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the trees have eyes

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  1. He specifically had Lysa write to Catelyn in secret alleging the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn. Given Jon Arryn fostered Ned it is extremely unlikely he expected Ned to forget or forgive this. This is exacerbated by him telling Catelyn that the dagger was Tyrion's, so making it seem that the Lannisters are now murdering Starks too. You could argue that he did not know Joffrey was illegitimate so was not aware that pointing the Starks and the Lannisters at each other would make his advice to Ned impossible for Ned to follow but I feel he must know Ned won't take it. Once Ned reveals Joffrey's infidelity I feel his advice is really meant to be ignored but is part of setting the trap. If he does bring the gold cloaks in on Ned's side Ned is in his debt and probably enough to offset any accusations of financial impropriety from Stannis and secure his position as a "true friend to Ned because Cat asked him to be". It's hard to see Ned honourable Stark turfing him out of office after that. So why doesn't he side with Ned? (He gains no reward from the Lannisters for this: only when Tyrion sends him to arrange Joffrey's marriage to Margaery Tyrell with the offer of Harrenhall as incentive does he get a tangible benefit from serving the Lannisters). I think we just have to accept that the author likes surprises - and they are major, pivotal moments in the series - and LF is a wild card that allows this to happen. But also, LF was never serious in his offer to Ned and always intended to betray him and his odd fascination with mini-Cat Sansa seems his motivation.
  2. Well, Arya isn't mad, Jon's father, Rhaegar, wasn't mad, Dany isn't mad and Jon himself isn't mad. None of them showed or show any signs of madness. Dany's brother and father did - and quite obviously so - but that just highlights the contrast. Have Arya, Dany and Jon made difficult decisions, sometimes poor decisions and sometimes out of anger that we either disagree with or are troubled by? Yes. Which ones and how much is up to the reader. Have they done anything to indicate the onset of madness? No. But it's an easy way to register dislike of a character or goad other forum users which seems a bit silly really.
  3. Jaime comes to the conclusion that Joffrey hired the catspaw. Tyrion comes to this conclusion too. They reach these conclusions independent of each other, i.e. without conferring. I thought my meaning was clear. Hopefully this helps.
  4. Don't forget Jaime comes to the same conclusion independently. It's to reinforce Tyrion's realisation. A Storm of Swords - Jaime IX Robert? Jaime had guarded the king long enough to know that Robert Baratheon said things in his cups that he would have denied angrily the next day. "Were you alone when Robert said this?" "You don't think he said it to Ned Stark, I hope? Of course we were alone. Us and the children." Cersei removed her hairnet and draped it over a bedpost, then shook out her golden curls. "Perhaps Myrcella sent this man with the dagger, do you think so?" It was meant as mockery, but she'd cut right to the heart of it, Jaime saw at once. "Not Myrcella. Joffrey." If the assassin left no dagger there would be no clue to follow or for LF to lie to Cat about setting up the whole catnapping. It's the author who intends the dagger to be found as he intends the assassination to fail to set the storyline of AGOT in motion.
  5. In your opinion. Many people find the text quite clear. The reason the "privileged information" is quoted is to show the conspiracists what GRRM told people in advance he would do. If you're still not happy then, sure, Go right ahead. But "while you wait" I have to warn you you are doing yourself a disservice
  6. He didn't plan it, he just hired someone, that's pretty easy to do, no master plan required. The arson was simply the assassin's idea to draw the guards away. Joff is not a pleasant character, that's pretty clear. What part of his conduct in AGOT, ACOK and ASOS makes you think he would baulk at ordering someone killed? Unfortunately I feel you won't ever be satisfied because I think you just don't like what the author wrote. You try very hard to find reasons to reject both what is presented in text as the solution and the response the author gave to several readers at the time who were asking about the mystery and telling them when he would resolve it. For the vast majority of people this was a puzzle that was solved over 20 years ago and you have both in book and out of book confirmation of this. We all come from different places in reading and assessing the text and a lot of people who are bemused by you flogging this dead horse read this story and had this mystery resolved over 20 years ago. GRRM's point about how people would come up with ideas they liked more than what he wrote is bang on the money here and it seems some people just can't let go. Please don't take this too critically but I feel you show the place you are coming from and your (un)conscious motivation here: I understand that ASOIAF is rich in detail and plot twists and mysteries and that people gain a great deal of enjoyment in theory-crafting and looking for hidden elements. But the wish to find a killer theory, inspired perhaps by the example of a content creator, might skew your reading. Everyone is partial to their own creations and theories on this forum are often defended with a parent's tenacity but this whole thing was tied up long ago. It may be new and fresh for you and it must be annoying to have people tell you it's done and dusted when you are just beginning to explore it but please look at it the other way round: some of us really don't get why this is being unearthed after so long. Mance was not fleshed out by the author until after he had closed this out. It might look like you can project things on to Mance but this is projection not the author's intent. I don't know if GRRM still answers readers' questions but I think the only way for you to get the comfort you want is to ask him directly rather than asking for someone to provide you with a "watertight" quote. Then again I don't know how he would feel about being asked over 20 years on to confirm something he already has but in a specific form of words given to him by you so you couldn't dismiss his answer as evasive.
  7. I feel that taxing trade across the only bridge over a river for hundreds of miles is not a specialist business skill or an operation that only the Freys could manage. The Freys are married into multiple Riverland Houses and many in the Westerlands and elsewhere, how not when Walder had dozens of children, grand- and great-grandchildren? The spouses and children of these unions will suffer no consequences but the Freys will be disinherited and the adult males involved in The Red Wedding will face capital punishment, either formally or in revenge killings (BwB, Manderly, GreatJon Umber, etc, etc). Like the Boltons it's hard to see how they would ever be trusted again and Houses do fail or fall: Gardener, Whent, Durrandon and so on.
  8. Can I ask you to look at it the other way: what in anything in ASOS makes it look like GRRM is revealing either Mance or Cersei as the culprit? It's clear that he is pointing to Joffrey but he uses character povs not an omniscient narrator so how could he point to Joffrey except through other character povs?
  9. Because I don't support your pet theory pulled out of thin air? It's a silly accusation to make to someone who doesn't agree with your unestablished musings. The Trouble on The Trident is one of the key scenes in the development of AGOT and it's a pity that you try and replace it with your own version. It's pretty slippery to try and position yourself as the author's champion and defender while doing this so that any criticism of you is presented as rejection or undermining of GRRM. That's sly and the problem of course is your theory not GRRM's story. Don't hand wave this away. Ned wants to get his children out of KL so they are safe and he fully understands the danger they are in yet he posts no guards. On The Trident when there is no appreciable danger he allows both his daughters to go off without guards yet at KL you say Nothing unusual there when they are in grave danger. For Arya on The Trident you don't bat an eye-lid. You can't have it both ways. Either they should be surrounded by guards at all times or the author presents situations in which they are not to allow the story to flow and to write scenes he wants - Bran's "fall", Sansa's "betrayal", Syrio's sacrifice and of course, The Trouble on The Trident. The "evidence" I am proposing is simply how the author writes his scenes and how he puts children in positions without any adult supervision. The only reason you consider this particular scene any different is your own internal dislike of some of the author's decisions leading to an alternate theory. Is this meant to be your clinching argument? Is it really so hard to see that there is not expected to be any danger and Joffrey is arrogant enough to dismiss Sandor and to try and impress Sansa out of ego? If he really intended to kill her why did he get drunk or approach people who might be witnesses rather than trying to avoid them as Sansa asked him to? Look at it without your theory-tinted goggles on What if Joffrey is captured by outlaws who demand a king's ransom? He and Cersei look pretty stupid then, don't they? So much for the master plan.
  10. What parts of Europe? I must be slow today but what's a half-uncle? If your parent has a half-brother they are still your uncle in terms of blood ties. Do we mean step-uncle? What cultures practiced this kind of incest? The ancient Egyptians practiced sibling incest but only because Pharaoh was considered divine and that's all I can think of. In the absence of anything to the contrary saying the Tullys practice or approve of incestuous marriages or that Edmure has become LF with a fascination for Cat and / or Sansa or that Hoster "probably" wanted this I'm going to say a hard no. Edmure and Cat both married and one of their children (Hoster's grandchildren) will inherit Riverrun without any intermarriage.
  11. It's really straightforward and "evidence" of nothing that you're pushing. GRRM needs Sansa and Joffrey to encounter Arya and Mycah far enough away from any adult supervision for the scene he wants to show to play out how he wants. I'm bemused anyone could complicate this. Oh, I give him tons of credit, I'm a big fan. It's the implausible conspiracy theorists and fantasists who leave me bemused. Authorial devices to advance the plot? It's what writing is!!!! So Bran happens to be an agile climber, despite being seven (?) and just happens to come upon Jaime and Cersei in a compromising position in a pretty much abandoned part of the castle and just happens to be stood in an open window five stories up for Jaime to push him with no one around to see? Ned, despite knowing of the danger he and his family are in (and planning to get his daughters away from KL) nonetheless puts no guards around them? It's to allow Sansa to sneak out and get kidnapped and Syrio to buy time for Arya's escape and GRRM the opportunity to showcase Syrio's heroic sacrifice. Or Tyrion happens to blunder into The Inn at The Crossroads with only one servant allowing Catelyn to kidnap him? Or Arya briefly leaving The Hollow Hill only to run straight into Sandor and get kidnapped by him? GRRM shows the scenes he wants to and develops the story the way he has chosen and that requires putting individuals in precarious or isolated positions. It's simply how writing works, I really don't see what is so hard to follow here. What is less plausible about Joffrey and Sansa going riding than any of these other examples? What is implausible about Joffrey and Sansa going riding at all? He simply wants them to encounter Arya and Mycah in isolation. Plausible to you, now? Well, that's up to you. How does it go: "Die on this hill, if you want"? Say what? You must have noticed that AGOT, ACOK and ASOS did not take ten years to write.... It's precisely because he didn't waste any time with elaborate and extravagant plot points to get Bran alone with Jaime and Cersei, or Arya and Sansa unguarded in The Red Keep, or Bran and Catelyn alone with an assassin that provokes the conspiracy theorists into picking holes in it and positing double bluffs or elaborate alternatives. And it's breath-taking that you wave away his lead in to The Trouble on the Trident incident by dismissing this as a scenario made up out of thin air when this is exactly what you are doing in your counter-argument! That's truly remarkable.
  12. I am talking about how one or two people push the idea that LF was behind the attempt to kill Bran. I quite agree with you on this point as it happens. I'm just equally sceptical of the textually unsupported idea that Mance was behind it. It's as much a reader substitution as LF for the culprit revealed by the author, namely Joffrey. Not at all. If the assassin succeeded it would never be found. And finding it doesn't point to anyone on it's own, it just makes it clear that someone took it from the king's armoury. When would anyone notice it was gone and if the assassin was successful who could possibly join up the dots months later? Only Catelyn's meltdown and refusal to leave Bran's side for any reason and the intervention of a direwolf save Bran, neither of which could be foreseen by the assassin. We see his surprise in story. You only discount this as it doesn't fit your theory and need to argue that the blade was meant to be found. There is no reason to suppose it was. Like the guy who claims Joffrey meant to kill Sansa on The Trident you are overlooking the fact that the assassin and the dagger are an authorial device to move the story forward by launching Catelyn off to KL to warn Ned that Bran's fall was not an accident and that the Lannisters are trying to kill him because he must know something damaging to them. It's part of upping the ante in the Stark-Lannister conflict and pivotal in the drift to war. The dagger was not meant to be found or the assassination fail by the person behind it but both were by the author to drive the story forward. It's tradecraft. Some people find this clumsy or unsatisfactory and look for alternatives but the author said he'd wrap up the mystery in ASOS and he did so why are we here? Mance? He's not even a character in AGOT. Well that's me warned for my disservice to myself . What is it about people with pet theories and their need to tell other people that until they drink the kool-aid they are missing out on the "truth". I'll file your warning with those about Dany not being a Targaryen, Old Nan being the three-eyed crow, the poison being in the pie, Howland Reed being The High Septon and more than I wish to recount. You have a particular interpretation that is not well-supported in the text or by the author's own interview comments on the matter and you're attached to it because it's your thing so you're welcome to it but you won't find many people to agree with you. Some, sure, but not many. So enjoy your head cannon but don't be surprised if other people don't agree. And it's better to keep warnings and ruminations on handwaving and disservice to yourself, they don't add anything to a post other than pique.
  13. This is your smoking gun? The reason they are unaccompanied is an authorial device so the Joffrey - Arya conflict can happen without adult witnesses or intervention. Joffrey is just showing off and Sansa is attempting to please him by going despite not liking riding. They have to go riding otherwise they are in camp surrounded by adults and, as GRRM is pointing them at Arya and Mycah practicing swordplay far enough from camp to avoid notice, that encounter can't happen at all if they don't ride out and can't happen the way he wants if they are accompanied by guards (Ned's for Sansa, Robert's or The Hound for Joffrey). This is all pretty obvious. Clear as day a set-up? Yes, but for Joffrey and Arya to cause trouble on The Trident. For Joffrey to kill Sansa? Good lord, no. Not dramatic enough or even particularly satisfying? I can see why people don't like it for those reasons but that's no reason to dismiss what we're presented with. Depends what you mean by relevant. It revealed how long LF had been plotting and how long Lysa had been his accomplice. It also got her killed when she divulged his secret which gives Sansa an axe over his head should she ever be in a position to use it. And it shows us how ruthless and cynical he is. Pretty relevant imo. But he already has. And Cersei? She gave Jaime grief for throwing Bran out the window when she planned to simply frighten him into silence. She has been a pov character and revealed her childhood murder of Melara Hetherspoon. We've had retrospectives from her pov to inform us about her character even in youth. There's no reason not for her to have reflected on trying to kill Bran and no story impact from her having tried to do so. This just replaces LF with Mance as the master of chaos. I leave that to Preston Jacobs. Mance was digging for The Horn of Joramun to bring The Wall down if needed. The fire in the library tower was just a distraction to pull the guards from Bran's room. I imagine it would impact his already complicated relationship quite severely but you could pull any name out of a hat and say the same thing. I don't take Mance for a child killer but why advertise to Jon that he had been to WF when the royal party was there if he was behind the plot to kill Bran? That's LF style boasting/taunting of someone who you wronged but is ignorant of it (Ned). That doesn't feel like Mance. As with all these alternative theories, we are talking about an event early in Book One that the author said would be addressed in Book Three and was. Some people don't like how it was addressed but it is what he planned and wrote.
  14. But it is resolved. It's like the "Dany isn't a real Targaryen because of the lemon tree" argument - a vague feeling of dissatisfaction with one anecdotal circumstance turns things on their head. The identity of Jon Arryn's killer was deliberately confused by LF and Lysa lying and leaving a false trail. In contrast both Jaime and Tyrion independently come to the conclusion that it was Joffrey and when Tyrion makes a veiled insinuation to Joffrey he reacts uneasily. Maybe that's not watertight or clear enough for some people but it's how the author chose to show it without the smoking gun of a confession like from Lysa (show don't tell). What relevance does a presumed third party assassination have to the plot now?
  15. Still no. His actions afterwards hardly bear this out. He was just showing off. And he can't take his drink (unsurprising as he's a teenager), something we see again at his wedding. Under the influence his true character emerges - arrogant and cruel.
  16. Erm, no. Indeed. He's said that the readership have had plenty of time to come up with solutions to mysteries that they find more satisfying than his own plot resolutions. This is a prime example. It's a little underwhelming but actually better than LF being some evil genius behind everything bad or destabilising that happens in Westeros. There are plenty of other actors spreading chaos or conflict for their own reasons - Balon, Euron, Theon, Roose, Ramsay, Walder Frey, Doran, Arianne, Cersei, and in this case Joffrey.
  17. I get this is your view. It's all conjecture. You pose no credible reason for Colemon, who served the Arryns long before LF was appointed, to acquiesce in poisoning Robert. Sansa knows LF has had Colemon prescribe sweetsleep to Robert. There is no mystery that Colemon needs to keep hidden. We all know LF has Colemon administer sweetsleep. The point is that Colemon prescribes it as a powerful medicine with side effects and sometimes against his better judgment due to the danger of cumulative dosage not as some moustache-twirling dastardly act for no discernible reason. There is simply no reason for Colemon to panic at Sansa proposing more sweetsleep as he can simply say he's already given him a dose to get him down the mountain You're being pedantic over vitamins but never mind. The equivalent in Westeros would be herbal remedies or tinctures added to his milk - if indeed anything is added at all. It's equally possible he finds milk other than Lysa's breast milk different or unpleasant. These are simple and obvious answers to why he finds the milk tastes "vile", Are you serious?
  18. If this is the case then the whole scene with Alayne telling Colemon to give him sweetsleep because her Lord Father would want it and him objecting doesn't work. He would simply say LF had foreseen the problem of getting Robert down the mountain and he had already administered a dose on LF's orders. Maesters control the ravens. I do think Colemon is weak but if he was ordered by LF to do this he could send a bird to KL - or more likely every Arryn loyalist in The Vale - and then LF is toast. Also, LF is more careful than to implicate himself like this. But what is Colemon's motive for wishing Robert dead? Plus he is making himself an accessory to murder and the holder of a dangerous secret that would likely see him killed in short order to protect it. Could be vitamin supplements or anything. Health supplements and a lot of medicines are known to taste odd and children to complain that medicine tastes horrid. Don't forget that Lysa was still breast feeding Robert until recently (we saw that in Catelyn's visit to The Eyrie in AGOT) so any milk he is now provided with will taste different or odd or "vile".
  19. It's really not. I don't see why it's so hard to accept that Alayne has influence because of her status as LF's "daughter" and that Colemon has a conversation with her and follows her wishes in a way he would not otherwise do. The position you have taken is only necessary if you argue Robert is being deliberately poisoned and are determined to blame Colemon and defend Sansa. As I don't think he's being deliberately poisoned by either Colemon or Sansa I don't have this constraint and can say that 1) Colemon is prescribing medicine but is concerned about the frequency of the dose but is being influenced by LF (and Sansa ONCE) and 2) Sansa has an ambiguity about her thoughts in the Alayne persona, deliberately created by GRRM, but I do not believe she will harm Robert knowingly. The only person who wants Robert Arryn out of the way is LF and not until he has secured another means of holding on to power. Guilt as to what? Jeopardising Robert's long term health? Possibly but Robert is given to fits and is sickly so his long term health is poor. If he continues to administer doses beyond what is safe that result in lasting harm or fatality then absolutely, yes, he will be guilty. But of medical malpractice or murder? Medicines do come with risks - any prescription medicine will summarise them. The amount of medicine / the dosage and frequency of treatment depend on the individual, there is always judgment involved however much people like to think of these issues as black and white. Also, a maester is not a physician in out sense - the links they forge in their chain at The Citadel cover many areas - and Colemon advises on politics as much as provides medical services. He advises / serves the Lord of The Vale and does not have final say over Robert's treatment. Even in our system medical experts advise governments who make policy (e.g. the debate over COVID lockdowns). If LF pressures him to administer hemlock and he does then he's guilty. But if LF pressures him to administer slightly more swseetsleep than he thinks safe it becomes a judgment call.
  20. An odd comparison. A serving maid would have kept her mouth shut and would not have dared interfere. A serving maid would not have referenced Lord Petyr's wishes to overcome the objections of the maester (her social superior). A serving maid would have known and kept in her place. But then, Alayne is no serving maid and does not act like one.
  21. I agree with the first part, but sweetsleep is a medicinal remedy and it's use in moderation is legitimate. No one is telling Colemon to poison Robert Arryn, they are telling him to up the morphine/ steroids to keep Robert stable and he is going along under protest because it's dangerous. Colemon understands the long term risks versus the short term benefit better than anyone. He is concerned that LF is relying on sweetsleep to keep Robert stable and that this is unsustainable. Medicines have side effects, something we know well, and this is what Colemon is wrestling particularly as he does not have full prescribing authority as a modern doctor would and political considerations are trumping purely medical ones. Neither Colemon nor Sansa is trying to kill Robert. She doesn't have to. She expresses LF's wishes. You put the quote in yourself. My comment was in response to @Springwatch saying Sansa has no authority over Colemon. She does if she says what her father would want and people decide to listen. The only reason a maester is having this conversation with and taking instruction from a 12/13 year old girl is because of who her "father" is.
  22. Colemon is a fairly weak character and quite realistic for it. Not everyone can stand up to authority on points of principle and we are looking at a hierarchical society. There is a justifiable reason for LF to have Colemon administer sweetsleep to Robert so, despite his warnings about repeated doses being dangerous, there is no reason for him to suspect malicious intentions on LF's part (indeed LF needs Robert alive to exercise authority in his name). Colemon serves The Lord of The Eyrie which, with Robert a minor, means counselling but also obeying Lord Protector Petyr Baelish. Alayne, as the "daughter" of the Lord Protector, doesn't need an official position to influence Colemon, she has considerable clout, if only by threatening to tell LF that Colemon is disobeying him or not taking care of Lord Robert's image with his bannermen. It's like the boss's child being an intern - ignoring them when they speak in their parent's name could make your life very difficult.
  23. I think what Sansa is doing here is trying to act like a Lord/Lady and guard against the obviously negative impact on Robert Arryn's image among his bannermen of all the shaking fits. Colemon is in her view acting purely like a doctor without any considerations of politics or leadership (i.e. medical establishment vs political establishment over how to respond to COVID). You're right that she's playing along with being Alayne for self-preservation but a temporary coincidence of interests with LF doesn't make their larger concerns the same. LF, if he is too be believed (always dubious proposition), expects Robert Arryn to die so is indifferent to his fate and is already moving onto Plan B of having Alayne marry Harry the Heir (the likely victim of an unfortunate accident) to allow him to retain his influence. Sansa doesn't want any of that but she does want to remain safe and is as trapped as she was in KL, more so with the accusation of regicide hanging over her, so it's unclear how things will pan out. On one side you have her faulty memory, the development of the Alayne persona, LF's active manipulation / tutelage and her natural desire for self-preservation; on the other her natural empathy, her desire to be the opposite of Cersei and her Stark values and identity. For me the emergence of Sansa on the ice bridge with the wind howling like a wolf while she did something brave to help Robert Arryn is a subtle moment within a key scene that shows how she will act or react unconsciously at pivotal moments.
  24. This. Everything else she said to Theon was to distract from this though there is a lot of exposition to the reader in what she says. How much we should believe is an open question but it seems likely she resented Brandon, felt slighted by Ned not returning her husband's bones so is not a Stark loyalist - she sent as few men south when Robb called his banners as she could. But with 1) Domeric's murder being unpunished and 2) the general slaughter of The Red Wedding including Dustin men I think she has realised both Roose and Ramsay are much worse. She tells one of the Freys that "The North remembers" which suggests that blood shed by the Boltons outweighs slights given by the Starks.
  25. Whatever Cersei's view of Tyrion the decision-maker in what happens is Tywin. So if LF genuinely thought he could frame Tyrion he would have to make the calculation that Tywin would use it as an opportunity to disinherit Tyrion and get him safely out of the way (The Wall) while having Jaime released from The KG, married and recognised as his heir. That's not an impossible bet to make but it's more likely he was just planning to create chaos and exploit it however the cards fell. Choking is the likely reason for Joffrey's death but both Tyrion and Oberyn Martell are possible scapegoats if anyone suspects foul play.
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