Jump to content

Those darn tapestries! All books spoilers including TWOIAF and TWOW.

Recommended Posts

Not long started my second read through and did notice tapestries being mentioned an awful lot in AGOT, but completely forgot about LF recieving the ones from KL. Must say really enjoyed this theory, well thought out.

I would like to think theres more to it then just to win over Nestor Royce as its a big FU to the people at KL, they had these secrets under their noses this whole time and they've been sent to LF. And if anyone is gonna pick up the importance of them it would be Mr Baelish.

But yeah a good original theory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Hi all. Longtime forum lurker/podcast listener here. This is only my second post though. The first one I did got absolutely no replies, which was pretty brutal (I didn’t think it was THAT bad!), so I’d really appreciate some thoughts on this one, even if it’s just “Nope!”


OK so, those tapestries that Littlefinger gets Cersei (AFFC, Cersei 4, Alayne 1) to send him in the Vale have been annoying me. It just seems so odd that they're specifically mentioned in 2 POVs (from reading the forums a few people feel the same). Then when the Alayne TWOW chapter came out and it seemed like the mystery was solved: LF gave them to Nestor Royce to win him around. Hmm. It just felt a bit anticlimactic. Surely there was loads of crap lying around the Eyrie if LF wanted to give Nestor gifts. So, it was bugging me so I thought I’d look into it a bit. I wasn’t really intending to come up with any answers or theories, just maybe see if there was any significance to tapestries, if they had any symbolism or whatever. I did actually end up coming up with a theory, which does stray into the crackpot, so will try to write up the points in ascending order of crackpottery so that you can decide when to get off the crazy train (if you ever got on). I only have the ebooks (I move house a lot and books are heavy!) which are easy to search but I can’t do page numbers, so I’ll do chapters for references. 


So tapestries in general are pretty common in ASOIAF, I couldn’t find any particular unifying theme, although they are mentioned twice as things behind which threats to Tommen could hide (Cersei imagines Tyrion menacing Tommen from behind a tapestry (AFFC Cersei 1), Jaime checks for people hiding behind tapestries at Tommen’s wedding (AFFC, Cersei 3). And Khrazz emerges from behind one to fight Barristan, then Hizdahr hides behind one (ADWD2, The Kingbreaker). Those ones depict the Empires of Old Ghis, including a defeated Valyrian army. There are tapestries in Griffin’s Roost (ADWD2, The Griffin Reborn), in Tytos Blackwood’s Solar (ADWD2, Jaime 1), and of course the hidden Targaryen tapestries at Castle Darry, that got a bit of speculation in relation to the LF ones, but got ruled out (AFFC, Jaime 4). Speaking of Targaryens, Dany gets given a massive tapestry of the world by Xaro to convince her to leave Meereen (ADWD1, Daenerys 3) and she’s annoyed when the Sons of the Harpy kill some weavers whose tapestry hangs over her bed (ADWD1, Daenerys 4). Marwyn has some (AFFC, Samwell 5), and so does the Elder Brother on the Quiet Isle (AFFC, Brienne 6). The Ironborn use Lord Hewett’s tapestries as cloaks when they’ve taken over his castle (AFFC, The Reaver), and apparently there were tapestries made of silver seaweed in the Grey King’s longhall on Old Wyk, but they were stolen after the King’s death (AFFC, the Drowned Man). Arianne has one of Nymeria and her ships which Arys Oakheart fails to notice until after they’ve done the nasty, and he reflects on the rivalry between Dorne and the Reach remembering some tapestries at Old Oak (AFFC, The Soiled Knight). There are some white tapestries in the White Sword Tower (ASOS 2, Jaime 2), and Ayra mentions tapestries in her dreams about getting lost in the Red Keep (AGOT, Arya 3). Ned seems to use them as curtains (AGOT, Catelyn 2), and Bran in his coma dream sees the whole world as a tapestry of white and brown and green and ‘he could see everything so clearly that for a moment he forgot to be afraid’ (AGOT, Bran 3). Most importantly, Merrett Frey was not a tapestry, which is why he was hanged not hung ;-) (AFFC, Jaime 4).


So, tapestries get a lot of mentions, loads of people have them, but I couldn’t find anything that jumped out at me like ‘oh wow, every time a tapestry gets mentioned x happens!’ (I think there’s a thing with sapphires and people lying?) apart from Jaime seems to get a lot of tapestry action, which is fine by me because he’s my favourite character! But, by far the most mentioned tapestries are Robert’s ones in the Throne Room at the Red Keep, which we know Robert had put up to replace the Targaryen dragon skulls (AGOT, Tyrion 2) and we know they depict hunting (AGOT, Eddard 11), or ‘scenes of hunt and battle’ (AGOT, Eddard 14 -he has a lot of chapters!), and we know Joffrey had them taken down before his first court session, and the last time we saw them, they were stacked in the corner of the Throne Room in an ‘untidy heap’ (AGOT, Sansa 4). Much later, as above, LF asks Cersei for some tapestries of Robert's (AFFC, Cersei 4, Alayne 1), and then later still, ‘Lord Nestor was showing Lady Waxley his prize tapestries, with their scenes of hunt and chase. The same panels had once hung in the Red Keep of King’s Landing, when Robert sat the Iron Throne. Joffrey had them taken down and they had languished in some cellar until Petyr Baelish arranged for them to be brought to the Vale as a gift for Nestor Royce. Not only were the hangings beautiful, but the High Steward delighted in telling anyone who’d listen that they had once belonged to a king.’ (TWOW, Alayne 1?) So, my first point of theory is:


1. Cersei sent LF Robert’s tapestries that Joffrey had taken down from the throne room and LF gave them to Nestor Royce.


I know…durr, right?! Stick with me though, because some other Red Keep tapestries get mentioned, and those are in the Small Council Chamber…Ned notices ‘The walls were hung with tapestries from Norvos and Qohor and Lys’ when he first gets to KL (AGOT, Eddard 4), but when Sansa goes to meet Cersei in the chamber, after Robert’s death she does not notice them, even though she is specifically noting the other nice things in the room (AGOT, Sansa 4). Eddard notes Myrish carpets, the tapestries, a painted screen from the Summer Isles and a pair of sphinxes (AGOT, Eddard 4), Sansa notices the screen and the sphinxes (AGOT, Sansa 4). Tyrion doesn’t mention them either when he is noticing the sphinxes (ACOK, Tyrion 1). So, its not conclusive, maybe they just don’t notice them, but given Sansa’s not noticing them in the same chapter she starts by noticing the Throne Room tapestries in the corner, I think:


2. The Small Council Chamber tapestries were taken down at the same time as the Throne Room tapestries.


It’s not a huge leap of faith from there to:


3. The Small Council Chamber tapestries got bundled up with the Throne Room ones and stored in the same cellar, and maybe even that LF arranged that (he was around at the time, he appears in the same Sansa chapter, and would be a likely dogsbody for carrying out Joffrey’s interior decor whims.)


Which means 


4. Both sets of tapestries were sent to LF.


LF describes the tapestries Cersei is sending as ‘splendid tapestries’ (AFFC, Alayne 1). Later on, Alayne leads the Lords of the Vale past ‘a dozen splendid tapestries’ (AFFC, Alayne 1). The language would suggest those are the same tapestries (Alayne mentions a Myrish carpet in the same chapter), but since that’s right after LF says Cersei is ‘sending’ them, it doesn’t seem to fit that they are already there. Nevertheless I think:


5. LF kept the Small Council Chamber tapestries and gave only the Throne Room ones to Nestor Royce. 


So what’s up with the Small Council Chamber tapestries? Well, going back to the rest of the decor in the Small Council Chamber, as described above, those sphinxes get mentioned by 3 characters, and Ned and Tyrion describe them as ‘Valyrian sphinxes’ (AGOT, Eddard 4, ACOK, Tyrion 1), and Ned mentions that they have ‘eyes of polished garnet smouldering an black marble faces’. I had to do a bit of googling on garnets, and apparently they can be lots of colours but are commonly depicted as red. Add to that Jon’s Longclaw, which has chips of garnet to represent Ghost’s red eyes (AGOT, Jon 8), and various other mentions in ASOIAF of garnets representing red things (eg crabs on Lord Celtigar’s mantle (ACOK, Prologue)), and with the ‘smouldering’, let’s assume they’re red. Huh, red on black…and Valyrian sphinxes. We know that Robert and Joffrey didn’t bother spending much time in the small council chamber so I think neither of them had it redone and that:


6. All the decor in the Small Council Chamber (including the tapestries) belonged to the Targaryens. 


Alright, the tapestries are Targaryen after all. But what’s up with them, why does LF want them? He certainly spent heaps more time in the chamber than Robert and is an observant and inquisitive guy, so it’s not unreasonable to think he found out something about them and waited for an opportunity to get hold of them. (Here is where you might want to get off the train, it gets crackpot from here). So I ran out of inspiration from ASOIAF and so I went to TWOIAF. Tapestries get a few mentions, and there’s quite a large mention in the Qohor section: ‘Qohorik tapestries, woven primarily by the women and children of the city, are just as fine as those woven in Myr, though less costly’ and ‘it is as hunters and foresters that the Qohorik are famed’. Hey, didn’t Ned mention ‘tapestries from … Qohor’ in the Small Council Chamber (yes he did AGOT, Eddard 4). And if the Qohorik are hunters, it would stand to reason that they might depict hunting scenes in their tapestries, which would fit with Robert’s tapestry scheme and again would explain why he didn’t take them down and would not stand out jumbled up with the Throne Room tapestries. So:


7. The Small Council Chamber tapestries include Qohorik tapestries possibly depicting hunting scenes. 


So what do we know about Qohor? Until the world book, not a lot. We know it’s kind of a ‘gateway to the east’ place, and Dany passes through it on her way to the Dothraki Sea (AGOT, Daenerys 3). We also know that all round nasty piece of work Vargo Hoat is the only Qohorik character, Tobho Mott the armorer learned to rework Valyrian steel in Qohor (AGOT, Eddard 6). There’s an interesting LF connection too, Varys says ‘I would sooner wed the Black Goat of Qohor. Littlefinger is the second most devious man in the Seven Kingdoms’ (AGOT, Eddard 15). Huh. Going back to the Valyrian steel though, AWOIAF tells us a bit more - that the Qohorik are the only people who can rework Valyrian steel, that there’s quite a lot of nasty blood sacrifice going on, that they get really violent when anyone tries to take their Valyrian steel techniques out of the city, and that they try to make Valyrian steel (or a similar product) and that this might involve sacrificing children (TWOIAF, Qohor). So, my theory is that the women in Qohor who make the tapestries used them to smuggle the secrets of Valyrian steel out of the city. I don’t know why but I would guess they’re annoyed that the men keep taking their children and sacrificing them… Women using needlework to tell their stories, sometimes in code is a real world thing, and I think it might be possible to hide instructions in traditional hunting scenes. TWOIAF mentions a Maester Pol who got his hand cut off for trying to smuggle the secrets of Valyrian steel out of the city, so maybe he had something to do with it.  So:


8. The Small Council Chamber tapestries depict coded instructions how to make Valyrian steel. 


And what is the code? Mega crackpot finale coming up! Dany gets told about these lemurs when she’s riding through the Forest of Qohor with the Dothraki ‘with silver fur and purple eyes’ but she never sees them because they’re shy (AGOT, Daenerys 3). TWOIAF’s Qohor section mentions them too, saying lemurs are known from the Summer Isles and Sothyros but otherwise rarely seen further north, and that the Citadel has a stuffed one but all its fur has fallen out because of so many people patting it for luck, and finally that they’re called ‘little Valyrians’ for their colouring. Lemurs in our world are a strictly Madagascan thing related to the evolutionary isolation of the island which has produced lots of unique species. It would be really weird if a population popped up in Romania or wherever. So I contend that they’re not real, the Citadel’s one is a Summer Island one with its fur removed (and glass eyes) and that they are in fact legend created for the specific purpose of telling stories about Valyria through tapestries, and that therefore:


9. The tapestries that LF now has use made-up ‘little Valyerian’ lemurs in traditional hunting scenes to depict how to make Valyrian steel!


Told you it was crackpot! That’s pretty much the end of my theorising, a bit of speculation to conclude: What’s the purpose of the tapestries then? Well, we know all about AAR and his sword. If, as some people believe, an actual sword will need to be forged at some point, then perhaps more specific instructions than ‘plunge it through your wife’s heart’ might be useful. We still have Gendry knocking around, is it a coincidence he got trained by one of two characters in Westeros that have been to Qohor and the only guy we know of who can work Valyrian steel? (I don’t think Gendry is AAR, but I think he may come into the sword forging bit for whoever (cough, Jaime, cough;-)). I’m pretty sure Tobho Mott is still out there. LF likes power we know, and having those instructions will be a pretty valuable tool, not just with AAR but knowing how obsessed everyone is with Valyrian steel (especially Lannisters).


So that’s it, it turned out pretty long, but I wanted to be thorough because I read a lot of these things where people get criticised for having no evidence. As I mentioned, any comments will make my week; this took me ages to write!

 Nice job!  Very detailed.


Nope. Not a red herring. It will be huge. They are a Westerosi DNA test.


Maury Povich and The Baratheon tapestries 

 Whoa ho!  Thank you for that. 


The tapestries, aside from being a Baratheon DNA example, were also a way to smuggle Sansa's Stark Maiden Cloak out of King's Landing without anyone knowing. It was rolled up into one of the tapestries, and Cersei was none the wiser. 

 Fn brilliant!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...
On 6/3/2015 at 9:12 PM, sweetsunray said:

I can find no quote mentioning ebony and weirwood for the door of the House of the Undying in Qarth.

Finally the stair opened. To her right, a set of wide wooden doors had been thrown open. They were fashioned of ebony and weirwood, the black and white grains swirling and twisting in strange interwoven patterns. The blood of the dragon must not be afraid.

Clash.  Dany chapter but I didn't mark which. Sorry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2015 at 7:15 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

It's not my theory to defend, but yeah, that's the gist of it. Purple cloak with silver trim, House Belmore colours. Red in his beard, same as Lord Belmor, who is obviously Littlefinger's cats paw. If it is him then Lord Belmore has packed on a few pounds since then, or possibly it was another member of House Belmore? Depends if you believe It was Varys, Littlefinger, or another, who sent Gendry to Tobho. I think it's plausible, but as I said, far from confirmed.


I had honestly never given this much thought, but now I am super intrigued. Thanks for this, and thanks to the OP for a fascinating analysis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Sunday, June 07, 2015 at 11:47 AM, OilyBlackstone said:


Very kind, thank you! About Gendry and TM - I know, right? GRRM isn't afraid to throw in random unconnected characters, that's one of the great things about his writing. So there must be something to the main Baratheon bastard character being trained by the only VS reworking character, surely?

I assure you, Gendry does not have clue one on how to rework Valyrian Steel.  He was an apprentice.  He is what? Like 16 in the books.  There is no way in hell that Tobbo would have started teaching him.  Even if he had started to, I am sure it takes years to learn.  They definitely wouldn't have carted him off to the wall.  

Also, Gendry made a helm, what do you think that says about him?  To me it says, "I want to fight".  That is his upcoming role.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎05‎/‎06‎/‎2015 at 6:20 PM, Agravayne said:

Sansa's maiden cloak smuggled in the tapestries -- a bit like Cleopatra smuggling hereself to Caesar in a rug. Not sure that it would be very necessary, however, as I think a White Cloak with a Direwolf badge wouldn't be THAT difficult to manufacture quickly.







I had thought that the tapestries were either those from Darry or similar to them, LF has certainly heard about Danny by now and would start needing to build up a risk hedging strategy for her return. "See, I am a secret supporter of yours all along, look at these things as proof." Except, Tyrion isn't going to let that fly I would imagine.


This is what I thought. Either Danny or Aegon, either way Littlewilly is hedging his bets

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...