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Skinchanging Sweetrobin

Oberyn's Sellsword Company was the Brave Companions

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Well, it really shows competence and would by all means be a brilliant move if Doran managed to successfully wage such assymetric war on his archenemy - and getting the archenemy to pay for it all with his own gold. And Doran could have known whose the head was - but it would have been in his best interests to keep such information under wraps until UnGregor turns on Cersei and Tommen and executes them. He has used disinformation when lying to Arianne about his plans, so it certainly fits his modus operandi. Think about it: valonqar supposedly means 'little brother': isn't Oberyn Doran's 'little brother'? UnGregor is ultimately his creation, even if he has, in fact, been brought about by Qyburn. So the metaphor fits. What is more, Qyburn could've actually included some parts of dead Oberyn into UnGregor as well - making Oberyn able to have his vengeance from beyond the grave - wouldn't that be a twist...

Again, still all very fun to think about.

But it's a very convoluted Plan B, as the plan to make SRS Cersei's champion could not have occurred until Oberyn died, Gregor "died," and Cersei demanded - not just a trial - but a trial by combat. Yet Cersei must also lose everything she holds dear (i.e. Maggy's prophecy, which includes ostensibly witnessing the deaths of her children) before dying, the TBC is only in five days, and if Cersei dies prior to or shortly after the trial, KL will most likely be without a POV for some unknown period of time.

And, say, if all of those events transpired (e.g. SRS backfiring such that Cersei loses the TBC), which POV would be around to provide a window into the SS arrival? And why would it matter so much in a world where Cersei was dead and SRS was their "ally"?

Or, forgoing most of the above events, why all the build up over UnGregor as a mortal enemy to the SS only to have Qyburn pull the rug out on Nym (and a great many readers) before she gets a chance to exact her revenge?

I just think the story in play is already great without another round of deep subtextual clues that would turn everything GRRM has set up on its head. Not to mention some of the logical leaps one must make to buy this theory wholeheartedly. And the fact that this theory cropped up some 3 years after ADWD came out means that - if true - it is very challenging for the astute reader to puzzle out, and therefore even more challenging for the casual reader to comprehend.

And I'm only adressing one tiny corner of it a present.

But again, well put together and fun to think about!

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A list of places he might flee to (which is basically everywhere Cersei doesn't have much power bar the North) is hardly indicative of connections. What are his connections in Gulltown then?

Qyburn appears to be listing cities where his whisperers are. What's with Gulltown? It remains to be seen, but if I had to guess its related to revenge on Lyn Corbray.

Is Qyburn ever questioned about the other kingdoms?

Cercei doesn't ask about Dorne or the Sparrows either. Read through Cercei IV and V. Qyburn's interests are telling.

If the sellswords in Essos have taught us anything it's not about who has the most money but who is best able to pay them. Dany has very little money but gets sellswords to defect by convincing them that she's going to win the coming battle. They can't get paid if they're dead. Tywin may have more gold (though as you suggest latter he doesn't appear to be paying them yet) but Tywin is loosing. If Bolton can convince them that the Young Wolf will win then they have reason enough to desert.

But the Brave Companions don't seem to be receiving any money. They all run without taking any of their stash. They aren't selling themselves to the highest bidder at all. In fact they see themselves as soldiers:

When the Brother Withour Banners kill Septon Utt, one man screams:

"I soldier, I soldier"

Sacking Septs is certainly in line with raping and pillaging.

Not the way the Brave Companions did it. When the Brotherhood interviews the sept after the attack of Septon Utt, the survivors specifically describe the Brave Companions as different. The Lannisters were the first to raid. They took the food and torched the fields. The sept then lost count of visitors after that. Only the Brave Companions tortured and killed them horrifically.

You don't need a body to scare people. Being fed to a bear sounds like a terrifying and unpleasant way to die to me, I would certainly do everything in my power to avoid it.

The bear show was only seen by allies. Heads and flayed men go on the way for enemies. If not a targeting killing, the only other explanation for Amory Lorch's death was entertainment. A very expensive show considering how much he was worth.

The Bloody Mummers were not the only group raping the Riverlands. At best they contributed to the rise of the Sparrow movement in the Riverlands which struck a cord in Kinglanding

As I said above, the sept survivors specifically describe the Brave Companions as different - they are described as monsters way worse than the countless raiders.

So what happens if the Mountain doesn't confess?

I dunno. A plan B? Ask Oberyn. But Oberyn specifically said that this was his plan. We 100% know that Oberyn's plan was to go to KL, get the Mountain to confess and then kill him. These are words out of his mouth. And that's what he did.

Without the confession, the plan might still work. It would require some other public statement by the Lannisters that the Mountain was guilty. With no Amory Lorch body, Doran could probably request one.

The Mountain isn't the best fighter in the capitol and his odds against Oberyn are fairly low.

Who is better?

The simple fact that Tywin is taking a shit in the middle of the night (predictably) indicates that he wasn't near-fatally constipated.

The big proof that the "Dead Man Shitting" theory is correct is that the bowels don't open until he dies. That means the poison was causing the muscles to tighten. If it was regular constipation, the shit would have stayed put.

Weren't these supposed to happen before Tywin died so that he could watch his family fall apart?

Who says Tywin won't watch it?

Qyburn had Tywin's body. UnGregor may have Tywin in him too. Tywin may have horrific front row seats.

So what if there was no war? Oberyn didn't start it, Littlefinger did.

Not so. Everyone knew war was coming in Game of Thrones except the Starks. Re-read the discussion between Varys and Illyrio in the basement. Everyone knew about the incest.

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Fascinating, well researched theory!

Though, if Qyburn is a "Martell man" to any degree, wouldn't Doran know that Gregor is "alive," that the skull sent to Sunspear wasn't his, and that Qyburn was tied to the whole thing?

Secondly, if Qyburn is still Oberyn's man in any way, isn't SRS as Cersei's champion an odd play, unless the intent is for him to "backfire" during the upcoming TBC? I mean, you say the Mummers wanted Gregor dead, so why reanimate him to defend their enemy?

Also, if Qyburn is one of Doran's "friends at court," why not simply have him spy on the HS, being the MoW and all, instead of sending the SS to KL for that purpose (two SS, btw, who are clearly not going to "ally" with SRS or his "creator")?

This theory certainly was a gripping read, but it's not much to do with Occam's razor, by which I mean it's not readily understood by the casual reader. And although I am enamored with aspects of it, other aspects would seemingly undermine the commonly accepted understanding of the goings on in KL.

Anyway, just playing devil's advocate, as so many others have done for me.

Thanks again for the outstanding read.

I'm certain Doran knows exactly what Oberyn is doing and has integrated Oberyn's plan into his larger plans for revenge. Oberyn and the Brave Companions were mostly about the Lannisters, but Oberyn was a part of the Braavos Pact and the Brave Companions are heading to Oldtown. So, they have connections to the other pieces of the Grand Doran Plan. Qyburn himself has connections to Gulltown, which would likely be part of a Lyn Corbray revenge plan (whatever that may be).

Why resurrect the Mountain to defend Cercei? Well, for certain, the Mountain needs to be "alive" to definitively prove Cercei a liar. But, I think there are some other things going on. UnGregor may be there to lay waste to Tyrells. Or, UnGregor may contain pieces of an undead Tywin. UnGregor could be a horrific way to torture Tywin and have him see House Lannister destroyed.

As for Tyene. We shall see what she is up to. Tyene may be able to get closer to influence the High Sparrow. Most people in King's Landing know Qyburn is a creep and his power seems to wanning. Plus, he can't be in two places at once. The more spies and swayers, the better, I guess.

I just think the story in play is already great without another round of deep subtextual clues that would turn everything GRRM has set up on its head. Not to mention some of the logical leaps one must make to buy this theory wholeheartedly. And the fact that this theory cropped up some 3 years after ADWD came out means that - if true - it is very challenging for the astute reader to puzzle out, and therefore even more challenging for the casual reader to comprehend.

This is the weird thing for me. I searched and searched, and I seem to be the first person to come up with this theory.

Right or wrong, it's weird that I would be the first to think Brave Companions are part of Oberyn and Doran's plan.

Maybe everyone is distracted thinking about A Dance With Dragons and no one puts any thought into A Feast for Crows anymore. Or maybe because they don't really appear in the show, people also forget about them. I don't know.

But, the alternative to this theory is accepting that the Brave Companions are just a buch of crazy dudes. And that all of the time Arya, Jamie and Brienne spent with these guys was pointless.

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But the Brave Companions don't seem to be receiving any money. They all run without taking any of their stash. They aren't selling themselves to the highest bidder at all.

You don't get paid when you gamble and lose. The Bloody Mummers gamble on Robb/Roose being able to pay them more than Tywin has/is but when Robb dies and Roose turns his coat then suddenly the Bloody Mummers are on the wrong side, so of course they're not getting paid.

Not the way the Brave Companions did it. When the Brotherhood interviews the sept after the attack of Septon Utt, the survivors specifically describe the Brave Companions as different. The Lannisters were the first to raid. They took the food and torched the fields. The sept then lost count of visitors after that. Only the Brave Companions tortured and killed them horrifically.

This is because 1) The Bloody Mummers are not followers of the Seven like all the others who raid the Septs and 2) the Bloody Mummers are confirmed psychopaths and monsters. It's not shocking in the slightest that they'd be worse than the others.

As I said above, the sept survivors specifically describe the Brave Companions as different - they are described as monsters way worse than the countless raiders.

They may be the worst but they are also the fewest. The countless raiders that have hit this Sept and others had just as big, if not larger, effect on creating the Sparrow uprising.

Without the confession, the plan might still work. It would require some other public statement by the Lannisters that the Mountain was guilty. With no Amory Lorch body, Doran could probably request one.

If we assume the Mountain died without confessing then this probably works. But if the Mountain is still alive and hasn't confessed there is simply no reason for the Lannisters to say he was guilty. Lorch was legitimately eaten by a bear, there were witnesses. It's too bad they can't send a body but that's not their fault. Further, Doran has sat for over a decade on his sisters fate wouldn't it be weird if he suddenly started making a big fuss out of putting the Mountain on trail? Plus, the Lannisters could always just actually kill him and then he can't be used to expose Cersei as a liar.

Who is better?

Loras is, others on the Kingsguard probably are as well (and technically shouldn't they have had to use a Kingsguard against Tyrion since he was accused of regicide?). The Mountain is noted for being a giant and a monster, not for being a master swordsmen or skilled fighter. Oberyn runs circles around him and could've killed him a dozen times over if he wasn't determined to get a confession. There's simply no reason to expect the Mountain to beat Oberyn in a fight and therefore no reason to use him against Oberyn.

The big proof that the "Dead Man Shitting" theory is correct is that the bowels don't open until he dies. That means the poison was causing the muscles to tighten. If it was regular constipation, the shit would have stayed put.

But we have no evidence he was constipated. Tyrion knew his father would be taking a shit, implying that it's something Tywin does fairly regularly at that time. He isn't shitting while Tyrion is pointing a crossbow at him, probably because Tyrion is pointing a crossbow at him. But artificially constricted muscles don't relax upon death, if the poison was keeping him from shitting then it would've continued to do so after death.

Who says Tywin won't watch it?

Qyburn had Tywin's body. UnGregor may have Tywin in him too. Tywin may have horrific front row seats.

I'm not even going to address this because it's just straight up ridiculous.

Not so. Everyone knew war was coming in Game of Thrones except the Starks. Re-read the discussion between Varys and Illyrio in the basement. Everyone knew about the incest.

Everyone being Varys and Stannis. Stannis, who has made no action to deal with the incest and doesn't even react right away when the war kicks off. And Varys, who knows literally everything because that's the entire purpose of his character. That hardly makes war inevitable. Doran and Oberyn have absolutely no idea that the children aren't legitimate, else holding Myrcella is worthless to them and so is killing Joffery. Besides which, it isn't Ned's discovery of the incest that sets off the war, its Cat seizing Tyrion. That doesn't happen without Littlefinger. And, of course, the children likely wouldn't have be born when Oberyn was making his sellsword company.

But, the alternative to this theory is accepting that the Brave Companions are just a buch of crazy dudes. And that all of the time Arya, Jamie and Brienne spent with these guys was pointless.

The Bloody Mummers are repeatedly described and depicted as a bunch of crazy dudes specifically hired because they were crazy dudes. This is the entire reason they exist. A very convoluted theory that puts Oberyn and Doran behind the rape, maiming and murder of hundreds of people doesn't change the character of the Bloody Mummers, it just changes the character of Oberyn and Doran.

The time Arya, Jamie and Brienne spend amongst them isn't pointless. It's about their character growth and direction. Without loosing his hand Jamie doesn't try to redeem himself. Without Jamie saving her from the Mummers Brienne doesn't forgive him and we never know the story behind the Kingslayer. Arya doesn't unleash the Faceless Man and develop a purpose behind going to Bravos. Simply put, the Bloody Mummers were necessary for these characters to develop along the lines Martin wanted them to, that alone is more than enough reason for them to exist.

I think it's telling that Locke exists to fulfill all of these requirements in the show but the Bloody Mummers themselves don't make an appearance.

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I already explained most of this: there were no witnesses at Harrenhal except Roose's men and the BC, Loras is specifically described as a great jouster and only a pretty-good fighter, I explained the constipation, I explained how the Brave Companions are religious (or at least religion obsessed), Varys most definitely knew about the incest.



If you have text to prove anything you're saying, please use it.



Also, it would be nice to focus on one or two issues at a time. You're throwing out 20 little things at a time. I'm not going to go into depth on 20 things at once especially when you're not going to back up your statements. It becomes a "is so" "is not" back and forth.



So, please, one or two things at a time with support.




Now, as for the Brave Companions actually being crazy. Let's keep in mind, the name "Bloody Mummers" means "Damn Actors." There may be something more to them.



And, yes, since UnGregor is bigger than Gregor, I'd say there's other people's bodies in there.


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there were no witnesses at Harrenhal except Roose's men and the BC,

Who have no reason to lie about what happened to Lorch. Clearly the story's been circulating, since Tyrion knew it, and there's no reason to not believe it.

Loras is specifically described as a great jouster and only a pretty-good fighter,

Which makes him better than the Mountain, who is described as neither.

I explained the constipation,

Um... no you didn't. You provided some quotes about Tywin before he died. Your OP didn't include an explanation of why you thought they indicated he was constipated, indeed you're OP didn't even explain why the quotes were there (I had to guess that in my response).

I explained how the Brave Companions are religious (or at least religion obsessed),

Having religious members does not a religious group make. Nor does their sacking of Septs, as I have tried to explain.

Varys most definitely knew about the incest.

I never argued this point (in fact I said that) because its irrelevant.

If you have text to prove anything you're saying, please use it.

What exactly would you like me to provide quotes for? I haven't provided any quotes thus far because the only part of my position that's based on specific passages of the book already had the quotes provided by yourself. The rest of it is just based on common sense.

Also, it would be nice to focus on one or two issues at a time.

I don't really think its fair to lay out a theory that needs two, massive, posts to explain and then expect people to only respond to one part of it. I mean the OP had 16 different parts to it. I'm only focusing on four of those, that seems pretty reasonable to me.

And, yes, since UnGregor is bigger than Gregor, I'd say there's other people's bodies in there.

Or maybe it's not Gregor. That's what Occam's Razor says the answer is. Since we don't know that Qyburn is a necromancer, or that a necromancer is capable of putting different bodes together.

If you absolutely need me to simply my posts, fine. One or two issues? How about this: run this theory past Occam's Razor. That's my only issue, your theory does not come close to passing the Razor.

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Don't bother with these people, Skins, they see what they want to see and are too lazy to think around a corner.

This series of books is very complicated, I understand, and adding magic to it makes this whole thing even more

complicated, I understand that, too. But it seems that the Wanderer has not been reading the book very closely,

that much is clear as well.

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Don't bother with these people, Skins, they see what they want to see and are too lazy to think around a corner. This series of books is very complicated, I understand, and adding magic to it makes this whole thing even more complicated, I understand that, too. But it seems that the Wanderer has not been reading the book very closely, that much is clear as well.

Yeah, don't bother explaining your theories. That's not going to help them become stronger or more logical. Don't even make threads for them then, I mean what's the point of debate when you already have the answers? Besides, clearly anyone who can't come up with them by themselves must be thick. Must've missed your thread on it Scorched Air but that's probably cause I'm too lazy.

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Very well done! I have believed that Doran must have several players in key spots the whole time, but I never thought the Brave Companions! I used to think they were just sort of a mistake by GRRM. Something he didn't do as good a job with as he imagined. An attempt at world building maybe? But this sheds a whole new light. And Qyburn must be his "friend at court."


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The Bloody Mummers ( not a name they use themselves, but one that is used in a derogatory way by others) means they are particularly bloodthirsty ( as we see) , and their appearance is so outlandish to the Westerosi that they look like something out of a mummer's show..this is pretty obvious.



But here, I'll just copy and paste from the wiki...



" The Brave Companions, also known as the Bloody Mummers, are a sellsword company of considerably ill repute. It comprises criminals and outcasts from many nations.


During the War of the Five Kings, the band is led by Vargo Hoat, a tall, gaunt, lisping man from Qohor. The band is often called the "Bloody Mummers" by the Westerosi for its members' brutality and outlandish appearance, though they find this name insulting. They are also called the Footmen for Vargo's practice of cutting off the hands and feet of prisoners.


Some of the company's notable members include Qyburn, a disgraced maester, Septon Utt, a child-killing priest of the Seven, Shagwell, a psychotic jester, and Fat Zollo, a Dothraki. Their standard is a black goat with bloody horns, symbolizing the Black Goat of Qohor.[1] "



I highlighted some important bits in red... This stuff was obvious in the text . Septon Utt is not a religious man , and is more likely to be fixated with children than religion - and I rather suspect that Faithful Urswyck has never been known to keep faith with anyone or anything.



ETA; As TheWanderer points out , that one attack on the sept is not likely to have produced the current High Sparrow , The Poor Fellows , etc. on it's own , but certainly could have contributed to what has been a year, at least, of many lesser raids on septs and the daily breaking of all the religious precepts the small folk have been raised with ... by soldiers of every stripe ..and at painful and inhumane cost . This kind of movement doesn't spring up overnight , or in response to one horrible event in one relatively small settlement.



As for the "disgraced maester" , we only have Qyburn's word that Marwyn approved of his ideas , and Qyburn is trying to distance himself from his membership in the disgusting Brave Companions. Although Marwyn is slighted by the "grey sheep' , he still has his chain and quarters in the citadel.. His writings may be difficult to acquire, but they are taken seriously by people like Tyrion and The Reader. He's still quite a mystery, and I think I'll wait to see what he says about Qyburn , or what he does himself , before trusting Qyburn's story.


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I agree that it's very convenient for Qyburn to suddenly leave the BC and begin a meteoric rise at Court. There is almost certainly something more behind Qyburn - perhaps even ties to the Martells. Him leaving the BC behind makes me believe that his connection to the other mummers isn't that strong, however. If I was Doran, I would never involve those crazy mercenaries in any intricate plan.


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ETA; As TheWanderer points out , that one attack on the sept is not likely to have produced the current High Sparrow , The Poor Fellows , etc. on it's own , but certainly could have contributed to what has been a year, at least, of many lesser raids on septs and the daily breaking of all the religious precepts the small folk have been raised with ... by soldiers of every stripe ..and at painful and inhumane cost . This kind of movement doesn't spring up overnight , or in response to one horrible event in one relatively small settlement.

As for the "disgraced maester" , we only have Qyburn's word that Marwyn approved of his ideas , and Qyburn is trying to distance himself from his membership in the disgusting Brave Companions. Although Marwyn is slighted by the "grey sheep' , he still has his chain and quarters in the citadel.. His writings may be difficult to acquire, but they are taken seriously by people like Tyrion and The Reader. He's still quite a mystery, and I think I'll wait to see what he says about Qyburn , or what he does himself , before trusting Qyburn's story.

Ah, but its not one sept.

We have five instances where we learn about the Brave Companion's activities outside of Harrenhall and 4/5 are sept related:

1) In Jamie III, ASoS. Urswyck the Faithful and Timeon find Jamie and bring him to Vargo, Rorge, Fat Zollo and Shagwell who are spending the day attacking a sept.

The day was almost done by the time they found Vargo Hoat, sacking a small sept with another dozen of his Brave Companions. The leaded windows had been smashed, the carved wooden gods dragged out into the sunlight. The fattest Dothraki Jaime had ever seen was sitting on the Mother’s chest when they rode up, prying out her chalcedony eyes with the point of his knife. Nearby, a skinny balding septon hung upside down from the limb of a spreading chestnut tree. Three of the Brave Companions were using his corpse for an archery butt. One of them must have been good; the dead man had arrows through both of his eyes.

2) In Arya VII, ASoS. Arya and the Brother Without Banners attack a different sept held by Septon Utt. This is the description of the BC's original attack:

“Before the war we were four-and-forty, and this was a prosperous place. We had a dozen milk cows and a bull, a hundred beehives, a vineyard and an apple arbor. But when the lions came through they took all our wine and milk and honey, slaughtered the cows, and put our vineyard to the torch. After that... I have lost count of our visitors. This false septon was only the latest. There was one monster... we gave him all our silver, but he was certain we were hiding gold, so his men killed us one by one to make Elder Brother talk.”
“How did the eight of you survive?” asked Anguy the Archer.
“I am ashamed,” the old man said. “It was me. When it came my turn to die, I told them where our gold was hidden.”
And here is how the BC died:
The other Brave Companions followed one by one. A few fought, kicking and struggling as the noose was tightened round their throats. One of the crossbowmen kept shouting, “I soldier, I soldier,” in a thick Myrish accent. Another offered to lead his captors to gold; a third told them what a good outlaw he would make. Each was stripped and bound and hanged in turn.

3) In Brienne I, AFfC, Brienne runs into the future High Sparrow and his crew hauling a cart filled with bones that Brienne surmises were killed by the Brave Companions

"These are the bones of holy men, murdered for their faith. They served the Seven even unto death. Some starved, some were tortured. Septs have been despoiled, maidens and mothers raped by godless men and demon worshipers. Even silent sisters have been molested. Our Mother Above cries out in her anguish. It is time for all anointed knights to forsake their worldly masters and defend our Holy Faith. Come with us to the city, if you love the Seven."

"What sort of man would slay a holy septon?"

4) In Brienne IV, AFfC, Brienne finds Timeon, Pyg and Shagwell at the tip of Crackclaw Point. They have bought a map and are trying to signal a ship.

5) In Brienne VI, ADfC, Brienne learns of Rorge and Biter's attack on Saltpans.

"The Hound?" said Brienne.

"Another, just as brutal. He cut poor Clement's tongue out when he would not speak. Since he had taken a vow of silence, the raider said he had no need of it."

"Did they burn the sept at Saltpans?" asked Hyle Hunt.

The smile vanished. "They burned everything at Saltpans, save the castle.

So, from instances 1-3, we learn that the Brave Companions attacked many septs with cruelty that surpassed any of the countless raiders. Keep in mind, in Arya VII, countless raiders visited the sept, but only the BC were willing to torture and kill septons. And in Brienne I, the future High Sparrow specifically says septons were tortured and killed for their faith.

Also interesting is that the septons ran off before the people, as if they knew they were being targetted:

A stripling in a roughspun cloak and soiled jerkin was being heard when they came up. "I never hurt no one, m'lord," Brienne heard him say. "I only took what the septons left when they run off. If you got to take my finger for that, do it."

The Arya instance is interesting for the executions.

1) One man said he was only a soldier. As in taking orders? From whom? Septon Utt? Vargo Hoat? Roose Bolton? Their orders as this point were to root out Lannisters, not systematically execute septons.

2) One man promised to bring them to the gold. So, the Brave Companions stashed their loot? Why? Stashing means they were hiding it in order to return to the area.

3) One man said he would make a good outlaw. So, he's not an outlaw now?

Now instance 4 is also interesting, After the fall of Harrenhall, Timeon's group suddenly stop their raiding and become law abiding. I guess they weren't strong enough to raid. They buy a map, go to the end of Crab Claw Point and try and signal a ship. The Cinnamon Wind would be heading north to Braavos at this point. I wonder if they were trying to signal them.

Instance 5 is puzzling to me. Rorge and Biter were not original BC. They joined the BC at Harrenhal to get out of jail, but then continued their destruction at Saltpans after Timeon's group and Urswyck's group decided to run. Rorge doesn't seem to be on the same page as the others. He attacks the religious, but also attack everyone else as well. Still, the Rorge story also seems to have a religious angle to it since it is told by Brothers of the Quiet Isle. But this is the weirdest part for me: if the Hound washed up on Quiet Isle with his helm, how did Rorge get to Quiet Isle to steal the helm? The path to the Isle was through a maze of mud to keep out the wicked.

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If you absolutely need me to simply my posts, fine. One or two issues? How about this: run this theory past Occam's Razor. That's my only issue, your theory does not come close to passing the Razor.

Occam's Razor is for real life. This is a fantasy book that is based on twists and scheming.

Quite simply, Doran and Oberyn have been supposedly carefully planning a grand revenge for 17 years.

So, far the revealed plan is:

Oberyn spent a lifetime studying magic, studying poison, fighting abroad and training his daughters....only to stab the Mountain.

And Doran has secured a glass candle and all sorts of connections abroad....for a stale wedding agreement that is immediately rejected.

That's not a carefully planned grand revenge. Where is bringing down Tywin and all he holds dear?

Meanwhile, the Brave Companions seriously screw up Amory Lorch, Jamie and Cercei and end up with Tywin and the Mountain's bodies. But that's just a coincidence because they're just crazy?

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sweetrobin...


I stand corrected about the number of septs. Still, I don't think the Mummers' cruelty was only directed at septs ... but as previously mentioned , as with our medieval churches, medieval septs were probably a good place to look for gold, silver etc.. Everybody gave to them and if they were like our churches ( with monasteries, endowments , etc) ,they would also be wealthy through trade ... Septon Utt would know that, and probably was also not against a little payback... but he seems only to turn to religion after killing his latest "sweet boy"..


No question about your Instance 1) ( the attack Brienne witnesses )


In your instance 2).. ( the one I was forgetting )


In this Arya AsoS quote, you seem to ignore this part .. " I have lost count of our visitors. This false septon was only the latest. There was one monster... we gave him all our silver, but he was certain we were hiding gold, so his men killed us one by one to make Elder Brother talk."


"Monster" would seem to imply the Mountain , perhaps ..Killing the brothers one by one in search of gold is very familiar... "Is there gold in the village?" .. At least, this wasn't the Mummers , since Utt was only the latest... and the brother has lost count of the times they've been raided. ... What's the difference between a holy brother and a septon, if you're going to kill members of a holy order ? Aren't they all holy men ?


In your instance 3)...


"These are the bones of holy men, murdered for their faith. They served the Seven even unto death. Some starved, some were tortured "....some starved, this could obviously be the result of the countryside being picked clean , crops and storehouses burned, as we know happened at the hands of more than the BCs.


"Septs have been despoiled, maidens and mothers raped by godless men and demon worshipers. Even silent sisters have been molested. Our Mother Above cries out in her anguish"...Septs despoiled.. we know others have also stolen from septs .Rape is everywhere, it's a weapon of terror and we know this kind of thing has been going on wholesale since Tywin turned the Mountain loose . Godless men - including Westerosi who don't follow the Faith to the letter ? Demon worshippers - yes,"demon" probably = any Essosi gods , but perhaps also the old gods ? The Hs' religious views are very narrow.


Brienne thinks she knows what sort of men would slay a holy septon ( she's seen the Mummers at work).. but that's not to say the BCs are the only ones, not even that she thinks they are the only men of that sort . Not everybody is unwilling to break the religious prohibitions of the Seven ..


I think it's clear the future HS sees any "holy man" who has died as a result of the war, as being murdered for his faith , whether he starved, was murdered for gold, or any other reason. (Hmmmm... he's not bothering with the bones of holy women ? How HS-ish of him...)


At the Wall ,there's a man who raped multiple septas... are we to think he's the only man in Westeros who would ever rape even one , in a time when all hell is breaking loose and normal policing has fallen apart ?.. and isn't it reasonable that the poor fellows (apparently comprised of men and women) would also be moved to outrage by that , or by the rape of all the maids and mothers who were not in holy orders ?


So, your instance 1) is definitely the BC's ..and your instance 2) is the BCs , but not only them ( these "holy men" were killed by some previous "monster") ..while instance 3) is not really separate , it includes 1) and 2) and probably much more by many perpetrators.


That's one known instance and part of another..Still not a solid foundation for laying the creation of the whole fundamentalist faction of The Faith solely at the BC's door, and that it happened as part of a foreign plan for revenge on Tywin.


Aside- From a previous post.. The Hound didn't wash up on the Quiet Isle.. Elder Brother found him where Arya left him, gave him medical attention and took him to the Quiet Isle. He made a fake grave where he found him and left his helm as a marker.. unfortunately convenient for someone else to steal, but not on the QI.


Nowhere in the books is it rumoured or even hinted that Doran had a glass candle (that I can find), but Doran seems always to have had contacts outside his borders and across the narrow sea. ..Oberyn was first suspected of killing a man by using a poisoned weapon at 16 (7yrs. before RR) , and consequently sent into exile ( Are we to suppose he was just sent off without any contacts to recieve him ? ..that would be unthinkable.) First stop, Oldtown where he forged (I think ) 6 links before he gave it up. If "Alleras" ( a quick study ) has forged 3 links in a year, it seems fair to estimate Oberyn was there perhaps 2 yrs., more or less. He then went on to Lys and after that , it's unknown where he went or for how long.


I think it's unreasonable to assume that everything Oberyn did in his life was focused on this supposed plan.We know he rode with the Second Sons , we know he formed his own company. We don't know when. Plans were made( long term) steps taken ( e.g., wedding pact , perhaps company formed , with that in mind ) and life also went on in the meantime.


Odd points across posts..


I think it's a fairly common practice for plunderers to bury their loot reasonably close to where it's taken and plan to come back for it later, when the fighting's over .That prevents them from being robbed in turn, like ( I think ) Brown Ben Plumm was.


It's misleading to characterise Quentyn's mission to Dany as "a stale wedding agreement immediately rejected" because we know if he had arrived even a short while earlier , it would have been seriously considered.


At any rate this was patient , step by step planning . Doran knows well that circumstances can change any number of times along the way, when you're playing a long game. You stay patient and figure as you go.


It wouldn't help to engage a ruthless collection of sadists , pedophiles, rapists and psychopaths ..who are also mercenary , and expect to control them long distance, or to expect to know how events in the changing face of war would develop , years in advance ( a war that Doran didn't start, and couldn't have foreseen.)


I just don't think the logic holds together .


For example , assume they were Tywin's . He was much closer to their area of operations, and had much more direct lines of communication for direct orders and for manipulating circumstances. Look how well that worked ,if they were his (Jaime's hand)... Now imagine how much more difficult they would be to manage for Doran . I think he's smarter and more careful than that.

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Quite an interesting read, I'll definitly re-read it to see if I haven't mixed anything up.



Small thing that might become a problem: It seems that Oberyn formed his Sellsword Company before Elia's death.. Which would weaken the claim of avenging Elia, IMO, since Oberyn had abandoned the company by the time of Elia´s death, and rarely ventured out of Dorne.


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Ockham's Razor is good to solve the less complicated cases of everyday police work, but this is very complicated plot with multiple players that all have different aims and ambitions and style of doing things. Using Ockham's Razor here will serve you not. If this series is too complicated for you, wait for the solution at the end of book 7. It is that simple. Or stop reading/watching the things before your head explodes.


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This false septon was only the latest. There was one monster... we gave him all our silver, but he was certain we were hiding gold, so his men killed us one by one to make Elder Brother talk."

"Monster" would seem to imply the Mountain , perhaps ..Killing the brothers one by one in search of gold is very familiar... "Is there gold in the village?" .. At least, this wasn't the Mummers , since Utt was only the latest... and the brother has lost count of the times they've been raided. ... What's the difference between a holy brother and a septon, if you're going to kill members of a holy order ? Aren't they all holy men ?

Hmm, when I first read it, I read more: "The false septon was only the latest. There was one monster." I suppose the "only" does imply that Septon Utt was typical. I'm with you that the monster is probably the Mountain. He is listed by people as a horrible destructive force on par with the Brave Companions. For example, here are Jamie's thoughts at his return Harrenhal:

And the carrot -haired justiciar was just the sort of simpleminded fool to assume that someone called "the Good" was the very potion the riverlands required to heal the wounds left by Roose Bolton, Vargo Hoat, and Gregor Clegane.

And here is Ser Davon:

"That's for him and all his Brave Companions. I told your father I would forage for him, but he refused me. Some tasks are fit for lions, he said, but foraging is best left for goats and dogs."

So, yes, I would say the Mountain's men are just as bad the Brave Companions.

That's one known instance and part of another..Still not a solid foundation for laying the creation of the whole fundamentalist faction of The Faith solely at the BC's door, and that it happened as part of a foreign plan for revenge on Tywin.

Obviously, I accept that non-BC did some sacrilegious activities and that the BC did some non-sacrilegious activity. That said, the Brave Companions are utterly famous, which makes me think that the lion's share of the damage on the Riverlands was done by them. Especially the sacrilege. Yes, the Mountain's men did their share as did regular war and bandits, but the Sparrow movement being in the wake of the Brave Companions is rather telling.

It's also that the ASoS and AFfC story is framed with such a tie between the Brave Companions and the Faith of Seven. It's not just the sept sacking. It's also Qyburn's obsession with the Sparrow movement and Jamie and Brienne's meandering between religious folk and the Brave Companions. Brienne's story is essentially 1) meet the High Sparrow and think about the Brave Companions; 2) meet Tarly who is hunting Brave Companions and a Sparrow dwarf who says he heard about Shagwell; 3) meet Nimble Dick who sold a map to Shagwell, 4) find Shagwell, Timeon and Pyg; 5) go back to Tarly and meet Septon Meribald; 6) go to the Quiet Isle and talk about war and Rorge; 7) Go to the inn and fight off Rorge; 8) Get captured by the Brotherhood (the arch-enemies to the Brave Companions).

Nowhere in the books is it rumoured or even hinted that Doran had a glass candle (that I can find), but Doran seems always to have had contacts outside his borders and across the narrow sea. ..Oberyn was first suspected of killing a man by using a poisoned weapon at 16 (7yrs. before RR) , and consequently sent into exile ( Are we to suppose he was just sent off without any contacts to recieve him ? ..that would be unthinkable.) First stop, Oldtown where he forged (I think ) 6 links before he gave it up. If "Alleras" ( a quick study ) has forged 3 links in a year, it seems fair to estimate Oberyn was there perhaps 2 yrs., more or less. He then went on to Lys and after that , it's unknown where he went or for how long.

When I say Doran has access to a glass candle, I mean through Sarella. And it's fairly clear that Doran does use her for information. The biggest clue is news about dragons.

Keep in mind, the world finds out about dragons when Dany reaches Qarth. But, Dany travels in the direction of the news. So, when the news hits Westeros, its confusing. AFfC opens with a debate over "Dragons in Qarth" or "Dragons in Slaver Bay." And let's remember that Dany's decission to settle in Meereen and not return to Westeros was fairly sudden.

But....Quentyn has already left and knows to go to Slaver Bay. His story opens with him already hanging in Volantis for a month. So, even before Westeros was debating Qarth or Slaver Bay, Doran was able to contact the Yronwoods, put together a plan and send the group off.

Even if we assume that a really fast ship like the Cinnamon Wind lied about heading east and went straight back to Doran, they would have the wrong info. Quentyn would be looking to go to Qarth.

At any rate this was patient , step by step planning . Doran knows well that circumstances can change any number of times along the way, when you're playing a long game. You stay patient and figure as you go.

It wouldn't help to engage a ruthless collection of sadists , pedophiles, rapists and psychopaths ..who are also mercenary , and expect to control them long distance, or to expect to knowhow events in the changing face of war would develop , years in advance ( a war that Doran didn't start, and couldn't have foreseen.)

The stated "Doran Plan" of Braavos Pact + Quentyn = Revenge is a clear lie. It is not patient step-by-step planning. It's a do nothing plan. Do nothing for Viserys and do nothing for Quentyn and expect success? But, this a discussion for another day and another thread.

First off, Doran knew war was coming eventually. It seems everyone except the Starks knew war was coming at least one year before AGoT. Team Varys and Illyrio knew (they had taken in Viserys and Dany). Team Stannis knew (he fled to Dragonstone). Team Tyrell knew (they had a plan for Margaery to marry Robert). Even Tywin seemed to know (he had brought the Brave Companions over).

As for controlling the insanity of the Brave Companions? Well, 1) that's Vargo's job and the leader, 2) Not too much controll is needed. You just need to tell them "attack septs and we will pay you." and 3) they may not be as insane as they let on.

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