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40 Thousand Skeletons

The COTF Master Plan: Part 1

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Part 2 Part 3

The COTF Master Plan: Part 1

Introduction

Many book readers have a similar impression of the main plot of ASOIAF. Out internal monologue is something along these lines, akin to a sports fan shouting at the TV: AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! Zombies! And crazy ice demons who are good at sword fighting and who have swords that shatter human swords and seem to be controlling the zombies holy fucking shit! Oh good, one guy got away and he can warn everyone. Wait… Ned, you aren’t listening to him. NOOOO! Listen to that guy! He told the truth! Shit, I am really worried that these Others are gonna come fuck shit up and this guy Ned isn’t gonna be ready for it. Holy shit those dragon eggs actually hatched? Wow, THANK THE GODS, dragons are exactly what we needed to fight those ice zombies. Oh fuck, a war??! Guys, this is seriously like the worst time ever for a war. I know you don’t like each other, and you don’t know there are demons and zombies coming to kill you, but it’s happening. No don’t use scorched earth tactics to destroy this harvest! Winter is coming! Everyone will starve in addition to the zombies! Man oh man, I hope those dragons are big enough by the time winter comes and I hope someone tells Dany to get her ass over to the Wall to team up with Jon and fight the zombies. Oh good, Bran might be Keanu Reeves after all and the COTF are going to help save the day, just like they did in the Long Night! Phew. You know, with the COTF helping, and Dany’s dragons and Jon having the right parents to be the rightful king, I’m feeling kind of optimistic about this story, although I’m sure plenty more people will die. Let me just finish these last several chapters of ADWD… AAAAAAAAHHHH! No. He can’t be dead. Jon is Jesus. He will come back to life next book and save the day just like I’ve been hoping for this whole time. George wouldn’t do that to me. He wouldn’t kill Jon. Jon has to be special!

That’s certainly how I felt after my first read through, and even after my second. But then I became suspicious of the author. Something just didn’t feel right. After years of obsessing over these books, I came to a conclusion: GRRM had tricked me. That sneaky bastard!

GRRM is an atheist hippie, who writes stories about how war and religion are bad. It wouldn’t make sense for him to write a story where Melisandre, a religious fanatic who burns people alive, is correct about the Gods, and correct that it is just to wage all-out war against the EVIL OTHERS. And if Jon does come back from the dead like other characters have, he would be a very Jesus-like figure indeed; a savior come in our hour of need with a sword to lead mankind against demons in an apocalypse-type scenario. And maybe he could team up with Dany (or not), another person fulfilling religious prophecy, in her case by walking into a burning pyre and coming out alive with dragons (the only dragons in the world at that time).

So WTF is going on? GRRM is basically trying to write a book series where he tricks the readers to think along the same lines as the POV characters even though they are often horribly wrong about important things. He does this by forcing us to rely on their opinions the first time we read the books, because we lack perspective. Like, we naturally assume zombies are evil, when they are really just a scary weapon (not necessarily evil). But if you reread (super carefully) the books, you can achieve a level of knowledge relevant to the story that is far beyond any individual POV character and see through the lies and trickery. A simple example is this line from Mors Umber in the WOW Theon sample chapter:

"Arya of Winterfell, aye. When last I was inside those walls, your cook served us a steak and kidney pie. Made with ale, I think, best I ever tasted. What was his name, that cook?"

But we know from Bran’s POV that the pie was venison.

Such food Bran had never seen; course after course after course, so much that he could not manage more than a bite or two of each dish. There were great joints of aurochs roasted with leeks, venison pies chunky with carrots, bacon, and mushrooms, mutton chops sauced in honey and cloves, savory duck, peppered boar, goose, skewers of pigeon and capon, beef-and-barley stew, cold fruit soup.

GRRM is certainly not making it easy. Without the internet and other people pointing out things that I missed, I might never have noticed that line.

It also never sat well with me that the main bulk of the text involved this intricate “game of thrones” in which players vie for power over one another and you try to figure out what everyone is up to, only to have this Lord of the Rings type power of darkness sneaking up behind everyone in the background. I always thought to myself, I love this cool game of thrones stuff, but it is all kind of irrelevant, because they are all going to have to team up in the end to fight the Evil Others. It felt cheap. But if GRRM is trying to trick me, then it actually makes sense if that is not the case. Indeed, it makes much more sense if the underlying plot with the Others and the COTF and the Lord of Light is actually the greatest and most complicated game of thrones of all.

The COTF should not like humans. They should not be on the same side against the Others. Humans and COTF have historically been enemies, with humans cutting down their weirwood trees and claiming more and more land as their own. Additionally, it is said the COTF have always hunted and fought with obsidian, which just so happens to kill Others, and the COTF used to give 100 obsidian daggers to the watch every year, which implies they had this “Evil Others” situation under control. It would even make sense in a way for the COTF to be on the same side as the Others, seeing as how the Others were fighting humans (and doing it very effectively).

The COTF are also implied to have incredible powers, most notably (in my opinion) bringing down the Hammer of the Waters to create the Neck. So I wondered, what powers do they have exactly? What are the COTF capable of, and what role have they played in our story?

Motivation

What is the goal of the COTF? In my opinion, their ultimate goal is survival. Not survival of the species necessarily, but survival of the weirwood trees and of the “godhood” of all the greenseers.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one. The singers of the forest had no books. No ink, no parchment, no written language. Instead they had the trees, and the weirwoods above all. When they died, they went into the wood, into leaf and limb and root, and the trees remembered. All their songs and spells, their histories and prayers, everything they knew about this world. Maesters will tell you that the weirwoods are sacred to the old gods. The singers believe they are the old gods. When singers die they become part of that godhood.”

I think Jojen is half right on this one. Regular Children of the Forest may die, but it doesn’t seem like the greenseers themselves ever die. This is how Bran describes Bloodraven:

Lord Brynden drew his life from the tree, Leaf told them. He did not eat, he did not drink. He slept, he dreamed, he watched.

And later in that chapter, Bran (as Hodor) finds an entire cavern FILLED with sleeping greenseers:

He even crossed the slender stone bridge that arched over the abyss and discovered more passages and chambers on the far side. One was full of singers, enthroned like Brynden in nests of weirwood roots that wove under and through and around their bodies. Most of them looked dead to him, but as he crossed in front of them their eyes would open and follow the light of his torch, and one of them opened and closed a wrinkled mouth as if he were trying to speak.

WTF? I thought BR was The Last Greenseer! Here we have an entire chamber filled with living tree-children “enthroned like Brynden”. It appears that Bran stumbled upon a room of living greenseers, and it’s probably not the only room like that. In fact… I am going to go so far as to say that every weirwood tree is a living greenseer, and the chamber filled with greenseers that Bran found is the underground portion of a circle of weirwoods. And the leaves and sap of weirwoods are red and look like blood because it is blood. What?! Tinfoil you say? No, give me a chance to convince you. First I would like to point out that protecting all the weirwood trees has for some reason always been super important to the COTF. The 2 biggest pieces of evidence of this are the story of High Heart and The Pact.

Here is our first description of High Heart:

 

High Heart had been sacred to the children of the forest, Tom Sevenstrings told her, and some of their magic lingered here still. "No harm can ever come to those as sleep here," the singer said. Arya thought that must be true; the hill was so high and the surrounding lands so flat that no enemy could approach unseen.

And here is the story from TWOIAF:

In this same era one Andal, remembered in legend as Erreg the Kinslayer, came across the great hill of High Heart. There, while under the protection of the kings of the First Men, the children of the forest had tended to the mighty carved weirwoods that crowned it (thirty-one, according to Archmaester Laurent in his manuscript Old Places of the Trident). When Erreg's warriors sought to cut down the trees, the First Men are said to have fought beside the children, but the might of the Andals was too great. Though the children and First Men made a valiant effort to defend their holy grove, all were slain. The tale-tellers now claim that the ghosts of the children still haunt the hill by night. To this day, rivermen shun the place.

Now, we don’t know if this story is true, but if it is, it would imply that defending trees is worth sacrificing their own lives. That seems crazy. Unless the trees are literally the gods, and cutting down a tree kills the greenseer underground, because it can no longer provide life like Leaf said was happening with BR. The weirwood trees are so important to the COTF that they are at the center of the pact:

"There they forged the Pact. The First Men were given the coastlands, the high plains and bright meadows, the mountains and bogs, but the deep woods were to remain forever the children's, and no more weirwoods were to be put to the axe anywhere in the realm. So the gods might bear witness to the signing, every tree on the island was given a face, and afterward, the sacred order of green men was formed to keep watch over the Isle of Faces.

It is also strange that we are told weirwoods can live forever:

An oak may live three hundred years, a redwood tree three thousand. A weirwood will live forever if left undisturbed.

So that’s weird. Something unnatural seems to be keeping the trees alive. Is it the power of a living greenseer? What’s also weird is that weirwoods die sometimes. It appears we have 2 examples of this in the story, the heart tree at Raventree Hall and Nagga’s Bones. Here is our description of Raventree:

It was a weirwood ancient and colossal, ten times the size of the one in the Stone Garden at Casterly Rock. This tree was bare and dead, though.

"The Brackens poisoned it," said his host. "For a thousand years it has not shown a leaf. In another thousand it will have turned to stone, the maesters say. Weirwoods never rot."

So apparently it is known by at least the maesters that some weirwoods can die without being cut down, and that when this happens they never rot. It’s also interesting that the Brackens were able to “poison” the tree to death. This sounds like they may have poisoned the water and killed the greenseer, thus killing the tree. The other example given to us of dead weirwoods is Nagga’s Bones. If you didn’t notice that Nagga’s Bones are likely dead weirwoods, here are some quotes. First we have a suspicious staff:

The greatest of the priests was the towering prophet Galon Whitestaff, so-called for the tall carved staff he carried everywhere to smite the ungodly. (In some tales his staff was made of weirwood, in others from one of Nagga's bones.)

And here’s a quote comparing them to trees:

Victarion joined Nute the Barber at her prow. Ahead loomed the sacred shore of Old Wyk and the grassy hill above it, where the ribs of Nagga rose from the earth like the trunks of great white trees, as wide around as a dromond's mast and twice as tall.

And another:

On the crown of the hill four-and-forty monstrous stone ribs rose from the earth like the trunks of great pale trees. The sight made Aeron's heart beat faster. Nagga had been the first sea dragon, the mightiest ever to rise from the waves.

My theory to explain Nagga’s Bones is that the Iron Islands used to be a viable place for weirwoods to grow before they were islands, but became inhospitable after the Hammer of the Waters was brought down to create the Neck. So all those greenseers died, but the petrified trees remain.

And this is my favorite hint for living greenseers being in every weirwood from TWOIAF:

And Highgarden's lush green godswood is almost as renowned, for in the place of a single heart tree it boasts three towering, graceful, ancient weirwoods whose limbs have grown so entangled over the centuries that they appear to be almost a single tree with three trunks, reaching for each other above a tranquil pool. Legend has it these trees, known in the Reach as the Three Singers, were planted by Garth Greenhand himself.

And here are a bunch of other random suspicious quotes.

Asha thinks their sap looks like blood:

Eight days ago Asha had walked out with Aly Mormont to have a closer look at its slitted red eyes and bloody mouth. It is only sap, she'd told herself, the red sap that flows inside these weirwoods. But her eyes were unconvinced; seeing was believing, and what they saw was frozen blood.

 

TWOIAF describes the heart tree at Harrenhal bleeding:

Each night at dusk he slashed the heart tree in the godswood to mark the passing of another day. Thirteen marks can be seen upon that weirwood still; old wounds, deep and dark, yet the lords who have ruled Harrenhal since Daemon’s day say they bleed afresh every spring.

Trees dream apparently, according to Bran:

“When I sleep I turn into a wolf.” Bran turned his face away and looked back out into the night. “Do wolves dream?”

“All creatures dream, I think, yet not as men do.”

“Do dead men dream?” Bran asked, thinking of his father. In the dark crypts below Winterfell, a stonemason was chiseling out his father’s likeness in granite.

“Some say yes, some no,” the maester answered. “The dead themselves are silent on the matter.”

“Do trees dream?”

 

"Trees? No..."

 

"They do," Bran said with sudden certainty. "They dream tree dreams. I dream of a tree sometimes. A weirwood, like the one in the godswood. It calls to me. The wolf dreams are better. I smell things, and sometimes I can taste the blood."

Bran feels the old gods:

It was a queer kind of tree, skinnier than any other weirwood that Bran had ever seen and faceless as well, but it made him feel as if the old gods were with him here, at least.

Jon thinks Winterfell belongs to the old gods:

The weirwood was the heart of Winterfell, Lord Eddard always said... but to save the castle Jon would have to tear that heart up by its ancient roots, and feed it to the red woman's hungry fire god. I have no right, he thought. Winterfell belongs to the old gods.

The weirwoods whisper to the Ghost of High Heart when she sleeps:

“Your brother may be gone," said Thoros. "Your mother as well. I did not see them in the flames. This wedding the old one spoke of, a wedding on the Twins... she has her own ways of knowing things, that one. The weirwoods whisper in her ear when she sleeps. If she says your mother is gone to the Twins..."

And finally, this quote is super scary if I’m right:

 

Hodor saw them too. "Hodor," he whimpered, reluctant to go on. But when the girl child stopped to let them catch her, the torchlight steadied, and Bran realized that the snakes were only white roots like the one he'd hit his head on. "It's weirwood roots," he said. "Remember the heart tree in the godswood, Hodor? The white tree with the red leaves? A tree can't hurt you."

No, a tree can hurt you Bran!

So that is my explanation for the ultimate goal of the COTF. The greenseers are trying to survive, and they seem to act in unison, as one giant shared consciousness using the weirnet as a medium for telepathic communication with each other. So for the rest of this theory, when I refer to the COTF or BR doing something, I’m talking about the collective of greenseers working in unison toward their own eternal survival and not Leaf and the “more than three score” living children Bran meets in the cave, who could have different goals, but likely are blind servants to the greenseers. I hypothesize that the COTF have 3 main powers used in the story so far: sending dreams, skinchanging into animals (and dead bodies), and controlling the weather. Let’s reexamine the story with those powers in mind.

 

A Game of Thrones

To wrap up part 1 of this theory, I will briefly go over some of the evidence pointing to the COTF being the puppet masters of 3 key events in AGOT: The assassination attempt of Bran, the assassination attempt of Commander Mormont, and the assassination of King Robert.

The Assassination Attempt of Bran

This section is from the thread I posted the other day, for those of you who saw it.

SOMEONE sent an assassin to kill Bran in AGOT. At first we are led to believe it was likely Cersei/Jaime, but we later learn it was not. Tyrion and Jaime both blame Joffrey, but this answer is super unsatisfying to a lot of readers (including myself), and we have no real confirmation that Joffrey actually did it. So let's reexamine what happened with this super simple line of logic:

The most important aspect of the assassination is the Valyrian steel dagger. Cat and Ser Rodrik quickly and correctly deduce that the dagger could not have belonged to the assassin, as it was too fine a weapon for a commoner to own. The direct consequence is that Cat blames the Lannisters (because of the letter from LF about Jon Arryn) and goes to KL. There are a few aspects of this assassination that are ridiculous, but they go unquestioned by the characters and some readers. Why use a fancy weapon (that implicates someone else, e.g. the Lannisters) instead of a plain one? Why use a dagger at all? Why not just smother Bran with a pillow if you want his secrets kept to the grave? Picture the following conversation. Person 1: "Hey, that kid who fell out a window died in his coma last night." Person 2: "I'm not the least bit surprised by this news. I don't suspect any foul play at all." That would be reasonable. Why did the assassin think no one would be in the room? Everyone important in the castle likely knew that Cat had not left Bran's side and would be in the room (including Joffrey). Why did he leave the bag of silver behind in the stables where he was supposedly sleeping instead of keeping the silver on his person to escape as quickly as possible?

So you can see, we have a few mysterious questions with an obvious answer: THE ASSASSINATION WAS MEANT TO FAIL! Whoever planned the attempt knew it would fail, knew the Valyrian dagger would be found, and knew Cat would act to find the truth (it is also very likely that this nefarious party knew about the LF letter and knew that Cat would blame the Lannisters). So who sent the assassin? Well, that's actually pretty easy to deduce. There is only one person who could have known for sure the attempt would fail: Summer. Summer tore out the assassin's throat, thus saving Bran's (and Cat's) life. No one else could have known it would go down that way. Now, I hear you thinking, "But 40 Thousand Skeletons, Summer is a fucking wolf! He can't plan and then foil fake assassinations." Exactly. But you know who could? The COTF.

I think a big part of the COTF master plan was to get Bran to go north and join BR. I will get into this more in part 2, but the basic steps are: cripple Bran; send him dreams; fake assassinate him; send Theon, Ramsay, and Jojen to WF; get Bran to trust that the Old Gods can predict the future when they can’t; destroy WF; fake Bran’s death so no one goes looking for him; send Sam to meet him at the Black Gate to guide him through; get Bran to the cave; turn Bran into a powerful greenseer; get Bran to join the weirnet and use his powers to control humanity.

The Assassination Attempt of Commander Mormont

Right around the time that the King dies, Commander Mormont is attacked by a zombie and saved by Jon Snow. This motivates Mormont to go north, and convinces Jon that zombies are the scariest most evil fucking things ever and must be defeated. Our characters assume the Others sent the zombies, but let’s reexamine the evidence and see if it could have been the COTF. Here is the description of the dead bodies:

Squatting beside the dead man he had named Jafer Flowers, Ser Jaremy grasped his head by the scalp. The hair came out between his fingers, brittle as straw. The knight cursed and shoved at the face with the heel of his hand. A great gash in the side of the corpse’s neck opened like a mouth, crusted with dried blood. Only a few ropes of pale tendon still attached the head to the neck. “This was done with an axe.”

“Aye,” muttered Dywen, the old forester. “Belike the axe that Othor carried, m’lord.”

Jon could feel his breakfast churning in his belly, but he pressed his lips together and made himself look at the second body. Othor had been a big ugly man, and he made a big ugly corpse. No axe was in evidence. Jon remembered Othor; he had been the one bellowing the bawdy song as the rangers rode out. His singing days were done. His flesh was blanched white as milk, everywhere but his hands. His hands were black like Jafer’s. Blossoms of hard cracked blood decorated the mortal wounds that covered him like a rash, breast and groin and throat. Yet his eyes were still open. They stared up at the sky, blue as sapphires.

Ser Jaremy stood. “The Wildlings have axes too.”

Mormont rounded on him. “So you believe this is Mance Rayder’s work? This close to the Wall?”

“Who else, my lord?”

Jon could have told him. He knew, they all knew, yet no man of them would say the words. The Others are only a story, a tale to make children shiver. If they ever lived at all, they are gone eight thousand years . Even the thought made him feel foolish; he was a man grown now, a black brother of the Night’s Watch, not the boy who’d once sat at Old Nan’s feet with Bran and Robb and Arya.

So clearly this could have been the COTF. It appears that Othor was killed by a ravens and then zombie Othor killed Jafer. Then both zombies walked south and were suspiciously found by Ghost. Our characters immediately assume it is the work of the Others, which makes me think another answer is more likely. Additionally it is a warm day, so the Others can’t be close by.

Then we have the attack itself. Jon, from his POV, loses time while sitting in moonlight and somehow doesn’t notice the guard outside his door getting killed by a zombie. Then Ghost startles him awake and leads him to the famous fight with zombie Othor. The whole thing seems like it could have been staged  by the COTF. So while we can’t prove it was the COTF, we also can’t prove it wasn’t, and the involvement of Ghost in the finding of the bodies and the fight itself is suspicious.

The Assassination of King Robert

Cersei and Lancel claim to have killed Robert by getting him drunk. That plan is so fucking stupid. It is certainly not guaranteed to work. Like with the fake assassination attempt on Bran, the only way to guarantee Robert will die is to skinchange into the boar that killed him. Here’s Robert talking about it:

"Ah, fuck you, Ned," the king said hoarsely. "I killed the bastard, didn't I?" A lock of matted black hair fell across his eyes as he glared up at Ned. "Ought to do the same for you. Can't leave a man to hunt in peace. Ser Robar found me. Gregor's head. Ugly thought. Never told the Hound. Let Cersei surprise him." His laugh turned into a grunt as a spasm of pain hit him. "Gods have mercy," he muttered, swallowing his agony. "The girl. Daenerys. Only a child, you were right … that's why, the girl … the gods sent the boar … sent to punish me …"

And here he calls the boar a bastard again, and says he drove a knife through his eye, just like BR:

Bastard did me good, eh? But I … I paid him back in kind, Ned." The king's smile was as terrible as his wound, his teeth red. "Drove a knife right through his eye. Ask them if I didn't. Ask them."

These were just some of the first steps we have seen in the COTF master plan. To be continued in Part 2…

 

 

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@40 Thousand Skeletons

Quote

I think a big part of the COTF master plan was to get Bran to go north and join BR. I will get into this more in part 2, but the basic steps are: cripple Bran; send him dreams; fake assassinate him; send Theon, Ramsay, and Jojen to WF; get Bran to trust that the Old Gods can predict the future when they can’t; destroy WF; fake Bran’s death so no one goes looking for him; send Sam to meet him at the Black Gate to guide him through; get Bran to the cave; turn Bran into a powerful greenseer; get Bran to join the weirnet and use his powers to control humanity

Have you deduced yet that the CotF created the Others? They got out of control and now the CotF need help to stop them. (Not my original idea, but one I subscribe to). You're discussion about the obsidian could have lead you there.

I'm gonna start with Bran's assassination attempt.

Maybe you'll get into this in part 2 but...are you suggesting the CotF skinchanged Jaime to push Bran (doing Cersei was a perk)?

How did they get Robert's dagger? More skinchanging? Why did they have to attempt to assassinate Bran to get him north? Nothing else would work? Is there any textual evidence which links the CotF to the assassination? 

I think we will see a lot more of the CotF in the next two books and maybe find out they were somewhat involved in a few things but Bran's assassination attempt is not one of them.

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29 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

@40 Thousand Skeletons

Have you deduced yet that the CotF created the Others? They got out of control and now the CotF need help to stop them. (Not my original idea, but one I subscribe to). You're discussion about the obsidian could have lead you there.

I'm gonna start with Bran's assassination attempt.

Maybe you'll get into this in part 2 but...are you suggesting the CotF skinchanged Jaime to push Bran (doing Cersei was a perk)?

How did they get Robert's dagger? More skinchanging? Why did they have to attempt to assassinate Bran to get him north? Nothing else would work? 

I think we will see a lot more of the CotF in the next two books and maybe find out they were somewhat involved in a few things but Bran's assassination attempt is not one of them.

I believe his thinking in this was to get Cat to go to King's Landing. The problem is, she would have had plenty of time to get back before Bran would of ever had the chance to go north. (Rodrik certainly did, and I believe he was back even before Jojen showed up for the Harvest Feast). So of course, there had to be other manipulations to keep her away, like making her stick with Robb. Definitely not a theory I will believe in.

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47 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

@40 Thousand Skeletons

Have you deduced yet that the CotF created the Others? They got out of control and now the CotF need help to stop them. (Not my original idea, but one I subscribe to). You're discussion about the obsidian could have lead you there.

I'm gonna start with Bran's assassination attempt.

Maybe you'll get into this in part 2 but...are you suggesting the CotF skinchanged Jaime to push Bran (doing Cersei was a perk)?

How did they get Robert's dagger? More skinchanging? Why did they have to attempt to assassinate Bran to get him north? Nothing else would work? 

I think we will see a lot more of the CotF in the next two books and maybe find out they were somewhat involved in a few things but Bran's assassination attempt is not one of them.

No I don't think they literally skinchanged Jaime. Yes, I have long believed the COTF created the Others. I will elaborate more on this in Part 2, but I think the COTF can control the weather (at least to an extent) and thus control when and where the Others can attack.

I think they attempted to assassinate Bran mostly to manipulate Cat, not so much as part of making him go north. Again, my main argument for that specifically being the work of the COTF is that the presence of the dagger suggests it was meant to be botched, and the COTF are the only ones who could have planned it with Summer killing the assassin.

Edit: just to clarify, I don't think the Others "got out of control" like a lot of people think.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Lyman said:

I believe his thinking in this was to get Cat to go to King's Landing. The problem is, she would have had plenty of time to get back before Bran would of ever had the chance to go north. (Rodrik certainly did, and I believe he was back even before Jojen showed up for the Harvest Feast). So of course, there had to be other manipulations to keep her away, like making her stick with Robb. Definitely not a theory I will believe in.

Well the main thing that happens is she ends up capturing Tyrion. A lot of people think it is a coincidence that the 2 characters run into each other, but if the COTF control the weather, they could have potentially controlled the journeys of Cat and Tyrion well enough to the point that they ran into each other at the inn. Obviously the result that actually happened was Bran never saw his mother again, and the Wot5K was started in earnest.

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6 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Well the main thing that happens is she ends up capturing Tyrion. A lot of people think it is a coincidence that the 2 characters run into each other, but if the COTF control the weather, they could have potentially controlled the journeys of Cat and Tyrion well enough to the point that they ran into each other at the inn. Obviously the result that actually happened was Bran never saw his mother again, and the Wot5K was started in earnest.

@40 Thousand Skeletons

Keep stacking those cards....

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Just now, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

@40 Thousand Skeletons

Keep stacking those cards....

Seriously, it's a fucking theory. You might as well not even go on the forums if you don't want to consider anything a possibility. You're clearly convinced in your mind that I'm wrong and being condescending about it. How about you pick apart my arguments, and I'll defend them, and then we can have a swell time.

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4 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Seriously, it's a fucking theory. You might as well not even go on the forums if you don't want to consider anything a possibility. You're clearly convinced in your mind that I'm wrong and being condescending about it. How about you pick apart my arguments, and I'll defend them, and then we can have a swell time.

I'm not being condescending. But theories based on theories based on theories tend to fall apart. That's all I meant. 

Im not sure if the part I bolded was meant to be sarcastic but if it wasn't....how about some evidence from the text to support that the CotF were involved in Bran's assassination attempt?

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2 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

So you can see, we have a few mysterious questions with an obvious answer: THE ASSASSINATION WAS MEANT TO FAIL! Whoever planned the attempt knew it would fail, knew the Valyrian dagger would be found, and knew Cat would act to find the truth (it is also very likely that this nefarious party knew about the LF letter and knew that Cat would blame the Lannisters). So who sent the assassin? Well, that's actually pretty easy to deduce. There is only one person who could have known for sure the attempt would fail: Summer. Summer tore out the assassin's throat, thus saving Bran's (and Cat's) life. No one else could have known it would go down that way. Now, I hear you thinking, "But 40 Thousand Skeletons, Summer is a fucking wolf! He can't plan and then foil fake assassinations." Exactly. But you know who could? The COTF.

Another obvious answer was that it wasn't planned very well, by either the assassin of the one who hired him. It's just as valid as the conclusion that it was supposed to fail. And it depends on some pretty slick timing. The CotF knew Cat would be able to slow down the assassin long enough for Summer to reach the tower to save Bran? Of course Cat would fight like hell to save Bran, but she hadn't slept or eaten for days. I think the timing is pretty dicey to pin all your hopes on a weakened woman to give Summer those precious moments.

And why do you think the CotF knew about Lysa's letter and what it had in it? I highly doubt Cat and Ned would discuss this openly in the Godswood. Is this the same way the CotF can control weather and could then possibly control the travel times of Cat and Tyrion to arrange their meeting? And btw, there are so many ways that their meeting could have gone down that just their meeting guarantees nothing. It might have ended up speeding up their journey to make sure they get him safe to Winterfell. Unless you're saying that the CotF can influence the decisions of anybody at any time, I don't see how this holds together. And if they can, then why do they even need Bran?

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36 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

I'm not being condescending. But theories based on theories based on theories tend to fall apart. That's all I meant. 

Im not sure if the part I bolded was meant to be sarcastic but if it wasn't....how about some evidence from the text to support that the CotF were involved in Bran's assassination attempt?

It was not meant to be sarcastic. My evidence is essentially, other than what I said in the OP, that the COTF are puppet masters controlling many aspects of the story, and they are super focused on Bran. But beyond Bran, I think they manipulated Mance Rayder and Tormund, BR, LF, the Hightowers, Rhaegar, and others. So doing a tiny little thing like a fake assassination is just part of a huge ridiculous complicated plot to achieve an end game of survival via dominance over humans. But I've only posted part 1.

Again, my main piece of evidence so far for the assassination attempt is the Valyrian steel dagger. I think my theory is a better explanation for the dagger than any other I have heard, but you are free to disagree with my opinion there. I think the assassin was mentally challenged and manipulated by dreams sent by the COTF.

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4 minutes ago, Gertrude said:

Another obvious answer was that it wasn't planned very well, by either the assassin of the one who hired him. It's just as valid as the conclusion that it was supposed to fail. And it depends on some pretty slick timing. The CotF knew Cat would be able to slow down the assassin long enough for Summer to reach the tower to save Bran? Of course Cat would fight like hell to save Bran, but she hadn't slept or eaten for days. I think the timing is pretty dicey to pin all your hopes on a weakened woman to give Summer those precious moments.

And why do you think the CotF knew about Lysa's letter and what it had in it? I highly doubt Cat and Ned would discuss this openly in the Godswood. Is this the same way the CotF can control weather and could then possibly control the travel times of Cat and Tyrion to arrange their meeting? And btw, there are so many ways that their meeting could have gone down that just their meeting guarantees nothing. It might have ended up speeding up their journey to make sure they get him safe to Winterfell. Unless you're saying that the CotF can influence the decisions of anybody at any time, I don't see how this holds together. And if they can, then why do they even need Bran?

I think they can influence people through actions and through dreams, but they lack the power to control people like a slave. This is a power that Bran seems to possess. I think they used their cat's paw LF and the assassination attempt to make Cat mistrust the Lannisters and Tyrion specifically. Yes, the meeting between Cat and Tyrion could have gone many ways, but the likely result is conflict.

As for the assassination "not being planned very well" being just as valid a conclusion, I disagree. I think a purposefully failed assassination is a super reasonable explanation for the Valyrian steel dagger, and an accidentally failed one does not really explain the dagger.

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1 hour ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I think they can influence people through actions and through dreams, but they lack the power to control people like a slave. This is a power that Bran seems to possess. I think they used their cat's paw LF and the assassination attempt to make Cat mistrust the Lannisters and Tyrion specifically. Yes, the meeting between Cat and Tyrion could have gone many ways, but the likely result is conflict.

As for the assassination "not being planned very well" being just as valid a conclusion, I disagree. I think a purposefully failed assassination is a super reasonable explanation for the Valyrian steel dagger, and an accidentally failed one does not really explain the dagger.

Why can't the dagger be explained by what is written in the text?

Quote

Tyrion always backed me in the lists," Jaime said, "but that day Ser Loras unhorsed me. A mischance, I took the boy too lightly, but no matter. Whatever my brother wagered, he lost . . . but that dagger did change hands, I recall it now. Robert showed it to me that night at the feast. His Grace loved to salt my wounds, especially when drunk. And when was he not drunk?"

Quote

"The steel was sufficient for two blades, not three. If you have need of a dagger, take one from the armory. Robert left a hundred when he died. Gerion gave him a gilded dagger with an ivory grip and a sapphire pommel for a wedding gift, and half the envoys who came to court tried to curry favor by presenting His Grace with jewel-encrusted knives and silver inlay swords."

Quote

Robert Baratheon was a man of careless generosity, and would have given his son any dagger he wanted . . . but Tyrion guessed that the boy had just taken it. Robert had come to Winterfell with a long tail of knights and retainers, a huge wheelhouse, and a baggage train. No doubt some diligent servant had made certain that the king's weapons went with him, in case he should desire any of them.

We have a lot more evidence in the text that it was Robert's than anything else. Where do you think the dagger came from?

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4 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I think they attempted to assassinate Bran mostly to manipulate Cat, not so much as part of making him go north. Again, my main argument for that specifically being the work of the COTF is that the presence of the dagger suggests it was meant to be botched, and the COTF are the only ones who could have planned it with Summer killing the assassin.

I'm following this discussion with interest because it may fill in the gaps in a far-fetched catspaw theory I explored a few months ago.

Here are a few possibilities that might be worth considering alongside the CotF theory you are developing:

  • The unnamed man who slept in the stables and who is referred to as the Catspaw may not have been the assassin - maybe he was hired to deliver the knife to the real assassin and that person was not in place at the moment the stable man arrived, so he tried to complete the mission and failed.
  • Who was supposed to be there? Keep in mind the exact words of the catspaw: "No one was supposed to be here." Who calls herself "No one"? Arya when she is trying to persuade the Kindly Man that she is ready to be a Faceless Man. So maybe there was supposed to be a Faceless Man in Bran's bedchamber, and that person is not present. (I don't think Arya was supposed to murder Bran, so I think it's just a hint that a different Faceless Man was assigned to the task.)
  • Maybe the dagger had to be Valyrian steel. If this assassination was planned because Bran has an important destiny, he may have to be killed in a specific way to prevent that destiny from coming true. Maybe Valyrian steel is necessary to make sure Bran is truly dead and will not come back to life. (Sort of like obsidian is necessary to kill a White Walker.)
  • I'm not sure whether the murder was meant to be botched, but I'm also not sure that Bran was the sole intended target. Getting Catelyn's blood on that blade (or damaging her hands) may have been another goal of the assassin.
  • Coins are strongly associated with Littlefinger, the Master of Coin. I haven't ruled him out as the mastermind behind the crime.
  • I think the motive for killing Bran was much bigger than merely to get the Lannisters and Starks going at each other. I think the destiny of the civilization may rest on him, and someone wanted to try to stop some prophecy believed to be coming to fruition.

I don't want to warp your emerging CotF ideas to fit my own suspicions, so I'll stop here. I just thought it might help to offer some alternate paths. I look forward to reading your ideas.

4 hours ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Keep stacking those cards....

You've made your point. I see no reason to belabor it.

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@Seams

Quote
  • Who was supposed to be there? Keep in mind the exact words of the catspaw: "No one was supposed to be here." Who calls herself "No one"? Arya when she is trying to persuade the Kindly Man that she is ready to be a Faceless Man. So maybe there was supposed to be a Faceless Man in Bran's bedchamber, and that person is not present. (I don't think Arya was supposed to murder Bran, so I think it's just a hint that a different Faceless Man was assigned to the task.)

He also says, 

Quote

“You weren’t s’posed to be here,” he muttered sourly.

and again 

Quote

“You weren’t s’posed to be here,” he repeated stupidly.

He says "you" two times.  He says "no one" once. I don't think there is any significance to "no one" other than he didn't expect to find someone in the room with Bran. No FM were expected to be there either.

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14 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

It was not meant to be sarcastic. My evidence is essentially, other than what I said in the OP, that the COTF are puppet masters controlling many aspects of the story, and they are super focused on Bran. But beyond Bran, I think they manipulated Mance Rayder and Tormund, BR, LF, the Hightowers, Rhaegar, and others. So doing a tiny little thing like a fake assassination is just part of a huge ridiculous complicated plot to achieve an end game of survival via dominance over humans. But I've only posted part 1.

Again, my main piece of evidence so far for the assassination attempt is the Valyrian steel dagger. I think my theory is a better explanation for the dagger than any other I have heard, but you are free to disagree with my opinion there. I think the assassin was mentally challenged and manipulated by dreams sent by the COTF.

The thing is... your theory about Bran's assassination is not backed up by the books at all. I also find the explanation of Joffrey planning it unsatisfying, and one of the weaker resolutions to GRRM's many mysteries, but that is what the books tell us. Maybe there's more to it, but so far, you haven't presented any evidence of that. All you did was point out some things that might seem out of place, then decide this was all an elaborate scheme from the CotF because... profit?

I'm not a fan of the "Bloodraven is behind everything" theory, so I don't think the boar that killed Robert was warged by him, but I can see the evidence for it. The things you pointed out about Othor's death were also cool, so GJ on that. I do agree with you that the CotF definitely aren't magical elf-creatures who are here to help fix everything and get mankind to start hugging trees again.

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It's really hard to explain to people who haven't read George R.R. Martin's earlier work just how much it changes your perspective on whether or how much you can trust the apparent evidence and POV character observations in A Song of Ice and Fire. It's amazing just how brazenly and how often his earlier point of view characters are lying or mistaken about what is going on, and it must be such a ton of work for him to fill his work with so many specifics to reaffirm people's belief in a notion of what is happening that is totally false.

"It's just a tower made out of ashy rock that is crumbling over time. The story says it is. Occam's Razor dictates that any more complex explanation requires evidence - we can't just make up imaginary entities or assume everything is a dream or a hallucination or magic when we already have a perfectly fine, simple explanation for it - show me any evidence in the book that is specifically about the tower of ashes, and maybe I'll believe your crazy theory about it."

"Well, the cat..."

"I said specifically about the tower."

"..."

When you go back and read some of that stuff you can't help but be affected by it. It really changes your expectations.

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1 hour ago, Ser Scott Malkinson said:

The thing is... your theory about Bran's assassination is not backed up by the books at all. I also find the explanation of Joffrey planning it unsatisfying, and one of the weaker resolutions to GRRM's many mysteries, but that is what the books tell us. Maybe there's more to it, but so far, you haven't presented any evidence of that. All you did was point out some things that might seem out of place, then decide this was all an elaborate scheme from the CotF because... profit?

I'm not a fan of the "Bloodraven is behind everything" theory, so I don't think the boar that killed Robert was warged by him, but I can see the evidence for it. The things you pointed out about Othor's death were also cool, so GJ on that. I do agree with you that the CotF definitely aren't magical elf-creatures who are here to help fix everything and get mankind to start hugging trees again.

Yes, I'll admit that there is not a ton of evidence for the COTF being behind the assassination of Bran specifically. But in the context of the rest of the evidence for their master plan, they are clearly the prime suspect and likely culprit in my mind. And again, I've only posted part 1 so far. There is certainly a lot more evidence for the COTF being puppet masters.

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51 minutes ago, GyantSpyder said:

It's really hard to explain to people who haven't read George R.R. Martin's earlier work just how much it changes your perspective on whether or how much you can trust the apparent evidence and POV character observations in A Song of Ice and Fire. It's amazing just how brazenly and how often his earlier point of view characters are lying or mistaken about what is going on, and it must be such a ton of work for him to fill his work with so many specifics to reaffirm people's belief in a notion of what is happening that is totally false.

"It's just a tower made out of ashy rock that is crumbling over time. The story says it is. Occam's Razor dictates that any more complex explanation requires evidence - we can't just make up imaginary entities or assume everything is a dream or a hallucination or magic when we already have a perfectly fine, simple explanation for it - show me any evidence in the book that is specifically about the tower of ashes, and maybe I'll believe your crazy theory about it."

"Well, the cat..."

"I said specifically about the tower."

"..."

When you go back and read some of that stuff you can't help but be affected by it. It really changes your expectations.

This is a fantastic point, thank you.

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15 hours ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Why can't the dagger be explained by what is written in the text?

We have a lot more evidence in the text that it was Robert's than anything else. Where do you think the dagger came from?

Obviously the face value explanation in the text is an explanation. I just think it is a really shitty one. Joffrey, by total coincidence, chose a dagger that belonged to LF, LF blames it on Tyrion, and Cat runs into Tyrion and captures him? No, I think there are way too many coincidences there. It makes much more sense if the whole thing is orchestrated by the COTF in my opinion. Another simpler example of the COTF orchestrating things is Sam's plot leading up to meeting Bran, which I will elaborate on in part 2. But basically Sam just happened to have a dragon glass dagger (found by ghost), survive the fist, get rescued by small Paul, kill an Other, get abandoned at Crasters, get saved by CH and then is conveniently there to let Bran through the black gate. It makes more sense if the whole thing was orchestrated.

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8 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Obviously the face value explanation in the text is an explanation. I just think it is a really shitty one. Joffrey, by total coincidence, chose a dagger that belonged to LF, LF blames it on Tyrion, and Cat runs into Tyrion and captures him? No, I think there are way too many coincidences there. It makes much more sense if the whole thing is orchestrated by the COTF in my opinion. Another simpler example of the COTF orchestrating things is Sam's plot leading up to meeting Bran, which I will elaborate on in part 2. But basically Sam just happened to have a dragon glass dagger (found by ghost), survive the fist, get rescued by small Paul, kill an Other, get abandoned at Crasters, get saved by CH and then is conveniently there to let Bran through the black gate. It makes more sense if the whole thing was orchestrated.

The bolded part is incorrect. The dagger was Robert's.

Unless you are saying Robert won it from LF, do we have this in the text?

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