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    Art, dance , film ,books, archaeology , history, politics. hockey, figure skating, dogs ..and on and on.

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  1. bemused

    The mystery of Robb’s letter

    I agree. There is a SSM directly relating to the release of a Kingsguard or Night's Watch brother... http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1127 ... from back in 2000. Here are Catelyn and Robb from ASOS, Catelyn V... Because GRRM has Robb use "more precedent", it shows that Robb is aware of some precedent ... at least one other case, though more rare than that of a legitimized a bastard rising to rule his house. He may possibly know of a past case that required a levy of men in exchange. As King-in-the-North, he has the power to legitimize Jon, but since the NW (historically) is not supposed to serve any one king,or lord, I think it would be a bit more complicated than Joffrey ousting Barristan. The precedent (or precedents?) that Robb is thinking of must be the decision of the LC, and must include some serious inducement. (The NW would not want it to become something that could be asked at a whim).. Probably it's the kind of request that would have to be founded on extreme circumstances such as - the King, about to go into battle, doesn't have a viable heir. I can believe Robb's burned letter could have been an earlier request for Jon's help, but his situation at that time was not quite as dire. With the possibility/ likelihood now that (after much trying) Jeyne is not pregnant, Robb's need is greater. ETA: To clarify, such a letter would probably be addressed to LC Mormont, with an inclusion for Jon.
  2. bemused

    Mance Rayder's background story?

    Wait, we don't know that he was a baby. In fact, that's very unlikely, with no women at the wall to care for a baby, and even more unlikely if he was, in fact, with a group of raiders (as per the text). Squirrel (an excellent climber) was taken on her first raid at 12. Even allowing for Mance possibly being much larger and stronger, he probably couldn't have been under 10. It would seem that Selyse could have true (if vague) information. If the NW simply didn't want to kill a child, why not just let him go north of the wall to be taken in by other wildlings?... OTOH, if Mance was known to be the son of a NW brother, taking in a young boy makes more sense ... Well, not so much if the father was just any brother ("father no children") but if the was of high status... This brings me to my theory, that he was the son of LC Qorgyll. That puts the question in a different light . He'd be in a position to bend the rules, without openly flouting them. Not to make the connection too obvious, it would make sense to assign Mance to a different Fort. .
  3. bemused

    Will Arya end up marrying Jon?

    I don't think it's a genetic thing at all, though it tickles me to think / hope that Tywin, with his power-hungry dynastic obsessions actually fathered no children. (And it is easy to believe that Cersei got the Targaryen tendency to madness) Jon and Arya? Not a chance, IMO. Val will be his great love... however that ends. Steal her ... check Her love ... signs are good Off to a good start.
  4. bemused

    Why didn't cersei hire a faceless man to kill tyrion?

    Would Cersei (like the Waif's father) want to pay 2/3 of what she has ? And what does she have that is actually hers, alone? She refuses to become the Lady of Casterly Rock ... As regent she had access to the Crown's treasury, but the Crown's debts (on which she has reneged) are eating away at that. ... And what if the price asked was of a more personal nature? E.G., would she give herself, or Tommen or Myrcella to the HoB&W ? ... Would she give up Jaime completely ? The price asked is always high and of a very heavy nature. I don't think hiring a FM would ever be an option for her.
  5. bemused

    Night's Watch vows and the truth of history.

    <snip> I had forgotten that one... but remembered the following one .. because it's the same chapter where Jon thinks of the best strategy to deal with the wildlings approaching from the south, an adaptation of which, I think he will apply to Ramsay in TWoW. Benjen's reasoning make sense when it's the forces for order (Stark in WF) coming from the south, but times change and we see that Jon has to face the downside of the arrangement. For Jon and his NW, no longer are the only foes to the north. Jon has Roose and Ramsay to deal with, as well as the Others. Aside: Jon's strategy.. ( No, I'm not meaning to get into a sidetrack discussion) More on topic, according to BJ, not even the Nightfort was defensible from the south... but was it ever? It seems he's talking about events post Night's King.
  6. I,m not surprised Sansa doesn't know, either. I think Wyman Manderly would know ... (and I see @The Sleeper has just mentioned this as I type) and many of the others would have had reasons to visit WF themselves as Arya was growing up. In any case, believing as I do in a version of the GNC, I think that if Wyman knows, he will have told the other Lords. Manderly has the two visits to inform him, and he has a beloved granddaughter ("my Wylla") whose comparative age to Arya he would likely have noted at the time. While some of the Lords are not the same, the Ryswells, Barbrey Dustin, and Jonelle Cerwyn are still there , and while Jonelle is not in WF, it seems she was with Lady Dustin in Barrowton at the time Roose arrived. Theon/Reek notices her banner flying from Barrow Hall and she signed Jon's "wedding invitation/summons" letter and Asha's letter ..(possibly Wyman's, too?) She lends Roose her maester to take charge of Luwin's ravens which might be how she manages to avoid going to WF - someone has to mind the homefires. (I think that could be a convenient excuse to cover other activities, but that's another topic.)
  7. I'm sure many in the north do know, and many more have reason to suspect that the bride is an imposter. Some may not be sure of exactly how old Arya would be, though the northern Lords probably would. But all those who don't know Ramsay or his reputation - including Sansa when she finds out - have the very public example of Margaery and Tommen , where the marriage has been performed and sanctified, but not expected to be consummated until the younger partner is ready. ETA: Sansa doesn't know Ramsay, but undoubtedly has heard the same creepy stories of the Boltons and the Dreadfort that are referred to in the conversation between Robb and Bran when Robb calls the banners . With this in mind, I'm not sure Sansa would feel jealous...
  8. bemused

    Night's Watch vows and the truth of history.

    I love this thread. Great Job, @The Fattest Leech, @Julia H., @kissdbyfire, @Seams , et al ! I don't necessarily agree that the "I am the sword..." part is not a vow - it is a question whether the vow has to be in the form of a promise or some other indication of obligation also satisfies the criteria. But the vow can start with "Night gathers..." anyway.. I think it probably did start off ... Night gathers, and now my watch begins. ... continuing with... I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come. The first line would be an opening declaration, made before (variously) the gods, whoever is administering the oath, and those assembled. In the pre-Andal days, when the oath would always have been sworn before a heart tree, whether or not the tree could speak, I can't help but think of the Black Gate, and "Who are you?".. so the question is implied, to me and perhaps equally to the earliest NW brothers. Each man replies with the list of roles and ideals he promises to embody and ends with the simple but profound.. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come. "For all the nights to come" is forever , as long as I live. So, "It shall not end until my death" and "I shall live and die at my post." are redundant. That there are two repetitions of the idea seems a bit heavy handed and doom laden. They're both stated in very forbidding terms compared to the earnest and idealistic "I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch for this night and all the nights to come." ... Maybe the repetitions were deemed to be necessary as the quota of prisoners making up the Watch gradually increased over the years. I think having all the additions - holding no lands , fathering no children, etc- baked into the oath was a bad idea (though it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, to some). It made it inevitable that eventually some Lords would cease to hold up their end of the bargain ... and if it worked for some , others would follow... after all, they would suffer no consequences for their lack of support. Without all that stuff, the oath is poetic, like stories and myths that have been passed down orally, and very FM. I am the sword, the horn the shield, etc., for me, resonates with Tormund's many honorifics... again, very FM, and I believe,in some cases, tied to the old gods. Aside: Jon letting Tormund's people through made me think of the people who flock to WF and it's winter town in harsh times... same thing but on a bigger scale? (Recalling that the other forts once had gates and people once remembered the Others better, was this once standard practice, come winter ?) I like this, but Ramsay or Roose? It's possible Roose killed Domeric (I'm still in the process of updating a thread that touches onthis, in part) .... or that Roose sacrificed Dom to Ramsay ... or that Ramsay sacrificed Dom, thus earning Roose's blessing. ...I suspect bad things regarding Dom's dead brothers under the Dreadfort.... Roose would have killed Ramsay but for his eyes... Roose projects Ramsay will kill Walda's babies (but Roose likes to deflect blame). In any case, it creeped me out when, at fArya's wedding... God, singular ? Not the way a northman should speak, methinks.... what can it mean?.. Maybe it's because it's one weirwood, one heart tree, one god (I kinda doubt it) ... I think it should still be the gods, or the old gods. Do I need talking down ?
  9. bemused

    King's Landing's riot

    Interesting idea, but I have doubts ... I have a feeling the suicide was more likely tied to the Blackfyres, somehow... Being blind, everything is black for Arya, yet she knows (by her sense of smell) that the candle would have bathed his body in "a ruddy glow" ... without GRRM saying so outright, black and red are hinted at. Later, when she is stripping the young man's body.... ... Although she can now identify a lot by touch, she's rubbing her thumb over the most worn of the Westerosi dragons she finds on his person, trying to decide which king it represents... GRRM doesn't tell us whether all the coins were kept in a pouch or pocket or whether the one was kept separate from the others, like a talisman or a keepsake. These are questions that interest me because when I read that passage, I couldn't help but think about Dunk, in The Mystery Knight... Dunk's coin does not appear very worn, but Arya is musing over her coin 150 yrs. later... So I suspect Tyrek is alive somewhere. Every once in a while some character mentions him - so that we'll be sure to think about his disappearance. And I think it's very reasonable to assume he was with Robert on the boar hunt, and thus may know enough that others - for various reasons- wouldn't want him speaking out.( I lean toward Varys' involvement, because if it was Cersei, Tyrek probably would have been killed "in the riot" (Of course, if LF was involved, someone should be scouring his brothels.)
  10. bemused

    Lynesse Hightower Confusion

    Yes, Satin is one among many (including a ship) who could fit the description ... but so far, at least, it 's difficult to see a reason that Dany should be specifically warned about him. For me, there's a lot that can be read into the captain's rant. There's information included in his general use of invective , and questions that perhaps we should be thinking about are identified. As well as revealing how desperate the situation is, it points out (in a limited way) what is being done. GRRM has Sam make an opening statement. He doesn't have Sam pose a question such as ... What is the Hightower doing? or Is the Hightower doing anything ? etc. ... His statement confirms what we readers, especially with the benefit of re-reads, have become convinced of - Lord Hightower must be doing something. The captain is bitter, yes, but he doesn't know all that we know. He hasn't been privy to all the discussion of glass candles recorded in the prologue (and elsewhere), or to the quote from the prologue provided by @Lynesse , above.. ... so, to the captain, it may seem like Lord Leyton and Malora are involved in some exercise in futility , but we can safely doubt his assessment. Just any man could not see all the way to the wall from atop the Hightower - but a man with a glass candle... ? When the captain simply says "Baelor's building galleys" it might sound like a last-ditch wild effort.. but we might reasonably suspect a parallel with the Manderly / Umber project on the White Knife. We haven't yet been told how long Baelor's been building galleys. (And if I'm right about Satin the following is one of the clues that linked him to Baelor, for me.. ) Baelor is Leyton's heir. If Leyton hasn't descended from the tower in a decade, Baelor must have been a pretty busy fellow in that time. As heir, he must have many responsibilities. He can't be only and always a shipbuilder, but set to oversee a specific effort. (And if Satin's familiarity with ship building is linked to Baelor, then Baelor may have been at it since before Satin left Oldtown.) "Gunthor has charge of the harbor." ... We know that Tyrion had charge of the harbour (among other things) at the Battle of the Blackwater. I'd be surprised if Gunthor didn't have any plan, but the captain wouldn't need to know that plan yet, especially if he might be captured, or even might be likely to rant about it to travellers on an incoming vessel. ... "Garth is training new recruits." ... How many and for how long? "Humfrey's gone to Lys to hire sellsails."... When did he go? If Leyton has a glass candle, he could have had a fair amount of advance knowledge of the activities of the Ironborn. (e.g.,Marwyn has been expecting Sam.) In any case, I doubt Humfrey will be calling Lynesse "whore". The captain of the Huntress is set to guarding the sound now, but as I say he may have been to Essos previously, or he'd know many men who had. He'd be aware of the distinction between whore and concubine in Lys and between whore and courtesan in Braavos. I don't think he's simply a mysoginist because he calls Lynesse "whore" and Cersei the "bitch queen in King's landing". He doesn't know all that we know about Cersei and it seems ,from his speech , that Cersei hadn't been arrested yet (or the news hadn't reached him) since he sees it as her responsibility to "let Lord Paxter off his leash." .. For me, though, that's enough to earn "bitch queen" from the captain. Even half the Redwyne fleet would be of great help right now, but Oldtown has been left to go it alone. He uses no derogatory term for any of the others he mentions, except Lynesse. So, that brings me back to : Either she ... ... actually did something to warrant the opinion before she ever married Jorah, or.. 2. ... It's based on rumours put about to obscure the actual reason she was married to Jorah This would not be entirely odd, given that we know false stories are put about now and then to support someone's long game.
  11. bemused

    Night's Watch vows and the truth of history.

    I see it as sort of two levels of uniqueness. ... (Oh gods, will that make it a dark version of "A unicorn riding a unicorn over a rainbow" ? ) .. pardon me. What I mean to say is, I think GRRM is poised to reveal Jon as his version of a wolf berserker or ulfheddin. Berserkers were "Odin's men" ... Jon is the old gods' man .. or if you prefer, Bloodraven's man. If this pans out, that would make Jon unique among his generation of Stark skinchangers, but I'm not entirely prepared to attribute it to his Targaryen blood (though that may provide a bit of augmentation). I say this because I suspect that some of the more implacable or fierce historic Starks may have shared this attribute, without any Targaryen connection at all. ( E.g., there are vague hints in the superstitious beliefs put forth by various characters about Robb. They must be tapping into some common myths.) But I think Jon's unique combination of Stark and Targaryen blood my be of vital importance when it comes to whether he will be a new version of The Last Hero. Here Jon's additional different magical component may hold the possibility of finishing what the Last Hero started - permanently defeating the Others instead of greatly weakening them or holding them in abeyance.
  12. bemused

    Lynesse Hightower Confusion

    Baelor has no children shown on the Hightower family tree. Here's the quote you're thinking of, from when Oberyn visits Tyrion in his cell (ASOS, Tyrion X) ... Tyrion means the children that Baelor and Elia might have had.. children that never came to be because Baelor's fart and Oberyn's mocking put an end to the proposed engagement. I agree that it would be consistent with what most Westerosi would think if leaving her husband and becoming a concubine / mistress was the most scandalous thing about the couple.. but surely Jorah running from a death sentence for selling people into slavery would be a bit more notorious. And given the well-known association between whores and sailors, sailors and whores, I think it's odd that a sea captain (not a septon, e.g.) should call her one in such a denigrating way.... As an example, from ADWD, The Ugly Little Girl... I would think the captain should be a bit more sanguine about it.
  13. bemused

    Lynesse Hightower Confusion

    Oh, I don't excuse Lynesse ... I've just come to have a bit more sympathy for her than I did at first reading. The lifestyle of the north would have been a terrible shock to her - even moreso , life on Bear Island, with it's history of being raided and fighting women. And if the marriage was agreed to by her father without any consideration for her comfort or feelings, it would have seemed to her a harsh life sentence. Looking at it from her pov, whether she messed up or not, and even if Lord Leyton wanted to bring her home... why would she want to return, if her father was likely to use her all over again in a different scheme? (He could probably have secured an annulment for her under the circumstances.) She has more control over her own destiny in Lys. And it seems that LL has come to think that she could be useful to her House in her current position as well. (Maybe she will.) I think they would still need someone present for important detail.... This seems to me to imply that Marwyn (or Leyton, or whoever) can see what is going on, but not hear what is being said, or glean insights into a character's thinking without another glass candle wielder at the other end. I think Marwyn is missing more than "some small parts" without Sam's input... or the "small parts" mean a lot to proper understanding. (More on Satin later - it's late, here and my eyes are drooping.) But regarding "of Oldtown" / Hightower - that comes straight from GRRM. I've cribbed the following quote from my earlier thread without doing a new search of the SSMs at this late hour, but it is still noted in the current wiki... Of course we also find the form (whozit of / from such-and-such a place) used in it's more common way throughout the books, but there is this exceptional use specific to Hightowers. While I'm not sure about Orland of Oldtown (he isn't mentioned often) he would be in an advantageous position in KL as royal harper and bard. Satin is identied as Satin of Oldtown and otherwise linked to Oldtown over and over and over again, as if it's being pounded into our heads.
  14. bemused

    Lynesse Hightower Confusion

    @Megorova Yes, I agree that Satin can't be Lynesse's son. I realised the timeline was all wrong way back when I first started focusing on Satin. Besides, among all the other hints that (in my mind) tie Satin to the Hightowers, his appearance has similarities to Baelor. (He of the impeccable reputation ) Back then, I hadn't really delved into what was going on with Lynesse's story. Later, when re-reading the exchange between Sam and the captain of the Huntress, etc. I began to think - if there are secrets around Baelor, the same could be true of Lynesse , and in fact, it would make more sense if she was somehow tarnished, than that she was suddenly smitten with Jorah. Then, considering the points made by @Widow's Watch we get into some very interesting territory. I have very strong doubts that Satin was ever a whore (especially if he's the son of Baelor, who has no legitimate children). He might actually be gay, who knows... he may actually read and write better than he lets on. If he's a Hightower he's under deep cover. The captain of the Huntress is actually pretty informative. We see that Lord Leyton deploys his offspring to specific responsibilities / positions. And they all seem to take on their tasks obediently. (Willingness may vary) If Lynesse was deployed to be Leyton's eyes on the North and perhaps on Jon specifically (depending on what Leyton and the Mad Maid know) ... then Jorah ruined that part of his plan. Orland of Oldtown ("of Oldtown" and "Hightower" can be used synonymously) may have provided some information when he was in Winterfell with Robert, but that couldn't last. Satin may be providing Leyton's next opportunity to have eyes and ears around Jon. Back to Lynesse - She may actually have done something to tarnish her reputation or there may have been rumours put about to provide cover for Leyton marrying her off to Jorah. There's a lot yet to be revealed about the Hightowers, and surely some of it will have to come soon (ahem..) in the next book.
  15. bemused

    Lynesse Hightower Confusion

    @Angel Eyes this topic is very interesting, I've thought a bit about it, but haven't posted at length about it anywhere, yet. You may find this a bit tinfoily, but I can't really shake these ideas out of my head. I know I'm not alone in suspecting that Lord Leyton was for some reason, desperate to marry off his daughter. It doesn't seem likely, as young as she was, as beautiful as she was, as accustomed to wealth as she was, that she would be attracted to the much older, more or less provincial (and uncomely) Jorah - that she would give Jorah her token to wear in the tourney. (Did no-one else ask ?) Nor does it seem likely that not only would she agree, but her father would agree the very night of the tourney that she would marry Jorah. (Were there no other suitors? That seems odd.. ) No-one could have thought that the simpler life of the north would suit Lynesse. The wiki would have it that she and Jorah married for love, and it's certain that Jorah did, but I doubt the same was true for Lynesse. I suspect that the motive on her father's part was that she would be far removed from Oldtown ... out of sight , out of mind (along with any transgressions she may have committed). This would not be totally unkind on his part. If there was some whiff of scandal about her, it would be better for her, too, if she was removed from the gossip mill. Long before I gave this topic any thought, I had come to suspect that Satin is actually a Hightower bastard - namely Baelor's ... I'll link to the archived thread below . On a later reread, I noticed this.. I always thought that was a bit harsh.. and peculiar. After all , Jorah brought exile on himself and took her off to Essos hiring himself out as a sellsword and leaving her alone for great stretches of time. We readers are acquainted with Jorah, and though we may think he was weak or foolish to involve himself in the slave trade.. we can still have some sympathy for him trying to keep Lynesse in the style she was accustomed to. But for someone from Oldtown, you would think there would rather be some harsh mention of Jorah for bringing a daughter of their Lord into disrepute. Why should the captain care if she left a condemned criminal for another man. And Lynesse had not become a whore (although she could have, easily, in Lys). A seafaring man (you would think) would have some understanding of the different social strata in foreign places. Lynesse is obviously in a position of some respect and power in the society she lives in. So to call her a whore is quite unreasonable... unless she had done something to invite the description before she married Jorah and left Oldtown. If "whore" was some thing that was whispered about her in Oldtown before she ever left, the captain's words would make more sense and So would Lord Leyton's actions in the whole affair of the tourney and her marriage. Perhaps as a teen , she was thought to be promiscuous ... perhaps there was a serious affair that had not been able to be hushed up entirely? Obviously, there must have been some reason that she couldn't appeal to her family to fetch her back from Essos while Jorah was away (I don't think money could have been the problem). Under a death sentence if he returned, there would have been nothing Jorah could do about it. There could be something to this... which brings me back to Satin. I think he's where he is as Lord Leyton's agent (? ... not sure that's exactly the right word ), but I think he's become loyal to Jon. Here's the link to my archived thread about Satin (Wrongly attributed to Ygrain due to a mod glitch, the OP begins at post #4)