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Sly Wren

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  1. 3 minutes ago, LynnS said:

    I don't know if he's going to do that.  He's the one who said prophecy would bite your dick off every time.   Didn't Gilly name Mance's son Aemon?  I don't think Dany will go in for child sacrifice, period.   She's more likely to be surprised that a wildling woman would name the boy after Aemon and that Jon would send Aemon and the child out of Mel's reach.   Aemon might become her teacher after the fact anyway.  

    I certainly hope so. 

    My fear with Dany is that she fluctuates back and forth between civilized and dragon-burning. 

    If she thought a sacrifice could help her save all of Westeros, which she thinks belongs to her. . . I could see this.

    And getting somewhat back to Black Crow's thread--the echoes/repeats of sacrifice in the North and for the Targs--they repeat and repeat and repeat.

    Jon chose duty in Game--sacrificed own needs to be with Robb and instead went back to the Wall.

    Dany chose to sacrifice others to get what she wanted--to conquer. I hope she won't see Baby as expendable. But. . . she's an odd duck for me.

  2. On 2/4/2023 at 9:00 AM, Melifeather said:

    Arya is a parallel of Lyanna right down to becoming "no one". Lyanna is dead and Arya is pretending to be dead.

    What makes me feel even more convinced of Ashara being Wylla are the inverted parallels with "the baby swap" as well as the parallels between Ashara's presumed suicide and Littlefinger pushing Lysa out the Moondoor. 

    Agree fully on the first.

    Full disclosure: I have a really hard time making the direct inversions work. Really seems like we don't have enough evidence. Rough echoes where we've been told Arya and Sansa are like Lyanna in specific ways? Absolutely. But the idea of set, precise inversions. .  . I really struggle with this.

    On 2/4/2023 at 9:00 AM, Melifeather said:

    I think Ned brought Ashara to Winterfell with the intention of marrying her after Robert's Rebellion. Jon was born at Winterfell "in the crypts", because his mother is believed to be dead. After Ned was forced into a marriage alliance with the Tullys, Ned returns home to help Ashara return home, but convinces her to leave Jon. This is paralleled later when LC Jon Snow convinces Gilly to leave Monster.

    In order to understand why Ashara would want to become Wylla, you have to recall what happened to Lady Lollys Stokeworth. 

    Lollys was raped by multiple men - any one of them could be the father of her child

    Ashara was said to have "danced" with many men - we know she got pregnant, because Barristan Selmy said she was.

    But. . . in Westeros, couples seem to marry at the bride's house--why go to Winterfell?

    The Daynes are Dornish--why would they care about even an excessive number of paramours? The Martells clearly don't. Do we have any evidence that the Daynes have a strongly different take on this than the rest of the Dornish?

    And "raped by multiple men" is vastly different than having paramours--especially in Dorne. 

    On 2/4/2023 at 9:00 AM, Melifeather said:

    What were Ashara's marital options after giving birth?

    In Dorne? They're fine, given what we see of the Martells.

    On 2/4/2023 at 9:00 AM, Melifeather said:

    She comes from the ancient, important, noble house of Dayne. I think she came up with the Wylla idea as a way to escape a marriage beneath her station and have the added benefit of remaining in her family home.

    But--if she's home, it's really hard to hide this. We see Jeyne pass as Arya because the household of Winterfell is gone and Arya was still pretty young when she left home. Sansa can pass as Alayne because she's never been to the Eyrie--even then, Myranda seems to think something's up. Yes, Harwin doesn't recognize Arya at first, but that's because he thinks she's dead, it's been a while since he saw her, she's a kid and kids change, etc. And he does recognize her eventually.

    Given all that, if the full grown, famously drop dead gorgeous Ashara is hiding in her own house, assuming her father didn't conduct a violent purge of the Starfall staff--this really seems hard to pull off.

    I think that Wylla Manderly is a much better clue--her green hair.  Her loyalty to the Starks. Her name coming out of literal nowhere for no narrative need. 

    And given that we have both Arya and Sansa hiding under aliases and Lyanna clearly tied to both of them repeatedly in the novels: Lyanna hid under an alias. Probably under "Wylla". Likely dying her hair as we see with both Sansa and Wylla Manderly.

    But I do think there's a decent chance Ashara is Quaithe.

    On 2/4/2023 at 9:00 AM, Melifeather said:

    If you think about it, it protects Ned too. His relationship with Ashara could have been seen as fraternizing with the enemy since House Dayne was on the side of the Crown during the Rebellion.

    But he fought on Robert's side and was his bestest bud. Really don't think Ned would need any protection. . . 

    ETA: That said, I do agree that Ashara may have had to "give up" a baby--if she's Dany's mother (a theory I'm still very partial to) via Rhaegar, that baby would have to be hidden. Just like Mance's baby (if for different reasons). Under another identity. 

    So, I think that echo could hold. . . in lots of ways.

  3. On 2/5/2023 at 2:04 AM, LynnS said:

    What Gilly, the wallflower, knows or doesn't know is a good question.  Just because she is silent doesn't mean she doesn't know anything; listening and observing what is said around her on or off the page.   

    Dany would certainly find out more about Aemon, and how he removed himself from the line of succession in favour of Aegon.  Of course, I wonder what books he was sending to the Citadel and if they included his own journals.  He was a maester and an academic after all.  The idea intrigues me.

    I am also intrigued. 

    Am also wondering how this might affect/increase Dany's reaction to Young Griff. . . if she reads Rhaegar's take on things, via Aemon's journals. . . 

  4. On 2/4/2023 at 12:42 AM, LynnS said:

    Well, no.  I expect these fires she has to light to have some kind of magical component.


    On 2/4/2023 at 12:42 AM, LynnS said:

    We've been primed by the show to expect Dany to burn the Khals and walk out of the fire unburnt again.  I'm just not sure it will happen that way.  IIRC George said that Drogos funeral pyre was a one-time miraculous event.  So I don't think she was given permanent immunity to fire.  And does she need that when Drogon is likely to attack anyone who threatens her?  


    On 2/4/2023 at 12:42 AM, LynnS said:

    So I don't know what the fires will be.  However, there must be a reason why George has preserved Aemons body, in alcohol, no less.  Someone has to give him a fiery funeral and I think that's likely to be Dany, if Marwyn does take Aemons remains with him.

    I imagine something less mundane and rather spectacular.  A funeral pyre a big as Julius Caesars and pyrotechnics befitting an alcohol soaked body.   He is also kings blood and this would make Melisandres leach burning look like childs play.  I wonder what Dany will see in the flames this time.  Pure speculation, but that's what I imagine.

    I'm liking this very much. Am also worried about Mance's baby.

    But this is getting me very speculative about Summerhall again--was the idea just to sacrifice one child for the dragon eggs--which is plenty horrifying. 

    If so, it could mean Dany under Marwyn's "guidance" could try to up the ante and sacrifice two people with kingsblood at once. . . 

  5. On 2/3/2023 at 3:47 PM, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    Even so, 12 years old is too young to become Sword of the Morning, he is still just a squire at this point. Which is probably why GRRM created Darkstar. 

    Might depend on what "worthy" means to the Daynes--12-14 is super young. But we don't fully know their criteria.

    Are you thinking Darkstar will be Sword of the Morning? Really seems like he knows the family isn't giving him that role. . . 

  6. 5 hours ago, Melifeather said:

    I believe that Wylla is Ashara Dayne living in her father's home at Starfall under an assumed identity much like Alayne is actually Sansa, pretending to be Littlefinger's daughter living in his household. 

    I'm more partial to the theory that Sansa as Alayne and Arya as all of her aliases is giving us in for about Lyanna, not Ashara. But your scenario has to be on the table.

    5 hours ago, Melifeather said:

    The Dayne family tree is sparse. Edric Dayne is supposedly the son of an unnamed brother of Ashara and named after Ned Stark. Why is he not worthy of the sword Dawn? If his age wasn't inconveniently a year younger than Sansa's I'd be tempted to believe he's Ned's son.

    Or--the Daynes just didn't name a Sword of the Morning that generation. GRRM makes it sound like it's not that unusual for the Daynes to leave the position open for a while. That it's less about someone being "un" worthy and more about someone being super-duper worthy.

    5 hours ago, Melifeather said:

    If my suspicions that Jon Snow is Ashara and Ned's son, then he could claim the sword Dawn.

    1. This is still my biggest hope for Jon's parentage. I don't think it's happening, but I'm not giving up yet!

    2. In the World Book and GRRM's SSM, only someone "of House Dayne" can be Sword of the Morning. 

    So far in the novels, people are only described as "of a House" if their father is from that house. IE: Even at Riverrun, I don't think Robb was even called "of House Tully." It's a phrase that always seems tied to paternity. And to fathers--not grandfathers, grandmothers, etc.

    If that holds, and if Jon is the next Sword of the Morning, his daddy's a Dayne.

  7. 5 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    Speaking of which, It's curious that we've never heard about any other Daynes in Kingsguard except Arthur, despite them consistently producing great warriors.


    4 hours ago, LynnS said:

    Both Jamie and Ned think that Arthur was the finest knight in the realm.  Not just for his skill as a warrior, but for the quality of his character.


    4 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    Yes, but it still doesn't make sense for him to be the only Dayne to ever join the Kingsguard.


    2 hours ago, LynnS said:

    I don't think being selected for the KG is criteria for being the Sword of the Morning.  Likely the other way around.

    This is an interesting question.

    Not every great house is represented in the KG over time (far as I can tell)--so that may be a factor. 

    And we know not every generation has a Sword of the Morning--so that could be a factor, too. Too few Sword of the Mornings were close to the crown.

    But if the story of Just Maid is tied to the history of the Sword of the Morning, really could mean that Dawn isn't to be used lightly, let alone regularly in fights. Brine understands this and only uses Oathkeeper rarely.

    So--was Arthur making a mistake by agreeing to be in the KG? Is his service to the Dragon part of what helped open the door to the Others' return? 

    It would explain why no other Sword of the Morning has served the Dragon--Arthur messed up, probably to help his best friend. 

    And it would explain the significance of the fight between Ned and Arthur--not just a Night's King vs. Day's King. But a Night's King trying to do the right thing against a Day's King who screwed up and used Dawn in service to Aerys the Wannabe Dragon.

    We may even have an echo of it in Ned's execution: the Stark leave Winterfell to serve the crown and ends up executed with Ice, a sword which is a stand in for an older, lost sword named Ice.

    Milkglass Dawn looks a lot like ice. . . . Definitely looks like an Others' sword. 

    Both Ned and Arthur served the wrong power--the Game of Thrones--instead of just taking care of the people and the land--the lesson we see Jon learn at the Wall. And so Ned and Arthur both end up executed with their own swords.

  8. 4 hours ago, LynnS said:

    I'm not sure what to make of Marwyn at this point, but I think he falls into the category of dangerous friend.  I don't think he would use Mance's baby for blood magic, although I think he knows more about it than we've been shown ,and if Qyburn's assessment of him is correct; then he's not unwilling to use it.

    Not a pleasant thought. But it's gotta be an option.

    4 hours ago, LynnS said:

    I think Gilly's value is as an eyewitness to events beyond the Wall and will support what he tells Dany.  Gilly will also create an impression of Jon; having saved the baby and Aemon from Melisandre's machinations.  The sacrificing of children and an elderly relative is not something she will look on with any favor.  A gift of books, essentially from Aemon via Marwyn could be significant.  We don't know what was kept at Castle Blacks library.  

    Could be--Dany is certainly more likely to be more sympathetic to a dead Aemon than whenever she runs into Young Griff/Aegon. 

    I also wonder how the "Prince that was Promised" revelation will hit Dany--did Gilly hear Aemon say he thought it could be a girl? Might drive Dany further into her sense of entitlement.

    4 hours ago, LynnS said:

    And Dany will have to light another fire.  Perhaps this will have something to do with Aemons remains.

    Wait--so you are thinking the fire is simply to burn a dead relative? Hmmm . . . if that prophecy is even correct (a big if) that seems rather . . . mundane. . . 

  9. 15 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    It's commonly accepted in the fandom that the original plan was for Edric Dayne to have Dawn, so I wonder what kind of character he would have become in that scenario. Heroic or villainous?

    If this was the original plan, can't see any reason why GRRM would change his mind.

    His original plan was to age up the Stark kids to make their stories more adult. When the multi-year gap no longer seemed workable, he then just basically made them into moderate Wonderkids. So, kept to his plan despite their ages.

    He's had Ned Dayne in the Appendices since Game--he's had a reason for that kid from the get go. So, if he was planning of Ned Dayne as Sword of the Morning, he'd stick with it.

    But I really, really doubt Ned Dayne's the one. I think he's much more likely there to make the necessary connection between Starfall and Winterfell for the reader.  Maybe he'll be the one who transports Dawn to the next Sword of the Morning.

    10 hours ago, EggBlue said:

    i'm pretty sure his involvement with Beric was to make him people's champion.  I still don't put it past him to eventually wield Dawn.  he is 14 which is the same age as Jon when he got Longclaw.  though,  I personally like for Jon to wield Dawn, if it's going to be important.  it would have to go against some popular theories,  but then it'll respect #1 fantasy rule:  the hero gets the shining blade

    Can't see Ned at the wielder. He's Lord of Starfall, a squire, and a narrative help.

    But Jon's the one who's been longing all his life to win a greatsword that will give him a family name. And he's the one who has that almost epiphanic moment with the Sword of the Morning when he's spent the previous chapter consistently asking "who am I?"

    Theories are just theories--until/unless the next book comes. And then we'll have more theories.

    2 hours ago, LynnS said:

    I wonder if he feels worthy enough to accept the sword on his own accord.  If Ser Arthur is the standard; the bar is pretty high.  So far, he has been Berics squire for a short time and he has since left the BwB..  Not sure where he is getting his training now.

    Might depend on what the Daynes see as "worthy." 

  10. 16 hours ago, LynnS said:

    I'm under the impression that Marwyn was leaving immediately to take ship for Mereen.  I think he would collect the books Aemon sent to the Citadel, along with Aemon's remains first.  Why not just take the ship and everything on it with him?  Anyway, I think the implications would be interesting.

    Ooooh! Very interesting. Are you thinking he might be willing to use Mance's kid? Something like that?

  11. 3 minutes ago, LynnS said:

    I do like the idea, that traditionally, it's the senior ranked women of House Dayne, who choose the Sword of the Morning from the men in the family.  Not sure who is around to make that decision or who is likely to receive it now.

    Yup! I like the Matriarchal implications. And I'm pretty sure Allyria is at Starfall--so, she could be the one? Maybe we're seeing narrative hints of that with her betrothal to Beric, the Lightning Lord? His sigil seems like a tie to the Daynes. Could be a stretch. 

    3 minutes ago, LynnS said:

    I can imagine Sam and Sarella fleeing from the Citadel,to Starfall, ahead of Eurons invasion; and collecting Ned Dayne and the sword, so it doesn't fall into Eurons hands.

    Loving this scenario!

    3 minutes ago, LynnS said:

    What has happened to Gilly btw?  Didn't Sam tell her to stay on the ship until he returned from the Citadel.  I wonder if she left or ended up as cargo on her way to Dany with Marwyn.

    Yeah--I think she's still on the ship. What makes you think she's on the way to Dany? I'm missing something.

  12. 7 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    Only a Dayne who is deemed worthy can legally claim it, but it doesn’t mean that someone else can’t steal it. ;)


    3 hours ago, EggBlue said:

    please! Dawn wouldn't work for someone unworthy, it'll be just like an ordinary sword.. say, like the elder wand!


    3 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

    But perhaps it could work for someone who is of the night? The man, the myth, the legend.

    Darkstar could be an excellent catalyst--give him something important to do narratively--stealing that sword. Making a big mess. Moving stuff about.

    But I agree that he's unlikely to be the Sword of the Morning, being "Of the douchebag-filled night."

    And I think he may also be a narrative marker: the Night's King/Sword of the Evening covets Dawn. May be showing us what "the Battle for Dawn" really was. . . 

    2 hours ago, alienarea said:

    The White Walkers rose to go to Starfall to claim what's theirs?

    Could be. Or just want Westeros back--kinda depends on what the Others want. If they hate living things as Old Nan says, they'd want free rein.

    Might also be the Night's King who wants the sword back--if Black Crow is right and he's coming back, dude would want his sword.

  13. 4 hours ago, LynnS said:

    Yes he said that and didn't he also say that someone who is not a Dayne could claim the sword? 

    According to this SSM, it's only a Dayne.

    “George said the Sword of the Morning is always a member of House Dayne, someone who is deemed worthy of wielding Dawn as decided within the House, that whoever it is would have to earn the right to wield it.” http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/US_Signing_Tour_Albuquerque_NM

    4 hours ago, LynnS said:

    I wonder how the Dayne's choose who is worthy.  Maybe the sword chooses who is worthy?  I'm thinking of the potential magical aspects.  So perhaps a Dayne like Ser Arthur has the necessary virtues for House Dayne to bestow it; but I wonder about accessing its real power - its  potential as a sword of light.  

    I like the idea of the sword choosing worthiness--really seems like there has to be some magic to it.

    There's also the story of Just Maid, where it's bestowed by a woman--but then only used by Galladon against worthy opponents. Seems like that might be part of the criteria for Dawn? And maybe we're seeing another version of that with Brienne and how careful she is with Oathkeeper.

    If that "care" is part of it, I', wondering if Arthur went too far in using Dawn . . . 

    And its power for light: I'm still thinking Dawn burns red at the right moment with the right wielder. 

    All the stories of how a magic sword is magic in the novels--the main one is Lightbringer--and the story is awful. It's probably wishful thinking, but I'm hoping the story of Just Maid is closer to the "real" story about the sword that brings light. 

  14. 3 hours ago, EggBlue said:

    Daynes already have more than enough reasons to hate Ned. If he'd taken Dawn too, I can't imagine what makes them name their heir after him.

    Yup! It can't be the fact that Ned returned the sword that makes them like him so much.

    Something else is up.

    I've got theories--but one way or another, there's a bunch of the story missing about why Ned regrets Arthur's death so much (according to Bran)--and why the Daynes admire Ned so much that the current Lord of Starfall thinks it's cool that he's milk brothers with the Bastard of Winterfell.

  15. 3 hours ago, alienarea said:

    If Dawn is the sword of the Night King, maybe Ned picking it up after defeating Arthur Dayne triggered the rise of the White Walkers?

    Yup! Though I'd say it's more than "picking it up." A Night's King descendant killed the Day's King descendant. Note that when Ned fights Arthur (the last one he sees before the fight in his dream) the blue rose petals that fly are "blue as the eyes of death."

    Far as I can tell, that's the only time something is compared to the Wights'/Others' eyes anywhere in the novels.

    Really think that was a tipping point--Night's King wasn't supposed to win back the sword. Ned's taking it to Starfall--I do wonder what effect it had that the Night's King's descendant gave the sword back to the Day's King's family.

    Though I also think there's a decent chance Arthur (or any Sword of the Morning) really shouldn't have been using Dawn in service to the Dragon.

    3 hours ago, alienarea said:

    And that is what Mance will do in the crypts - remove Dawn from the Night's King buried there and thus ending the White Walkers?

    Well, as stated above, GRRM is really clear--Dawn waits at Starfall. So, not in crypt.

    Also, GRRM has made it really clear--House Dayne chooses a worthy Dayne to bestow the sword on. If there isn't a current worthy Dayne, they just wait for the next generation. And if a chosen Dayne becomes unworthy, he's supposed to return it--World Book has a story of a Sword of the Evening giving up Dawn.

    So, maybe Dawn will be stolen. But really, really think GRRM is waiting to get it to a "worthy Dayne." Most likely Jon.

    And that could restore the balance. 

    At least for a while.

  16. 9 hours ago, Aehole targaryen said:

    I've noticed you guys have generated a Gergor of content. It will take me a few years to catch up, so sorry if I repeat old topics that have been discussed to death.

    Ha! No need to apologize--the threads go all over. No need to re-read them all.

    9 hours ago, Aehole targaryen said:

    Any heresies on House Dayne?

    Well--I personally have a lot of interest in the Daynes, but I'm not sure how popular they are on Heresy.

    But some ideas I've seen floated:

    The Daynes and the Starks are connected: the Daynes being tied to the Sword of the Morning, the Starks being tied to the Night's King who was thrown down.

    A Dayne/Sword of the Morning was the "brother" (either by blood or a "brother" of the Watch) who threw down the Night's King.

    Dawn is the Night's King sword, taken from him when he abused his power, then taken south to protect it from misuse. That would explain how the Daynes bestow Dawn only on a worthy Dayne. And it would explain why GRRM brings in the story of Galladon of Morne and his sword Just Maid.

    I'm sure there are others--but these are at least a few I've seen for a while.

  17. 1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

    Coming from Scotland and currently living in Northumberland I've always read Winterfell as a noun - Vinterfed if you prefer, but the thought occurs to me, reading this post, that the Stark possession of Winterfell may be balanced by the Targaryen possession of Summerhall  


    37 minutes ago, Aehole targaryen said:

    I'm sure that plays a part, but Summerhall was built by the Targaryens, right? 100-120 years before A Game of Thrones. A fair bit younger than Winterfell. But the presumed ritual that went wrong there wraps up the balance nicely.

    Agreed with all of the above.

    But it's not just that the ritual went wrong--the Targs are parvenues per se. They never were part of the balance of Westeros to begin with.

    They are actively messing with Westeros. Burning. Messing with the Wall. Basing the Kingsguard off the Watch--and potentially pulling attention away from the importance of the Watch. Even as the Stranger statue in Dragonstone seems to potentially point to the Targs' fear of the northern skinchangers.

    Seems like "Summerhall" may be another bit of arrogant Targ puffery, believing they can change everything. And the the ritual and its failure seem driven by that arrogance.

    But the balance goes back far, far further. And it can't be solved with Targ conquering. Let alone dragons.

  18. 20 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    To be fair, Mance himself did not steal Mors's daughter. The daughter was taken by raiders 30 years ago. Mance visited WF as an escort to LC Qorgyle at most 14 years ago. Back then he witnessed Jon and Robb play a prank and promised not to tell. He "turned his cloak" years later. So, Mance is not directly responsible for Mors not having a daughter anymore.

    But I do like you've pointed out that Mance may have regarded Jon and Rowan as a type of "ward" or "hostage" for leverage.

    My apologies--I read too quickly.

    And I will avoid going into why I think that still makes Mance echo Rhaegar so I don't completely hijack your thread.

    But the showing of how a Westerosi figure works to find allies, bring about change--Mance, like Baelish, like Tywin, like Stannis--they all look for what resources they have to get their way. Even something as simple as keeping Jon and Robb's secret all those years ago. Makes perfect sense that Mance would figure out that Rowan was Crowfoot's daughter and hold onto that info until he needed it.

    And I love how Martin keeps showing this. It probably would make the series MUCH shorter if Martin would stop showing these patterns in side plots and simply finish the central plots.

    But the very fact that he keeps showing these things--really makes me think he's showing us what went down in the past and in the central plots.

    20 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    In that sense Rowan, as Mors' daughter, functions as a ward/protector of Mance against Umbers. Rowan, Myrtle and Willow do not join Theon, Holly and Frenya to the gate and WF's wall, but instead return to go to the Great Hall and join Mance there.

    I was thinking the same basics about Rowan, too. Not sure how much to read into the names. But given the likelihood of who Rowan is, her name might have more significance.


    20 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    Even one of the most rigid characters in the series, Stannis, adapts and adjusts.


  19. On 1/2/2023 at 10:21 PM, sweetsunray said:

    Many elaborate ideas and strategies have been posted to try and answer the question - "What was Mance's ploy?"

    I'm offering my answer today and it's quite simple, nothing tinfoil or exotic, let alone farfetched.

    Well done! Not farfetched at all!

    On 1/2/2023 at 10:21 PM, sweetsunray said:
    Neither Stannis or Mance can give Mors Mance's skull to drink from, but Mance can return the long lost daughter, and make her uncle Whoresbane a secret ally to Stannis within the walls of Winterfell.
    The spearwives of course help Jeyne Poole escape, inquire with Theon and likely other men on info on secret passages, etc (vital information that could help Stannis), but the "ploy" Mance alludes is simply to help Stannis' alliance with the Umbers, and to appease the men towards Mance and wildlings for returning a lost daughter, when so many sons and kin were lost.


    Plus (full disclosure) it fits with my pet theory that Mance is actually a pointer/echo of Rhaegar.

    Yes, Mance is his own man with own plot. But he's also giving us info on the past--Bael, red and black cloak, Cornishman's Wife, etc.

    Mance stole a northern daughter for his own purposes. No clear evidence it was romantic-- I can't remember Rowan being romantically attracted to Mance/Abel. By all means correct me if I'm wrong. 

    But all this time later, all this time with Mance's hoard and his ideas, Rowan is still all in for the North and the Starks. She's still who she is. As Arya is, even after being with the Brotherhood and the House of Black and White. 

    But Mance never let her go--makes me wonder if he's held onto her for so long largely for future leverage. Yes, you note above that she is a spearwife and may very well prefer to remain so. But Osha makes it clear Mance wants certain hostages. Mance is clearly happy to get Jon. Given Mance's desire to take over a lot of things (Rhaegar is the same), makes sense to find and keep useful hostages.

    Are you playing at all with Rowan's name? The protector? tree of life? Even the "red-haired?' 

    Rowan--the northern daughter, who, like Arya, Wylla Manderly, and (presumably) Lyanna, never has her ties to the north broken.

    A very valuable asset in any Mance ploy.

    22 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    So, it is entirely possible that Mance set out with the initial intent and plan  to meet fArya on Umber lands and have Rowan meet with Mors. Then we can safely assume that as they journeyed south towards Long Lake, or actually pased east of Long Lake, they never met a fleeing Arya (for the girl in the visioni ain't Arya and not there at the time), and picked up gossip about Roose Bolton's plans, Arya being either at Barrowton or on her way to Winterfell to be wed there; and then they learned Umber brothers weren't at Last Hearth either (because one set out to create traps, and another to attend the wedding of fArya). Mance altered the plan according to the info he acquired, just like any rational person would. After all, despite indeed the vision sighting being Long Lake, Mance eventually ended up in Winterfell where fArya was and had his spearwives rescue her there. Meanwhile, the change of venue from Long Lake (and Last Hearth) to Winterfell does not mean the intent of the original plan alters: rescue Arya + get Rowan to meet her father.

    Precisely. Even the most notorious plotters in the novels (Baelish, Tywin)--they stir the pot, try something, then adjust as needed. 

    Mance didn't survive this long by being overly rigid.

  20. 7 hours ago, LynnS said:

    Joe Magician has some interesting ideas about the nature and origin of the Others. 

    6 hours ago, Black Crow said:

    This of course is pretty much what I've been arguing for a long time now and emphasises the importance of getting somebody on the inside. Bran is obviously in a position to learn but I don't see him doing it on his own. Rather I see it as a collective return of the Starks to their roots - beginning with Jon

    With you both on the state of the Others--a very workable theory.

    And I also see it as a collective: to get back to the Last Hero (before he fell--IMHO). They taught Brandon a "song"--how that helps. What that will lead to: we are still guessing unless we get Winds.

    5 hours ago, Black Crow said:

    I don't think the dream [dreams?] literally foreshadow raising the dead kings in Winterfell. Rather its not a matter of him being rejected by them, but his fighting against joining them.

    But--why not be about raising the dead? The whole series calls us to realize the Westerosi dead can rise. The life is not fully gone. I agree that he's fighting against going in because "he's not a Stark."

    But when he finally agrees, goes in and goes all the way down--what's the result? The Old Kings rise. Not his recent family. The original family. Because he's one of them. Because they are waiting for him. To do what?

    5 hours ago, Black Crow said:

    R+L=J may be true but the importance of it is that Jon is the son of Lya Stark 

    Absolutely. And an "old hand at justice" according to Bran in the first chapter of Game. The chapter that contrasts the Justice of a Stark vs. the Cruelty of the Others in the Prologue. 

    Right from the start, Martin contrasted that justice with the Others. Contrasted Ned and Jon with the Others. Later, contrasts Dany's horrifying embrace of the Dragon with Jon's re-embracing his duty (vs. desire to join Robb). Really don't think that's setting Jon up to join the Others.

    Jon sees himself reflected in the Wall. Sees the Sword of the Morning with the Wall. Yes, he thinks of the cold of the ice dragon--but he embraces duty and the defense of men. The Sword (of the Morning) and the Mirror Shield of the Wall. 

    I have a hard time squaring all that with Jon becoming an Other--especially when, as you noted, he's such a newbie at skin changing.

    Instead, he's an "old hand at justice."  Stark justice. Just Maid justice (that story about Galladon and how Brienne used the sword has to be there for a reason). Really think that where he's going.

    But Bran--he definitely could be the next Symeon.

  21. 11 hours ago, LongRider said:

    Interesting that you see the CoF similar to the Undying, I don't see that but would like hear why you think so.

    Been so long since I re-read that section. But off the top of my reckless head:

    The trees of the Undying (the shade of the evening trees) remind me of the weirwoods. The house of the Undying is all shadows and death--not unlike the cave: darkness, bones, the almost zombie-fied Children. They feed Dany the Shade--the Children give Bran that paste. 

    Maybe they aren't the "same"--but they seem to echo each other.

    11 hours ago, LongRider said:

    See the CoF as creepy, well yes, with half-dead little greenseers in their little thrones and BR telling Bran that the CoF can have 2nd lifes in the ravens for 'long years.'  And what is the CoF agjenda?  It's as hidden as they are.  (to me anyway.)   Signing off for the night.  Perhaps more tomorrow.     :)

    I got theories. I got fears. Got no certainties. 

  22. 4 minutes ago, LongRider said:

    Bran likes to push the envelope and not always pay attention to his teachers.

    Bran is a powerful warg, but not much experience and wags Hodor even though he knows it's wrong.  With the warnings to him to remember 'who you are' will he take that warning?  He might get so caught up in warging (O)ther bodies, he may forget who he is.   Would that be what BR wants though?

    Yup! The Varamyr prologue really does seem like it fits Bran well (in my not at all flawed opinion). Though Jon will push barriers, he then hems himself in with the words of his oath--comes back to the Wall instead of going to Robb. Refuses Stannis' offer for Winterfell. Jon sacrifices his desires to his idea of the rules. Varamyr and Bran . . . they aren't so scrupulous. 

    As for what BR wants: I really vacillate on him. In the novellas, he's clearly the guy who's willing to do terrible things for the good of the realm. To basically sacrifice himself. But he and the Children seem really creepy--and remind me of the Undying.

    Does BR want Bran to be like him? To sacrifice himself? If so, the Other body idea . . . not sure how that would help BR. 

    But given the stories of Symeon Star Eyes and Bran's longstanding desire to be a knight: I could see Bran going rogue. To help defend his family (like he uses Summer to attack Jon's attackers). If Bran could be an Ice Knight (AKA Other)--yes. I could see him doing that whether BR liked it or not.

  23. 4 hours ago, LongRider said:

    My apologies, this is not what I meant.  I did edit the post but not soon enough.  :bang: However, your comment does open up some interesting possibilities.  The Others don't seem wargable to me, so don't see Jon going in that direction.

    4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

    They don't seem "wargable" to me either. My argument is that I think they ARE wargs who are capable of forming their own bodies from snow and ice rather than taking over someone else

    I agree with you both--and all the more reason why Bran-the-seasoned-skinchanger (with access to info) is far more likely to attempt such a thing than Jon-the-newbie.

  24. 6 hours ago, Black Crow said:

    Very tempting though it is to suggest a Coldhands outcome, I remain very conscious that Jon's apparent demise was preceded by the Varamyr prologue and that while Coldhands offers a solution I'm not convinced that outcome would be radical enough to justify killing Jon

    I take your point--Varamyr is clearly significant. Shows a side of what Bran could have become. Could still become.

    But really seems like Martin has been showing the various ways "second life" works for a while now: Others and Wights in Game. More Others and the Undying in Clash. Beric and Coldhands in Storm.

    Then, in Dance, we get a whole bunch: Varamyr, Stoneheart, Coldhands again, and Bran: seeing souls in animals, climbing around in Hodor, seeing the Children "plugged in" to trees. Given that, seems like Varamyr's prologue could  be a warning for Bran.

    Plus, there's Jon's long-recurring dream, which we hear about in Game: being called against his will into the crypt and seeing the Kings of Winter rise. Jon only sees this part of the dream AFTER they find Othor and Flowers. That seems like the dream is tied to the finding of the wights. An answer to the wights: raise the Starks, waiting in their completely unique crypt. And in that dream, Jon makes no mention of the old kings looking like ice-beasties. No matter how freaked out Jon is by the nightmare, really seems like he'd remember if the Kings looked like ice. If the people he's waking are Others.

    4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

    Providing his real body is still alive, Ghost could indeed form a stepping stone to trying to take over some innocent third party, but the immediate problem there is that Jon, however powerful, is a newbie when it comes to skinchanging. Varamyr on the other hand was an experienced expert and the human Thistle managed to fight him off.

    Right--but this seems like it's tied to the lessons we are seeing Bran learn (or not learn) about second life, morality, etc. 

    And, again: Varamyr is not a Stark. Not related to all those strangely crypted bodies in Winterfell. There is something unique about Stark dead. Varamyr cannot go back to his body. But we know both Beric and Stoneheart can--it is workable. So, what if that body is a Stark?

    And, given your point about Jon's whopping inexperience compared to Varamyr, really think it's more likely Bran would make himself an ice body (or be tempted to). Bran, not Jon, has dreamed of being Symeon Star Eyes--likely an Other. Bran, not Jon, looks to use/create bodies that are not his own. Bran, not Jon, has practice.

    If anyone's going to make an ice body in the series, showing us how to do it, my money would be on Bran--not newbie Jon. That would be just as radical--and make a lot more sense, given Bran's interest in Symeon and his talent/practice.

    4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

    It also comes back to my earlier point, why kill Jon ? Simply re-enacting Varamyr's attempt to skinchange/warg Thistle hardly justifies the effort. Forming himself a new body of ice and snow, showing where the Others come from and revealing the Stark connection is MUCH more radical 

    Why kill Jon? To have him raise the dead of Winterfell. Like he's been dreaming of since Game. 

    Bran's making an ice body would show us all the things you suggest. Be just as radical--and fit with his character and earlier ideas.

    But Jon's dreams, when they come, what he sees and doesn't see (no Ice People in the crypts)--really, really seems like Jon is more likely to be a different kind of undead altogether. A unique one--like Coldhands. Not a wight. Not an Other (they aren't unique). Something much more rare. And very Stark.

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