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Skinchanging Sweetrobin

Oberyn's Sellsword Company was the Brave Companions

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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?

I'm not quite following.

Provoking the Faith would have the expected result of creating a backlash. People generally want revenge when they are wronged. The BC wronged the Faith in the name of the Lannisters. And, in turn, the Faith wants revenge on the Lannisters.

Essentially, the Martells are framing the Lannisters for sacrilige through the BC.

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I'm not quite following.

Provoking the Faith would have the expected result of creating a backlash. People generally want revenge when they are wronged. The BC wronged the Faith in the name of the Lannisters. And, in turn, the Faith wants revenge on the Lannisters.

Essentially, the Martells are framing the Lannisters for sacrilige through the BC.

That’s a clearer view of your take, for me, although it also means that the backlash/uprising resulted in the promotion of a man Doran does not trust – the High Sparrow.

As mentioned before, he 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 not someone that Doran has put in power directly, intentionally or at all.

So is the rise of the HS a sign of the Martell plan gone wrong, as you see it?

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That’s a clearer view of your take, for me, although it also means that the backlash/uprising resulted in the promotion of a man Doran does not trust – the High Sparrow.

As mentioned before, he 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 not someone that Doran has put in power directly, intentionally or at all.

So is the rise of the HS a sign of the Martell plan gone wrong, as you see it?

I think he definitely wanted the HS to rise so he could put Cersei on trial and force her to reveal UnGregor.

I think things get a little shakier for Doran after that. Can Tyene really control the HS? Can anyone control UnGregor? Can anyone control Qyburn?

Littlefinger once told Sansa that pieces don't always move how you want them to. I think Doran thinks he can move the pieces how he wants them. He has masterfully manipluated his daughter and son into doing his bidding. And he locks up the Sand Snakes and Arianne when they don't do his bidding. But, Doran plays a long game which leaves little room for improv. His arrogance and inability to adapt will be his downfall.

I see a bunch of weaknesses in the Doran Master Plan: the High Sparrow, possible Tyrell spying (glass candle, Brave Companion heads), the Brotherhood Without Banners, Jaime and Brienne, the Ironborn, Arianne's conscience and, of course, Littlefinger.

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(snip)

I can’t say I agree with all of the above, but I feel like we’ve beat the endgame horse quite a bit, and have our differences on what we think tells a better story.

To address something from the OP, though, the singular statement in the text that Oberyn formed a sellsword comes from Tyrion’s POV, thinking to himself:

[Doran] had traveled in the Free Cities, learning the poisoner’s trade and perhaps arts darker still, if rumors could be believed. He had studied at the Citadel, going so far as to forge six links of a maester’s chain before he grew bored. He had soldered in the Disputed Lands across the narrow sea, riding with the Second Sons for a time before forming his own company.

This means it is at least somewhat common knowledge in Tyrion’s circles that Oberyn formed a company. Following that logic, it’s probable that other council members know as well, to include Tywin, LF, Varys, etc., etc.

The Lannisters/council should theoretically also know who that company is, and know that it is not, in fact, the BC.

It’s a pretty simple question to you, I think: How is it possible that the Lannisters/council know that Oberyn formed a sellsword company and not also know which one? Isn’t that a really flimsy plot hole?

For my part, as easily as you can posit that the answer is the BC and that the Lannisters simply don't know, I think it’s even lower hanging fruit to put forth that the answer to “which company” is instead somewhat irrelevant, because the company that Oberyn formed is known to not be the BC, or else Tywin would never have hired them.

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I can’t say I agree with all of the above, but I feel like we’ve beat the endgame horse quite a bit, and have our differences on what we think tells a better story.

To address something from the OP, though, the singular statement in the text that Oberyn formed a sellsword comes from Tyrion’s POV, thinking to himself:

[Doran] had traveled in the Free Cities, learning the poisoner’s trade and perhaps arts darker still, if rumors could be believed. He had studied at the Citadel, going so far as to forge six links of a maester’s chain before he grew bored. He had soldered in the Disputed Lands across the narrow sea, riding with the Second Sons for a time before forming his own company.

This means it is at least somewhat common knowledge in Tyrion’s circles that Oberyn formed a company. Following that logic, it’s probable that other council members know as well, to include Tywin, LF, Varys, etc., etc.

The Lannisters/council should theoretically also know who that company is, and know that it is not, in fact, the BC.

It’s a pretty simple question to you, I think: How is it possible that the Lannisters/council know that Oberyn formed a sellsword company and not also know which one? Isn’t that a really flimsy plot hole?

For my part, as easily as you can posit that the answer is the BC and that the Lannisters simply don't know, I think it’s even lower hanging fruit to put forth that the answer to “which company” is instead somewhat irrelevant, because the company that Oberyn formed is known to not be the BC, or else Tywin would never have hired them.

Good point.Knowing which company was founded by Oberyn is not such a big deal.A merc company is not some assassin's guild to be kept secret but on the contrary it has to be known as widely as possible so it can advertise itself and get jobs.

There are many such companies in Esssos and we don't know the names of all of them cause the don't really matter.Same could be said for our case.Oberyn's just another sellsword company ,with a fancy cocky name that would fit the Dornish prince's attitutde who doesn't really play any role anywhere.

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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.

Ah, timelines :) I love timelines

A few corrections are necessary.

258AC : Oberyn is born

271/272: being 28 years old in 300AC places Obara's birth in either 271AC (28 turning 29 in 300AC) or 272AC (27 turning 28 in 300AC). Obara is born in Oldtown.

274AC: The Yronwood incident. Not 273AC. Oberyn was 16 when exiled and because he was born in 258AC, he would have been 16 in 274AC (15 turning 16) and in 275AC (16 turning 17). Tyrion was born in 274AC, and Oberyn was at CR shortly thereafter. Most likely the incident happened in 274AC, though small chance it occured in 275AC instead.

274/275AC: Nymeria Sand is born in Volantis, in either 275AC (if conceived in Volantis) or in 274AC or 275AC (if conceived in Westeros, since though Oberyn's exile above is placed in 274AC, I did mention the small chance of it having taken place in 275AC; with Nym being 25 in 300AC, she would have been eitehr 24 turning 25 or 25 turning 26 in 300AC. If she was born in 274AC, Tyrions birth, Oberyns duel, and his meeting with Nyms mother would all hae occured in the first 3 months of 274AC, which is highly unlikely, making 275AC Nym's most likely year of birth, no matter where the conception has taken place)

Next comes Tyene. Being 23 in 300AC places her birth in either 277AC (22 turning 23) or 276AC (23 turning 24). On Tyene, we have no additional information, although we know her conception (276AC or 275AC) will have taken place in Westeros, since there are no septa's in Essos. With Oberyn's exile having begun in 274AC, one year seems a little short. His exile will have had a 2 year minimum, and this seems to have been the case. That would put his return to Westeros in 276AC, and Tyene's birth in 277AC.

277AC: Tyene born

277AC: You've placed a tourney in Storm's End here. Which tourney? I can't recall a tourney having taken place there

The next "firm" date we have is Sarella birth. Sarella is 19 in 300AC, placing her birth in 280AC or 281AC. Oberyn did not need to have been in Westeros for this, nor for her conception, since her mother captains a ships. Oberyn could have met her at any port he visited.

We known that Oberyn visited the Free Cities (studied poisons etc), and after that studied af the Citadel. In my signature link (the maesters chain), we've been trying to figure out how many links you need to be a maester (we still don't have an answer), and there we've figured out that exceptional students can earn 6 links in 2 years time only (and with Sarella being such an example, it wouldn't be strange for Oberyn to have done so as well). Average students earn 1 link a year, making the maximum time Oberyn spend at the Citadel 6 years,, which we can see is impossible. Let's take the two years, give or take a few months.

With Tyene's conception in 276AC, we know this is the year Oberyn returned to Westeros. studying for a little more than 2 years at the Citadel, Oberyn would finish his studies in 278AC/279AC.

Oberyn returns to Essos, where he serves with the Second Sons (with a 1 year minimum, as we see in Dance is the standard). Giving Oberyn as much time as is possible, he returned to Essos in 278AC, fought with the Second Sons until 279AC, and had 2 more years in Essos left, before returning to Westeros in 281AC, where he went to a Tourney at Storm's End (in either 281AC or 282AC, but most likely 281AC before Harenhal) and a Tourney at Harrenhal (in 281AC).

This means that from 281AC, Oberyn could have potentially gone to Essos again. His lack of presence in battle during the Rebellion suggests he was not in Westeros when Elia died, but we know he returned shortly after (Jon Arryn went to Sunspear in the year following the Rebellion, while Oberyn was already trying to start a Rebellion in the name of Viserys). So in late 283AC or some point in 284AC, Oberyn had returned to Dorne, and he would not often leave it anymore.

Quentyn, in the mean time, is born in 281AC (being 18 in both 299AC and 300AC). We don't know when he was fostered, but it seems to have been an extremely early age, suggesting something like 6, since we know that fostering from the age of 8 is rather normal.

You agree that Oberyn would have spend at least 2 years at the Citadel, possibly 3 or 4. In the timeline, for that, is time. That would make a scenario where Oberyn grows bored in Oldtown, goes to the Tourneys at Storm's End and Harrenhal, and after that returns to Essos, where he joins the Second Sons for a year, and then forms his own company. That own company, then, he'd be for only a year. Potentially, there is place in the timeline for this scenario.

You have plaes Quentyn's age at 3 when he was fostered out. That seems not right to me. Too young, such a foster child would have no purpose. There is no indication that Oberyn's exile only ended when Quentyn was send away (he returned to Westeros several times in between, which is not done during exile, and had returned to Westeros for good by 284AC for certain, as the books show).

On the relegion: I know Oberyn bedded a septa, and that the septa had a daughter to whom she read from a religious book. But we don't know how far Oberyn was invovled in that. We don't know when he learned about Tyene, how old she was when she arrived at Sunspear. Children at the Water Gardens seem to have been between the ages of 5 and 10, and Obara tells us she was not there for long (1 or 2 years). With an age difference of 5 years between Obara and Tyene, Tyene might have been 4 or 5 years old already when Oberyn claimed her. Time enough for her mother to read her The Seven Pointed Star as a bedtime story (since the mother was a septa, she wouldn't have much other literature to choose from, besides religious books). Nothing suggests Oberyn continued that course after claiming Tyene.

Books on dragons don't seem to be so rare. Tyrion has read several. Why give Arianne a book on Dornish law, when she has been raised whilst being educateed with Dornish law (as its future ruler)?

The Tyrells were kept apart from Oberyn at Joffrey's wedding because Mace, Olenna and possibly Loras hate Oberyn for what happened to Willas. Not because of what a Martell did to a Tyrell 150 years ago.

On the Brave Companions: Perhaps it was just as a statement? As in: "The BC have been terrorising us, here's what will happen to them"? Could such a thing be possible?

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Ah, timelines :) I love timelines

Yeah, I was playing around with the years to try to minimize his travel back and forth from Oldtown and Essos - (like trying to place Obara's conception during his Citadel time and meeting his paramour after his exile), but really your dates are more accurate and more intriguing. By the way, we're talking about the same Storm's End Tourney - according to the wiki there are contradicting dates - whether its around Tyene's conception or the Harrenhal Tourney is largely irrelevant though. We know Oberyn was in Westeros for both of those events.

So, putting together what we have and making the bold assumption that Tyrion's story is chronological, would this work?

274-276 "He had traveled in the Free Cities, learning the poisoner’s trade and perhaps arts darker still" (Exile to meeting a septa)

276-281 "He had studied at the Citadel, going so far as to forge six links of a maester’s chain before he grew bored" (Septa to Harrenhal)

281-284 "He had soldiered in the Disputed Lands across the narrow sea, riding with the Second Sons for a time before forming his own company" (Harrenhal to Jon Arryn)

I'm not sure you agree, but this is what a find intriguing:

1) Oberyn was visiting Oldtown before he went to the Citadel

2) Oberyn was likely innocent of the Yronwood incident since he didn't start studying poison yet

3) Oberyn was studying poison and magic before Elia's death

4) Oberyn was learning to soldier before Elia's death

5) Meeting a septa, Harrenhal and Elia's death were all life-changing moments for Oberyn (or at least occured during major transitions)

6) His sellsword company may have played a role in his rebellion for Viserys.

Wow, so, the big take-away from for me is that Oberyn knew early on something was going down in the world. I mean, maybe he was only visiting Oldtown for the whores (no whores in Yronwood?) and maybe he just stumbled into studying magic and poison. But once Elia married Rhaegar, he should have a pretty good idea that Rhaegar had big plans.

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Yeah, I was playing around with the years to try to minimize his travel back and forth from Oldtown and Essos - (like trying to place Obara's conception during his Citadel time and meeting his paramour after his exile), but really your dates are more accurate and more intriguing. By the way, we're talking about the same Storm's End Tourney - according to the wiki there are contradicting dates - whether its around Tyene's conception or the Harrenhal Tourney is largely irrelevant though. We know Oberyn was in Westeros for both of those events.

So, putting together what we have and making the bold assumption that Tyrion's story is chronological, would this work?

274-276 "He had traveled in the Free Cities, learning the poisoner’s trade and perhaps arts darker still" (Exile to meeting a septa)

276-281 "He had studied at the Citadel, going so far as to forge six links of a maester’s chain before he grew bored" (Septa to Harrenhal)

281-284 "He had soldiered in the Disputed Lands across the narrow sea, riding with the Second Sons for a time before forming his own company" (Harrenhal to Jon Arryn)

I'm not sure you agree, but this is what a find intriguing:

1) Oberyn was visiting Oldtown before he went to the Citadel

2) Oberyn was likely innocent of the Yronwood incident since he didn't start studying poison yet

3) Oberyn was studying poison and magic before Elia's death

4) Oberyn was learning to soldier before Elia's death

5) Meeting a septa, Harrenhal and Elia's death were all life-changing moments for Oberyn (or at least occured during major transitions)

6) His sellsword company may have played a role in his rebellion for Viserys.

Wow, so, the big take-away from for me is that Oberyn knew early on something was going down in the world. I mean, maybe he was only visiting Oldtown for the whores (no whores in Yronwood?) and maybe he just stumbled into studying magic and poison. But once Elia married Rhaegar, he should have a pretty good idea that Rhaegar had big plans.

I would add that the previous Lord Commander of the Nights Watch before Mormont was a Qorgyle and Oberyn was fostered at House Qorgyle as well, so it seems that Oberyn has really wrapped himself all around Westeros and Essos.

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HS



I'm no expert on religious history , but the High Sparrow/Septon has always seemed to be a Savonorola - type figure , only more dangerous since Cersei gave him the right reform an armed order.(His sexual attitudes ,among other things would seem to agree with this , but not with Dornish attitudes) He seems to me more self made (like Savonorola )coming along at a time when the populace would be ripe for his particular message. ( of course there are Inquisition-type overtones as well ). I guess I just see him as more manipulating ( or trying to be ) than manipulated, and more genuinely religious in motivation than political .. even if his religious zeal is ickily warped.



Rhaegar - may indeed have had plans to seize power from Aerys , and the Harrenhall tourney may indeed have been a cover for meeting with so many great houses at once.



Oberyn



We've only met a few of the Sellsword companies,so there are lots of possibilities... but of the ones we have met , the Stormcrows seem more likely ,to me ,for potential ID as Oberyn's co.



If you wanted to establish a company that you could use for some purpose at some future time, if needed (but circumstances didn't allow you to stay with them)...then it seems to me the leadership of the SCs ,with 3 captains, would be a way to try to ensure that they didn't stray too far from your intentions while you were away. ( As in Volantis , 2 captains would always have to agree on any course of action).



How could Daario have taken the leadership the way he did , and keep the loyalty of the company, if his subordinates didn't feel the other two captains ( whozit and whatsit ) were leading them in the wrong direction ? Could he have taken their heads on his own without the company coming violently apart at the seams ?



Sure , Daario's charismatic and judging by the new Barristan chapters, inspires unexpected loyalty in his men ( not to mention discipline), but somehow, I don't think his personal charisma is all there is to it . ( ..ahem.. his charisma added to Oberyn's...maybe.. ) ;)



If Doran and Oberyn have always been a team, and I think they have, then the formation of the co. wasn't just some momentary whim. The 3 captain company seems a more cautious plan , a bit Doran-like .. But who knows ?....Whether the SCs turn out to be Oberyn's company or not , like Slayer of Lies , I just don't see O&D creating something as disgusting as the Brave Companions.



ETA: D&O have been deliberate , cautious..and maybe ruthless in some ways , but not wantonly cruel and undisciplined.


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Yeah, I was playing around with the years to try to minimize his travel back and forth from Oldtown and Essos - (like trying to place Obara's conception during his Citadel time and meeting his paramour after his exile), but really your dates are more accurate and more intriguing. By the way, we're talking about the same Storm's End Tourney - according to the wiki there are contradicting dates - whether its around Tyene's conception or the Harrenhal Tourney is largely irrelevant though. We know Oberyn was in Westeros for both of those events.

So, putting together what we have and making the bold assumption that Tyrion's story is chronological, would this work?

274-276 "He had traveled in the Free Cities, learning the poisoner’s trade and perhaps arts darker still" (Exile to meeting a septa)

276-281 "He had studied at the Citadel, going so far as to forge six links of a maester’s chain before he grew bored" (Septa to Harrenhal)

281-284 "He had soldiered in the Disputed Lands across the narrow sea, riding with the Second Sons for a time before forming his own company" (Harrenhal to Jon Arryn)

I'm not sure you agree, but this is what a find intriguing:

1) Oberyn was visiting Oldtown before he went to the Citadel

2) Oberyn was likely innocent of the Yronwood incident since he didn't start studying poison yet

3) Oberyn was studying poison and magic before Elia's death

4) Oberyn was learning to soldier before Elia's death

5) Meeting a septa, Harrenhal and Elia's death were all life-changing moments for Oberyn (or at least occured during major transitions)

6) His sellsword company may have played a role in his rebellion for Viserys.

Wow, so, the big take-away from for me is that Oberyn knew early on something was going down in the world. I mean, maybe he was only visiting Oldtown for the whores (no whores in Yronwood?) and maybe he just stumbled into studying magic and poison. But once Elia married Rhaegar, he should have a pretty good idea that Rhaegar had big plans.

According to the White Book entry (according to GRRM, the correct statement about the tourney, not Barristans memory) the Tourney at Storm's End took place after Simon Toyne's death. Simon died in early 281AC, so the tourney took place in either 281AC or 282AC (before the Rebellion began). Since Robert and Rhaegar both took place, I'd say the tourney took place after the Brotherhood was defeated, and before Harrenhal was announced, so roughly within the first half of 281AC. That would place Oberyn in 281AC for a longer period of time, but it's not necessarily a problem, since he would be in Westeros for Harrenhals Tourney anyway.

The wiki date seems to be wrong.

I did not go by Tyrion's story, but by two other sources. First, I took the RPG book, which lists it in this order (the alinea above ends with the Yronwood story, so after the Yronwood incident:)

After, Oberyn left Dorne to explore the Free Cities. There he dabbled

in the dark arts, learning the secrets of poisoning and far more, only to

return to the Seven Kingdoms to study at the Citadel. He stayed there

long enough to forge six links of a maester’s chain, and then he moved

on again. He fought in the Disputed Lands, rode with a mercenary

company for a time, and had many exploits of love, battles, wars, and

more.

In the App:

The prince leads a remarkable and varied life, first studying at the Citadel, where he learns both the higher mysteries and the art of poisons. He forges six links before growing bored. From there, he travels to the Free Cities, where he fights with the Second Sons in the Disputed Lands, then forms his own company for a time.

So it sounds like Oberyn went from exile (where he studied poisons and such), to the Citadel (so no longer in exile), to the Disputed Lands (just because he could, apparently :P )

So your

274-276 "He had traveled in the Free Cities, learning the poisoner’s trade and perhaps arts darker still" (Exile to meeting a septa)

276-281 "He had studied at the Citadel, going so far as to forge six links of a maester’s chain before he grew bored" (Septa to Harrenhal)

281-284 "He had soldiered in the Disputed Lands across the narrow sea, riding with the Second Sons for a time before forming his own company" (Harrenhal to Jon Arryn)

Is one corret view. I'd say there is also the possibility that the Citadel and the Disputed Lands both occured before the tourneys in 281AC, but we'll need more info to choose one. In any case, by 284AC he was in Dorne to stay.

As to:

1) Oberyn was visiting Oldtown before he went to the Citadel

2) Oberyn was likely innocent of the Yronwood incident since he didn't start studying poison yet

3) Oberyn was studying poison and magic before Elia's death

4) Oberyn was learning to soldier before Elia's death

5) Meeting a septa, Harrenhal and Elia's death were all life-changing moments for Oberyn (or at least occured during major transitions)

6) His sellsword company may have played a role in his rebellion for Viserys.

1) Indeed, it seems like he traveled Westeros before seeking it somewhat grander, in Essos.

2) Well, he does fight with a poisoned spear against the Mountain. That he hasn't studied poisons yet wouldn't mean he's completely innocent on the subject :) There are books he could have read.

3)Yes

4)Yes

5) I don't seen how meeting a septa changed Oberyn's life that much.. He most likely didn't know about Tyenes existence until she was a few years old. Looking at the time Oberyn arrived back in Dorne, 284AC, Tyene would have been 7 or 8 years old. Harrenhal might have made an impression on Oberyn, but not one good enough to keep him in Westeros. Elia's death was, without a doubt, a life-changing event for him. Just look at his lifestyle. Before, he constantly travelled and had children with different women, not keeping a stable relationship ( for as far as possible in Westeros). After Elia's death, he rarely left Dorne, had a stable relationship. Change of character.

6) that is an interesting notion, though we should keep in mind that he might never have gotten that far, though the idea could have been in his head. It seems that his rebellion plans did not seem to have gotten outside of the borders of Dorne.

Wow, so, the big take-away from for me is that Oberyn knew early on something was going down in the world. I mean, maybe he was only visiting Oldtown for the whores (no whores in Yronwood?) and maybe he just stumbled into studying magic and poison. But once Elia married Rhaegar, he should have a pretty good idea that Rhaegar had big plans.

I think Oberyn just really had trouble staying in one place. It's not so strange he'd journey around in his own land before doing so on other continents.

For Oberyn to know that Rhaegar had big plans, Rhaegar first had to know he had big plans. And until 282AC, those plans involved Elia, and no one else, it seems. Only when Rhaegar was told Elia could not have any more children, did hell brake loose.

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I would add that the previous Lord Commander of the Nights Watch before Mormont was a Qorgyle and Oberyn was fostered at House Qorgyle as well, so it seems that Oberyn has really wrapped himself all around Westeros and Essos.

Not every person Oberyn has ever met is involved in a secret conspiracy.. ;) Once, Oberyn would have been an innocent little boy being fostered away. Oberyn and the Qorgyle at the Wall might not even have known each other.

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I think Oberyn just really had trouble staying in one place. It's not so strange he'd journey around in his own land before doing so on other continents.

For Oberyn to know that Rhaegar had big plans, Rhaegar first had to know he had big plans. And until 282AC, those plans involved Elia, and no one else, it seems. Only when Rhaegar was told Elia could not have any more children, did hell brake loose.

Well, some people think Rhaegar used magic to win Harrenhal. I'm no Rhaegar expert and have spent very little time on him, Southron Ambitions, R+L =J or the Tower of Joy, so I have no clue.

We've only met a few of the Sellsword companies,so there are lots of possibilities... but of the ones we have met , the Stormcrows seem more likely ,to me ,for potential ID as Oberyn's co.

If you wanted to establish a company that you could use for some purpose at some future time, if needed (but circumstances didn't allow you to stay with them)...then it seems to me the leadership of the SCs ,with 3 captains, would be a way to try to ensure that they didn't stray too far from your intentions while you were away. ( As in Volantis , 2 captains would always have to agree on any course of action).

How could Daario have taken the leadership the way he did , and keep the loyalty of the company, if his subordinates didn't feel the other two captains ( whozit and whatsit ) were leading them in the wrong direction ? Could he have taken their heads on his own without the company coming violently apart at the seams ?

Sure , Daario's charismatic and judging by the new Barristan chapters, inspires unexpected loyalty in his men ( not to mention discipline), but somehow, I don't think his personal charisma is all there is to it . ( ..ahem.. his charisma added to Oberyn's...maybe.. ) ;)

If Doran and Oberyn have always been a team, and I think they have, then the formation of the co. wasn't just some momentary whim. The 3 captain company seems a more cautious plan , a bit Doran-like .. But who knows ?....Whether the SCs turn out to be Oberyn's company or not , like Slayer of Lies , I just don't see O&D creating something as disgusting as the Brave Companions.

So, first, let's assume Oberyn's sellsword company still exists. I certain think this is a pretty good assumption as Oberyn spent years fighting in the Disputed Lands. Oberyn created a company for a reason. Either 1) he wanted to learn how to be a good leader (as say Dany did) or 2) he wanted to use this company for some reason or 3) he was just bored and was fucking around. Now, Oberyn never pursued leadership after the project and seemed like a pretty dedicated guy, so I think the company was created for a plan of some sort.

Now, there are 12 sellsword companies mentioned in the series. 7 of them are too old to be Oberyn's (Second Sons, Bright Banners, Maiden's en, Ragged Standard, Golden Company , WIndblown, Iron Shields)

If Oberyn's company was one of the mentioned, that leave the Brave Companions, the Long Lances, the Galant Men, the Company of the Cat and the Stormcrows.

Now, the Long Lances are a small company that didn't do anything except get defeated. Too irrelevant.

The Gallant Men had Osmund Kettleback as member and used to fight for Lys and then Tyrosh. Don't seem to be part of the game.

That really leaves the Brave Companions, the Company of the Cat and the Stormcrows.

So I would say, either Oberyn is using the Brave Companions for his Lannister plan (what I think). Or Doran is using the Cats or the Stormcrows for a Dany plan.

ETA: D&O have been deliberate , cautious..and maybe ruthless in some ways , but not wantonly cruel and undisciplined.

This does seem to be everyone's main problem with my theory - too far out of Doran and Oberyn personality.

I'm not too sure. I actually think Doran may have maimed Myrcella even. We shall see.

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Well, some people think Rhaegar used magic to win Harrenhal. I'm no Rhaegar expert and have spent very little time on him, Southron Ambitions, R+L =J or the Tower of Joy, so I have no clue.

What? I have never heard about that one! The southron ambition, yes, I know that one. R+L=J and the ToJ stuff, I know that one. But using magic to win at Harrenhal... :p That's new..

Rhaegar had been close to winning tourneys before. O, could you point me to such a thread about Harrenhal? Sounds like fun.

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Didn't even think to check the app. I think this quote...

From there, he travels to the Free Cities, where he fights with the Second Sons in the Disputed Lands, then forms his own company for a time.

...supports the idea that the identity of Oberyn's sellsword company is irrelevant.

To me, "for a time" strongly suggests a disbanding of said company. Or a fading into obscurity. Not continued control and/or deep, ongoing political ties to the Martells.

On top of this, again, that Oberyn formed a sellsword company at all is only mentioned once in the books, and the image most readers conjure up if they even clue into that detail would most certainly not be the BC.

The more I think about, the more convinced I am that the BC as Oberyn's sellsword company is a non sequitur, on the merits of not only endgame implications and the alteration of Doran's and Oberyn's characters, but the fact that the Lannisters (the singular source of the reader's knowledge of the company) are not only aware of the company's existence, but its name as well. For that reason alone Oberyn's company - if still in existence - would never have been hired by Tywin.

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Didn't even think to check the app. I think this quote...

...supports the idea that the identity of Oberyn's sellsword company is irrelevant.

To me, "for a time" strongly suggests a disbanding of said company. Or a fading into obscurity. Not continued control and/or deep, ongoing political ties to the Martells.

On top of this, again, that Oberyn formed a sellsword company at all is only mentioned once in the books, and the image most readers conjure up if they even clue into that detail would most certainly not be the BC.

The more I think about, the more convinced I am that the BC as Oberyn's sellsword company is a non sequitur, on the merits of not only endgame implications and the alteration of Doran's and Oberyn's characters, but the fact that the Lannisters (the singular source of the reader's knowledge of the company) are not only aware of the company's existence, but its name as well. For that reason alone Oberyn's company - if still in existence - would never have been hired by Tywin.

I agree. I doubt the company Oberyn formed is of any importance, to be honest.

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I agree. I doubt the company Oberyn formed is of any importance, to be honest.

Here's the thing, though. If Oberyn was willing to die to kill the Mountain and orphan his children, it better be for a good reason. Oberyn had all sorts of opportunities to do this over the course of 17 years. Why then and there? Why not hire a Faceless Man or use Widow's Blood or the Strangler or a million ways to kill someone?

The killing of the Mountain must be worth dying for (or the extreme risk of dying)

Once killing the Mountain becomes important, the magic poison and the confession become important. And once the magic poison and the confession become important. Qyburn's creation of UnGregor and Qyburn's handling of the skull become important.

And once you link in Qyburn, the Brave Companions follow pretty easily.

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I think someone already mentioned - to force a public confession. Tywin would neither put him on trial nor execute the mountain himself ( both of which make Tywin look very bad ). Oberyn must have thought it was worth the risk to have the story out in the open. If it became at all obvious that Tywin gave more explicit orders than he'll admit to, that could have strengthened the support for Doran's Dany/Quentyn hopes , and weakened Tywin's support even at home.



ETA; Meant to say ..if Tywin had been willing to publicly execute Gregor for that specific crime , I think D&O , would have gone along ( while still working toward ultimate revenge on Tywin). If they're working toward a takeover , public perception of / sentiments toward Tywin could make quite a difference to them.


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