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Howland Reed = High Septon?


shmoove

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It's so silly to continue denying the plausibility of this theory - theres just such an overwhelming abundance of textual evidence. I'd really love to move this conversation to who represents Cersei's judges, but it's apparently too complex an idea. Oh well.

I think we have a very different definition of overwhelming abundance of textual evidence. I won't pretend that, as far as I know, it's plausible. I doubt it, and I think Reed would be more likely to be working for the independence of the north from Roose and Stannis, but it wouldn't be completely unfounded for it to happen, as clearly a certain (circumstantial) groundwork has been laid.

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The biggest knock against the entire theory has nothing to do with motive or religion, but it's simply age. Mladen, in the Trial of Joy thread, pointed out the source in which GRRM definitively states that Howland is in his 30's.

So, the question then becomes, is there precedent for a particular person to look older than they are? And the answer is yes - Theon to Reek.

Now, obviously the circumstances for this drastic change was massive stress via torture. Could such stress have befallen Howland? Well, there's no indication for or against this. The point is, it's entirely possible that Howland could look older than he is. An idea made even more prevalent in the fact that his son is referred to as "little grandfather".

So, that's basically the big contention. You can either accept that it's possible for him to appear older, or reject it. Either way, I understand both sides of that coin.

What I don't understand is the continual dismissal of the massive collection of textual evidence for the pro. You don't have to agree with every single piece provided, but to dismiss the collection as a whole just seems wrong to me.

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I like this theory a lot. Given how long he has been teased but kept from the story, I've started to think that Howland will be a catalyst for bringing together most of the major characters. Howland's canon status already has him involved in major events from Dorne to beyond the Wall. He is one of only two known survivors of the events of the Tower of Joy, and the only known living. Additionally, he's one of only three people known to visit the Isle of Faces, spent an entire season there, and is firmly allied with the Children of the Forest. This directly connects him to Jon's story, Dany's story, Bran's story, the Wall story in general (which of course folds in Stannis and the North), and whatever went down with the Daynes. If we take this theory to be true, he's become directly involved with those based in King's Landing, but especially Cersei, Jaime, the Martells, and the Tyrells. If we include the popular theory that certain Maesters at the Citadel are working to end magic, then as a magic worker himself and as an ally of the Children, he's implicitly an enemy for them as well.


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Almost anything is possible, but the Appendix doesn't say he looks like an old man, it says he is an old man.

From the wiki: He is a small, thin, hard-eyed, grey-haired man with a heavily lined face. Unlike previous High Septons, he does not wear rich robes or elaborate crowns of crystal and spun gold. Instead, he wears a simple white wool tunic that goes to his ankles. The man is truly devout to his faith and has an iron will.

It only says he has grey hair. My hair is starting to turn grey, I am in my 30's lol :dunno:

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What I don't understand is the continual dismissal of the massive collection of textual evidence for the pro. You don't have to agree with every single piece provided, but to dismiss the collection as a whole just seems wrong to me.

You present almost no significant textual evidence. The basic evidence for HR = HS is that they are both small, hairy, go barefoot (actually we don't even know that HR went barefoot), and wear their hair in knots, but wait... Whereas HS does wear his hair in a knot, we don't even know that HR does, Meera wears her hair in a knot and she's HR's daughter so he must wear his hair in a knot too!... This is all so flimsy as to be negligible.

What we do know about HR and HS is that they both have an almost opposite approach to religion... HR practices a nature based religion, no temples, no clergy, no hierarchy, one imagines no written doctrine, whereas the religion of the seven is highly institutionalised and highly organised, book-based and extremely hierarchical.

I would further point out that when Meera narrates the events at Harranhal she seems to be repeating what her father says word for word, the narrative is extremely naive and I would say it strongly indicates that HR would not be capable of grasping even the very basics of the creed of the seven, let alone excelling in his knowledge of it as the HS does, simply because their cultures are so different.

If HR wished to participate actively in the events of Westeros, and everything suggests he doesn't, the very last thing we would do or be capable of is impersonating the highest authority in a very highly structured cultural institution as is the sept.

Therefore, to rebut the above, the links between the two characters have to be very strong... But as it is, you guys have absolutely zilch, bugger all, nada!

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Well, the ADwD Appendix says the High Septon is old and frail. That doesn't sound like Howland.

Not to mention, manipulating the Faith is part of Doran's plan.

—THE HIGH SEPTON, Father of the Faithful, Voice of the Seven on Earth, an old man and frail,

Almost anything is possible, but the Appendix doesn't say he looks like an old man, it says he is an old man.

I believe that is a reference to the previous High Septon, who was the High Septon at the start of both AFfC and ADwD, and who was indeed old and frail. The Sparrow still has brown in his beard and is fit enough to take up the traces of the cart full of bones and get down on his knees to scrub the sept floor, and hence not that old and frail.

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I believe that is a reference to the previous High Septon, who was the High Septon at the start of both AFfC and ADwD, and who was indeed old and frail. The Sparrow still has brown in his beard and is fit enough to take up the traces of the cart full of bones and get down on his knees to scrub the sept floor, and hence not that old and frail.

NFL referees, who have to run alongside some of the biggest and fastest freaks of nature on the planet, are frequently in their 50's+ and have white (not grey) hair. My grandfather (~80) is in better shape than I am (23). Your point?

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This is probably my least favorite popular theory. I can't for the life of me understand why Howland Reed would want to openly participate in torture-happy, misogynistic behavior. If Howland was truly this much of a dick, surely we would have received some hints of this behavior via Ned, Meera, or Jojen.



IMHO The Sparrow is just a random septon who, after rising to his position of power, struck a deal with Varys. The HS is there to stoke the fires and turn the common folk against Cersei/Tommen so Aegon can waltz on in there as the "populist" king. It's a win/win situation. Varys gets his puppet ruler, and the Sparrow no longer has to deal with that abominable incest child king and his ostentatious, fornicatating regent.


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NFL referees, who have to run alongside some of the biggest and fastest freaks of nature on the planet, are frequently in their 50's+ and have white (not grey) hair. My grandfather (~80) is in better shape than I am (23). Your point?

Well I think my point is quite clear. The appendix in each book is correct as of the beginning of the book. It says the High Septon is an old man, grey and frail. The High Septon as of the beginning of both books is an old man, grey and frail. Cersei meets him on the steps of the High Sept when going to Tywin's funeral, and describes him as such. So I don't think the High Septon in the appendix is the High Sparrow.

And as NFL referees are very fit, despite their advanced years, then you would hardly describe them as frail now, would you? So what's your point?

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Well I think my point is quite clear. The appendix in each book is correct as of the beginning of the book. It says the High Septon is an old man, grey and frail. The High Septon as of the beginning of both books is an old man, grey and frail. Cersei meets him on the steps of the High Sept when going to Tywin's funeral, and describes him as such. So I don't think the High Septon in the appendix is the High Sparrow.

And as NFL referees are very fit, despite their advanced years, then you would hardly describe them as frail now, would you? So what's your point?

Well, this is the ADwD Appendix.

Now, one could argue that if ADwD and AFfC are really one book, the High Septon could be the old one and not the High Sparrow. Except, beneith it, it list Cersei's gaolers. So, I think we can conclude that both the previous High Septon and the High Sparrow were old men and frail.....or at least that's what the public believes about them.

—THE HIGH SEPTON, Father of the Faithful, Voice of the Seven on Earth, an old man and frail,
—SEPTA UNELLA, SEPTA MOELLE, SEPTA SCOLERA, the queen’s gaolers,
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Well, this is the ADwD Appendix.

Now, one could argue that if ADwD and AFfC are really one book, the High Septon could be the old one and not the High Sparrow. Except, beneith it, it list Cersei's gaolers. So, I think we can conclude that both the previous High Septon and the High Sparrow were old men and frail.....or at least that's what the public believes about them.

THE HIGH SEPTON, Father of the Faithful, Voice of the Seven on Earth, an old man and frail,

SEPTA UNELLA, SEPTA MOELLE, SEPTA SCOLERA, the queens gaolers,

Of course you are free to conclude that both men have the exact same description if you wish, but I do not share your conclusion.

Now if it said - THE HIGH SEPTON, called THE HIGH SPARROW, Voice of the Seven on Earth, an old man and frail, like it says,

SELWYN TARTH, called THE EVENSTAR, Lord of Tarth.

Or, his daughter, BRIENNE, THE MAID OF TARTH, also called BRIENNE THE BEAUTY.

Or, SER RONNET CONNINGTON, called RED RONNET, the Knight of Griffin Roost.

Then I would accept this argument.

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You present almost no significant textual evidence. The basic evidence for HR = HS is that they are both small, hairy, go barefoot (actually we don't even know that HR went barefoot), and wear their hair in knots, but wait... Whereas HS does wear his hair in a knot, we don't even know that HR does, Meera wears her hair in a knot and she's HR's daughter so he must wear his hair in a knot too!... This is all so flimsy as to be negligible.

What we do know about HR and HS is that they both have an almost opposite approach to religion... HR practices a nature based religion, no temples, no clergy, no hierarchy, one imagines no written doctrine, whereas the religion of the seven is highly institutionalised and highly organised, book-based and extremely hierarchical.

I would further point out that when Meera narrates the events at Harranhal she seems to be repeating what her father says word for word, the narrative is extremely naive and I would say it strongly indicates that HR would not be capable of grasping even the very basics of the creed of the seven, let alone excelling in his knowledge of it as the HS does, simply because their cultures are so different.

If HR wished to participate actively in the events of Westeros, and everything suggests he doesn't, the very last thing we would do or be capable of is impersonating the highest authority in a very highly structured cultural institution as is the sept.

Therefore, to rebut the above, the links between the two characters have to be very strong... But as it is, you guys have absolutely zilch, bugger all, nada!

so you haven't read this thread right?

or are you just trolling here?

the problem with this theory clearly is that too many people think they know a character, what he wants, what he's capable of and so on just because they heard what his best friend and his kids said about them. another problem are people who don't want it to be this way and only repeat the same dismissable counterarguments over and over as if this could stop the theory from being right.

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Which Houses conspired in the Red Wedding?

Frey, Bolton, and Lannister.

You keep asserting that Howland is needed against the aforementioned two. Why? They're already being taken care of.

The northmen are about to collapse on the Boltons (read Theon WoW chapter)

Stoneheart and the BwB are going to handle the Freys.

You don't think that Howland and his gang of Northern sparrows could be of greater use to either the Northmen or Stoneheart's gang? It's not like either party is having an easy time fighting the Boltons or the Freys. Howland's support could bring them down faster.

And who is handling the Lannisters?

First off, the Red Wedding was planned by Tywin, not Cersei. Why didn't Howland target him? He had plenty of time between the Red Wedding and Tywin's own death. Why target Cersei, who had no knowledge of or involvement in the plot? Second, what makes you think that the Lannisters need handling? Had the High Sparrow not arrested Cersei, she would doubtless have done everything she could to rid herself of Margaery and thus destroy the Tyrell-Lannister alliance that was keeping Tommen on the throne. As I've mentioned before, if Howland wants to destabilize the Lannister regime, he's doing an awfully inefficient job, and his efforts only delayed the inevitable implosion of the Lannister government. Cersei's removal resulted in the return of Kevan, who would have repaired Tyrell-Lannister relations and kept Tommen in power had Varys not murdered him, and the High Sparrow had nothing to do with that. Thus, Howland's removal of Cersei only strengthened the monarchy, showing how pointless his whole exercise was. Furthermore, Howland started out with two pieces of leverage: the Faith's blessing, and its debt, both of which he squandered to gain permission to rebuild an army of religious zealots who hate his religion, and hate bastards and polygamy too. Yet, we are supposed to believe that this was a fair trade because he's going to use the FM to crown Jon, who follows the Old Gods, and is either a bastard or born of polygamy? Reviving FM is the single worst possible thing any Northerner could have done.

Furthermore, I can't see why the she-bear septa similarities don't convince you. I've highlighted them in the text several times. You can claim that the similarities are a coincidence, but you cannot deny that there ARE objective similarities.

I mean, Hotah's recollection of the bears dancing down the Sinner's Steps to the sound of ringing bells, and Cersei being led down the hill by these she-bear-like septas, ringing bells and calling Cersei a sinner, really does nothing for you?

I'm not claiming the similarities are a coincidence, I'm saying that they are, as far as we can tell, nonexistent. Your she-bear septas claim rests entirely upon the idea that the septas resemble the Mormont women in appearance. However, we know that they are not Mormont women, because they are far too old to be Maege's daughters. You might say that they are simply warrior-women from Bear Island, but we have no evidence to suggest that the women of the island have appearances similar to those of the Mormonts. Without a link between the septas and women of Bear Island who are not Mormonts, this entire piece of "evidence" collapses.

What I don't understand is the continual dismissal of the massive collection of textual evidence for the pro. You don't have to agree with every single piece provided, but to dismiss the collection as a whole just seems wrong to me.

As I've pointed out, your "evidence" generally consists of a lot of distorted logic, misconstrued motivations, needlessly complex plots, woefully misplaced priorities, and a repeated, fervent insistence that descriptions of random, totally unrelated events are somehow related merely because they are similarly phrased. A large quantity of falsehood is still falsehood, regardless of how big it is.

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why do people always say that there is textual evidence against this theory, but never quote it? i haven't seen one post here that presented evidence against this theory and isn't disproved within the next two posts.

I quoted plenty. Though some people praised what I wrote, most people who disagreed with it have yet to actually thoroughly respond to what I have written, let alone totally disprove it.

funny that you say it wouldn't serve his purposes. have you already read twow or do you have access to chapters we don't know? because i don't understand how you possibly could know what "his purposes" are. we have absolutely no textual evidence at all for what "his purposes".might be. he didn't even appear (at least not as howland reed) so far and all we know about him are a few very vague informations given by his family and friends (in a story told by unreliable narrators those are the most unreliable). and those informations are not even about any specific deeds he is going to do.

pobeb claims that Howland's supposed conspiracy has certain purposes, like avenging the Starks, punishing the perpetrators of the Red Wedding, crowning Jon, etc. I have no idea if he actually has these motivations; I'm just saying that if these are indeed his motivations, he's not going to accomplish them by pretending to be the High Sparrow, and indeed, such an elaborate deception would only be counterproductive.

AND bringing trouble to KL is the best way to serve the north! boltons and freys rely on the lannisters. without backing from KL all northeners and riverlanders are very likely to call for an open rebellion against their current lords and neither bolton nor frey are strong enough to hold their positions by force.

What "backing from KL" are you talking about? There are no Lannister men fighting in the North, only Freys. Bolton's power in the North is based entirely upon his military strength, and destabilizing the Lannister regime in KL does nothing to weaken the forces in the North that he has at his disposal. Though there are Lannister men in the Riverlands, they have already negotiated the surrender of all the Riverlords. Even if KL was destabilized, that would not change the fact that the Freys still hold family members of the Riverlords hostage (including their liege lord, Edmure Tully) and that the Riverlands portion of the Northern army would have to be rebuilt from scratch. KL has little direct control over the Riverlands or the North, so destabilizing it would accomplish relatively little on the ground. The best way to serve the North or Riverlands is to actually fight in theses areas.

and any future king who is not a lannister would have a good chance of making peace with the north and the riverlands only by putting starks and tullys back into their positions. i doubt the northeners are willing to go for a long war during winter just to be independent. and let's be honest, what does independence really mean in this world? the king has little influence on his lords, they do not send armies if they don't want and even keep their own laws to a certain point (like dorne with its own laws on inheritage). so basically indpendence means that a lord can call himself king and wear a crown, but most things do not change.

As I said earlier, crowning Jon with the help of the FM is impossible. If the FM revolts against the incest born Tommen because incest is an abomination to the Faith, it can hardly turn around and back Jon, who is either a bastard or born of polygamy, and a follower of the Old Gods to boot. The FM is a double-edged sword that Howland would have to be idiotic to recreate.

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so you haven't read this thread right?

or are you just trolling here?

the problem with this theory clearly is that too many people think they know a character, what he wants, what he's capable of and so on just because they heard what his best friend and his kids said about them. another problem are people who don't want it to be this way and only repeat the same dismissable counterarguments over and over as if this could stop the theory from being right.

Ser I think your right there are 4 thing that people seem to keep bringing up when they want to dismiss even the possibility of HS=HR

1) His age/appearance but mostly his age. The problem is that we are never told what Howland looks like so we have to guess what he looks like from his son and daughter, and since his son green eye are well known they keep bringing it up since apparently a parent can't have different eye color from their children.(so apparently my sister nor I are my parents children because I have blue-grey eye she has brown eyes while they have grey and green eyes). His brown hair turning grey can only be in old men because shut up they said so (despite Ned's hair turning grey at the start of the series). Also his age the two pov characters we meet with him are Brienne who is much younger than Ned or Howland, and Cersei who is obsessed with age because of her fear of a more young and beautiful queen who will over throw her.

2) Their religions because they have apparently never heard of being undercover, and or they think Howland would not be able to understand the complexities of a religion no one has taken seriously in years. I mean it not like i can go one youtube and find a video of Lady Stark explaining the basic of the religion in under 8 minutes, and there is the seven equivalent to their bible in universe so someone could pretend to be a fundamentalist just by reading it no no no the Faith of the Seven is far to complex.

3) He has to be some where else either stay in the Neck until he has to reveal Jon parents (then i guess never be seen again), or he has to help out Manderly with his plan to get back at Bolton because despite Roose saying he know Reed would never betray the Starks. If he just appeared in Barrowtown or Winterfell it's all cool and Roose and the Frey (who hate crannogmen) won't suspect a thing.

4) They are hopping that the High Sparrow is a pawn in someone else game either Varys or Doran despite both saying to people they have no reason to lie to that he is not their man. Varys had no reason to lie to Kevan about one of the reason he was going to kill him was because he fear Kevan may bind the faith to Tommen. And Doran sending one of the Sand Snakes Tyene who is good with poisons to infiltrate (I thought everyone was to be taken at face value in these book according reason 2) to see if she could spy on the HS as well as see if she could win him over to their side.

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Great theory. To those saying HR believes in the Olds and can't be the HS...you ever heard of pretending. Jon Snow was a Night's Watchmen. He did a good job of of pretending to be different once to.

I like it! The theories (crackpot though some may be) are getting exciting, and methinks maybe we're on the right track ... or at least close to it. :D

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