allies. Their worldviews are too different. Second, Arya has no knowledge of Sansa going to Cersei. Nor is anyone likely to tell her. When she shows up in Westeros, she will no longer be with the Faceless Men. Either she leaves or they kick her out. Sansa won't betray the Starks or anyone she cares about. She is too sensible and cautious to make that kind of mistake again. My guess is that once the Starks meet up, they will work together as a team.
  13. You forgot to mention poor Jeyne Poole, subject to more horrors than I care to think about at age 13. Amazingly, she's still standing and likely to stay that way. And I fear for Beth Cassel, age 10/11, last seen headed for the Dreadfort under Ramsay's tender, loving care.
  14. I don't really think they are some sort of will-o'-the-wisps that can move about the Far North instantaneously and at will. They are solid (if magical) beings with their own bodies. How sentient they are and whether they have, for example, hive minds is still up for debate. That dragonglass breaks a spell holding WWs together, causing them to turn to water, makes perfect sense to me. Where the spell comes from, who knows?
  15. I am VERY skeptical of the idea that there are only 6 (now 5) White Walkers. Mormont told Tyrion that WWs had been seen near Eastwatch. That is a looong ways from where Royce was, which was over towards Craster's. Also, something is scaring hell out of the wildlings. I'm not suggesting an army's worth, but a bit more than one lousy band of six. As for the singleton Sam ran into, not sure of its significance. It could simply be GRRM showing us Sam's bravery and that dragonglass kills White Walkers, or at least melts them. I am also highly suspicious of any connection between the Starks and the Others. From what we've seen, the Others seem antithetical to life, and the Starks are anything but. If there is some sort of tie, it's nothing resembling an alliance. It's possible that there was some sort of agreement prohibiting human settlement north of the Wall that has been long forgotten and something has caused the Others to finally act in response. Just a brainstorm.
  16. I expect they will eventually get dispersed. Once there's no fighting and no one left worth killing, I expect most will go home to what's left or congregate around castles. They're farmers and artisans, not soldiers.
  17. I noticed that the conception of the direwolf pups would have been around the time the Others started appearing in decent numbers. Royce's meeting with the WW band was well before their birth but after their likely conception. The wildling exodus and the sightings of WWs appear to be of recent vintage as well. I see the pups and Others as being adversarial. Possibility one arrived in response to the other. Fire magic appears to have shown up a few months after Ice magic got going. The dragons were born, the pyromancer magic got more effective, and R'hellor's priests got more effective (Thoros was as surprised as any when Beric came back from the dead). I'm definitely sensing the possibility of a response here as well. The Red Comet is a wild card I haven't placed yet .
  18. The River lords were standing right beside the Starks during their (perfectly justified) rebellions, so they're just as much troublemakers as the Starks. Besides, why would they want seats in the North anyway? Most of them have perfectly nice castles of their own, with a local population that likes and supports them. The North would fight any attempt to demolish Moat Caitlin, or to place outsiders over them. They would fight hard, and defeating them wouldn't be worth the trouble. Best to just leave them alone.
  19. Darry could have been the glue holding things together, and his death caused it to fall apart. Viserys was probably less than stable even then.
  20. Possible, but given the constantly repeated connection between Dorne and lemons, someone Dornish seems more likely.
  21. Well, Cersei did insist on Sansa remaining as Joffrey's betrothed long after it made sense to do so. She may have seen Sansa as the answer to the prophecy, but one she could control, and so evade it taking effect. Joffrey's death, apparently by Sansa, could have triggered something, and when Margaery turned into a rival, especially with Tommen, Cersei transferred her fears to her.
  22. The house with the red door, with its accompanying lemon tree, suggests Dornish involvement during Daenerys's early childhood, at least while Darry was alive. Maybe a merchant or other wealthy Dornishman in Braavos. Obviously, open support from Doran is out of the question.
  23. During his time in Kings Landing he seems too focused on fomenting conflict, generally causing trouble, and seeking revenge against the Lannisters for his long-dead sister for my liking. I understand where he's coming from, but I can't bring myself to like him. He's too focused on conflict and violence. I will say he's a fascinating character to read about, though.
  24. I seriously doubt she knows Bran and Rickon are alive. Those who do know have been keeping it a closely guarded secret. Even now, it is little known even in the North. I doubt Thoros would be getting visions of them. He has no reason to look, and wouldn't recognize them if he did somehow see them. I also don't expect either of them to show up publicly any time soon. Bran will be in the cave for a while and I think Rickon will be forced to go north from Skagos instead of south. Catelyn and the BwB have no reason to believe Sansa is dead. The BwB know about the Lannisters' search for her. They probably also know that she escaped with help from others, who are probably hiding her (or holding her captive). They have no reason to know about Littlefinger's involvement, though. The BwB knows Arya was with Sandor and may know from the Elder Brother that she was headed for Saltpans just before it was sacked. They are obviously still looking for her, but don't know if she is alive or dead as the trail went cold in Saltpans. Arya is the only one I can imagine Catelyn meeting. The boys are too far away, and Sansa has no reason to visit the Riverlands. Arya's wolf is in the Riverlands, so she could head there when she returns to Westeros. It is possible that Jeyne Poole knows about the boys' survival from her time with the Boltons (either told or overheard) and passed it on to Arya, or accompanies her to Westeros, a likely prospect and could tell Catelyn herself. I wouldn't count on it, though. My guess is Catelyn dies (permanently) without finding out.
  25. It would appear as though the Faceless Men may have developed an interest in the book. Given the recent appearance of Dany's dragons, that's not a surprise. Braavos doesn't seem to like dragons. I think it's possible Arya could get sent to suss out Daenerys and whether she is a possible threat, possible ally or should simply be ignored. It's the sort of thing they are training her for, and she would be good at it.
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