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SansaTakingUpNeedle

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  1. Hi everyone, sorry if this has already been discussed years ago, but I just got an idea: Maybe the Tyrells and Martells are conspiring to re-install Targaryen rule in Westeros. But I think that while they work together to bring down the Lannister (Baratheon) rule, they are also playing each other and both trying to gain more power than the other, once the Targaryens are back in charge. Here is what supports this theory in my opinion: · During Robert’s Rebellion, both houses were on the side of Mad King Aerys (although Doran was furious at Rhaegar setting aside Elia). · Even after the war ended, Dorne stayed loyal to the Targaryens. There seems to have been a plan to marry Arianne to Viserys, now Doran sent Quentin to Dany and then Arianne to (f)Ageon. · Willas Tyrell isn’t married, although he’s in his thirties. Yes, he’s disabled, but in Westeros, marriage is not about love/attraction, but about alliances – is Willas being “saved” for Dany? (Ok, Olenna planned to marry Sansa to him. But she was basically still a child and could have easily died in childbirth – not having children at a too young age is a thing in Fire and Blood.) · Olenna was responsible for Joffrey’s death – I am sure she would have killed Renly too, if Margeary “needed” to marry someone else. (Renly and his knights of summer might have lost their war anyway, so he could have died in battle or be killed as a traitor.) – Now, Tommen is way too young to consummate his marriage, and (f)Aegon is on his way… (All the planned/possible marriage alliances made me think that the houses are still concurrents, even if they have a common goal right now.) · Willas Tyrell kept in touch with Oberyn Martell and they exchanged friendly letters. · Doran and Olenna are both good at plotting and hiding their true goals. · The two houses traditionally don’t like each other, so it’s unlikely someone suspects them of working together. So, what do you think about this? Dragonfire-hot or not?
  2. Reading this I just got a crazy (?) thought: The moon door at the eyrie is made out of weirwood, and it is used to push people outside - were those people originally sacrifices? To whom? Something like the others - I mean it's cold and snowy up there...
  3. I know I am rather late to the party, but I recently had some similiar thoughts and am pretty sure that Alayne will be recognized as Sansa Stark because of her hair. Here is more textual evidence for this: -When horns sounding announce that the Waynwoods and Harry the Heir have arrived, Myranda and Alayne race towards the gate to welcome them, and after that, Alayne thinks about her hair: So she tells herself that her "hair doesn't matter" - this might indicate that it actually does matter a lot. Then there are the tapestries: As far as I recall, these tapestries show members of House Baratheon, who have black hair, and Littlefinger wanted them because they prove/might give people the idea that Cersei's children are not Robert's. But they also indicate that your hair says something about your "heiritage". This might foreshadow that Sansa will be recognized by her hair, which is probably already glowing red because she's sitting next to a fire. I also agree that Littlefinger wants certain people to figure out who his "bastard daughter " really is (he's to clever for it to happen without him having planned it, or preventing it if he doesn't want it to happen). But whom and why? Is it his way of telling people (like Bronze Yohn Royce) "look, I don't just have loads of money, I even have the heir to Winterfell, so you'd better get along with me and my plans"? Does he want people to know so they are okay with his betrothal of "Alayne" to the Young Falcon (for whom Sansa Stark is actually a good match)? Or does he have a completely different plan...? Curious about what you guys think on that matter ;-)
  4. Part III: The North remembers… but the Starks forgot? During the books, if a Stark goes south it usually doesn’t turn out well for him: Ned really doesn’t fit into King’s Landings court culture, and Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling, who was probably a Lannister trap from the start, eventually leads to him being killed in the Red Weddings which ends his reign. Brandon and Rickard got killed by mad king Aerys, Lyanna died somewhere in Dorne, and though Ned was successful during Robert’s Rebellion, they had a big fight about Jaime Lannister killing the King despite being a Kingsguard and Rhaegar’s kids being slaughtered despite being innocent babes. And Lady Dustin begged her newly wed husband not to go south himself, so she probably had a feeling that he wouldn’t come back. It seems pretty sure that Northerners should stay in the North, where the Old Gods rule. But some of the Starks don’t seem to care, so it might be some other house’s turn to grab power… And power is what Lady Dustins behavior is about, not personal dislike or craving for personal vengeance: Sending as less men as she dares when Robb calls his banners, and having people spy on him, is part of the long-term plan of her family: To grab power in the North when the Starks have failed because they are too honorable to play the game of thrones. But what would they do once they are in a powerful position? Lady Dustin tells Theon one thing: Okay, she might or might not kill some maesters if she gets the chance to, but she clearly doesn’t like them. She then goes on and tells Theon that Rickard’s maester Walys was the one behind the Southron ambitions, but again, I think there is more to the story: The maesters hate, or at least don’t believe in, magic. They wouldn’t take Old Nan’s stories seriously, they have a very rational view of the world, and in their perspective, magic, dragons and the Others simply don’t exist (anymore). Yeah, my crazy theory is that Lady Dustin and her kin/allies know about magical stuff, and want to grab power to maintain (or re-establish) northern traditions which are very important in their eyes – but which the Starks forgot. Let’s go back to A Game of Thrones where the Barrowlands are first introduced to us (which means they are important in some way): Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon go riding out very early, and the landscape is described as “rolling plains dark with mists” turning to “pale white mists of dawn” at sunrise: So we have barrows, who remind Robert of death, mists and cold. These three elements are also associated with the Others, who come with the cold, are somewhat mist-like, and bring death. The Others are clearly the incarnation of the “Ice magic”, the Magic of the North, and this ice magic seems to be very present in the Barrowlands. In this quote we also have the rime of old and cold. Craster says he is sacrificing his sons to some Gods, which his wives call the Cold Gods, and who seem to be the Others. The white Weirwoods can also be associated with the Others. So maybe Old Gods = Cold Gods (=Others), although we cannot be certain about this. I must admit that I watched (and enjoyed) a theory of Preston Jacobs, who states that the Night’s Watch has been sacrificing babies to the Others, which Craster seems to be doing still (or took up some years ago). Of course, this doesn’t have to be true, but we can be pretty sure about one thing: the First Men made blood sacrifices to the Weirwood trees: In his last chapter in ADWD, Bran sees through the Weirwoods that someone is being sacrificed in front of a Heart Tree in the past. While a prisoner at the Wolf’s Den, Davos is told about enslaved people hanging their slavers’ entrails in the Weirwood there as sacrifice to the Old Gods (ADWD, Davos IV). On the Great Ranging, the brothers of the Night’s Watch cross the abandoned village of Whitetree and find burnt bones in the mouth of the village’s Weirwood (ACOK, Jon II). Even Ned, the Stark who presumably forgot most about the old customs, clears his sword in the pool next to the Heart tree in Winterfell every time he has punished someone with death, so the Winterfell heart tree gets his share of criminal blood (AGOT, Catelyn I). So there clearly was a tradition of human sacrifice to the Weirwoods, aka the Old Gods, which is of course rather cruel, and honorable Starks like The Ned wouldn’t approve of such a custom. But people like Lady Dustin and Roose Bolton might – they might even be persuaded that these sacrifices are necessary to get the approval of the Old Gods, to keep the Others at bay and to prevent harsh winters and a second long night. And of course, people who have this perspective will think that the Starks are unfit to rule the North, because they would never practice such things. But if Lady Dustin is so much into Northern Traditons/Ice Magic Rituals, she surely knows that there must always be a Stark in Winterfell. I think she had suspicions about Bran and Rickon being alive – maybe Roose even told her that Ramsay killed two miller’s boys – and she got confirmation by the missing swords in the crypts. So if she becomes Wardeness of the North under Stannis, and if Davos finds little Rickon on Skagos, she probably won’t kill him (unless she has a little Brandon Snow hidden somewhere…), but might accept being a sort of ‘Wardeness regent’ until the Stark heir comes of age. Of course, she could and would manipulate him, and teach him her own ways, in a similar way to the Littlefinger-Sansa-relationship. This, at least, would fulfil the original dream she told Theon about: Being the Lady of Winterfell and a motherly figure to the Stark heir.
  5. Part II: The Northern ambitions of House Ryswell Not being able to marry Brandon Stark (or at least one of his brothers), Barbrey Ryswell “was left with young Lord Dustin” (ADWD, The Turncloak) – but why him, out of all the Northern lordlings and even knights, who could have made a good match for a younger daughter? Of course, the Ryswells and Dustins are neighbors and probably knew each other well, they might have intermarried several times. But there’s more to the match: The Dustins are descendants from the Barrow Kings and their sigil still shows a rusty crown. They aren’t just some random Northern House, they have the blood of first men kings and mayhaps even potential to become kings again. I think that was important to Barbrey’s father, who “had great ambitions for House Ryswell” (ADWD, The Turncloak) – remember that Barbrey’s older sister Bethany was married to Roose Bolton, and that the Boltons are descendants from the Red Kings and a house powerful enough to be serious rivals to the Starks for centuries! And I think that with those alliances, House Ryswell at some point – not recently, but before Robert’s Rebellion – started scheming against House Stark, the former Kings in the North, who had now southron ambitions. Unfortunately, we don’t know when and why exactly Bethany married Roose, who was probably in on the long-term scheming, but as the youngest of the Ryswell sons is called Roose (after Lord Leeches), the two houses might have a rather strong alliance going on for some time. Of course Lord Ryswell might have tried to make several alliances while biding his time, by marrying one of his daughters to a Bolton, and another to a Stark. But in this case, the latter family refusing a match and “turning southwards” pushed House Ryswell on a darker path anyway. I also think that the Southron ambitions not only angered House Ryswell because Barbrey couldn’t become Lady of Winterfell with the Stark-Tully-marriage. I think that this marriage went extremely against Northern traditions and mayhaps didn’t please other Northern houses either, besides the Ryswells: As far as I know, the female ancestors of house Stark are ladies of Northern Houses or of the Mountain Clans. There is one exception, a female Royce marrying into House Stark, but the Royces are at least First Men associated with Northern culture. The heir to Winterfell marrying Catelyn Tully, who believed in the Seven instead of the Old Gods, was probably something new and not estimated a good choice by everyone in the North. If so, the whole Southron ambitions of House Stark weakened their power in the North – at least I think that this is how Rodrik Ryswell thought when he married his younger daughter to a Dustin of Barrowton, a House which claims to be descendants from the First King of the First Men. Young Willam Dustin, who rode to the tower of joy with Ned, probably wasn’t told about a long-term conspiracy, and even Barbrey might only have been told later. But I am sure she already was in on her family’s plans when Robb called his banners and she send as few men as she dared to – remember that she also spied on him and his actions, which means she and her family were watching very carefully how things developed to be able to act themselves at the right moment, as Roose Bolton did long enough before finally turning on the King in the North.
  6. Lady Dustin, which we meet in A Dance with Dragons, is a very intriguing figure who absolutely seems to be up to something. In the following essay I will present you with an analysis of the information we get on her, and suggest a little theory about her endgame. The essay will have three parts: The holes in Lady Dustin’s backstory and her loyalties, The Northern ambitions of House Ryswell, and the core of my speculation, called The North remembers… but the Starks forgot? As English is not my mother tongue, please be merciful if I make mistakes ;-) Part I: The holes in Lady Dustin’s backstory and her loyalties In ADWD Lady Dustin asks Theon to show her the entrance to the Winterfell crypts and they go down there together. Then she tells him her story to illustrate why she has a grudge against the Starks: She hoped to marry Brandon, Ned’s older brother, whom she had known during their youth because he had been fostered at Barrowton and often visited the Ryswell family in the Rills, who lie next to the Barrowlands. Brandon even took her maidenhead, but was betrothed to Catelyn Tully by his father Rickard Stark: So at first sight, Barbrey mentions three reasons why she’s pissed: First, she couldn’t marry Brandon, whom she was in love with during her youth and who took her maidenhead. Second, she couldn’t marry Ned either because he had to marry Catelyn after Brandon’s death. And third, when she was finally married, her husband quickly died because he went south with Ned during Robert’s Rebellion. But actually her story doesn’t really add up because of the timeline of the rebellion – I know that George R.R. Martin said that we don’t have to take his timelines too seriously, but I still would like to focus on something I deem important here: Ned and Robert called their banners after they learned that Rickard and Brandon had been killed by mad king Aerys, who eventually demanded their heads of Jon Arryn. So Ned travelled from the Eyrie to Winterfell, called his banners, and marched south. Then, like “on his way”, he married Catelyn at Riverrun, where Willam Dustin was present during the wedding and bedding: Of course, all this travelling took some weeks, but Lady Dustin says herself that she and Willam were married for some six months when Ned called his banners, so I don’t think a few weeks matter. What matters is that they wed before Ned married Cat, maybe even before Brandon died! So marrying Ned instead of Brandon wasn’t a real option for Barbrey Ryswell even before those events, so Lord Ryswell found another match for his daughter. (But of course, they might have thought about the possibility when Brandon’s betrothal to Cat was announced – that was when Cat was only 12, and Brandon and Barbrey weren’t that much older!) So, Barbrey already has one less reason to be pissed, having never actually been betrothed to Ned or something similar. And actually, I don’t think Brandon taking her maidenhead is such a big problem either: When Roose Bolton tells Theon about Northern houses and clans still practicing the first night, he doesn’t list the Ryswells or the Dustins, but he says that “where the old gods rule, old customs linger” (ADWD, Reek III) and, as we will see again later in this essay, Lady Dustin is a big fan of Northern tradition. So losing her maidenhead to her (future) liege lord mayhaps wasn’t that unusual for her, and given Brandon’s reputation she and her father couldn’t really expect him to marry her because of it. She still might have been in love with him, given that she only was about 13-15 years and therefore maybe as romantic as young Sansa Stark, but the grown-up and intelligent Lady Dustin has to know better. The only reason left for her to be pissed is the death of her late husband Willam. But in Westeros, people going to war and dying is normal and even considered honorable. Many people on the internet do wonder why she is grieving such a long time for a guy she barely knew, having been married to him for a rather short time, and him not even being her first choice. All of this indicates that her hatred for the Starks is clearly a setup, but this doesn’t mean she’s on their side. I don’t think she’s really on Roose’s side either, given her dislike for Ramsay, although she wears the mask of his closest ally. And he needs her, because she has the combined forces of the Rills and the Barrowlands behind her. She might be involved in some Great (or small) Northern Conspiracy, but if so, she’s probably playing Manderly and the others the same way she’s playing Roose. Long story short: she’s on her own side, waiting to grab power. How could she get into a position of power in the North? Well, if Stannis wins the Battle of Ice, she could stab Roose in the back (either literally with a dagger or by poisoning him), declare for King Stannis and hope that he names her Wardeness of the North. Stannis not liking women might pose a problem, but as she’s not a warrior like Asha, but a good lady staying inside a castle, he might even think her an adequate choice.
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