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The Sleeper

Chekhov's arsenal in the Vale or why any plans there will not come to pass.

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There has been a lot of speculation about how the situation will unfold in the Vale and the various machinations LF has set in motion. It is my view that Martin has set up a number of plot devices that are set to explode and throw things into chaos there. Here is a list of some of them:

  1. Lyn Corbray. Originally a catspaw of LF's in the dubious role of being an double agent among his enemies. In the sample chapter however we have seen that LF has genuinely screwed him. From LF's perspective it is not a bad move. His brother's gratitude would certainly weigh more than Lyn's and moreover the latter would continue to act as he has acted before though now with genuine hostility and he would do it for free. His notoriety would drive some people away from scheming against LF and he would act as a beacon for LF to disclose any such scheming. On the surface there is no way to lose for LF, but I think he's being too clever for his own good. Ser Lyn is both violent and apt to act without any real regard for consequences and is liable to kill somebody important.
  2. Ser Shadrich and the rest of his gang. He is a bounty hunter looking for a payday and has followed his nose to the Vale. Extracting Sansa from the Vale is problematic to say the least. There is also the fact that Varys has gone into hiding and Cersei is under house arrest. That does not mean that blackmail or a an abduction are out of the question as there are still plenty of people who would pay for Sansa with LF being first and foremost. Even failed attempts at these could change the situation at the Vale drastically and the feasibility of such schemes increases dramatically should he secure the cooperation of a local. Such as Lyn Corbray and Myranda Royce perhaps?
  3. The Mountain Clans. People have nearly forgotten them, but they are armed, organized and more dangeroud than ever. With winter here they will also become hungry and the Vale lords, particularly LF's friends have been hoarding food. Let's not forget of a young warlord among them who has had recent experience at King's Landing, both at court and in the field, who we now is ambitious and ruthless and may have his own claim on the throne of the Vale?
  4. Myranda Royce. She may have genuine feelings of friendship towards Sansa but also had ambitions of her own and probably genuine jealousy as well. She possibly knows Sansa's true identity. Will she accept Sansa's courtship of Harry with grace and equanimity?

And this is discounting thw possible actions of Bronze Yohn Royce and any others in the Vale who will have agendas of their own.

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Great overview, my bet is especially on Myranda Royce and her ambitions. Lyn Corbray is very unclear and can very well still be on LF's side and Shadrich is momentarily in no position to threaten Sansa as he doesn't have a way out of the Vale and the profitability of bringing her to King's Landing is questionable. He might play a role if Sansa herself wanted to leave though.

I have seen a youtube video (cannot find it now) which analysed the Alayne chapters almost sentence by sentence and based on that, I would add some Chekhov guns.

1.) The tourney for the wings will have a result and that will have some impact (e. g. Harry may be killed because he is "nowise skilled enough to win a place amongst the Winged Knights"),

2.) the daggers given to the brothers, fathers, and friends of the tilters are literally a Chekhov gun IMO,

3.) maybe even the Sansa's shoe which fell down with Lysa may be found but I am not much into that theory because what does a shoe prove?

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Shadrich and co can't do much on their own. However, blackmailing LF for money is something they can do. They could also kidnap Sansa. They don't need to get her to King's Landing. LF has plenty of wealth to ransom her. They are looking for a payday after all. 

All bets are off in case they obtain help from a local lord or if their greed overcomes their sense. After all they don't need to be successful to create chaos.

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There is also the possibility that Bronze Yohn Royce recognizes Sansa-Alayne. He met her not so long ago after all, while visiting Winterfell shortly before AGOT and maybe later when both of them were in KL during AGOT.

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I think there is a number of people in the Vale who realize Alayne's true identity. It might have held up in the Eyrie where she was out of sight and out of mind. But upon further scrutiny the timing of her appearance and her adoption into Lysa's household is suspicious. Now she is at the Gates of the Moon and her upcoming betrothal,as well as her close relationship with Sweetrobin are bound to invite further scrutiny. Her own demeanor, which among the household of the Eyrie is that of a high lady will hint at her true identity.

Lothor Brune certainly knows who she is and I am sure maester Colemon who saw her building a model of Winterfel, suspects as well. Bronze Yohn has met her. I consider Myranda Royce a near certainty and she has interacted at length with the sons of both Grafton and Lynderly. It also seems to me that the easiest and surest way for LF to ensure Anya Waynewood's cooperation regarding her betrothal to Harry would be to reveal Sansa's identity, as it would be a match she would approve.

LF's quote that people see only what they expect to see applies as long as what they see is not entirely incongruous. Sansa's polish and confidence is very much at odds with her invented backstory.

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3 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

It also seems to me that the easiest and surest way for LF to ensure Anya Waynewood's cooperation regarding her betrothal to Harry would be to reveal Sansa's identity

Littlefinger takes as little risk as possible. He will not tell more people than absolutely necessary about Alayne's tue identity.

He told Sansa, that Anya Waynwood was only ready to agree to Alayne's marriage with Harry because of a rich dowry and that Alayne would please Harry. I do not think that Anya Waynwood would have insisted on such conditions knowing Alayne's true identity.

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38 minutes ago, Greywater-Watch said:

Littlefinger takes as little risk as possible. He will not tell more people than absolutely necessary about Alayne's tue identity.

He told Sansa, that Anya Waynwood was only ready to agree to Alayne's marriage with Harry because of a rich dowry and that Alayne would please Harry. I do not think that Anya Waynwood would have insisted on such conditions knowing Alayne's true identity.

If any of LF's activities were known he would have executed in an instant. He takes insane risks. This wouldn't be as much of a risk. Direct intervention to the Vale by the Iron Throne is extremely improbable and their is no indication that she is hostile to Starks. On the opposite it seems more likely that he would gain favor from Waynwood for "rescuing"Sansa.

And why wouldn't she want to make money on the side? She has a bargaining chip, she would have exploited it. Even so it is a major decision.

I mention it as a possibility. Marrying Sansa to Harry is tantamount to open rebellion for the Vale lords. There is a likelihood that it would work against the betrothal.

Another possibility is that she is aware of who Alayne is on her own and bargained to keep up appearances.

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A little curve ball but what if Littlefinger makes her true identity known once the Boltons are ousted from Littlefinger in an effort to set her as warden of the North.

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On Wednesday, 12 October 2016 at 10:08 PM, Jenny of Dorne said:

...maybe even the Sansa's shoe which fell down with Lysa may be found but I am not much into that theory because what does a shoe prove?

Oh, a shoe proves everything. Haven't you seen Cinderella?

10 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

I think there is a number of people in the Vale who realize Alayne's true identity. It might have held up in the Eyrie where she was out of sight and out of mind. But upon further scrutiny the timing of her appearance and her adoption into Lysa's household is suspicious. Now she is at the Gates of the Moon and her upcoming betrothal,as well as her close relationship with Sweetrobin are bound to invite further scrutiny. Her own demeanor, which among the household of the Eyrie is that of a high lady will hint at her true identity.

Lothor Brune certainly knows who she is...

Well Littlefinger probably knows he can't keep her secret forever, that's why he's planning to marry her to Harry sooner rather than later. Although originally there was supposed to be a 5-yr gap so I guess people would have been fooled.

What's Lother Brune's deal?

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18 hours ago, JonSnowed said:

A little curve ball but what if Littlefinger makes her true identity known once the Boltons are ousted from Littlefinger in an effort to set her as warden of the North.

She is a young girl. With armies behind her it might make a difference, but it would mean the North would in effect be ruled by her husband. If one discounts the fact that her husband is Tyrion, it wouldn't mean that all Northmen would be content to be ruled by an outsider.

To one degree or another all the Starks have issues with gaining the seat in the North. Jon is a bastard, Bran is both a cripple and too young, Sansa is disinherited, married to enemies and in the hands of outsiders, Arya is a girl and very young and Rickon is a baby. Jon has a leg up being grown and could be said to have men of his own. Bran in the normal course of events would be King Brandon or Lord Brandon, but he is too young and has no retinue. In short he can't rule on his own. Bolton's scheme with Jeyne Poole would cast doubts to the identity of any of the others emerging. None would be universally accepted.

15 hours ago, Illyrio Mo'Parties said:

Oh, a shoe proves everything. Haven't you seen Cinderella?

Well Littlefinger probably knows he can't keep her secret forever, that's why he's planning to marry her to Harry sooner rather than later. Although originally there was supposed to be a 5-yr gap so I guess people would have been fooled.

What's Lother Brune's deal?

The revelation would force him to commit and in this case to treason. I think he would want that to be at a time of his own choosing, if ever. I don't see what difference the five year gap could make. She was supposed to have been sequestered in the Eyrie all that time so the staff there would have gotten to know her inside out and when she made waves in the court of the Vale.

Martin hinted that there is history between him and the Brunes of Cracklaw Point. I don't know if it will be relevant. The other thing about him is that he won his knighthood on his own merit, is apparently a bit of a badass and has made a bit of aname for himself. This means he doesn't necessarily depend on LF anymore. He also seems fond of Sansa.

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5 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

The other thing about him is that he won his knighthood on his own merit, is apparently a bit of a badass and has made a bit of aname for himself. This means he doesn't necessarily depend on LF anymore. He also seems fond of Sansa.

Well, he depends on getting paid by LF.  Which I'm sure with the amount of information that Brune knows, is a pretty hefty wage.  Not to say he couldn't find another lord to serve.  I don't really think he will have much of an impact on anything unless there is a fight, and like you said, he is a badass.  

I don't believe there is anything in the text that suggests that Brune is fond of Sansa.  Yes, he does protect her from Marillion, but he's probably only doing that because he's getting paid to.  

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Lothar seems gentle when dealing with Sansa the way the Hound did.  That's where people see him showing some caring for Sansa...although whether that gentleness is true, merely the behavior of a loyal servant, or even simply a creation of Sansa's imagination; is less than clear.

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18 hours ago, Wolf of the Steppes said:

Well, he depends on getting paid by LF.  Which I'm sure with the amount of information that Brune knows, is a pretty hefty wage.  Not to say he couldn't find another lord to serve.  I don't really think he will have much of an impact on anything unless there is a fight, and like you said, he is a badass.  

I don't believe there is anything in the text that suggests that Brune is fond of Sansa.  Yes, he does protect her from Marillion, but he's probably only doing that because he's getting paid to.  

 

17 hours ago, cgf said:

Lothar seems gentle when dealing with Sansa the way the Hound did.  That's where people see him showing some caring for Sansa...although whether that gentleness is true, merely the behavior of a loyal servant, or even simply a creation of Sansa's imagination; is less than clear.

I don't disagree, I'm throwing out there as a possibility. He's been around for a while and Martin has paid some attention and fleshing out.

In their environment, service with a lord might mean more than a paycheck, as it would mean a home and guaranteed meals which gold doesn't necessarily provide in the long term. LF is an interrim lord for the Vale and seems unlikely to settle down and make a household. I doubt that it is loyalty that ties Brune to LF.

The inverse is also true. By the nature of his undertakings LF needs underlings that either depend on him entirely or that for whom he is unquestionably the best option. He might want to get rid of Brune as that may no longer apply to him.

 

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On 16. 10. 2016 at 5:40 PM, Greywater-Watch said:

Littlefinger takes as little risk as possible. He will not tell more people than absolutely necessary about Alayne's tue identity.

Well, the thing is, if (and it is a very big if) he really wants to marry Sansa to Harry, he will have to reveal her identity to at least Harry and the Waynwoods and some septon and/or a maester before the wedding, right? I am not a Westerosi law expert, you know, but I'd rather say that if the groom doesn't know the bride's identity, the marriage, not to mention children that follow, might not be legitimate?

Reflecting on this all, I am discovering that the Vale at this point is really fascinating. As it has been quite isolated from the rest of Westeros and the rest of the storylines, it makes a separate story and I believe its plot (aka what happens to Sansa) will be resolved soon based on Vale internal factors and information we already have. The hints are there for us to take. Like in a detective story. The problem is that I still have at least a dozen ideas about how the hints will be combined and how it may all turn out.:wacko:

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37 minutes ago, Jenny of Dorne said:

Well, the thing is, if (and it is a very big if) he really wants to marry Sansa to Harry, he will have to reveal her identity to at least Harry and the Waynwoods and some septon and/or a maester before the wedding, right? I am not a Westerosi law expert, you know, but I'd rather say that if the groom doesn't know the bride's identity, the marriage, not to mention children that follow, might not be legitimate?

At least according to his spiel at the end of AFFC, he plans to reveal her true identity at the wedding itself.

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On 10/12/2016 at 9:08 AM, Jenny of Dorne said:

1.) The tourney for the wings will have a result and that will have some impact (e. g. Harry may be killed because he is "nowise skilled enough to win a place amongst the Winged Knights"),

I agree that the Wings Tourney may have some surprising turns.

Sansa wished that 'some hero would chop off Janos Slynt's head' and we all know what happened.

She's also quoted that she wants the Sept of Baelor burned. That hasn't happened, but with Cersei getting crazier by the day, that one will probably come to pass as well.

After meeting HtH where he was so rude and called her 'Littlefinger's Bastard', she wishes that he'd fall off his horse on his stupid head during the joust. I can totally see that possibility...and if something happens to HtH, who is Sweetrobin's heir then? Does anyone know who is next? I absolutely do not see Sansa and HtH actually getting to a wedding ceremony. This would set the Vale into a tailspin if little Lord Robert's heir dies.

I think Myranda knows who Sansa really is...she didn't throw that line about Ned's bastard being Lord Commander out there for nothing...then Sansa falls right into the trap and blurts out Jon's name...who Alayne shouldn't have a clue about.

The Vale is a pressure cooker waiting to explode and lots of players are in place for some interesting events.

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1 hour ago, Balerion's Whiskers said:

I agree that the Wings Tourney may have some surprising turns.

Sansa wished that 'some hero would chop off Janos Slynt's head' and we all know what happened.

She's also quoted that she wants the Sept of Baelor burned. That hasn't happened, but with Cersei getting crazier by the day, that one will probably come to pass as well.

After meeting HtH where he was so rude and called her 'Littlefinger's Bastard', she wishes that he'd fall off his horse on his stupid head during the joust. I can totally see that possibility...and if something happens to HtH, who is Sweetrobin's heir then? Does anyone know who is next? I absolutely do not see Sansa and HtH actually getting to a wedding ceremony. This would set the Vale into a tailspin if little Lord Robert's heir dies.

I think Myranda knows who Sansa really is...she didn't throw that line about Ned's bastard being Lord Commander out there for nothing...then Sansa falls right into the trap and blurts out Jon's name...who Alayne shouldn't have a clue about.

The Vale is a pressure cooker waiting to explode and lots of players are in place for some interesting events.

Well, LF is pretty good at getting people killed in tourneys when needed...

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On 10/16/2016 at 10:40 AM, Greywater-Watch said:

Littlefinger takes as little risk as possible. He will not tell more people than absolutely necessary about Alayne's tue identity.

He told Sansa, that Anya Waynwood was only ready to agree to Alayne's marriage with Harry because of a rich dowry and that Alayne would please Harry. I do not think that Anya Waynwood would have insisted on such conditions knowing Alayne's true identity.

Unless of course those stipulation were put into place to buy the Lord's Declared sometime. Also Waynwood knows who Sansa is and who she's we'd too, so this gives both parties time to neutralize Tyrion.

On 10/18/2016 at 0:38 PM, Whitering said:

Ya, the Sansa in the Vale chapters revealed more about how awesome Arya is at blending in. 

Thank you, thought I was the only one who noticed that.

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8 hours ago, the conquering bastard 25 said:

so this gives both parties time to neutralize Tyrion

If or if not Anya Waynwood knows about Alayne being Sansa, this is cause for speculation. But actively trying to neutralize Tyrion (i.e. get him killed) is definitely not on the scope of Littlefinger or even Anya Waynwood. Littlefinger speculated on Tyrion's death, but through Cersei's wrath and power. But - as he has taught as a lesson to Alayne - he is well aware that some pieces in the Game of Thrones will not move as predicted, and knowing this he is clever enough not to force such moves but adapt to unforeseen situations.

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