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Skinchanging Sweetrobin

Oberyn's Sellsword Company was the Brave Companions

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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.

If I might ask, in respons to who is this?

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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.

On the surface, UnGregor is chosen to defend Cersei in the TBC because he is an unstoppable force. Further, Cersei can’t die until Maggy’s prophecy is fulfilled, and the TBC is only 5 days away by her timeline, meaning that Maggy’s prophecy is unlikely to be fulfilled early in TWOW, not to mention I’d guess that KL is unlikely to be left with a POV for an extended period of time, and so I think Gregor will most likely win the TBC. Therein, I find it odd that Doran would install Oberyn’s “nemesis” as an “undefeatable” champion for one of Oberyn’s – and, by extension, Qyburn’s – worst enemies, and send Oberyn’s daughters into that mess without hinting to them that UnGregor is “alive” and on their side.

Separately, the notion that part of Tywin is inside of SRS is farfetched, unsupported and unnecessary, IMO, and the idea that SRS will lay waste to the Tyrell’s does not require that Qyburn have ties to Oberyn or Doran, but simply that Cersei and the remaining Lannister regime and the Tyrells do not get along, which is known to be the case.

Nonetheless, I’m not really addressing the validity of your theory or the OP itself, because I think it’s well put together as theories go.

More than anything, though, I don’t like the BC as Oberyn’s company – they’re unlikable thugs, rapists, rebels, and a next-to causeless organization besides. Similarly, I don’t like the idea that UnGregor is Doran’s puppet through Oberyn, as it flies in the face of the adversarial relationship of the Sand Snakes and UnGregor set up throughout AFFC/ADWD

Most specifically, UnGregor has Doran’s puppet contrasts almost directly with the idea that Nym is being set up for an “Oberyn 2.0” moment, which is something I look forward to as much as I’d like to see Sandor versus Gregor before the epilogue of ADOS hits. But if SRS is anything other than a “mindless monster,” the subtext of those two battles takes a turn for the worse, IMO.

But we’ll see. As I’ve said multiple times, it’s a great theory and a fun read. I’m just not in love with a variety of its endgame implications at present.

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.

We may not like it because it doesn't tie things together nearly, but that may be GRRM's intent. For me, at least at present, I'd rather have the BC turn out to be a bunch of "randoms" than a "secret, long game, Martell men."

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On the surface, UnGregor is chosen to defend Cersei in the TBC because he is an unstoppable force. Further, Cersei can’t die until Maggy’s prophecy is fulfilled, and the TBC is only 5 days away by her timeline, meaning that Maggy’s prophecy is unlikely to be fulfilled early in TWOW, not to mention I’d guess that KL is unlikely to be left with a POV for an extended period of time, and so I think Gregor will most likely win the TBC. Therein, I find it odd that Doran would install Oberyn’s “nemesis” as an “undefeatable” champion for one of Oberyn’s – and, by extension, Qyburn’s – worst enemies, and send Oberyn’s daughters into that mess without hinting to them that UnGregor is “alive” and on their side.

Separately, the notion that part of Tywin is inside of SRS is farfetched, unsupported and unnecessary, IMO, and the idea that SRS will lay waste to the Tyrell’s does not require that Qyburn have ties to Oberyn or Doran, but simply that Cersei and the remaining Lannister regime and the Tyrells do not get along, which is known to be the case.

Nonetheless, I’m not really addressing the validity of your theory or the OP itself, because I think it’s well put together as theories go.

More than anything, though, I don’t like the BC as Oberyn’s company – they’re unlikable thugs, rapists, rebels, and a next-to causeless organization besides. Similarly, I don’t like the idea that UnGregor is Doran’s puppet through Oberyn, as it flies in the face of the adversarial relationship of the Sand Snakes and UnGregor set up throughout AFFC/ADWD

Most specifically, UnGregor has Doran’s puppet contrasts almost directly with the idea that Nym is being set up for an “Oberyn 2.0” moment, which is something I look forward to as much as I’d like to see Sandor versus Gregor before the epilogue of ADOS hits. But if SRS is anything other than a “mindless monster,” the subtext of those two battles takes a turn for the worse, IMO.

But we’ll see. As I’ve said multiple times, it’s a great theory and a fun read. I’m just not in love with a variety of its endgame implications at present.

I do think that it's interesting that UnGregor is an unstopable force for Tommen. And, if Qyburn's words are to be believed, this devotion is not simply to the "office" of the King. It's to Tommen.

"I had another sort of champion in mind. What he lacks in gallantry he will give you tenfold in devotion. He will protect your son, kill your enemies, and keep your secrets, and no living man will be able to withstand him."

"If it please Your Grace, Ser Robert has taken a holy vow of silence," Qyburn said. "He has sworn that he will not speak until all of His Grace's enemies are dead and evil has been driven from the realm."

I think Doran's idea is that the Lannisters have been almost completely destroyed and the Tyrells are now in position to take over. With UnGregor in place, the Tyrells are there to waste more resources.

And Doran may have a way to kill the undead and isn't worried about it.

Keep in mind, this strategy is largely the plot of the series and the thought behind the titles of "A Feast For Crows" and "A Dance With Dragons." Have your enemies fight and kill each other, then, come in and take over. The Dance of the Dragons was a war where the Targaryen killed each other, allowing for the rise of the other houses and the maesters. It's a Feast for Crows. So, is the war of the Five Kings.

The Sand Snakes in KL should be interesting. If I were to guess what is going to happen next, it will be an offer from Dorne to support Cercei if she agrees to Dornish Law. And with a Trystane-Myrcella marriage, the Lannister and Dornish become allies and UnGregor becomes their pawn as well.

Tywin being inside UnGregor is only necessary if you believe that Doran was genuine in saying that he wanted Tywin to watch House Lannister fall apart. Of course, Doran is a big fat liar. So I admit, it's not necessary at all. It was just a thought that won't leave my head now because its so creepy. And I don't think it's far fetched at all. UnGregor is bigger than Gregor and many people think he contains body parts of the other Qyburn victims. Considering Qyburn had access to Tywin's body and did something to it (the smell thing), it would be pretty easy to add Tywin. And where souls go (weirwood trees, ravens, whispering heads) and being trapped watching your body move without your control (Hodor) seem to be reoccuring themes.

We may not like it because it doesn't tie things together nearly, but that may be GRRM's intent. For me, at least at present, I'd rather have the BC turn out to be a bunch of "randoms" than a "secret, long game, Martell men."

Well, Team Illyrio-Varys did say this was no longer a game for two players. I assumed the second player was Doran (i can't come up with anyone else), so there must be some sort of long game.

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Quite an interesting theory.



Still, I have difficulties believing that Oberyn and Doran would rely on murderers and rapists, especially on Ulwyck who is a known child-raper, considering who Doran wishes to protect innocent children(He states that a lot in AFFC). I don't think Doran is involved.



I also have troubles regarding Qyburn and the UnGregor stuff. While he may had connections with Marwyn and Oberyn, I think this is purely out of necromancy love.



If this whole thing were to be true, I also wonder how Tyrion would have learned about it. How would he know Oberyn founded the Brave Companions, if it was supposed to be a secret ?



Because if it's no secret Oberyn created them, Tywin has no reason at all to hire them.



And if Tyrion doesn't know Oberyn found specifically the BC, how would he know he created a company at first ?


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Quite an interesting theory.

Still, I have difficulties believing that Oberyn and Doran would rely on murderers and rapists, especially on Ulwyck who is a known child-raper, considering who Doran wishes to protect innocent children(He states that a lot in AFFC). I don't think Doran is involved.

I also have troubles regarding Qyburn and the UnGregor stuff. While he may had connections with Marwyn and Oberyn, I think this is purely out of necromancy love.

If this whole thing were to be true, I also wonder how Tyrion would have learned about it. How would he know Oberyn founded the Brave Companions, if it was supposed to be a secret ?

Because if it's no secret Oberyn created them, Tywin has no reason at all to hire them.

And if Tyrion doesn't know Oberyn found specifically the BC, how would he know he created a company at first ?

On Doran and his "love of the innocent." Yes, it does seem a little weird to use rapists and murderers, but let's keep in mind there are many ways Doran and Oberyn can justify this in their twisted minds. After all, they didn't officially hire them and use them. Tywin did. But, let's also remember that Oberyn is evil enough to study blood magic and poison for years. And Doran is evil enough to send off his own son completely unprepared to bring back dragons.

As for Qyburn and Marwyn. We have some evidence that they're still talking. The two biggest indicators are 1) Qyburn knows about Euron's election before anyone else. That's glass candle speed of information, which points to Marwyn. and 2) The remaining Brave Companions head to Oldtown.

Tyrion only knew Oberyn founded a sellsword company. The name was a mystery. I don't know why the name was a mystery to Tyrion. Maybe the company changed its name after Oberyn left and Vargo took over.

All we really know is that Oberyn, a fabulously wealthy man, spent time with the Second Sons before founding his own company. Why? Sellswords fight for money. Oberyn already has money.

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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.

You are quite right. And that's not a small thing; that's a HUGE thing. Oberyn was up to shenanigans before Elia's death.

Countering Southron Ambitions? Planning revenge on the Tyrells and Yronwoods?

It seems pretty weird that a man would put so much time into poison, blood magic, the Faith of the Seven and a sellsword company without a larger purpose.

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I do think that it's interesting that UnGregor is an unstopable force for Tommen. And, if Qyburn's words are to be believed, this devotion is not simply to the "office" of the King. It's to Tommen.



"I had another sort of champion in mind. What he lacks in gallantry he will give you tenfold in devotion. He will protect your son, kill your enemies, and keep your secrets, and no living man will be able to withstand him."



"If it please Your Grace, Ser Robert has taken a holy vow of silence," Qyburn said. "He has sworn that he will not speak until all of His Grace's enemies are dead and evil has been driven from the realm."




Yet also, Maggy's prophecy means Tommen will die ("gold their shrouds"), so Qyburn has created a champion for an indefensible character, regardless of intent.



I also think SRS's protection of Tommen is simply part of Qyburn's "sales pitch" to Cersei that SRS can be trusted explicitly be Cersei herself, not so much a pure and undying statement of loyalty to Tommen specifically.



Secondly, I'm in the camp that believes fAegon is the "cloth dragon" of HOTU fame, and that the "cheering crowd" is the people of KL, so not only will Tommen die, but fAegon will take KL after Tommen's death to half-fulfill the "cloth dragon" propechy (the other half being Dany eventually deposing him), and Doran's stated plan of allying House Martell with House Targaryen will work to marginalize the Tyrells (House Martell's known enemy) and have them ousted from KL...



...all without involving the BC, Qyburn being Doran's man, or the Mountain being anything other than Frankenstein's monster.





Keep in mind, this strategy is largely the plot of the series and the thought behind the titles of "A Feast For Crows" and "A Dance With Dragons." Have your enemies fight and kill each other, then, come in and take over.




The Lannisters and the Tyrells are already at each other's throats. By sending Arianne to ally with fAegon (after sussing him out) and having Nym (council seat) and Tyene (HS) interact with people in high political and religious positions, Doran is already weakening the current regime from the inside and putting the SS in places of power to make an impact without needing the BC or Qyburn on his team as well.



So, yes, the themes you speak of are already in place, but do not require the Oberyn/BC theory to be true in order to be actualized.





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Yet also, Maggy's prophecy means Tommen will die ("gold their shrouds"), so Qyburn has created a champion for an indefensible character, regardless of intent.

I also think SRS's protection of Tommen is simply part of Qyburn's "sales pitch" to Cersei that SRS can be trusted explicitly be Cersei herself, not so much a pure and undying statement of loyalty to Tommen specifically.

Secondly, I'm in the camp that believes fAegon is the "cloth dragon" of HOTU fame, and that the "cheering crowd" is the people of KL, so not only will Tommen die, but fAegon will take KL after Tommen's death to half-fulfill the "cloth dragon" propechy (the other half being Dany eventually deposing him), and Doran's stated plan of allying House Martell with House Targaryen will work to marginalize the Tyrells (House Martell's known enemy) and have them ousted from KL...

...all without involving the BC, Qyburn being Doran's man, or the Mountain being anything other than Frankenstein's monster.

We don't know when Tommen and Myrcella are going to die. UnGregor might rampage for a while. In fact, if we're playing prophecy, we have Bran's dream about UnGregor as well. So, he has to be significant.

I'm with you on fAegon taking over, but I see that happening after the trials and the Tyrells and Lannisters do battle. But right now, the Tyrells are too stong.

Right now, it looks like Cersei is guitly and Margaery is innocent...which means Cercei will likely win her trial and Margaery lose. The Martells will also ensure these outcomes with UnGregor for Cersei and their influence on the Sparrows for Margaery. The Tyrells have their armies surrounding KL, so the invasion will occur after Margaery's guilty verdict. UnGregor will be there to lay waste to the Tyrells.

The people will be so sick of fighting and will find both the Tyrells and Lannisters unholy. The Tyrells have an "adulterer" and the Lannisters, though "not" an adulterer, are liars who did not execute the Mountain.

fAegon will be welcome.

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

Occam's Razor is for logic. That doesn't go out the window just because there are dragons in the book.

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

That's all we've seen so far but that doesn't mean it's all of it, Slayer of Lies basically covers what his plot appears to be.

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?

The Bloody Mummers screw up Lorch and Jamie, both enemy combatants at the time. Cersei's trouble is much more her own fault then it is the work of the Mummers. A former member of the company has the Mountain's body but the company itself does not, and Qyburn doesn't have Tywin's body AFAIK.

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.

There not as famous as The Mountain That Rides though. Besides which fame is only tenuously connected to achievement.

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.

Doran doesn't know where Dany is though, that's why Quentyn is in Volantis a place Dany's never been. Of course, once in Volantis Quentyn is getting news of Dany much faster than anyone in Westeros and so can react accordingly.

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).

Varys knew that war was coming, eventually, because he was, eventually, going to start one. No one else seems to have known. Stannis doesn't appear to have been planning for a war since he reacted so slowly once it started. Renly's plan for Margaery is to get the Lannisters away from the throne but isn't anticipating a war at all (though it probably would've caused one). We have no evidence for when the Brave Companions were hired but it doesn't seem to have been before the war started.

After all, they didn't officially hire them and use them.

No they just created them. That's waay worse.

But, let's also remember that Oberyn is evil enough to study blood magic and poison for years.

1) Evidence that Oberyn studied blood magic?

2) The study of poison is not an inherently evil act, especially as such study would likely be focused on identifying and treating them. Remember that Pycelle is also well educated in poisons, but he's not what I would call evil.

3) Oberyn studied a number of subjects during his time at the Citadel and may not have devoted very much time to poisons at all.

And Doran is evil enough to send off his own son completely unprepared to bring back dragons.

How is this evil? More specifically, how is this evil on the same level as "let's go unleash a bunch of rapists and murderers on defenseless innocents" like you seem to be suggesting?

As for Qyburn and Marwyn. We have some evidence that they're still talking. The two biggest indicators are 1) Qyburn knows about Euron's election before anyone else. That's glass candle speed of information, which points to Marwyn. and 2) The remaining Brave Companions head to Oldtown.

1) Varys' little birds also worked at that speed and Qyburn seems to have inherited them.

2) A portion of the Bloody Mummers have headed in the direction of Oldtown. That doesn't mean it's where they're going and it certainly doesn't mean they're going to the Citadel.

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On Doran and his "love of the innocent." Yes, it does seem a little weird to use rapists and murderers, but let's keep in mind there are many ways Doran and Oberyn can justify this in their twisted minds. After all, they didn't officially hire them and use them. Tywin did.

I would also be one to put forth that using rapists and murderers stains Oberyn's and Doran's characters in a way that would make some (myself included) root against them.

Further, for Doran to use the SS as a means to an end but not inform them of his ties to the BC is downright cruel, and implies he trusts Qyburn and company over Oberyn's own blood, which is another unlikable trait.

And to use sellswords in the first place? "Loyal sellswords are as rare as virgin whores," "sellswords are notoriously unfaithful," and "sellswords break their contracts all the time" are but a few quotes that would make intelligent, deliberate Doran Martell look... less so by the moment. Did Tywin hire the BC only to have them backfire on him? Sure. Was Doran then "dumb enough" to think the BC would remain more loyal to him than Oberyn's own daughters? That is certainly one of the unfortunate implications of your proposition, if true.

Note: I have yet to knock anything in the OP, because I still think it's very well put together and fun to think about. But, again, I also still think it undermines some pretty important themes, character traits and plot elements if true.

Further, I think GRRM can only pull the rug out so meant times before the end - Jon's parentage, the identities of the three heads, the resolution of all the prophecies, the Wall falling down, another tragic Stark death, or whatever else he may intend. In that light, the reveal of the deceptively absent origin of the BC, IMO, would just muddy the waters. And after rereading several passages regarding the BC over the last few days due to your highly entertaining theory, I can't help but think that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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I would also be one to put forth that using rapists and murderers stains Oberyn's and Doran's characters in a way that would make some (myself included) root against them.

Further, for Doran to use the SS as a means to an end but not inform them of his ties to the BC is downright cruel, and implies he trusts Qyburn and company over Oberyn's own blood, which is another unlikable trait.

Oh, I dislike Doran and Oberyn very much. They are horrible human beings (then again, we only have a handfull of good human beings left in our stories: Jon, Sam, Davos, Tommen, Myrcella, Barristan, Sansa)

Take Doran...please. Let's say he is honest and he sent Quentyn to bring back Dany. So, at best, he was incompetant and cruel. He sent his son grossly unprepared on a "perilous voyage, with an uncertain welcome at its end" to bring back "vengeance," "justice." and "fire and blood." He could have easily given him the dragon book, or some better clothes, or some more men, or directed them not out of Planky Town, or hooked them up with contacts in Volantis. Anything, really. In fact, the dragon book itself might have saved Quentyn's life if it told that you can kill dragons by shooting them in the eye. And for what? The ability to burn soldiers alive? This is not a targeted vengeance at a few people. It's destructive war where innocents will die.

At worst, Doran did something darker. The Quentyn Quest certainly didn't look like a plan for succees, which means it was probably planned for failure. This means he either greatly risked his son's life for a ruse, sacrificed his son or sent a fake Quentyn. Not to mention the poor Yronwood boys and maester Kedry. And at worst he really does want vengeance: on the Lannisters, on the Tyrells, on the Yronwoods, on the Targaryens, on the Baratheons, on everyone.

Take Oberyn. Let's assume that's he's an angel and was innocent of poisoning Yronwood. He still studied poison and dark magic. He still thought risking his life to fight the Mountain with magical poison was more important than being a father to 8 daughters. And considering what sick fucks Obara, Nym and Tyene are, it doesn't look like he was a great father anyway.

Doran and Oberyn simply aren't good people.

But, on a whether a cigar is cigar. Well, this is outside the scope of my OP, but there's an interesting little thing that happens with Timeon, Shagwell and Pyg and Randyll Tarly that makes me think the Brave Companions have more secrets. Maybe its nothing; maybe its something.

So, we know Randyll Tarly has once dabbled in magic since he once hired warlocks from Qarth to de-craven Samwell.

And we hear this tale from Nimble Dick as Brienne heads out to Crackclaw Point:

"His wife was a woods witch. Whenever Ser Clarence killed a man, he'd fetch his head back home and his wife would kiss it on the lips and bring it back t' life. Lords, they were, and wizards, and famous knights and pirates. One was king o' Duskendale. They gave old Crabb good counsel. Being they was just heads, they couldn't talk real loud, but they never shut up neither. When you're a head, talking's all you got to pass the day. So Crabb's keep got named the Whispers. Still is, though it's been a ruin for a thousand years. A lonely place, the Whispers."

After Brienne kills Timeon, Pyg and Shagwell, this happens:

It was Hyle Hunt who insisted that they take the heads. "Tarly will want them for the walls," he said.

"We have no tar," Brienne pointed out. "The flesh will rot. Leave them." She did not want to travel through the green gloom of the piney woods with the heads of the men she'd killed.

Hunt would not listen. He hacked through the dead men's necks himself, tied the three heads together by the hair, and slung them from his saddle. Brienne had no choice but to try and pretend they were not there, but sometimes, especially at night, she could feel their dead eyes on her back, and once she dreamed she heard them whispering to one another.

Now, maybe its nothing. Maybe Nimble Dick's story was just there to contribute to Brienne's later nightmares.

Then, again, Tarly doesn't really need extra heads. He's been hanging outlaws right and left and hasn't been putting their heads on the walls. And while Timeon, Pyg and Shagwell are Brave Companions, they're faces aren't famous. Shagwell was walking around quite openly when he found Nimble DIck. So, Hunt is either mistaken about their importance or is hiding something.

If Tarly believes in magic and knows the story of Crackclaw Point, he may think he can make these heads talk and learn the secrets of the Brave Companions.

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You are quite right. And that's not a small thing; that's a HUGE thing. Oberyn was up to shenanigans before Elia's death.

Countering Southron Ambitions? Planning revenge on the Tyrells and Yronwoods?

It seems pretty weird that a man would put so much time into poison, blood magic, the Faith of the Seven and a sellsword company without a larger purpose.

But you've stated in your OP as Oberyn's having formed the Brave Companions so he could take revenge against Tywin, correct? But the timeline doesn't work with that.

In the timelines, there is not much time for Oberyn to have had his own sellsword company (he served with the Second Sons first, and that's a minimum of a year, we learn in Dance, and after that, he formed his own company. ; Oberyn spend time in Westeros in 281AC for certain, and in 278AC for certain, leaving a 2 year gap or a 3 year gap, depending on whether Oberyn did the sellsword thing before Harrenhal or after).

Spending 1 or 2 years with a company you formed on your own (something which doesn't happen overnight) seems a bit little, to me.

Also, I can't recall Oberyn having spend a lot of time studying the Faith? When did this happen? As to Doran and the books he gives Arianne during her imprisonment, he could hardly give her books on war, after having arrested her for trying to start one. The books she is given are dull books, especially for a personality like Arianne. It's used to subdue her.

Revenge agains the Tyrells? Revenge for what?

Now, maybe its nothing. Maybe Nimble Dick's story was just there to contribute to Brienne's later nightmares.

Then, again, Tarly doesn't really need extra heads. He's been hanging outlaws right and left and hasn't been putting their heads on the walls. And while Timeon, Pyg and Shagwell are Brave Companions, they're faces aren't famous. Shagwell was walking around quite openly when he found Nimble DIck. So, Hunt is either mistaken about their importance or is hiding something.

If Tarly believes in magic and knows the story of Crackclaw Point, he may think he can make these heads talk and learn the secrets of the Brave Companions.

It's not uncommon for lords to decorate their spikes with the heads of outlaws who have been harrassing their people, be they famous outlaws or no.

And if the three they killed were in fact important, in the sense that they were send against the Lannisters secretly, how would Tarly, or Hunt, know about such secret plans from two Dornishmen?

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But you've stated in your OP as Oberyn's having formed the Brave Companions so he could take revenge against Tywin, correct? But the timeline doesn't work with that.

And you've changed my mind. Oberyn was up to something else with the Brave Companions and then switched his plan when Elia died. Unless they were formed in the short period after her death and the end of his exile. Okay, let's try to put together a timeline:

Appoximate dates, of course:

258 Oberyn born

273 The Yronwood Incident - Exile begins - Heads to Oldtown. I'm basing this on Tyrion's "When he was no more than sixteen"

274 Obara born (mother is an Oldtown whore)

275 Meets Volantian noble. In Oldtown? In Volantis?

276 Nymeria born (mother is a Volantian noble) Im basing this on Nymeria being 25 in Feast

276 Oberyn meets Tyene's Septa mother. In Oldtown? In the Reach? Tourneyat Storm's End? Unlikely abroad.

277 Tourney at Storm's End

277 Tyene born

In Lys, Free Cities????

280 Meets Sarella's mother.

281 Sarella born

281 Harrenhall Tourney

????

282 Quentyn born

283 Elia dies

285 Exile ends, Quentyn is fostered, Oberyn meets Ellaria, Elia Sand is born

So, if I were going to piece together Oberyn's life, it looks like he spent at least 2 years at the Citadel (six links), but probably more like 3 or 4. It's possible he went to Volantis and back, but more likely he met his Volantian noble in Oldtown. It's very unlikey he met Tyene's mom in Essos. I wonder if he met her at the Tourney at Storm's End in 277?

It is interesting that he travels all the way back to Westeros for the Harrenhall Tourney only to return to exile. It seems like the boat ride is where he met Sarella's mom. It must have been a really important tourney.

So, I'm seeing a 4 years gap before the Harrenhal tourney and a 4 year gap after the tourney that Oberyn can work with.

On religion, what I'm saying is that Oberyn bedded a septa and then had his daughter raised with heavy religious knowledge.

On books, a book on dragons is extremely rare. He didn't give it to her for fun or to pass the time. It was to educate her on dragons (along with Dornish law, history and septons). Yet, he failed to give a book to Quentyn. Quentyn looked like a chump when he didn't know anything on dragons in front of Dany.

On Tyrells, its historical hatred. Their families were kept apart at Joffrey's wedding.

On Brave Companion's Heads. They were famous, but only in name. No one knew Shagwell's face. He even walked around in his fool's outfit. Yes, people put up heads all the time, but Tarly wasn't doing that and even if he did, what good are these three specific Brave Companion heads? As for secrets. How would Tarly know that the Brave Companions had information? I don't know. That is a mystery, but so is Tarly, Meribald and the Elder Brother. They're all weird liars who want Brienne to go home. I don't know why.

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Oh, I dislike Doran and Oberyn very much. They are horrible human beings (then again, we only have a handfull of good human beings left in our stories: Jon, Sam, Davos, Tommen, Myrcella, Barristan, Sansa)

Take Doran...please. Let's say he is honest and he sent Quentyn to bring back Dany. So, at best, he was incompetant and cruel. He sent his son grossly unprepared on a "perilous voyage, with an uncertain welcome at its end" to bring back "vengeance," "justice." and "fire and blood." He could have easily given him the dragon book, or some better clothes, or some more men, or directed them not out of Planky Town, or hooked them up with contacts in Volantis. Anything, really. In fact, the dragon book itself might have saved Quentyn's life if it told that you can kill dragons by shooting them in the eye. And for what? The ability to burn soldiers alive? This is not a targeted vengeance at a few people. It's destructive war where innocents will die.

At worst, Doran did something darker. The Quentyn Quest certainly didn't look like a plan for succees, which means it was probably planned for failure. This means he either greatly risked his son's life for a ruse, sacrificed his son or sent a fake Quentyn. Not to mention the poor Yronwood boys and maester Kedry. And at worst he really does want vengeance: on the Lannisters, on the Tyrells, on the Yronwoods, on the Targaryens, on the Baratheons, on everyone.

Take Oberyn. Let's assume that's he's an angel and was innocent of poisoning Yronwood. He still studied poison and dark magic. He still thought risking his life to fight the Mountain with magical poison was more important than being a father to 8 daughters. And considering what sick fucks Obara, Nym and Tyene are, it doesn't look like he was a great father anyway.

Doran and Oberyn simply aren't good people.

Look, I’m not saying Oberyn and Doran are saints, but I do think they are primarily interested in doing things for what they saw was the betterment of their house, within the lines of their culture and station – Oberyn passionately, violently and sometimes rashly, and Doran as a player of the Game, with patience, intelligence and strategy.

But I simply don’t equate Doran’s or Oberyn’s actions with rape or the murder of children. If you do (at least for the purposes of this theory, and Doran and Oberyn condoning the actions of the BC), then perhaps you would also suggest that it would not alter how you (or other readers should) feel about Doran if he’s simply raped Quentyn instead of sent him to Essos, and then murdered a child to celebrate the deed.

For my part, I simply view Doran and Oberyn as a couple of more “grey characters” trying to do what they believe is the right thing by their house, and that neither of them would directly commit or condone rape or the murder of children.

But, of course, the behavior of the BC is only a problem if you view them as loyal extension of House Martell.

Perhaps instead, there’s something to the idea of Oberyn having formed a sellsword company that he later abandoned / lost touch with, which since lost sight of its original cause. They changed ownership and broke contracts so many times that they no longer remember (or are loyal to) the purpose for which they were formed. And Vargo Hoat may have not even known that Oberyn was the BC’s founder.

This at least would then alleviate the “requirement” that all of the actions of the BC are endorsed or condoned by the Martells, but also still tie together Oberyn’s unknown sellsword company and the BC’s unknown origin.

Depending on how far you take this notion, this could also mean that Qyburn is in fact not loyal to Doran, and that Gregor is indeed simply Frankenstein’s monster. Or perhaps that Vargo’s “hobby” of chopping off hands and feet was simply his own fetish, and something that he did without the buy-in of “management.”

Just another thought on the whole thing. But what I don’t like are the ideas that either Doran and/or Oberyn condone rape and child murder (which in my mind is equivalent to committing the deeds themselves) or that Doran is dumb enough to think a sellsword company comprised of murderers, thieves and rapists will remain loyal to him, and that he can totally count on Qyburn to provide accurate intelligence and execute his bidding without question.

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Oh, I dislike Doran and Oberyn very much. They are horrible human beings (then again, we only have a handfull of good human beings left in our stories: Jon, Sam, Davos, Tommen, Myrcella, Barristan, Sansa)

HOW DARE YOU! DANY MUST BE GOOD! SHE MUST!

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Aegon Blackfyre will seem welcome but he has no dragons. He won't be able to control all the regions, least of all the North.


The Lannisters have long surpassed their zenith and are falling so quickly. Varys might've killed the last competent one.


The Tyrells still have a lot of power in terms of economy and military, so I don't see how this will work out.


Nonetheless Tyrells might get sick of trying to rule in this sick environment (Faith Militant etc.) and return to their own lands.


That is my understanding.



In the end the real saviour, Dany, will come on her Drogon, potentially get two other dragonlords (Jon Stark-garyen?, maybe even Aegon Fakefyre)


and save us all from the Eternal Winter.


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Just another thought on the whole thing. But what I don’t like are the ideas that either Doran and/or Oberyn condone rape and child murder (which in my mind is equivalent to committing the deeds themselves) or that Doran is dumb enough to think a sellsword company comprised of murderers, thieves and rapists will remain loyal to him, and that he can totally count on Qyburn to provide accurate intelligence and execute his bidding without question.

What I see as essential is the sacrilege nature of the BC.

Prior to the Sparrow movement, the High Septon was a non-player.

Yet, Oberyn raised a child religious and Doran gave religious books to Arianne before they knew the Sparrow movement had taken over and had been armed. (In Cercei V, events of Princess in the Tower are mentioned, but the High Sparrow doesn't sit or become armed until Cercei VI). They somehow knew the Sparrow movement was coming and would be important. (Doran wants Arianne to know about history, Dornish Law, dragons and septons).

Now, it may be Qyburn was playing Oberyn. Oberyn may have just wanted septs sacked and so he felt a mostly foreign group would be perfect since they shouldn't have qualms about destroying buildings that aren't their faith. Oberyn may have miscalculated how evil the BC had become. And Qyburn might have corrupted the BC.

Essentially, the child rape and murder was not needed, but the Faith of the Seven needed to be provoked.

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Essentially, the child rape and murder was not needed, but the Faith of the Seven needed to be provoked.

Even without the rape and murder, the BC created the sparrow movement such that the survivors chose to migrate to KL to avoid continued persecution in the field.

Therefore, by the nature of their creation, the sparrows ought to be enemies of the BC.

By extension, enemies of the BC and their causes (as you propose, killing Tywin, removing his offspring from power, etc.) should be interested in the opposing goals (keeping Tywin’s offspring in power, etc.), yet the HS is actively trying to take Cersei down in a very public way.

So how does provoking the Faith help the Martell cause, as you see it, if the anticipated result of provoking someone ought to be to turn them against your cause?

Alternately, since the HS is working to depose Cersei (again, removing Tywin's offspring from power), might that instead make the sparrows an unwitting ally of Doran's, and - by extension - the BC? Yet Doran sends Tyene to spy on the new HS because he is "not a puppet," implying quite strongly that they are not allies, and further that the HS is definitely not someone that Doran has put in power.

So, again, how does provoking the Faith in the field do anything other than mobilize them against the Martells? And who could have predicted that the one of the HS's goals (who should by all rights be an enemy of the BC) would be to depose Cersei, which ought mean that at least one of the Martell, BC, and HS goals are all in alignment?

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Even without the rape and murder, the BC created the sparrow movement such that the survivors chose to migrate to KL to avoid continued persecution in the field.

Therefore, by the nature of their creation, the sparrows ought to be enemies of the BC.

By extension, enemies of the BC and their causes (as you propose, killing Tywin, removing his offspring from power, etc.) should be interested in the opposing goals (keeping Tywin’s offspring in power, etc.), yet the HS is actively trying to take Cersei down in a very public way.

So how does provoking the Faith help the Martell cause, as you see it, if the anticipated result of provoking someone ought to be to turn them against your cause?

Alternately, since the HS is working to depose Cersei (again, removing Tywin's offspring from power), might that instead make the sparrows an unwitting ally of Doran's, and - by extension - the BC? Yet Doran sends Tyene to spy on the new HS because he is "not a puppet," implying quite strongly that they are not allies, and further that the HS is definitely not someone that Doran has put in power.

So, again, how does provoking the Faith in the field do anything other than mobilize them against the Martells? And who could have predicted that the one of the HS's goals (who should by all rights be an enemy of the BC) would be to depose Cersei, which ought mean that at least one of the Martell, BC, and HS goals are all in alignment?

Because everyone thought the BC were Lannister men. The Martells' connection to the BC is secret and they are not in the war yet officially and thus don't take any blame.

But, yes, the Sparrows do hate the BC and, by extension, hate the Lannisters.

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Because everyone thought the BC were Lannister men. The Martells' connection to the BC is secret and they are not in the war yet officially and thus don't take any blame.

But, yes, the Sparrows do hate the BC and, by extension, hate the Lannisters.

That doesn’t really answer the question of how Doran/Oberyn could have anticipated – by raping and murdering members of the Faith in the field – that the Faith’s goals would have ended up in alignment with their own.

Again, how does provoking the Faith help the Martell cause if the anticipated result of provoking someone ought to be to turn them against your cause?

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