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  1. "You will have heard stories of my desertion, I have no doubt." "Some say it was for a crown. Some say for a woman. Others that you had the wildling blood." […] Mance Rayder rose, unfastened the clasp that held his cloak, and swept it over the bench. "It was for this." "A cloak?" The last time we saw Mance wearing his iconic black-and-red cloak was when he went to fight Stannis' ambushing forces, after which he was captured off-page: The next time we see Mance (actually Rattleshirt in a glamor) is when he's on his way to be burned, but he notably isn't wearing the cloak: After this, nobody else is described as wearing Mance's cloak or having it in their possession (including Mance-as-Rattleshirt and Mance-as-Abel), so I presume that the cloak was just left somewhere in Castle Black when Melisandre made the Mance/Rattleshirt switch, and that it's still there at the end of ADWD. Why could this be relevant? I suspect that after Jon Snow is resurrected, he will come into possession of Mance's cloak. Jon could stumble across it himself while moving through Castle Black, one of the wildlings or Melisandre could give it to him after retrieving it themselves, Mormont's raven could "coincidentally" lead him to it, etc. There are a number of possibilities. Jon is presumably going to abandon the Night's Watch so he can lead an army of wildlings south to Winterfell, just as he was planning to do before being stabbed, and he may not exactly want to wear his black cloak anymore. And from a narrative perspective it would be appropriate if this watershed moment in Jon's story was accompanied by a change in his appearance/attire. Well, what better thing to wear when leaving the Night's Watch than the very cloak that Mance was wearing when he did the same thing? I think there is a parallel that supports this: "Mance" was shot in the chest, the gut, the throat, and the fourth arrow struck the bars. Jon said his Watch was done, and then remembered how Mance changed his black cloak for one slashed with red silk. Jon was stabbed in the throat, the gut, between the shoulder blades, and he didn't feel the fourth knife. His Watch is done, and now he just needs to change his black cloak for one slashed with red silk. "The black wool cloak of a Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch," said the King-beyond-the-Wall. "One day on a ranging we brought down a fine big elk. We were skinning it when the smell of blood drew a shadow-cat out of its lair. I drove it off, but not before it shredded my cloak to ribbons. Do you see? Here, here, and here?" He chuckled. "It shredded my arm and back as well, and I bled worse than the elk. If Mance survives the upcoming events in and around Winterfell ("Abel can fend for himself" "If the Bastard [Ramsay] does come after us, he might live long enough to rue it"), then I could see a scene where Jon arrives at Winterfell with a wildling army and Mance notices that Jon is wearing his cloak, but lets him keep it as a sign of respect. When Jon first met Mance (learning the story of his cloak), and when Jon reunited with Mance after betraying the wildlings, Mance commented on Jon's cloak both times: So I think it would be appropriate if Mance and Jon reunited again and Mance made another comment about Jon's cloak — this time about the fact that Jon is wearing Mance's own cloak. Jon could even reply "What else would a deserter of the Night's Watch wear?" although maybe that would be too on-the-nose (and Jon might not consider himself a deserter). Even if Mance does survive the immediate events around Winterfell, I do expect that he will perish eventually (perhaps dying in battle at a ford to further parallel Bael the Bard and Rhaegar Targaryen). So either way, I think Jon will be left as the leader the wildlings choose to follow, making Jon wearing Mance's cloak even more meaningful. Additionally, black and red are the colors of House Targaryen, so Jon wearing a black-and-red cloak before he even learns about his parentage would serve as a nice bit of dramatic irony. It would also create a visual link between Jon and Young Griff (who claims to be Rhaegar's son Aegon Targaryen) as he is the only other character in the story to wear a black cloak with red silk: In fact, if these two both obtain kingship for a time, then there would be a neat parallel between Mance, Aegon, and Jon: Mance is healed from near-death, dons a black-and-red cloak, then becomes King-Beyond-the-Wall. Aegon metaphorically returns from the dead, dons a black-and-red cloak, then becomes King on the Iron Throne. Jon literally returns from the dead, dons a black-and-red cloak, then becomes King in the North. "My brothers feared I might die before they got me back to Maester Mullin at the Shadow Tower, so they carried me to a wildling village where we knew an old wisewoman did some healing. She was dead, as it happened, but her daughter saw to me. Cleaned my wounds, sewed me up, and fed me porridge and potions until I was strong enough to ride again. And she sewed up the rents in my cloak as well, with some scarlet silk from Asshai that her grandmother had pulled from the wreck of a cog washed up on the Frozen Shore. It was the greatest treasure she had, and her gift to me." A few more points: The prospect of Jon wearing a cloak containing material from Asshai, especially if he's wearing it during the war for the dawn, is intriguing to say the least. (It is noteworthy that GRRM had silk from Asshai end up all the way beyond the Wall so it could make its way into Mance's cloak.) Whereas Mance had a raven-winged helm, Jon could have an actual raven (Mormont's) following him around instead (perhaps occasionally skinchanged by Bran to keep an eye on his brother/cousin). If Jon is unsure what to do following his resurrection (I doubt he will be, but if he is) then Bloodraven or Bran could use Mormont's raven to lead Jon to Mance's cloak, nudging him in the direction of leaving the Night's Watch. (This would be similar to how Ghost may have been skinchanged back to Jon near the end of ASOS to remind Jon of the old gods and cause him to turn down Stannis' offer, keeping him in the Night's Watch — which was then followed by the equally convenient reappearance of Mormont's raven to get Jon elected as Lord Commander.) Bloodraven/Bran leading Jon to a black-and-red cloak could also symbolically represent how they want to lead Jon to the truth about his parentage. If Jon gets into a relationship with Val, that would be another parallel he has with Mance, as Val and Mance's wife Dalla were sisters. (This would make Jon "a sort of good brother once removed" to Mance.) Coincidentally (or not) I think this artwork by Stephen Youll that was commissioned for the cover of AGOT could actually be a pretty close depiction of one of the final scenes in the series: Jon, wearing a black-and-red cloak, riding through the snow with Ghost and a raven at his side (just replace the land around Winterfell with the land beyond the Wall). In summary, I think Mance's cloak is basically the perfect item for Jon to wear from a narrative point of view: It would represent his past in the Night's Watch, his relationship with Mance and the wildlings, and his Targaryen heritage, all at once (with Jon's physical features and direwolf representing his Stark heritage). And if GRRM really wants Jon to echo Mance, he could have the following scenario occur: Jon, who has been wearing Mance's cloak since his resurrection, is sentenced to the Night's Watch for murdering Daenerys. However, upon arriving at the Wall, Jon is told that he will have to dispose of his red-patched cloak and replace it with one that is pure black. Unwilling to discard the cloak that has been a part of his and Mance's journeys, and desiring the freedom to make his own choices, Jon decides to leave the Wall shortly thereafter — heading north to live out the rest of his days with the free folk. He swept the cloak back over his shoulders. "But at the Shadow Tower, I was given a new wool cloak from stores, black and black, and trimmed with black, to go with my black breeches and black boots, my black doublet and black mail. The new cloak had no frays nor rips nor tears … and most of all, no red. The men of the Night's Watch dressed in black, Ser Denys Mallister reminded me sternly, as if I had forgotten. My old cloak was fit for burning now, he said. "I left the next morning … for a place where a kiss was not a crime, and a man could wear any cloak he chose." He closed the clasp and sat back down again. "And you, Jon Snow?" TLDR: After Jon is resurrected he will replace his Night's Watch cloak with Mance's black-and-red cloak, which is still at Castle Black. Jon will be wearing this cloak when he abandons the Night's Watch to lead a wildling army south to Winterfell, and when he heads to the far north at the end of the series — becoming a symbolic "King-Beyond-the-Wall," if not an actual one. TLDR 2: Jon Snow in a few decades
  2. 1) There are more lines like that too: 2) Also, there is one other person whose "heart had turned to stone": I take this as more supporting evidence that Jon will die and be resurrected. 3) The Red Dragon and the Gold, Fire and Blood I got a copper says our wee Aegon, the noblest lad that ever lived, changes the color of the dragon on his banners from red to green. And/or Dany could introduce this variation to her sigil: Interestingly, golden flames were on Prince Aerion's personal arms:
  3. George said back in 2014 that D&D correctly guessed the identity of Jon's mother: Benioff and Weiss later said that during that meeting you asked them who they think Jon Snow’s mother was, which is one of the earliest — and seemingly one of the central — mysteries in A Song of Ice and Fire.
 I did ask that at one point, just to see how closely they’d read the text. Did they get it right?
 They answered correctly. Some readers, I think, would also ask who Jon Snow’s father truly is, even though Jon was always claimed to be Ned Stark’s bastard son.
 [Martin smiles] On this I shall not speak. I shall maintain my enigmatic silence, until I get to it in the books. -George R.R. Martin: The Complete Rolling Stone Interview, June 13, 2014
  4. A few Reddit posts which I think are pretty insightful: 1) How Bran's chapter sets up a far more compelling conclusion than the show gave us, by /u/feldman10 - Explaining how Bran sentencing Jon to the Night's Watch for murdering Daenerys could be a lot more satisfying in the books, by relating it to Bran's very first chapter in the series. Excerpt: 2) A certain character's final decision will be much darker in the books, by /u/YezenIRL - Theorizing that Jon will kill Dany primarily to protect his family, fulfilling the treason for love; and that, unbeknownst to Jon, Dany will be pregnant with his child when he does this. Excerpt: So not only were we getting foreshadowing about Daenerys possibly having children there at the end, but we were also getting foreshadowing that Jon would have children. Red herring? maybe. Or maybe Daenerys was originally going to be pregnant when Jon killed her, but the writers decided it was unnecessarily bleak and controversial, so instead they wrote it out. [...] Though what Jon does seems to be the right thing in light of Dany's tyranny, Daenerys being pregnant when Jon chooses his family over her would reassert the reality that Daenerys is also Jon's family. And by betraying her, even if for a good reason, is kinslaying in every sense of the word. tldr 2; When Jon kills Daenerys, she will be (unbeknownst to him) pregnant with his child. 3) The Curse of Harrenhal: How the location of the Great Council explains the ending in the books, by /u/YezenIRL - Theorizing that the Great Council in the books will be held on the Isle of Faces, and that Bran will take Harrenhal as his seat (which Bran actually has a claim to through Catelyn's mother Minisa Whent). Excerpt: For those who have been wondering how the books would ever get to a scenario where a Great Council is even considering making a crippled boy the king, I have three words for you. Location. Location. Location. While the show puts the Great Council at the Dragonpit and has Bran as the abdicated little brother of the Lady of Winterfell, the odds will likely be shifted dramatically in Bran's favor in the books. Because if the Great Council is happening just beneath Harrenhal, then Bran holds a claim to the very land on which the council is taking place. And that's not even mentioning the massive Old Gods connection giving Bran the home field advantage. Sure (assuming he survives) Edmure Tully comes before Bran i the line of succesion, but alas Edmure will probably be passed over in the books just as he was on the show. Poor Edmure never gets a break. And that really shouldn't come as a big surprise. While Edmure is the Lord of Riverrun, Brandon Stark is the heir to The North and the Riverlands. Which is about half the land in Westeros. And yes, just as happened in the show, it will likely be Tyrion who gives the speech which gets the Lords of Westeros to put aside their reservations about crowning a crippled boy. This is set up pretty early in the story by Tyrion's soft spot for cripples, bastards, and broken things. And yes, the power of stories will probably in some way be a part of Tyron's speech in the books too. D&D failed to set it up, but people have to realize that whenever something feels totally out of left field on the show, it's either because it's complete crowd pleasing fanservice, or because it's from the books and they failed to set it up (for example, that one time they called Jon "The White Wolf" or Bran being called "Bran the Broken.") Tyrion's speech was clearly not fanservice. It's more likely to be conceptually from the books. Beyond that, this serves as a callback to the Shakespeare line that likely inspired the ending for GRRM. This is the famous opening line in Shakespeare's play about Richard III, and the War of the Roses. In this soliloquy, the titular Richard III is proclaiming that the time of hardship is over, and good times are ahead, now that King Edward IV has re-ascended to the throne. Of course, what follows this are revealed to be not so good times, but I digress. We don't know what the future holds for Westeros, and we can assume that peace will not last forever. GRRM has blatantly acknowledged that Tyrion is in many ways inspired by Richard III. The winter of our discontent seems referenced by the winter of the Long Night, but also the general period of war the story encompasses. "Summer" is the name of Bran's direwolf, and the Yorks are the Starks so King Brandon Stark is the sun/son of York. Thus Martin will likely end his story much like Shakespeare began his. By hailing to the son of Stark. The rise of the Fischer King Brandon Stark to the throne will also likely represent the breaking of the curse of Harrenhal. Not only because making a greenseer the king makes up for the Weirwoods destroyed in Harrenhal's construction, but also because the establishment of an elective monarchy makes it so that no one House will ever rule over Harrenhal. Instead the Hall of Kings will pass from one ruler to the next, each chosen at the Isle of Faces, in the sight of Gods and Men. tldr; Bran the Broken will be chosen as King at the Isle of Faces, and he will rule from Harrenhal, thereby breaking the curse and establishing a new seat of power. Bonus Point! As a bonus, I wanna throw out that this is already being set up in the books by King Robb's crown, ownership of which the books have been tracking since the Red Wedding. The crown is currently in the position of Lady Stoneheart, who went out of her way to get it back. Robb's crown will likely eventually make it's way to Bran, and will eventually be placed on his head by Sansa or Arya at his coronation.
  5. Dothraki khals make endless war on one another once beyond the sacred precincts of Vaes Dothrak, their holy city, but the gods of the Jogos Nhai forbid them to shed the blood of their own people (young men do ride out to steal goats, dogs, and zorses from other bands, whilst their sisters go forth to abduct husbands, but these are rituals hallowed by the gods of the plains, during which no blood may be shed). (TWOIAF - The Bones and Beyond: The Plains of the Jogos Nhai)
  6. I may not have the free time to post about ASOIAF/GOT any longer. I just thought I'd leave this update so people know not to expect more content from this account. (I'm aware I didn't post that much in the first place.)

  7. Another related one involving Jon III, AGOT: Finally he looked north. He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard brother Jon sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him. (Bran III, AGOT 17) Inside, Jon hung sword and scabbard from a hook in the stone wall, ignoring the others around him. Methodically, he began to strip off his mail, leather, and sweat-soaked woolens. Chunks of coal burned in iron braziers at either end of the long room, but Jon found himself shivering. The chill was always with him here. In a few years he would forget what it felt like to be warm. (Jon III, AGOT 19) Edit: And these quotes seem to tie in nicely as well: "The fort is in a sorry state, admittedly. You will restore it as best you can. Start by clearing back the forest. Steal stones from the structures that have collapsed to repair those still standing." The work will be hard and brutal, he might have added. You'll sleep on stone, too exhausted to complain or plot, and soon you'll forget what it was like to be warm, but you might remember what it was to be a man. (Jon II, ADWD 7) "You are half the age that Egg was, and your own burden is a crueler one, I fear. You will have little joy of your command, but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born." (Jon II, ADWD 7) The flames crackled softly, and in their crackling she heard the whispered name Jon Snow. His long face floated before her, limned in tongues of red and orange, appearing and disappearing again, a shadow half-seen behind a fluttering curtain. Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again. (Melisandre I, ADWD 31)
  8. I just saw this passage pointed out elsewhere: Much of this could apply to fAegon during the Second Dance of the Dragons too. It reminded me of this post I read a while back about how fAegon could acquire the Conqueror's crown and sword (and perhaps even Rhaegar's armor): (Spoilers TWOW) Aegon's Epic Loot
  9. The names of Elia's children with Rhaegar were mentioned once, in S3E4:
  10. Also, the subtitles say it's Jorah: http://i.imgur.com/wDLQKav.jpg
  11. Mance Rayder shares a number of similarities with both Bael the Bard and Rhaegar Targaryen. Bael died in battle at the Frozen Ford, Rhaegar died in battle at the Ruby Ford, so will Mance also die in battle at a ford? Fighting against the Others/wights, perhaps?
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