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Ice Turtle

Jon & Arya - hints and overall significance of their relationship (including part 3)

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I see Val as a possible even probable relationship. Jon is likely to became rather disillusioned with the Watch for a while, he will probably rebel against many principles he respected so far like celibacy, but I doubt she is his endgame.

If Jon is strong warrior and leader wildlings will follow him, his sexual life is not going to be topic n.1 for them, it is not as if his children were entitled to rule after him.

There has been actually been quite a lot of build-up for a relationship with Val and quite a number of subtle hints about her importance among the wildlings. Stannis is wrong about her being a princess, but I'm betting she has as much status in wildling society as a princess would have in the seven kingdoms... she's a "true princess", as Dalla was a "true queen". .. And at the same time, we see Jon growing to fit the description, "true king".

But I agree that at the end of Jon's story, he and Val may not be happily together. He may be coupled with someone else (including Arya), or no-one at all. GRRM can take it wherever he wants.

I think the celibacy rule will be the first thing to go from the NW oath. Not only is it not taken very seriously, now .. but it will be counter-productive .. ;).. what with the NW surrounded by so many wildlings at the Wall .. and in terms of human survival, with so many likely to die in the coming winter.

I think you're wrong about the free folk's potential attitude to Jon's sex life. Ygritte tells us ...

Women who bed brothers or fathers or clan kin offend the gods, and are cursed with weak and sickly children. Even monsters.

and ... Craster’s blood is black, and he bears a heavy curse.

I don't think the free folk would willingly follow a leader that they thought had offended the gods enough to be cursed. For each man or woman, that would mean that they were condoning his offense, thereby offending the gods themselves.

If you read the question why it wasn't redacted out than you probably should also read the answer, it is page 7. It sounds little conspiracy theory like, but it is possible and we will most likely never know for sure. But seriously, Jon not being Ned's son is clear from the letter too. Does it mean L+R=J is out? I doubt it.

The difference is that while the letter makes it plain that Jon 's parentage is in question, it doesn't spell out R+L=J .. It does spell out J+A .. which, if GRRM sticks to the original plan, would be a major spoiler.. I haven't seen an answer as to how or why this could have happened that convinces me it must be so .. so far.

Jon personally empowered Arya with Needle, not simply because she was his kin, but because she is very special to him. Robb repaying for that does not sound fulfilling, he never knew about Needle, he was the one who agreed to engage Arya to Elmar Frey. He was left out of this. Jon does have Stark blood, but he does not truly belong (as dead Starks in his dreams seem to think) and as son of Lyanna he can never come before Ned's children.

What I'm saying is.. I don't think "repaying" one gift with another is necessary. Between Jon and Arya, it sounds nice, but... Jon gave Needle because he cares for Arya. Freely given. No thought of return... Needle has nothing to do with what Robb did, or may have done.. But if Robb did designate Jon as his heir and legitimize him.. that will carry weight with his bannermen (whatever Stannis or King's Landing thinks).

I'm saying that this is a separate thing that could make Jon Lord of Winterfell and/or King in the North - and he would not need to marry Arya to make it so. ...Being the person he is, Jon would probably designate one of his "siblings" as his heir, before any children of his own, anyway (assuming he finds out they're alive)... or style himself their regent.

In Jon's dreams of the crypts , I believe he's wrong about not belonging .. this is the influence of his own insecurities .. after all, his own psychology factors into his dreams, too.

Ned says of Lyanna and the crypts, "This is her place".. and we believe it. Jon has her blood, and Ned tells Jon.."You are my blood." The blood is the thing.. I'm sure the bones of many Stark wives and children are in the crypts, but it's only the lords/kings (and Lyanna) that have statues. Most (not all) of those wives were not Starks .. And for that matter, can we be sure that there are no bastards among the children (Stark or otherwise) ?

There are ways Jon could come before Ned's children that would be accepted politically.

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I think you're wrong about the free folk's potential attitude to Jon's sex life. Ygritte tells us ...

Women who bed brothers or fathers or clan kin offend the gods, and are cursed with weak and sickly children. Even monsters.

and ... Craster’s blood is black, and he bears a heavy curse.

I don't think the free folk would willingly follow a leader that they thought had offended the gods enough to be cursed. For each man or woman, that would mean that they were condoning his offense, thereby offending the gods themselves.

The free folk base their believes on the clan stucture of their society. Clans, both patrilinear and matrilinear, exclude (by definition) cross cousins from being "clan kin".

I think much of the wildling clan structure and believes is based on Lewis Henry Morgan's famous work "Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family" which in turn is based on field studies on Iroquois society.

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I think you're wrong about the free folk's potential attitude to Jon's sex life. Ygritte tells us ...

The difference is that while the letter makes it plain that Jon 's parentage is in question, it doesn't spell out R+L=J .. It does spell out J+A .. which, if GRRM sticks to the original plan, would be a major spoiler.. I haven't seen an answer as to how or why this could have happened that convinces me it must be so .. so far.

What I'm saying is.. I don't think "repaying" one gift with another is necessary. Between Jon and Arya, it sounds nice, but... Jon gave Needle because he cares for Arya. Freely given. No thought of return... Needle has nothing to do with what Robb did, or may have done.. But if Robb did designate Jon as his heir and legitimize him.. that will carry weight with his bannermen (whatever Stannis or King's Landing thinks).

If the Free folk's feelings about incest are really so strong Jon would find himself in trouble anyway. He is grandson of first siblings and cousins. I think that they will accept it because he will always remain a kneeler in a way and will always have a little different values than them. They know this.

Not it so many words. But anyone with little logic can understand from it that Jon is not Ned's son. And if he is not Ned's and look as Stark there are not a lot of options left. Well I guess we have to wait if Sansa will have a son or if she dies. Or for the end of the series. Or maybe someone will decrypt the hidden part. We are going to be spoiled by the show anyway.

No, Jon did no expect anything back from Arya, but a lot of foreshadowing and hints have different meaning for readers than for characters in the story.

We do no know how the will is worded. If it does not literally declare Jon being a son of Eddard Stark, than he has no right to call himself a Stark.

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The difference is that while the letter makes it plain that Jon 's parentage is in question, it doesn't spell out R+L=J .. It does spell out J+A .. which, if GRRM sticks to the original plan, would be a major spoiler.. I haven't seen an answer as to how or why this could have happened that convinces me it must be so .. so far.

What I'm saying is.. I don't think "repaying" one gift with another is necessary. Between Jon and Arya, it sounds nice, but... Jon gave Needle because he cares for Arya. Freely given. No thought of return... Needle has nothing to do with what Robb did, or may have done.. But if Robb did designate Jon as his heir and legitimize him.. that will carry weight with his bannermen (whatever Stannis or King's Landing thinks).

I'm saying that this is a separate thing that could make Jon Lord of Winterfell and/or King in the North - and he would not need to marry Arya to make it so. ...Being the person he is, Jon would probably designate one of his "siblings" as his heir, before any children of his own, anyway (assuming he finds out they're alive)... or style himself their regent.

In Jon's dreams of the crypts , I believe he's wrong about not belonging .. this is the influence of his own insecurities .. after all, his own psychology factors into his dreams, too.

Ned says of Lyanna and the crypts, "This is her place".. and we believe it. Jon has her blood, and Ned tells Jon.."You are my blood." The blood is the thing.. I'm sure the bones of many Stark wives and children are in the crypts, but it's only the lords/kings (and Lyanna) that have statues. Most (not all) of those wives were not Starks .. And for that matter, can we be sure that there are no bastards among the children (Stark or otherwise) ?

There are ways Jon could come before Ned's children that would be accepted politically.

What do you mean by this:

I haven't seen an answer as to how or why this could have happened that convinces me it must be so

Why would they give away a spoiler about Jon and Arya but not spell out R+L? Why this could be released?

Remember, we don't know who redacted it, when or why. We don't know if they asked GRRM if they could display it or just thought it was archive material for a book published 20 years ago. We do know it was put on the internet by Waterstones, who are not part of HarperCollins and it was removed.

Or do you mean that you are not convinced that this MUST be the endgame still?

'I don't think "repaying" one gift with another is necessary. Between Jon and Arya, it sounds nice, but... Jon gave Needle because he cares for Arya. Freely given. No thought of return...'

No but the text is a comparison of their situations. And look at the broader conversation they have about the equality of the sexes, how a Queen is the equal of a King. Its about equality, each of them is denied equality but together they could be 'complete', like Joffrey's banners they are discussing, because they have what the other lacks. They are two halves. He can give her the sword and empower her, she can give him a name and empower him. Its clearly symbolic more than narrative.

'But if Robb did designate Jon as his heir and legitimize him.. that will carry weight with his bannermen'

That depends on when its revealed and even after. So he takes Robb's legitimisation only to find it was made under false assumptions, what does he do? He has taken his families rights based on a lie, what Cat always said he would do. If he wants to keep the North, he would likely marry one of Ned's kids. Or he could give it up. You also have to remember Robb was King of the Trident, does Jon get that with no Tully blood?

'In Jon's dreams of the crypts , I believe he's wrong about not belonging .. this is the influence of his own insecurities .. after all, his own psychology factors into his dreams, too.

Ned says of Lyanna and the crypts, "This is her place".. and we believe it. Jon has her blood, and Ned tells Jon.."You are my blood." The blood is the thing.. I'm sure the bones of many Stark wives and children are in the crypts, but it's only the lords/kings (and Lyanna) that have statues. Most (not all) of those wives were not Starks .. And for that matter, can we be sure that there are no bastards among the children (Stark or otherwise) ?'

I think his dreams are trying to tell him something. He is not a Stark in the patriarchal sense of the word. Lyanna was, she was Rickard's daughter. Jon is probably Rhaegars son and so a Targ in the patriarchal sense. That doesn't change he's half Stark. Its always how you relate to a man in their world.

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Shadowcat.. Re: Cross cousins.. We don't know yet if this would apply..It may, or may not. I'm a bit dubious because Ygritte thought Jon was out of line for asking if Longspear Ryk had been her lover, and she compared the idea to Jon sleeping with his sister. So far as we know, she and Ryk had no familial relation at all.

There's a lot we still don't know about wildling society, but it doesn't seem to me that each group under their respective leaders are extended familial groups.


Ice Turtle.. I was just a little thrown by your use of "repay" (Robb repaying Jon's gift)


I don't think the wildlings would hold Jon responsible for his grandparents' transgressions. Since wildling society is a meritocracy, I think it would be more important that Jon not offend the gods. ...Then too, we have Ygritte evoking the Stark wildling heritage with the story of Bael.. so it would appear that if it's far back enough it's no problem... ;) ... As another example, Val doesn't seem to harbour any ill will for the little Monster, or even Gilly .. but I'd bet if Gilly was continuing to willingly sleep with her father , it would be a problem.


AryaNym.. Yes, I mean I'm not convinced J+A must or will still be the endgame. I feel pretty strongly that the T/A/J triangle will be out, and while I don't think J+A is impossible, I can't jump fully on the bandwagon yet.


Re: Jon and Arya's reciprocal gifts.. I originally said I like the idea ..except...etc.


What I mean is, that although it paints a nice picture of each completing the other, that conversation must have been written before the 5yr. gap was thrown out, so I'm unsure as to how much we should read into it.


In the meantime, other ideas have been developed (such as the mystery of Robb's will) that could equally put Jon firmly in the position of Lord/King/Regent.. and I should add here, that I think regent would be enough, since Jon actually has the Stark blood to satisfy "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell".. If there is magic implied in that saying, then I think it will resonate with the blood , not necessarily the name.... E.g. if the wife of a Stark tried to pass off another man's child as her husband's (like Cersei does) I bet the magic would not respond to that child.


When you say: "That depends on when its revealed and even after. So he takes Robb's legitimisation only to find it was made under false assumptions, what does he do? He has taken his families rights based on a lie, what Cat always said he would do. If he wants to keep the North, he would likely marry one of Ned's kids. Or he could give it up. You also have to remember Robb was King of the Trident, does Jon get that with no Tully blood?"


Legitimisation is one thing, rulership is another. If Robb, as King, declared him a legitimate Stark and his bannermen accepted it, that's that. He can be a legitimate Stark without being Ned's son, or lord of anything. A child taking the mother's name would not be unheard of, as we see when the Tallharts offer to let their younger son take the Hornwood name (his mother's name as well as Lady Horwood's) .


The Northern lords, at least, know that Bran and Rickon survived the sack of WF, but neither one of the boys is capable of leading against the Boltons, Lannisters or potentially, the Others... Sansa is married to a Lannister and if they know Arya is alive, they don't know where she is. (I don't think they're all fooled by "Ramsay's bride", by any means.) ... Neither of the girls are battle leaders, either.


As I said, I don't think Jon would usurp his siblings' positions (nor do I think Robb believed he would , e.g., if Jeyne should be pregnant.)


Whether the Trident would be included under his rule would largely depend on what the Lords of the Trident wanted... who they wanted to follow. Perhaps someone ( an escaped Edmure? Blackfish? Sansa?) would eventually wind up being Warden of the Trident under the King in the North, or some such... :dunno: .. I think there are still many solutions easily available to GRRM without having Jon marry Sansa or Arya (although if he's set on it, he could make it work).


When you say : "I think his dreams are trying to tell him something. He is not a Stark in the patriarchal sense of the word. Lyanna was, she was Rickard's daughter. Jon is probably Rhaegars son and so a Targ in the patriarchal sense. That doesn't change he's half Stark. Its always how you relate to a man in their world."


Yes, I think that's true ,too. Dreams always seem to be working on more than one level. I don't think Jon would suddenly start considering himself a Targaryen, not a Stark, though. Not after being raised as Ned's son. I think it would be pretty difficult for the Stark bannermen to change their attitude toward him, too... But of course it's vital for him to become aware of his Targaryen heritage, as well.


I'm kind of exhausted after a long day, so I hope I can put this clearly.. Love interests apart .. and considering that I think Torrhen bending the knee to Aegon was unwise on both their parts for long term stability (though they couldn't know it, at the time) one upside to Jon and Dany being related might go like this :


Neither one would be likely to want to (or have to) bend the knee to the other, even if they don't form a romantic couple. If proof exists of a legitimate marriage between R+L, Jon's claim is greater than Dany's ... but like Robb before him, I doubt Jon would have any interest in sitting the Iron Throne.


**Aside: I find it difficult to think that after all his study and manoeuvring, Rhaegar would have set out to father a bastard ...(N.B. Blackfyre rebellions). I also find it difficult to think that he would have ridden off to battle without trying to make some provision for his children (even unborn) any more than Robb did.**


My bet is that Jon's parentage will be able to be verified, somehow.


Jon's wildling influence ( Tormund: "We'll make a wildling of you yet!" ), and having to hold his own with Stannis, has stiffened his knees somewhat. He'll be needed in the north, and the north is not really the best place for dragons.


ATM, I'm not completely convinced of the truth of Aegon's claim and wouldn't totally rule out the suspicions about Tyrion.. either of them could be the third head. And for me, there's a question as to why there should be three heads. Here, I can't help but think of how Volantis is ruled by a triumverate (maybe Braavos as well?) and it just may be that Westeros is too vast to be ruled by any one person and needs to be organised into a northern, central and southern section, the rulers of which share a strong common bond (like Targaryen blood) and goals ( all seem to have some sympathy for the smallfolk)


I'm an Arya booster and I do think there's an important place for Arya in all this, but it need not be as Jon's love inerest. The other thing J+A have always made me think of, when they think of each other so often, finish each other's sentences, etc. is twins ... in all but birth.(Possibly more like normal twins than Jamie and Cersei) .. The male and female exemplars of a strong dose of "the wolf blood".

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I think as strong skinchangers who grew very close, Arya and Jon might have been sharing some warg telepathy unconsciously.


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I think as strong skinchangers who grew very close, Arya and Jon might have been sharing some warg telepathy unconsciously.

Are you basing this on them finishing each other's sentences?

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Part 3: AFfC & ADwD



All notes are from either of the last two books, but they are not in a chronological order.



Her home was gone, her parents dead, and all her brothers slain but Jon Snow on the Wall. That was where she had wanted to go. She told the captain as much, but even the iron coin did not sway him. Arya never seemed to find the places she set out to reach.



Arya's arc is indeed an Odyssey, she is trying to reach Jon since the book 1.



In another place, his little sister lifted her head to sing to the moon, and a hundred small grey cousins broke off their hunt to sing with her. The hills were warmer where they were, and full of food. Many a night his sister’s pack gorged on the flesh of sheep and cows and horses, the prey of men, and sometimes even on the flesh of man himself.



At least at some level Jon is aware what Nymeria is up to.



She looks lonely, Jon thought. Lonely, and lovely. Ygritte had been pretty in her own way, with her red hair kissed by fire, but it was her smile that made her face come alive. Val did not need to smile; she would have turned men’s heads in any court in the wide world.


All the same, the wildling princess was not beloved of her gaolers. She scorned them all as “kneelers,” and had thrice attempted to escape. When one man-at-arms grew careless in her presence she had snatched his dagger from its sheath and stabbed him in the neck. Another inch to the left and he might have died.


Lonely and lovely and lethal, Jon Snow reflected, and I might have had her. Her, and Winterfell, and my lord father’s name. Instead he had chosen a black cloak and a wall of ice. Instead he had chosen honor. A bastard’s sort of honor.



Jon is far from being put off by the lethal part.



In her hand, Needle seemed to whisper to her. Stick them with the pointy end, it said, and, don’t tell Sansa! Mikken’s mark was on the blade. It’s just a sword. If she needed a sword, there were a hundred under the temple. Needle was too small to be a proper sword, it was hardly more than a toy. She’d been a stupid little girl when Jon had it made for her. “It’s just a sword,” she said, aloud this time . . .


. . . but it wasn’t.


Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.



Arya did not give up Needle, or Jon. Only thinking of Jon makes Arya cry and tears are not something she gives easily anymore.



“And girls?” a girl asked. She looked as young as Arya had, the last time Jon had seen her.


“Sixteen and older.”


“You’re taking boys as young as twelve.”


Down in the Seven Kingdoms boys of twelve were often pages or squires; many had been training at arms for years. Girls of twelve were children. These are wildlings, though. “As you will. Boys and girls as young as twelve.



At first glance, one would think Jon would consider Arya a child if they were reunite at this moment, but I think it is other way around. Arya lived a life more comparable to a wildling than a highborn daughter of a great house and I think Jon would understand that quickly.



Dareon had first appeared at the Happy Port, Arya had almost asked if he would take her with him back to Eastwatch, until she heard him telling Bethany that he was never going back.



Still wanting to reach Jon.



Roose Bolton summons all leal lords to Barrowton, to affirm their loyalty to the Iron Throne and celebrate his son’s wedding to …” His heart seemed to stop for a moment. No, that is not possible. She died in King’s Landing, with Father.


“Lord Snow?” Clydas peered at him closely with his dim pink eyes. “Are you … unwell? You seem …”


“He’s to marry Arya Stark. My little sister.” Jon could almost see her in that moment, long-faced and gawky, all knobby knees and sharp elbows, with her dirty face and tangled hair. They would wash the one and comb the other, he did not doubt, but he could not imagine Arya in a wedding gown, nor Ramsay Bolton’s bed. No matter how afraid she is, she will not show it. If he tries to lay a hand on her, she’ll fight him.


“Your sister,” Iron Emmett said, “how old is …”


By now she’d be eleven, Jon thought. Still a child. “I have no sister. Only brothers. Only you.” Lady Catelyn would have rejoiced to hear those words, he knew. That did not make them easier to say. His fingers closed around the parchment. Would that they could crush Ramsay Bolton’s throat as easily.



Jon learns that Arya is to be married. He remembers her as a child. This is not so true any more but he also thinks of her as a fighter. This parts ends with some murderous thoughts towards Ramsay. Arya is younger and Ramsay much more sinister than Tyrion, but compare this to Jon's reaction to Sansa's marriage. We are given none on page and even when Stannis brings it up with Lady Lannister comment, Jon does not reflect upon it. Though he spares a thought to Tyrion killing Tywin.



“I have no sister.” The words were knives. What do you know of my heart, priestess? What do you know of my sister?



Melisandre seems to have a magical way to see into hearts and minds of mortal men, which so far proven more accurate then her fire based prognosis’. Maybe it will allow her to see Jon's or Arya's possible feelings in the future.



Jon glanced over his shoulder. The shadow was there, just as she had said, etched in moonlight against the Wall. A girl in grey on a dying horse, he thought. Coming here, to you. Arya. He turned back to the red priestess. Jon could feel her warmth. She has power. The thought came unbidden, seizing him with iron teeth, but this was not a woman he cared to be indebted to, not even for his little sister.



Jon actually would not do anything for Arya. Though he would do a lot, shadowbabies are absolutely out of question, I considers it positive approach. Compare it to Jaime's “The things I do for love.” And “I’m not ashamed of loving you, only of the things I’ve done to hide it.“



He glanced at the letter again. I will save your sister if I can. A surprisingly tender sentiment from Stannis, though undercut by that final, brutal if I can and the addendum and find a better match for her than Ramsay Snow. But what if Arya was not there to be saved? What if Lady Melisandre’s flames had told it true? Could his sister truly have escaped such captors? How would she do that? Arya was always quick and clever, but in the end she’s just a little girl, and Roose Bolton is not the sort who would be careless with a prize of such great worth.



I can't help it, I have always felt Jon appreciate Arya more than Cat did, compare this description of her to one Cat gave to Brienne. Anyway we as readers are at this point aware that the comment hold a lot of irony. Roose Bolton actually was careless with a prize of a great worth, though to his defense he was unaware of the fact. Also description just a little girl does not fit Arya very well anymore.



She had never cared if she was pretty, even when she was stupid Arya Stark. Only her father had ever called her that. Him, and Jon Snow, sometimes. Her mother used to say she could be pretty if she would just wash and brush her hair and take more care with her dress, the way her sister did. To her sister and sister’s friends and all the rest, she had just been Arya Horseface. But they were all dead now, even Arya, everyone but her half-brother, Jon. Some nights she heard talk of him, in the taverns and brothels of the Ragman’s Harbor. The Black Bastard of the Wall, one man had called him. Even Jon would never know Blind Beth, I bet. That made her sad.



Jon called her pretty, of itself it does not mean anything. Eddard did too (though Robb didn't) but it is one of those small stones that together make a mosaic. This quote is from time when Arya posed as Blind Beth, mummers mole shaved head and all, I commented on it earlier but I think it is mirroring a scene where Jon looks at his ugly burned fingers and thinks of Arya.



“Some will tell you that they are demons. They say the pack is led by a monstrous she-wolf, a stalking shadow grim and grey and huge. They will tell you that she has been known to bring aurochs down all by herself, that no trap nor snare can hold her, that she fears neither steel nor fire, slays any wolf that tries to mount her, and devours no other flesh but man.” Brienne



We know that at least one part of this is untrue. Nymeria eats men, but she does not eat only men. As for the rest, nothing of it is reflected in Arya's wolf dreams so it is hard to tell though I think that the assumption that she would not let common wolves to mate with her is probably true.



He wanted to believe it would be Arya. He wanted to see her face again, to smile at her and muss her hair, to tell her she was safe. She won’t be safe, though. Winterfell is burned and broken and there are no more safe places.


He could not keep her here with him, no matter how much he might want to. The Wall was no place for a woman, much less a girl of noble birth. Nor was he about to turn her over to Stannis or Melisandre. The king would only want to marry her to one of his own men, Horpe or Massey or Godry Giantslayer, and the gods alone knew what use the red woman might want to make of her.


The best solution he could see would mean dispatching her to Eastwatch and asking Cotter Pyke to put her on a ship to someplace across the sea, beyond the reach of all these quarrelsome kings. It would need to wait until the ships returned from Hardhome, to be sure. She could return to Braavos with Tycho Nestoris. Perhaps the Iron Bank could help find some noble family to foster her. Braavos was the nearest of the Free Cities, though … which made it both the best and the worst choice. Lorath or the Port of Ibben might be safer. Wherever he might send her, though, Arya would need silver to support her, a roof above her head, someone to protect her. She was only a child.



Jon does not mean to use Arya as a political tool. Technically as both a bastard and the man of the NW he doesn't have authority over her, but that did not stop him in the end with Alys. Also another small irony is that Arya is actually in Braavos.



The girl smiled in a way that reminded Jon so much of his little sister that it almost broke his heart. “Let him be scared of me.” The snowflakes were melting on her cheeks, but her hair was wrapped in a swirl of lace that Satin had found somewhere, and the snow had begun to collect there, giving her a frosty crown. Her cheeks were flushed and red, and her eyes sparkled.


“Winter’s lady.” Jon squeezed her hand.



Alys sometimes remind Jon of Arya too, though much less then Ygritte and there could be found an inside story reason for the comparison. We will go a little off topic here but I always had a feeling that this “Winters lady” imaginary have a relevance to the story. There seems to be some woman with icy crown symbolism. Is she an opposite of knights of summer, or a reference to Night Kings King's wife? They probably married at the Wall too. If you think about it Alys/Sigorn was the only other wedding known to take place here. Or is the winter lady a Queen of Winter, meaning ruling female Stark?



What had that oaf Axell Florent said of Val? “A nubile girl, not hard to look upon. Good hips, good breasts, well made for whelping children.” All true enough, but the wildling woman was so much more. She had proved that by finding Tormund where seasoned rangers of the Watch had failed. She may not be a princess, but she would make a worthy wife for any lord.



Jon values competence in women.



“Let me help.”


“You have. You brought me Tormund.”


“I can do more.”


Why not? thought Jon. They are all convinced she is a princess. Val looked the part and rode as if she had been born on horseback. A warrior princess, he decided, not some willowy creature who sits up in a tower, brushing her hair and waiting for some knight to rescue her.



I really doubt Jon will find himself ever attracted to Sansa (or Doran ), he has little understanding for passivity.



The others were good men too. Good men in a fight, at least, and loyal to their brothers. Jon could not speak for what they might have been before they reached the Wall, but he did not doubt that most had pasts as black as their cloaks. Up here, they were the sort of men he wanted at his back.



Not relevant to romance but relevant to Jon's possible opinion about Arya's dark past.



He wondered where Mance was now. Did he ever find you, little sister? Or were you just a ploy he used so I would set him free?


It had been so long since he had last seen Arya. What would she look like now? Would he even know her? Arya Underfoot. Her face was always dirty. Would she still have that little sword he’d had Mikken forge for her? Stick them with the pointy end, he’d told her. Wisdom for her wedding night if half of what he heard of Ramsay Snow was true. Bring her home, Mance. I saved your son from Melisandre, and now I am about to save four thousand of your free folk. You owe me this one little girl.



Jon wonders if he would still recognize Arya and readers wonder if it will become a plot point as Arya is learning to change her appearance. Though there are two other factors to consider, skinchangers seems to be able recognize other skinchngers and Jon is aware of existence of glamors thanks to Melisandre. Another small detail is what Jon considers Arya's home, it is not Winterfell it is place by his side.



Jon flexed the fingers of his sword hand. The Night’s Watch takes no part. He closed his fist and opened it again. What you propose is nothing less than treason. He thought of Robb, with snowflakes melting in his hair. Kill the boy and let the man be born. He thought of Bran, clambering up a tower wall, agile as a monkey. Of Rickon’s breathless laughter. Of Sansa, brushing out Lady’s coat and singing to herself. You know nothing, Jon Snow. He thought of Arya, her hair as tangled as a bird’s nest. I made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell … I want my bride back … I want my bride back … I want my bride back …


“I think we had best change the plan,” Jon Snow said.



Robb, The Night’s Watch takes no part. What you propose is nothing less than treason.


Bran, Rickon, Sansa. Kill the boy and let the man to be born.


Arya, You know nothing, Jon Snow.



I think it is about stiff old ideals, need to let them behind, about regrets a learning from your own mistakes. Arya is the only one Jon can help, Arya is the one who changes his mind. In story Jon is reminding of the fact that Ramsay is a monster who would hurt Arya badly if Jon doesn't stop him, but I think that Jon repeating phrase I want my bride back three times has another foreshadowy level to it. Another interpretation (reaching here a little) is that it all somehow represents Jon's past, present and future. His youth ideals and childhood with Robb, present and the need to be a pragmatic leader and take an active role in the North and Stark cause. (Unbeknown to Jon but clear to reader all: Bran, Rickon and Sansa are all still alive.) Then there is Arya, a future and everything Jon still does not know.



“Ghost,” he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold …



End of last Jon chapter. Somehow Arya is present in Jon's last thoughts trough Stick them with the pointy end phrase.



May those deaths be long in coming. Jon Snow sank to one knee in the snow. Gods of my fathers, protect these men. And Arya too, my little sister, wherever she might be. I pray you, let Mance find her and bring her safe to me.



A grey girl on a dying horse, fleeing from her marriage. On the strength of those words he had loosed Mance Rayder and six spearwives on the north.



See that he stays safe and warm. For his mother’s sake, and mine. And keep him away from the red woman. She knows who he is. She sees things in her fires.”


Arya, he thought, hoping it was so. “Ashes and cinders.”


“Kings and dragons.”



“Daggers in the dark. I know. You will forgive my doubts, my lady. A grey girl on a dying horse, fleeing from a marriage, that was what you said.”


“I was not wrong.”


“You were not right. Alys is not Arya.”



“A grey girl on a dying horse. Daggers in the dark. A promised prince, born in smoke and salt. It seems to me that you make nothing but mistakes, my lady. Where is Stannis? What of Rattleshirt and his spearwives? Where is my sister?



Returning to all which led to finale. Jon, praying, wishing and demanding for Arya to be returned to him.



One time, when Brea took to her bed with her moon blood, Cat had pushed her barrow to the Purple Harbor to sell crabs and prawns to oarsmen off the Sealord’s pleasure barge, covered stem to stern with laughing faces.



The other whores said that the Sailor’s Wife visited the Isle of the Gods on the days when her flower was in bloom, and knew all the gods who lived there, even the ones that Braavos had forgotten.



I know that Brusco’s daughter Brea meets a boy on the roof when her father is asleep, she thought. Brea lets him touch her, Talea says, even though he’s just a roof rat and all the roof rats are supposed to be thieves.



I won't get into analyzing any TWoW material, the text is likely to be changed a little and even those small changes would matter to us. But there are few quotes about Arya and things related to sexual maturing and sexuality. I would say that even before her own first period Arya knows the mechanics of menstruation and sexual life. And I think that sexual maturing and sexuality will become a part of her arc in the next book. If the five years gap was still in question we would not see a lot of it, but on the other hand GRRM claimed that with a five years gap he would need to narrate a lot of story in flashback, so there is good possibility that there are important moments in this part of Arya's life.


Looking at the first quote more closely I wonder if is a nod to Lyanna with the laughing faces and a Sealord who could stand for a king/crown prince of Westeros.


The last quote is interesting too. Again we have an imaginary of thief related to sexuality.



But no ships came, except these two Lyseni pirates, Goodheart and Elephant, that had been driven north by a storm. They dropped anchor off Hardhome to make repairs, and saw the wildlings, but there were thousands and they didn’t have room for all of them, so they said they’d just take the women and the children. The wildlings had nothing to eat, so the men sent out their wives and daughters, but as soon as the ships were out to sea, the Lyseni drove them below and roped them up. They meant to sell them all in Lys. Only then they ran into another storm and the ships were parted. The Goodheart was so damaged her captain had no choice but to put in here, but the Elephant may have made it back to Lys.



Aside of being connection to Jon's storyline I wonder if this is a remnant of GRRMs original draft. I heard it said that Arya's storyline was completely changed, but I think it a rather too bold assumption. We know what was supposed to happen to Arya in the first book, but not in another two. Only hint is that exiled Tyrion was supposed to fall in love with her. There are two options with this, either Tyrion had been supposed to flee beyond the Wall too, or they would have met in Essos. I think possibility two is actually more likely and here we have a hint how Arya could have traveled. More on the side note, Tyrion would have been making common cause with remaining Starks. Arya is one and I think that Bran is other. It had been noted that their magical apprenticeships with FM and Bloodraven are a little similar, I wonder if it is because both evolved from one storyline and originally there were not two magical organizations/mentors but one residing beyond the sea.



So this is it, maybe for now and maybe forever. Other places to look for hints are SSMs, TWoIaF and the draft letter. Few great quotes from interviews were already noted in this thread, but I would be more than happy to see what else you can think of.



quotes: Jon, Arya, Brienne


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What do you know of my heart, priestess? What do you know of my sister?

This sounds like his heart belongs to his sister. Or his sister is his heart.

Very Targaryen of Jon.

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'In Jon's dreams of the crypts , I believe he's wrong about not belonging .. this is the influence of his own insecurities .. after all, his own psychology factors into his dreams, too.

The thing is: Jon may return to Winterfell, but's Bran who is the true heir to the Builder's work,

That Jon feels like the Crypts are not his place, is not an accident, and it has everything to do with the way Bran's story is connected to the very stones of Winterfell, whereas Jon has chosen a different path:

Their faces were stern and strong, and some of them had done terrible things, but they were Starks every one, and Bran knew all their tales. He had never feared the crypts; they were part of his home and who he was, and he had always known that one day he would lie here too”-Bran ACOK.

Bran will also return to Gorne's Way.

Jon may in the end return to live as a part of the family of Winterfell, but it won't be as king or lord.

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Three things about Part 3.



1) 'but he could not imagine Arya in a wedding gown, nor Ramsay Bolton’s bed. No matter how afraid she is, she will not show it. If he tries to lay a hand on her, she’ll fight him.'


'Stick them with the pointy end, he’d told her. Wisdom for her wedding night if half of what he heard of Ramsay Snow was true'



Ramsey Snow flays people and tortures them, I'm sure that got out. But its the idea of Arya in his bed that gets to him the most. She'll fight him, like he wants to fight him?



2 ) I wonder if we are getting Visenya parallels as well with the Warrior Queen angle, now that Nymeria has been changed from the 'Warrior Queen' she was described as in AGOT:



From AWOIAF




Aegon and Visenya were both attacked in the streets of King’s Landing, and if not for Visenya and Dark Sister, the king might not have survived. Despite this, the king still believed that his guards were sufficient to his defense; Visenya convinced him otherwise. (It is recorded that when Aegon pointed out his guardsmen, Visenya drew Dark Sister and cut his cheek before his guards could react. “Your guards are slow and lazy,” Visenya is reported to have said, and the king was forced to agree.) It was Visenya, not Aegon, who decided the nature of the Kingsguard. Seven champions for the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, who would all be knights. She modeled their vows upon those of the Night’s Watch, so that they would forfeit all things save their duty to the king.


'Could his sister truly have escaped such captors? How would she do that? Arya was always quick and clever,'


'It won’t hack a man’s head off, but it can poke him full of holes if you’re fast enough.'



Dark Sister at least will be a blade made for speed, even if it is long it is light. And I think Jon will give her that. But its a Targ blade right? So he gives her the sword of House Targ when she gives him the arms of House Stark. Becoming a hybrid cadet house? There are quite some similarities to be made between Jon and Aegon as discussed elsewhere by others better than I can do it, Aegon married his younger sister because he wanted to, not because he had to. I know Visenya was the elder but I don't think GRRM is lazy enough to make it map exactly and create duplicates. Arya's not his actual sister for a start!



Also, we were talking about the Faceless Men oath being similar to the Night's Watch oath, here we see Visenya being inspired by the Nights Watch when founding her own institution, the Kingsguard.




3)Read this:



'Jon felt as stiff as a man of sixty years. Dark dreams he thought, and guilt. His thoughts kept returning to Arya. There is no way I can help her. I put all kin aside when I said my words. If one of my men told me his sister was in peril, I would tell him it was no concern of his. Once a man had said the words his blood was black. Black as a bastard's heart. He'd had Mikken make a sword for Arya once, a bravo's blade, made small to fit her hand. Needle. He wondered if she still had it. Stick them with the pointy end, he'd told her, but if she tried to stick the Bastard it could mean her life.


"Snow" muttered Lord Mormont's raven "Snow, Snow"


Suddenly he could not suffer it a moment longer.


...


Mully and Kegs stood inside the doors, leaning on their spears. "A cruel cold out there m'lord" warned Mully through his tangled orange beard. "Will you be out long?"


"No, I just need a breath of fresh air." Jon stepped out into the night.'



Now read this:



Hounded by Lannister riders, they will seek refuge at the Wall, but the men of the Night's Watch give up their families when they take the black, and Jon and Benjen will not be able to help, to Jon's anguish. [..] Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy until the secret of Jon's parentage is finally revealed


Same arc for Jon, don't you think? He's put in a position where his sister is in danger and because of his vows he cannot help. He's sounds anguished and tormented about it to me. Also, he gets into a bitter rivalry with the man who burned Winterfell and who wants his 'sister', that is now Ramsey.


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Dark Sister at least will be a blade made for speed, even if it is long it is light. And I think Jon will give her that. But its a Targ blade right? So he gives her the sword of House Targ when she gives him the arms of House Stark. Becoming a hybrid cadet house? There are quite some similarities to be made between Jon and Aegon as discussed elsewhere by others better than I can do it, Aegon married his younger sister because he wanted to, not because he had to. I know Visenya was the elder but I don't think GRRM is lazy enough to make it map exactly and create duplicates. Arya's not his actual sister for a start!

Same arc for Jon, don't you think? He's put in a position where his sister is in danger and because of his vows he cannot help. He's sounds anguished and tormented about it to me. Also, he gets into a bitter rivalry with the man who burned Winterfell and who wants his 'sister', that is now Ramsey.

It is even more complicated with swords.

There is Dark Sister.... and Blackfyre. Once they belonged to siblings but the house has been broken.

There are Oathkeeper and Widow's wail both made of Ice, a sword which belonged to house Stark for 600 years, though there have been even older Ice.

Then there are Longclaw and Needle. They have been given to Jon and Arya.

It is hard to put all of that together. I hope Jon will leave Longclaw for the next LC/best swordsman if he leaves the Watch. I believe that Blackfyres still own Blackfyre and fAegon is the last of them, but I don't see him surviving. What will happen to the sword then? Will it be lost or will it return to Targeryens? And what will happen with remains of Ice?

Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy until the secret of Jon's parentage is finally revealed.

Jon is tormented enough, I would agree. I am waiting for Arya to return to this storyline. I also wonder if we are getting another possible spoiler here. Because they by all rights should be still tormented by Jon's wow to NW. It seems to me that in this version Jon somehow managed to get out of Watch in the meantime.

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I think Longclaw will be the moment of Jorah's redemption. He'll get that.


Blackfyre, Dany will get from Aegon's corpse, she can't use it though so she may loan it to a 'champion'.


Ice will be reforged 'Renewed shall be the blade that was broken'. The inspiration is LOTR and the reforging of the sword is the moment Aragorn takes on his destiny.


Arya is getting Dark Sister. Perhaps Needle will be sword on Robb's tomb? There isn't one there right now. Or it could be inherited by a future female child.

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Jon felt as stiff as a man of sixty years. Dark dreams he thought, and guilt. His thoughts kept returning to Arya. There is no way I can help her. I put all kin aside when I said my words. If one of my men told me his sister was in peril, I would tell him it was no concern of his. Once a man had said the words his blood was black. Black as a bastard's heart. He'd had Mikken make a sword for Arya once, a bravo's blade, made small to fit her hand. Needle. He wondered if she still had it. Stick them with the pointy end, he'd told her, but if she tried to stick the Bastard it could mean her life.

"Snow" muttered Lord Mormont's raven "Snow, Snow"

Suddenly he could not suffer it a moment longer.

...

Mully and Kegs stood inside the doors, leaning on their spears. "A cruel cold out there m'lord" warned Mully through his tangled orange beard. "Will you be out long?"

"No, I just need a breath of fresh air." Jon stepped out into the night.'

Now read this:

Quote

Same arc for Jon, don't you think? He's put in a position where his sister is in danger and because of his vows he cannot help. He's sounds anguished and tormented about it to me. Also, he gets into a bitter rivalry with the man who burned Winterfell and who wants his 'sister', that is now Ramsey.

Indeed, indeed.

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Yeah, but context is completely different. There's no passion and jealousy, there's worry for a little sister in the hands of a guy who starved his last wife to death.


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Yeah, but context is completely different. There's no passion and jealousy, there's worry for a little sister in the hands of a guy who starved his last wife to death.

If you read the outline again, turning away from Arya when she is in need happens before the 'realisation' that she is in love with him. It doesn't say when Jon realises it. Plus, that was meant to be in the 1st third of the story but its now pushed back. So he will likely be out of his vows before he meets her again anyway and the arc planned for book 2 and 3 between them is still to come.

Essentially I believe Jon/Arya/Tyrion has become Jon/FArya/Ramsey. And FArya is being used primarily as a way of showing the reader how much Jon cares about the real thing. He's going to slaughter Ramsey, a dark reflection of himself hopefully. Jon may not learn 'Arya' is fake until real Arya tells him.

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So, there has been a letter outlining the original draft of ASoIaF prior to the publication of GoT, and that letter describes a future romance between Jon & Arya. Huh. Missed that.



From what I gather from various posts on this thread, that outline was the very first seed of the story and if some events still took place, it seems that the story has been greatly expanded and the story arcs radically changed. It also reveals that I had seriously underestimated how much of a gardener Martin is. He has had to plant new seeds to cover the plots he wanted. It also gives me the idea that the various "proxy Aryas" that have been noted are scenes where Arya was supposed to have been but had other plans. Apparently, not even the author can get her to behave.



About the relationship, I'm not sure what to think. I have been vehemently against it, but after Ice Turtle's compilation, I'm forced to admit that it makes a kind of sense. They had been each others confidants and even in their mutual absence have been an anchor of familial memories in radical new circumstances. They have both been set on their own and been forced to make a break with any conventions that governed their previous lives and both are profoundly lonely, which would lead them to adopt an "us against the world attitude". At the same time they have come such a long way as characters a reunion would in some ways be like a new acquaintance. Jon would be shocked and overwhelmed by the new Arya, being simultaneously proud, relieved, sad, angry, guilty and horrified, while for Arya Jon would simply be Jon and wouldn't care how he's changed.



I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but maybe that is a good thing. It certainly has potential. Agewise, with another year and a half of story time he should be in the clear (by ASoIaF of course). That said, plotwise, it is difficult to see how and where the reunion would take place as they have drifted far apart and it is difficult to see how it might come together.



A few comments on Tyrion and Arya. I've longed wanted to see those two interact. The dialogue will be epic and I can easily see how Tyrion would be thrown completely off balance and fall head over heals for her. Tyrion won't even be able to tell even little white lies to her, his quips will be answered by even sharper ones, she would call him on all his bullshit and threats, boasts and provocations would fall on unimpressed ears. Yes, Tyrion would be whipped.


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Yeah, but context is completely different. There's no passion and jealousy, there's worry for a little sister in the hands of a guy who starved his last wife to death.

I have to agree with this mostly, but I still do not think Jon's most important relationship with a female in his life will turn out to be non sexual when they are suspiciously not real siblings.

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