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three-eyed monkey

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  • Spanker of one-eyed monkey.
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    The art of story-telling.

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  1. Come on now. Do you really think that's the only reason Jon wants Stannis to win? Because Stannis came to the defense of the Wall? Do you think it has nothing to do with Robb, the Red wedding, Arya, etc? Jon does not like the idea of Stannis giving Winterfell to a Karstark because they abandoned his brother amongst his enemies. After Stannis defeated Mance he resumed his campaign for the Iron Throne. In fact I would say it's the very reason Stannis came north to defend the Wall, to get himself back into the war for the throne after his defeat on the Blackwater. I disagree that it's a way of avoiding moral responsibility. The Watch are sworn to defend the realm of men. That realm has changed through the millennia, from the kingdoms of the First Men, through the arrival of the Andals and the dragons, but the Watch have always stuck to their duty to defend the realm and not become involved in the internal wars of the realm. So I would argue, based on what Maester Aemon said, that it is a way of sticking to their duty and staying true to their oaths. That day when it is not so easy, when he must choose, came for Jon as Aemon said it would. When Ned and Robb died Jon was conflicted, sure, but he stayed at the Wall. Exactly my point. It's not just Jon but also Bowen and company who have failed to stay true to their sworn purpose. Both parties are choosing sides in the war for the realm. They are picking different sides, Jon choosing Stannis and Bowen choosing Tommen, a conflict that came to a head in Jon XIII, ADwD, when Jon chose to ride against Ramsay and Bowen chose to stop him for fear the Watch would be branded traitors by King Tommen. Therefore, the Watch is no longer true. Old Nan tells Bran that the Others cannot pass the Wall so long as the men of the Night's Watch stay true. I think she is right, again. So I suspect the "spell" that wards the Wall, which is the Watch oath in my opinion, is now broken and the Others can pass the Wall. As Ned says, a wall is only as good as the men who defend it.
  2. The thing about a Weirwood brooch is that it can represent the free folk but also the North. As such it is a symbol that unifies both cultures. My instinct about this gift from Dalla to Val, although I can't prove it, is that it was given when Mance first introduced the two girls. When Dalla left the Last Heart to go north with Mance, she knew she would be meeting a lost Umber, and so she brought a gift for the occasion. White breeches, boots, cloak, and tunic. White being a color that is symbolic of peace and harmony, which is further emphasized by the fact that Val would rather not stain the outfit with blood.
  3. I would still argue that giving advise to assist another party to achieve their objective is taking part. Not giving advice is not taking part. Edit: I should also add that it's not just advice. He shared intelligence when he sent the letter about pending Karstark treachery, and he gave the green light to Mance's mission. Sorry, but I just don't buy the suggestion that Jon was not taking part. And I don't think Jon buys it either. He's conflicted on the matter, but he progresses towards taking part through Dance.
  4. I agree that they came to judge Jon for themselves. I don't think it is because Stannis wanted to name Jon as Lord of Winterfell but rather that he was Robb's heir. This was one of the points back in the day when the Grand Northern Conspiracy theory was being put together shortly after the release of Dance. I'm still of the belief that the intention to crown Jon and return Winterfell and the North to the Starks goes well beyond White Harbor. In fact I think most of the North are involved in the plan. Certainly Crowfood and Whorsebane Umber. Definitely Bear Island too. The Northern Clans. And of course, Lady Barbery. I accept you can make it work for Mance's first trip to Winterfell, with explanations like the one you have given above, but I'm still not convinced. Why would the Lord Commander, who I agree would probably be stationed at Castle Black, request someone to come from the Shadow Tower to escort him to Winterfell? A simpler explanation might be that Mance was stationed at Castle Black at the time, and then later was stationed at the Shadow Tower. Or perhaps our assumption that the Lord Commander was stationed at Castle Black is wrong and he was at the Shadow Tower. Mance told Jon he met Dalla on his return from Winterfell and that she is blameless when it comes to him deserting the Watch. He also told Jon the story about the Shadowcat, implying that the unnamed woman who nursed him was part of the reason he left the Watch for a place where a kiss was not a crime. These two stories don't tally if Dalla is that woman, as you claim. The second trip makes far more sense to me. It also makes more sense to me that Val, not Dalla, was the woman who nursed Mance and mended his cloak. Yes, if he's returning to the Shadow Tower and he met Dalla on the first trip. However, we get clues that Mance traveled through Umber lands the second time. Raiders have been coming across the Bay of Seals for centuries. Mance tells Jon he could send an army across the Bay of Seals and take Eastwatch from the south. Mance says he knows hidey-holes east of Long Lake, and he has used them from time to time. That's Umber lands. And again, I think "stealing" a bride in wildling tradition is far more likely to have been done when he was King-beyond-the-Wall and not a brother of the Watch in the company of his Lord Commander. Both scenarios are possible but I think the later is far more probable.
  5. Jon is being accused of sending Mance to steal the Lord of Winterfell's bride. Jon agreed to send Mance to find Arya, who he thought was a girl on a horse fleeing from a wedding. The next he hears of this is the pink letter, where "Ramsay" accuses Jon of sending Mance and spearwives to steal his bride. Tormund says it might be a lie, but Jon replies - no, there is some truth here - and then thinks to himself - Ramsay knows about Mance. Note that Jon thinks but does not say, He knows about Mance. So Jon knows this is not an unprovoked threat from Ramsay because, according to the letter, Ramsay has proof in the form of captured Mance that Jon acted against him. Self-defence is justified, but it is hard to claim self-defence if you are the one who initiated the conflict. My point is Jon says it is not for the Watch to avenge Stannis or oppose Ramsay. The reason Jon gives is that he is going to make Ramsay answer for his words and he will not ask his brothers to come with him, as that would constitute forswearing their vows. The letter is purposefully constructed so that Jon can't comply. The person who really wrote the letter has Theon and fArya and knows Jon cannot comply. But that's a separate issue. As to your second point. You are ignoring that Jon was the one who gave Mel and Mance the green light. He sent Ed to get the women Mance needed for his ploy. Jon's actions are guided by what he thinks, and he thinks he's been caught sending Mance to get Arya. Ramsay's threatened to cut Jon's heart out and those are the words Jon says he is going to make Ramsay answer for. But what he is not telling the shield hall is that he was party to Mance's mission to find Arya. It is not an unprovoked threat from Ramsay. Jon is the Lord Commander of the Watch, therefore part of the Watch. He's being trying to keep his oath, but he is caught between his love for Arya and his duty. This is his internal conflict. This is the day, as Aemon said, when it is not so easy to be honorable and do your duty. The day every man must choose. The men of the Watch had no sons but they had mothers and fathers and sisters, and when the Andals invaded or dragons invaded and killed their families, they took no part. Yes it is, and that is what the real author of the pink letter is hoping Jon will do. I would argue that advice is taking part. Before the US sent it's troops to Vietnam it had military advisors there. Many people would argue that this was when the US started to take part in Vietnam. I'm not interested in debating the politics or the right and wrong of this situation, I'm just using it as an example. In Jon's case it's more than advice though. It's not a reason he gives for marching on Winterfell, but it is central to the decision. I agree that Cersei is not justified in thinking Jon is a traitor to the realm, because as readers we know Jon and understand he wants to protect the realm, etc. But it is characters, not readers, who drive the story. He wanted to protect Arya, naturally, but it is his vows that prevented him acting overtly. That's why he tried to do both, keep his vows but at the same time help Stannis defeat the Boltons. And agree to send "Rattleshirt", who he knew was really Mance, to find his sister.
  6. The Watch take no part. This is why Castle Black can only be defended from the north. Their duty is to defend the realm from the threat from beyond the Wall, and not become involved in the internal wars of the realm. Aemon explains this and why this is in the passage I quoted above. Jon understands what Aemon told him. He says it is not for the Watch to avenge Stannis or oppose Ramsay. As such, Jon should comply with the demands in the letter and get on with defending the realm. However, Jon has decided that he will make Ramsay answer for his words (even though they are not Ramsay's words, but that is beside the point). Jon knows this could well constitute forswearing his vows and that's why he looks for swords amongst the wildlings rather than his sworn brothers. Certainly if Ramsay attacked Castle Black, then naturally the Watch would be expected to defend themselves against the attack, but theoretically this should not occur if the Watch take no part as Ramsay would have no reason to attack Castle Black. If the Watch take no part and Ramsay attacks unprovoked, then the act of aggression is on Ramsay's part and the Watch would be fully justified in defending themselves. Stannis answered the call against the wildlings, and if Stannis is there to defend the realm from further threats from beyond the Wall, then fine. Jon is justified in accommodating Stannis and his army. However, Stannis has another agenda too. Having defeated Mance, Stannis resumed his campaign for the Iron Throne, the first step of which is winning the North. The Watch should take no part in that, but Jon has repeatedly assisted Stannis in this matter. Advice about attacking the Dreadfort, or recruiting the northern clans to his cause. Informing Stannis that Arnulf Karstark is going to betray him. Jon clearly wants Stannis to win against the Boltons. Jon could accept Stannis' offer, and he considered it plenty, but he always resisted the offer and upheld his vows much to Stannis' frustration. He was caught in a hard place between Winterfell and the Watch, family and duty, which is what Aemon warned him of, and felt he needed to choose duty. This is the central conflict Jon faced all through Dance, until he finally caved in when the pink letter came. Protecting Arya was a large part of his motive, but also the fact that he though Stannis was defeated and therefore his proxy war had ended, meaning he now had to fight the war against Ramsay overtly. Objectively, I agree. Jon made this case in his letter to King's Landing. But from Cersei's point of view Jon is assisting her enemy. Bowen did have a choice. There comes a day when every man must choose, as Aemon said, and Bowen chose to take a side rather than take no part. If Jon did nothing to move against the Bolton's then Stannis would have marched on the Dreadfort with his small army and whatever happened would have been no concern to Jon. That is not the case though. I agree with you that the demands cannot and should not be met. This is part of the point. Honor is doing the right thing, not necessarily sticking to your duty for as we know there are many good men, like Barristan, sworn to bad causes like Aerys. And Jon always strives to do the right thing, and he strives to keep his oath, but sometimes these things come into conflict and that is the conflict he must learn to resolve. I'm not dumping on Jon, or Bowen for that matter, I'm just explaining from my perspective how and why the characters find themselves in such a predicament.
  7. It is perfectly feasible that Mance and Dalla chose not to have a child for 10 years or indeed they had children that did not survive. But it is equally feasible that they had a child soon after being married. So this point is a stalemate really. However, first time to Winterfell Mance was a brother of the Watch, traveling with the Lord Commander. We need a rather convoluted explanation to account for this, such as Mance just met Dalla on his way back to the Wall. Then he returned to the Shadow Tower. Went ranging and had the encounter with the shadowcat north of the Wall, was nursed back to health and had his cloak sewn, was told to burn the cloak on his return to the Shadow Tower, left the Watch for a place where a kiss was not a crime and a man could wear whatever cloak he chose, (a clear reference to the woman who nursed him back to health north of the Wall), but went to find Dalla instead, who presumably lived somewhere south of the Wall. Second time he was the king of the free folk, traveling by himself disguised as a bard, and it is the free folk tradition to "steal" wives. Even if you don't believe Dalla is an Umber, meeting her on the second trip just makes much more sense in my opinion. I agree, and I think we are meant to assume he met her somewhere north of the Wall on his return after the second trip. This is what I believed for some time. I took the bait. But the more I thought about Mance, his affinity for Bael, and his plan beyond getting past the Wall, I started to change my mind. This is an important point. Val and Dalla identify as free folk, so how could they be Umbers? Val first. If she is Crowfood's grand-daughter then she was born north of the Wall after her mother was stolen as a wife 30 years ago and therefore has been a woman of the free folk all her life. However there is a clue that she may have southron origins, or should I say a southron high born mother. Val says "my lord" not "m'lord." Roose explained the difference to Theon. I think this must come from her mother. Not conclusive but I do feel it's a hint. Dalla says "we free folk" which suggests she is what she seems, a wildling woman. I take your point that she might have embraced the culture after a period of time. However, it might have been rather quick. I feel we get a clue to this in a conversation between Jon and Mance, shortly after Jon had turned his cloak, regarding the Fist of the First Men. Jon quickly learns what side of the us and them divide he needs to be on around Mance. Dalla is the wife of the King-beyond-the-Wall. I think she knows what side of the divide she is on too. To her the free folk are "we" and the kneelers are them. The following is speculation, I admit, but it is based on my firm belief that Mance must have had some plan on how to keep the free folk south of the Wall if ever he got that far. He's a peace-maker and a peaceful solution would be most desirable, given that he feels the free folk have bled enough already. And peaceful solutions require opening a dialogue between enemies. It's a bold move but no one ever named Mance fainthearted, according to Qhorin. We see on his third trip to Winterfell that he is certainly ballsy. I think Dalla was completely on-board with Mance from day one. I don't think she was taken from the Last Hearth against her will. Mance is a charming guy. I doubt too many people with his charisma visit the Last Hearth, and I suspect she was smitten by the singer. If Mance took the opportunity to open discussions with Greatjon under the protection of guest right, proposing the possibility of peace between free folk and Umbers as future neighbors, I imagine Greatjon probably shot the idea down due to the centuries of hatred between both parties. One of the cards Mance might have played is Val; he'd be returning with Crowfood's grand-daughter when he comes south. This might have sweetened the deal somewhat, but probably not enough. In fact it probably enraged Crowfood into wanting Mance's head though guest right would have protected him for the night at least. However, I think Mance did find one sympathetic ear in Greatjon's hall. His daughter, similar in ways to Davos in the court of Wyman Manderly. I think Dalla believed in Mance's plan, and eloped with him willingly that night. I accept this is very possible, but if she is just a random wildling woman, then I still struggle to see her purpose or that of her son to the story?
  8. Jon and Bowen are both in the wrong here. The key point is that the Watch take no part in the wars of the Seven Kingdoms. Jon himself accepts that he is about to forswear his vows. But Bowen is equally guilty, although it's perhaps not quite as obvious. Bowen is concerned about the Watch being labelled traitors to the Iron Throne for aiding Stannis. So Bowen is actually advocating taking part in the war between Stannis and the Iron Throne, by insisting that the Watch choose a side, and not the losing side who he sees as Stannis. In other words, Bowen is in favor of siding with the crown against the rebel Stannis, which is taking part. Jon insists that he is not choosing sides, but that's not really true as he is clearly waging a proxy war against the Bolton's through Stannis when he assists Stannis in several aspects of his campaign. We can trace the Iron Throne's concern about Jon and Stannis back to a small council meeting with Cersei. So Cersei's council see Jon as a traitor. Ser Harys Swyft, who was Hand at the time, suggests the Watch must remove Jon. Pycelle proposes informing Castle Black that the Watch must remove their Lord Commander or else... Cersei prefers a different course of action, however, and jumps on Qyburn's idea. Cersei tells the council to leave it to her, and in what she believes to be a Tywin moment, concocts a plan to kill two birds with one stone. Osney Kettleblack will confess to sleeping with Margery, he'll then take the black for his crimes, and kill Jon when he gets to the Wall. But this plan backfires when the High Sparrow breaks Kettleblack and Cersei is imprisoned. Later, Qyburn visits Cersei in her cell and tells her that he has been removed from the small council and Swyft and Pycelle have been running the realm in her absence. The implication of this is that Swyft and Pycelle's preferred method of dealing with the Jon Snow situation, which was declaring Jon a traitor and informing Castle Black that he must be removed is the way the council went in Cersei and Qyburn's absence. By informing Castle Black, they most likely mean Bowen Marsh, who is a senior officer of the Watch. So Bowen, under pressure from King's Landing, has no choice but move against Jon when the Pink Letter arrives and Jon outlines his intentions. Again, this is taking a side. The bottom line is that both Jon and Bowen have allowed themselves be drawn into the game of thrones, instead of taking no part. Therefore the men of the Watch are no longer true, involving themselves in the politics of the realm rather than the defense of the realm, which is the duty they are sworn to uphold. And what happens when the men of the Watch are no longer true? The Others can pass the Wall. Now some will argue that they cannot while the Wall still stands, but I think that's missing the point because as Ned says: So I believe this is the major consequence of the most recent events at Castle Black. I'm sure there will be a bloodbath, but expect those killed in the battle to start rising with blue eyes, including Jon.
  9. Jon does not come to any conclusion about whether it was the first or second trip as far as I can see. He's talking about Mance's oathbreaking and he's listing off his crimes in the order they appear in the Watch vows. Mance ended his watch. He took a wife. He made himself a king. I don't see the need to presume anything about off page conversations.
  10. As I said, if there was a Stark woman of age then Mance might have considered this, but there was not. Osha actually had little faith in Mance. As far as Osha knew, Mance was planning on fighting the Others. That's why she was fleeing south. The reason she suggested bringing Bran to Mance was for reward. Benjen Stark, as first ranger of the Watch, was a thorn in the side of Mance. Bran was Benjen's own blood so it's a very reasonable suggestion. The theory that the Catspaw came from Mance is very unlikely to be true. I doubt Mance is the sort of man to send a catspaw assassin to do his dirty work. Mance is actually quite honorable and even though he wears no crown, etc., he is a true king who puts his people ahead of his "throne", unlike most of the kings we know. I would say that it's far more likely that the catspaw was sent by Littlefinger, attached to the king's train all the way from King's Landing with instructions to kill a Stark child when he was there. It would certainly be easier for Littlefinger to access the dagger in King's Landing than it would be for Mance's catspaw to get hold of it. Littlefinger had already made a public show of handing the dagger over to Tyrion at the tourney as part of the framing set-up. And of course we know that Littlefinger was trying to start a war between the Starks and Lannisters. The only thing that links Mance and the catspaw is a bag of silver, but it's not very strong evidence given that the catspaw would have been paid by whoever sent him and clearly he was paid in silver. Mance is not the only one in Westeros with a bag of silver. If she's an Umber then she probably does have Stark blood as the Starks and Umbers intermarried. Mors is called Crowfood, because he bit the head off the crow who stole his eye. In Dance, Crowfood says he will side with Stannis but he wants Mance's head as his price, or his skull to drink from, which amounts to the same thing. This seems to be a personal gripe Mors has towards Mance. Mance was a crow. Mors took the head of the crow who took his eye and I believe the parallel here is that Mors knows Mance took Dalla. Or perhaps it refers to her refusing to look away from Mance/Rattleshirt being devoured by the Red God. Sorry, I meant oldest son, not only son. Typo. And how would Mance prove that Dalla is the bastard of Brandon, given that no one seems to think Brandon had kids. And why would a potential bastard of Brandon become heir of Winterfell? Do you really think that if Mance showed up with a wife he claims to be Brandon Stark's bastard, the North would just roll over and accept it?
  11. Jon's not in a position to know the sequence of events with Mance and Dalla though. Jon is talking about Mance's oath-breaking in the passage you cited, and he is using the Watch vows as a frame of reference. This is where the sequence comes from. Turn cloak, wed Dalla, declare himself king.
  12. Just to be clear, I'm not saying Jaime will kill her out of revenge. I'm saying he will try to stop her from destroying herself and King's Landing, but she will deliver a mortal wound in the process and he will have no choice but act. Like I said, Honor is the quality of knowing and doing the right thing. Vengeance and Justice are juxtaposed in the books, most notably by Ned when he was Hand and sent Beric to deliver justice to Gregor. Vengeance is not the right thing. Justice is the right thing. Justice is the idea that everyone gets what they deserve. The innocent people of King's Landing do not deserve to die just because Cersei loses the game of thrones, and I feel Jaime will be the one to bring justice to the situation, albeit at a great personal cost.
  13. Yes, but I'm saying clearly Val is not a midwife, otherwise she would not have looked for one for Dalla. You are the one who said Val could not have nursed Mance back to health because she was not a midwife. I pointed out that even nurses defer to midwives when it comes to delivering babies. The woman who nursed Mance cleaned his wounds, sewed him up, and fed him porridge and potions. All of which is rather rudimentary. She is not referred to as a healer, that was the old wise woman who was dead when Mance reached the village. It was her "daughter" who saw to Mance. Yes, but what's the connection? Jarl and Bran both fell therefore Val might be a Stark? Crowfood Umber has one eye too. Lot's wife looked back at a city God destroyed for being evil and was turned to a pillar of salt. I see no narrative connection other than the word pillar. Yes, the point being sorcery is dangerous, a sword without a hilt, there's no safe way to wield it. Again the only connection I see here is the word sword, but there are thousands of references to swords in the series. Jon observed that Val looked more regal in the bronze than Stannis did in gold. Bronze is often used in the series to refer to the time of the First Men, and of course the Starks were kings in those days. I would think something like this fits your theory better than Jarl falling from the Wall. However, the Umbers were kings themselves back then, so it fits my theory too. GRRM chooses to present Val as a princess from Stannis' point of view because Stannis needs her to be a princess if he is to marry her to his Lord of Winterfell and seal a peace between the North and the Free Folk. That's how things work in Stannis' world. But Val is not a princess, she is just the "sister" of Mance's dead wife. GRRM also presents this point of view through Jon, so you really need to look at the whole picture here. It was all meant for Brandon, he was Rickard's only son and he was betrothed to Cat. I am aware of the theory that Mance met Dalla on the way back from his first trip to Winterfell in 288. It's a reasonable question. However, rather than meeting Dalla while in the company of the Lord Commander and not having any children with her that we know of for ten years, I personally find it more likely that he met her on the way back from his second trip to Winterfell in 297, when he stole her from the Last Heart, and she was pregnant soon after. Mance tells us he met Dalla on the way home from Winterfell, not when he was injured by the shadowcat which took place north of the Wall during a ranging.
  14. To be fair I think most of the fandom accept that this is a reference to their Lannister hair. I agree that Jaime will take up Widow's Wail at some stage. Jaime and Brienne both wield flaming swords in his dream, and that is a reference to Lightbringer. I would say this is a hint that Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail, Jaime and Brienne's swords, once reforged, will be Lightbringer. Or perhaps when Jaime proves himself as a true knight once again, it will cost him his life and love.
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