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hiemal

Bolton's Burnt Book: Mysterious Reading

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In ACoK, the night before fleeing Harrenhall Arya enters Rooses's solar to find him reading an old book which he promptly burns. My questions are simple:

What was he reading? Why did he burn it? Why did he burn it himself instead of having Arya do it as he did on previous occasions (an earlier night he asked Arya to "take care" of Fat Walda's letter and she tosses it into the fireplace- something I doubt she would do unless she was absolutely sure that was Lord Leech's intention.).

The fact that this takes place "on camera" as it were and in so close association with the letter burning makes me feel like something significant and even decisive is taking place.

My own best guesses are:

1. Perhaps it relates to his betrayal of the Starks- some of the Lords are already questioning Robb's ability to govern the North and conduct a successful southron campaign. Perhaps the book recounts some vows made to Kings of Winter and burning it symbolizes that he is done with the King in the North?

Roose is already in bed, literally, with the Freys, however, so I'm not sure how decisive it would be.

2. Could the book be related to the "curse" of Harrenhall (either literally or perhaps a description of a strategic weakness that would allow it to be taken again easily) and he is burning it to prevent future occupants from gaining information that might keep them safe. Or

I'm not sure why Roose would have such a book...

3. What if it was a book of prophecy that Bolton felt he had learned all that he could from and wished to make sure no one else would benefit? The lase complete copy of Daenys the Dreamer's prophecy for example... Again, not sure where he would get his pluckers and skinners on such a tome- perhaps in some forgotten library in Harrenhall?

4. Maybe Bolton simply suspected that Nan/Arya was literate by the way she treated other written materials she was given. Doesn't explain what's in the book, though... see above.

4a. Perhaps Nan/Arya actually did read the book in question?

That's all I've got so far- I would love to see some other ideas. I must admit I'm stumped but I feel like there's something here.

 

 

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Proof that House Bolton as it is now is descended from the Night's King.

Or proof that NK wasn't a Stark after all.

Come to think of it...those two would work quite well together. NK could well have been a Bolton.

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I have no idea what was in that book, but now I can't stop picturing Roose as Regina George. 

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3 minutes ago, Good Guy Garlan said:

I have no idea what was in that book, but now I can't stop picturing Roose as Regina George. 

That's a pretty good Crackpot Theory!

Some more Evidence for it:

If you cut all the hair off of Regina George, she'd look like a british man (0:19)

 

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11 minutes ago, HouseFossoway said:

That's a pretty good Crackpot Theory!

Some more Evidence for it:

If you cut all the hair off of Regina George, she'd look like a british man (0:19)

 

I hear Roose Bolton does car commercials...in Sothoyros. 

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Harrenhall is as rich in mysteries as Winterfell is.  Given Qyburn's Frankenstein hobbies, Roose Bolton enthusiasm for the latest health crazes, and the history of Harrenhall, I'd say it was a how-to written by Danelle Lothston about being a creepy pseudo vampire.

Quote

She placed the food at his elbow and did as he bid her, filling the room with flickering light and the scent of cloves. Bolton turned a few more pages with his finger, then closed the book and placed it carefully in the fire. He watched the flames consume it, pale eyes shining with reflected light. The old dry leather went up with a whoosh, and the yellow pages stirred as they burned, as if some ghost were reading them. "I will have no further need of you tonight," he said, never looking at her.

She should have gone, silent as a mouse, but something had hold of her. "My lord," she asked, "will you take me with you when you leave Harrenhal?"

He turned to stare at her, and from the look in his eyes it was as if his supper had just spoken to him. "Did I give you leave to question me, Nan?"

If the book ends up being important, we'll probably hear of it from Qyburn when the Harrenhall story comes back around.  But its worth considering that the book is less important than what Arya learned about Roose.  He'll burn a book when he's done with it.  He holds no loyalty, he disposes of things that are no longer valuable it him.

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Roose Bolton was seated by the hearth reading from a thick leather bound  book when she entered. “Light some candles,” he commanded her as he turned a page. “It grows gloomy in here."

She placed the food at his elbow and did as he bid her, filling the room with flickering light and the scent of cloves. Bolton turned a few more pages with his finger, then closed the book and placed it carefully in the fire. He watched the flames consume it, pale eyes shining with reflected light. The old dry leather went up with a  whoosh, and the yellow pages stirred as they burned, as if some ghost were reading them. “I will have no further need of you tonight,” he said, never looking at her.

(ACoK, Arya X)

I've puzzled over the meaning of the burned book, too, so I went back just now and reread the chapter.

Based on a fresh reading of the book burning in context, I think the subject of the book doesn't matter, which is why GRRM didn't tell us the title. I think it's a symbol of Roose Bolton's decision to become a turncloak, leaving Robb Stark's army to serve the Lannister regime and to assume the "Stark cloak" by becoming Lord of Winterfell. But he also tells Arya that he won't be taking her with him when he leaves Harrenhal. The burning book symbolizes the destruction of Arya's hopes of staying in Roose's employ so she can return to the north and her family.

The betrayal of Robb and the ambition to take over Winterfell is represented by Roose going out to hunt wolves in the same chapter. When he returns, he has killed seven full-grown wolves and two pups. He orders that their skins be made into a blanket for his bed and some warm gloves, saying, "As the Starks are wont to remind us, winter is coming." This is symbolic skinchanging, and shows that Roose's plan to take that Stark mantel as Warden of the North and to become one of the great houses. He even dares to speak the Stark words.

Arya sees a raven arriving with a message and thinks, "If I had wings I could fly back to Winterfell and see for myself. And if it was true, I'd just fly away, fly up past the moon and the shining stars, and see all the things in Old Nan's stories, dragons and sea monsters and the Titan of Braavos, and maybe I wouldn't ever fly back unless I wanted to."

So here we see the written word (a raven's message) associated with Old Nan's stories. Granted, Old Nan's stories were passed along by the oral tradition. But I still suspect that the burning of the book by Roose is a way of symbolically foreclosing this imagined flight Arya has in mind. Destroying a book is a symbolic way of destroying the stories that Arya (who is currently known as Nan) associates with freedom.

But there is a sword / words switcheroo that Roose doesn't anticipate. After the burning of the words (the book) Arya soon goes to Gendry and asks him to obtain swords so she and he and Hot Pie can escape Harrenhal and chart their own course. When words are not an option, Arya turns to swords.

Another note: There are many references to Joffrey in this chapter. He destroyed the book that Tyrion and Sansa gave him as a wedding gift. The destruction of the two books may be connected: Sansa was going to be trapped in a marriage to Tyrion and in Joffrey's family until the wedding feast and Joffrey's demise offered her a chance to escape. So Arya and Sansa both make their escapes after the destruction of a book.

 

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Best thread on here in awhile. It could be that the important thing here is the first hint at Bolton's betrayal. The content of the book could may not even matter at all. Has anyone ever asked GRRM about this?

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Found some nice fArya escape stuff here. When Arya leaves, she's wearing the Bolton sigil on her breast, with a Bolton cloak over her shoulders. It's cold and raining rather than cold and snowing. She feels fArya's terror. A raindrop runs down Arya's nose, while the snow/cold turns Jeyne's nose black.

In her cell, she stripped to the skin and dressed herself carefully, in two layers of smallclothes, warm stockings, and her cleanest tunic. It was Lord Bolton's livery. On the breast was sewn his sigil, the flayed man of the Dreadfort. She tied her shoes, threw a wool cloak over her skinny shoulders, and knotted it under her throat. Quiet as a shadow, she moved back down the stairs. Outside the lord's solar she paused to listen at the door, easing it open slowly when she heard only silence.

A few scattered raindrops had begun to fall. She felt one land on her brow and run slowly down her nose.

For a moment she did not know what to say. For a moment she was a little girl again, and scared, and the rain on her face felt like tears.

By the time Hot Pie and Gendry came up with the horses, the rain was falling hard.

---

 

As for the book, Arya notices that a raven comes that afternoon. Roose returns from the hunting party. Later Arya learns that Aenys Frey won't get to marry his princess. So Roose read a raven about Robb marrying Jeyne right before he burned the book.

The way Roose was handling the book, it reminded me of "closing the book", or "finishing a chapter" on something. I had thought that Tywin was the primary architect of the Red Wedding, but now I'm wondering if it wasn't initiated by Roose. 

---

There’s a lot of magic going on in this chapter: Qyburn and his openly performing the Dark Arts, whatever woowoo vibe that comes from being at Harrenhal, Roose’s body is described as smooth and hairless, and he’s using white leaches, Arya talks to the weirwood, and the wind rustles in response.

Roose is using white leaches which turn pink from blood and Arya holds them in her hand. Immediately the next paragraph turns to the sending and receiving of letters via raven, of course, which Arya discusses at length at the beginning of the chapter. Interesting that the Bloodraven-y leaches feed off Roose.

Roose notes woowoo behavior from the local wolves. Roose is described in something of an undead sort of way, and here he complains that wolves do not let him sleep. If there is something different about the Boltons, then this might be a hint that something about the Starks causes them unrest.

"It is wolves I mean to hunt. I can scarcely sleep at night for the howling." Bolton buckled on his belt, adjusting the hang of sword and dagger. "It's said that direwolves once roamed the north in great packs of a hundred or more, and feared neither man nor mammoth, but that was long ago and in another land. It is queer to see the common wolves of the south so bold."

The old dry leather went up with a whoosh, and the yellow pages stirred as they burned, as if some ghost were reading them. Ghost of Harrenhal who Arya also listens to in this chapter? She also hears Bloodraven in the leaves.

In the godswood she found her broomstick sword where she had left it, and carried it to the heart tree. There she knelt. Red leaves rustled. Red eyes peered inside her. The eyes of the gods. "Tell me what to do, you gods," she prayed.

She should have gone, silent as a mouse, but something had hold of her. "My lord," she asked, "will you take me with you when you leave Harrenhal?"

He turned to stare at her, and from the look in his eyes it was as if his supper had just spoken to him. "Did I give you leave to question me, Nan?"

So I think the book is Roose's plan to take Winterfell and end the Starks, possibly because he "can scarcely sleep at night" and he finally has a good opportunity to do so. He notes that the time of direwolves is past, yet no doubt noticed a few have returned, and the southern wolves are queer. Perhaps he sensed that he needed to act now before the forests were again filled with direwolves and the old times returned. Note that Roose's book/plans are old with yellowed pages, perhaps hinting at Roose's hopes of taking down the Starks go back much longer than the reader thinks. He takes down the Starks through Robb marrying Jeyne, the Red Wedding, killing Bran and Rickon, taking Winterfell, and actions at Darry and Duskendale and when he's done, he burns the book. But Bloodraven and/or the Ghosts of Harrenhal read the "pages" of the book as they burn, and tell Arya what to do: ask what happens next, even though she repeats several times in the chapter that Roose hates being questioned. And the asking saved her life.

 

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6 hours ago, hiemal said:

Maybe Bolton simply suspected that Nan/Arya was literate by the way she treated other written materials she was given. Doesn't explain what's in the book, though...

Yeah, he was onto the clever weasel and didn't want her putting her nose where it didn't belong.

I don't know what's in the book; maybe it was the only other surviving copy of the 100-year old discourse of the 'turning of the seasons' by a long-dead maester (like the one Tyrion was reading at Winterfell which in all likelihood perished in the library fire)...and now we'll never fathom the reason for those skewed seasons, damn!  :P

Symbolically, books are like weirwoods and libraries are like the weirnet.  So burning a book is like burning a tree, setting free @Unchained's 'fiery dancers'.  So, by burning the book Roose is symbolically enacting setting someone free from a tree.

1 hour ago, Seams said:

Another note: There are many references to Joffrey in this chapter. He destroyed the book that Tyrion and Sansa gave him as a wedding gift. The destruction of the two books may be connected: Sansa was going to be trapped in a marriage to Tyrion and in Joffrey's family until the wedding feast and Joffrey's demise offered her a chance to escape. So Arya and Sansa both make their escapes after the destruction of a book.

I agree.

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2 hours ago, Seams said:

.

Arya sees a raven arriving with a message and thinks, "If I had wings I could fly back to Winterfell and see for myself. And if it was true, I'd just fly away, fly up past the moon and the shining stars, and see all the things in Old Nan's stories, dragons and sea monsters and the Titan of Braavos, and maybe I wouldn't ever fly back unless I wanted to."

So here we see the written word (a raven's message) associated with Old Nan's stories. Granted, Old Nan's stories were passed along by the oral tradition. But I still suspect that the burning of the book by Roose is a way of symbolically foreclosing this imagined flight Arya has in mind. Destroying a book is a symbolic way of destroying the stories that Arya (who is currently known as Nan) associates with freedom.

But there is a sword / words switcheroo that Roose doesn't anticipate. After the burning of the words (the book) Arya soon goes to Gendry and asks him to obtain swords so she and he and Hot Pie can escape Harrenhal and chart their own course. When words are not an option, Arya turns to swords.

Another note: There are many references to Joffrey in this chapter. He destroyed the book that Tyrion and Sansa gave him as a wedding gift. The destruction of the two books may be connected: Sansa was going to be trapped in a marriage to Tyrion and in Joffrey's family until the wedding feast and Joffrey's demise offered her a chance to escape. So Arya and Sansa both make their escapes after the destruction of a book.

 

I knew it was a good idea to come here with my mystery!

I'm loving this angle.

 

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4 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Proof that House Bolton as it is now is descended from the Night's King.

Or proof that NK wasn't a Stark after all.

Come to think of it...those two would work quite well together. NK could well have been a Bolton.

I'm thinking along these lines, since Seams quoting of the text in question allowed a re-re-read (to the nth power) and the mention and leather ghosts and makes me think that the book could be bound in manskin.

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4 hours ago, thehandwipes said:

Harrenhall is as rich in mysteries as Winterfell is.  Given Qyburn's Frankenstein hobbies, Roose Bolton enthusiasm for the latest health crazes, and the history of Harrenhall, I'd say it was a how-to written by Danelle Lothston about being a creepy pseudo vampire.

 

That's a good one!

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56 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Found some nice fArya escape stuff here. When Arya leaves, she's wearing the Bolton sigil on her breast, with a Bolton cloak over her shoulders. It's cold and raining rather than cold and snowing. She feels fArya's terror. A raindrop runs down Arya's nose, while the snow/cold turns Jeyne's nose black.

In her cell, she stripped to the skin and dressed herself carefully, in two layers of smallclothes, warm stockings, and her cleanest tunic. It was Lord Bolton's livery. On the breast was sewn his sigil, the flayed man of the Dreadfort. She tied her shoes, threw a wool cloak over her skinny shoulders, and knotted it under her throat. Quiet as a shadow, she moved back down the stairs. Outside the lord's solar she paused to listen at the door, easing it open slowly when she heard only silence.

A few scattered raindrops had begun to fall. She felt one land on her brow and run slowly down her nose.

For a moment she did not know what to say. For a moment she was a little girl again, and scared, and the rain on her face felt like tears.

By the time Hot Pie and Gendry came up with the horses, the rain was falling hard.

---

 

As for the book, Arya notices that a raven comes that afternoon. Roose returns from the hunting party. Later Arya learns that Aenys Frey won't get to marry his princess. So Roose read a raven about Robb marrying Jeyne right before he burned the book.

The way Roose was handling the book, it reminded me of "closing the book", or "finishing a chapter" on something. I had thought that Tywin was the primary architect of the Red Wedding, but now I'm wondering if it wasn't initiated by Roose. 

---

There’s a lot of magic going on in this chapter: Qyburn and his openly performing the Dark Arts, whatever woowoo vibe that comes from being at Harrenhal, Roose’s body is described as smooth and hairless, and he’s using white leaches, Arya talks to the weirwood, and the wind rustles in response.

Roose is using white leaches which turn pink from blood and Arya holds them in her hand. Immediately the next paragraph turns to the sending and receiving of letters via raven, of course, which Arya discusses at length at the beginning of the chapter. Interesting that the Bloodraven-y leaches feed off Roose.

Roose notes woowoo behavior from the local wolves. Roose is described in something of an undead sort of way, and here he complains that wolves do not let him sleep. If there is something different about the Boltons, then this might be a hint that something about the Starks causes them unrest.

"It is wolves I mean to hunt. I can scarcely sleep at night for the howling." Bolton buckled on his belt, adjusting the hang of sword and dagger. "It's said that direwolves once roamed the north in great packs of a hundred or more, and feared neither man nor mammoth, but that was long ago and in another land. It is queer to see the common wolves of the south so bold."

The old dry leather went up with a whoosh, and the yellow pages stirred as they burned, as if some ghost were reading them. Ghost of Harrenhal who Arya also listens to in this chapter? She also hears Bloodraven in the leaves.

In the godswood she found her broomstick sword where she had left it, and carried it to the heart tree. There she knelt. Red leaves rustled. Red eyes peered inside her. The eyes of the gods. "Tell me what to do, you gods," she prayed.

She should have gone, silent as a mouse, but something had hold of her. "My lord," she asked, "will you take me with you when you leave Harrenhal?"

He turned to stare at her, and from the look in his eyes it was as if his supper had just spoken to him. "Did I give you leave to question me, Nan?"

So I think the book is Roose's plan to take Winterfell and end the Starks, possibly because he "can scarcely sleep at night" and he finally has a good opportunity to do so. He notes that the time of direwolves is past, yet no doubt noticed a few have returned, and the southern wolves are queer. Perhaps he sensed that he needed to act now before the forests were again filled with direwolves and the old times returned. Note that Roose's book/plans are old with yellowed pages, perhaps hinting at Roose's hopes of taking down the Starks go back much longer than the reader thinks. He takes down the Starks through Robb marrying Jeyne, the Red Wedding, killing Bran and Rickon, taking Winterfell, and actions at Darry and Duskendale and when he's done, he burns the book. But Bloodraven and/or the Ghosts of Harrenhal read the "pages" of the book as they burn, and tell Arya what to do: ask what happens next, even though she repeats several times in the chapter that Roose hates being questioned. And the asking saved her life.

 

That is a great catch on the white leeches. They'd been floating unpleasantly about in my head without any meat to attach themselves to. Until now...

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47 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

Yeah, he was onto the clever weasel and didn't want her putting her nose where it didn't belong.

I don't know what's in the book; maybe it was the only other surviving copy of the 100-year old discourse of the 'turning of the seasons' by a long-dead maester (like the one Tyrion was reading at Winterfell which in all likelihood perished in the library fire)...and now we'll never fathom the reason for those skewed seasons, damn!  :P

Symbolically, books are like weirwoods and libraries are like the weirnet.  So burning a book is like burning a tree, setting free @Unchained's 'fiery dancers'.  So, by burning the book Roose is symbolically enacting setting someone free from a tree.

 

Interesting. The trees the Summer Islanders record their history on spring instantly to mind.

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1 hour ago, PCK said:

Best thread on here in awhile. It could be that the important thing here is the first hint at Bolton's betrayal. The content of the book could may not even matter at all. Has anyone ever asked GRRM about this?

The juxtaposition with the wolf hunt and the gloves of puppy fur argue strongly for this, I think.

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4 hours ago, Good Guy Garlan said:

I have no idea what was in that book, but now I can't stop picturing Roose as Regina George. 

I had to google that- I'm tragically unhip :(

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Completely out of left-field:

Does anyone else think the scene in the same chapter where Arya all unknowingly hopes herself dead to her erstwhile betrothed is really really funny? I don't know why it tickles me so, but I wonder if the questions of hidden identities it raises could be connected.

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, hiemal said:

The juxtaposition with the wolf hunt and the gloves of puppy fur argue strongly for this, I think.

Absolutely.

Also I really don't think Bolton married into Frey with the express interest of betraying the Starks. I mean Robb Stark was supposed to marry a Frey and Bolton was just trying to get ahead in the new Stark/Frey regime.

Also anyone notice how the Frey's can serve the same purpose as House Reed does... I mean the Reeds help making assaulting Moat Cailin impossible. Having Frey's and the Twins serve the same purpose, how could you assault them with the Twins on your flank?

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I've got a theory, but it isn't fully formed, doesn't click into the facts of the book satisfyingly (at least, not yet).

It goes: there is a prophecy in Malleon, that relates to the Eyrie and Robin Arryn and explains why Ayrs II suddenly became so keen to behead the Lords Royce, Mallister, Stark, Arryn, and all their heirs and any who would ally them.  My guess is this somehow turns SweetRobin (or perhaps his blood) into a war engine that guarantees victory to the possessor, or perhaps only to the possessor of Dragonstone. Hence Jon Arryn (and Stannis, who got from this that he was destined to be the rightful King and to seek the truth of the prophecy in Asshai) wanting SweetRobin at Dragonstone.

Varys also knows of this magical prophecy, and might even have come to Westeros solely to prevent it coming true, or make it work in his own interest. He told Arys, who of course suspected the then Prince of Dragonstone, Rhaegar, of fomenting rebellion against him, and was just as keen to get rid of him and his heirs as any of the ancient lines of the North and Vale. I don't think Tywin ordered the death of the babes, I think he came across them. (My reason for this is that Gregor scaled the Armoury wall, and from what I can gather of the layout of the Red Keep, which admittedly is deliberately vague in places, and not comprehensive, the nursery and living quarters of the Crown Prince are not accessible from the armoury wall, where Gregor was sighted. Shortly after, a Lannister flag flew over the gates of the Red Keep - and these were directly accessible from the roof of the armoury via the Traitors walk.

Varys also has a watching brief over the book, in the form of his little bird, Pycelle's mute serving girl. People who get to the prophecy don't live long. Petyr Baelish might have escaped because he carefully waited until the book was not in the possession of Varys' little birds, and out of their line of sight. He only flipped the front cover and read the title, but Petyr Baelish is most deeply interested in whatever he does idly, and uses quips to disguise his interest. Eddard thinks he said nothing, but he revealed to Baelish the essential fact that it is the same book that had absorbed his old master, that Pycelle had taken away before he had time to inspect it's contents. Of course, he couldn't resist taking a peek at the book that had caused such a fuss, that had necessitated his tracking down every copy and destroying. He is bold enough to take a peek, and wary enough to take no more than a peek.

Varys, who knows all the secret ways of the Red Keep, and who has his network of little birds patrolling them, could get from the secret door below the Iron throne to the Crown Prince's nursery, if he flew along a route more like the one Arya chased Balerion the cat along. He was the one who wanted to be sure there was no heir but the one he took with him, hence he needed to kill Elia, and also her eldest child, who, by the old rules and by the Dornish rules, could have a claim, and whose existence might provoke a council that preferred her to Viserys, if she existed.

Tywin walked into this bloody mess and cool headedly turned it to his advantage by owning it, seeing immediately that he had been set up as a traitor to the Targaryen King by whomever did this, and presuming that was their purpose - perhaps suspecting Arys of doing this. Perhaps, until this point, he had merely marched his forces to the Red Keep and taken it over. Now he had a brief conference with Jaime (sworn to secrecy), who changed into his gold Lannister armour and went into the throneroom to kill the King, who tried to escape through the same rat hole beneath the Iron throne that Varys had used in a more timely fashion, doubtless locking strategic gates behind him.

Once Jamie had gone to the tower of the guard to change out of his whites, Tywin sent orders/permission out to his generals to sack the city and (more importantly) ally with the Northerners. Some of them might well have started sacking on their own initiative before that, and some of them might not have participated in the sacking - but King's Landing is unlikely to remember that. The critical thing was, that Eddard's forces came upon the Red Keep without resistance and without attacking the Lannister men at arms - so Eddard, or at least, the bannermen under Eddard's charge, knew not to attack the Lannisters, knew the Lannister host was on their side by the time Eddard rode into the throne room.

When Eddard rode into the throne room, he knew already what he had come to see - the tributes of fealty from the Lannisters. Kevan remembers Twyin laying the bodies at the foot of the Iron throne, next to Arys, for Eddard to inspect and take ownership of. And Varys makes sure to remind Eddard of what he took ownership of, when Eddard protests "leave my daughters out of your schemes".

Rhaegar knew of the prophecy, that it pertained to the Prince of Dragonstone, and his heir, the Prince that was Promised, who will overthrow the King on the Iron Throne, whose song was the song of Ice and Fire. But I don't think Rhaegar knew what Malleon's book revealed about that prophecy - what linked it to the Vale and the North.

Petyr Baelish was, of course, responsible for getting the copy of the prophecy in the Winterfell library burnt, and the Catspaw was sent to remove Catelyn and her conflicting story of the message from her sister and how the myrish lens turned up in the library. The Catspaw had not wanted to kill her in front of her son, so it was a mercy that Bran wasn't concious. I'm not sure why he thought Catelyn 'weren't  s'posed to be here' when she hadn't been anywhere else for months. I'm not even sure if he is trying to murder her or just to remove some pages from her book of accounts. But I'm pretty sure he obtained the dagger from Petyr Baelish, who got it without Ser Aron Santagar's knowledge. Although he might have learnt something about the dagger between the time Ser Rodrick visited, and his death in the riots at Kings Landing.

There is a chance that the particular books that Varys wanted burned were not in the Winterfell library - perhaps Tyrion had taken them to read on the way to the Wall, where he had left them. Or perhaps he returned them to Winterfell when he stopped by with Bran's saddle. If they were taken by Tyrion there is a good chance the prophecies tie in with the prophecies Rhaegar discovered in his extensive reading about dragons, the doomed prince one. The prophecy in Malleon is not about the Targaryens, however, but concerns older families.

There is a copy of the fatal book (or a related book) at Harrenhal. Roose either burns it after flipping through it to find out why it needed burning, or he has been using it as a code book in his correspondence with Tywin, Lord Frey, Ramsey et al. and flips through it just for fun prior to leaving the castle to Lord Tywin's goat, Amory Lorch, and Gregor. I'm darn sure that he doesn't just do it so GRRM can show us he is the type of person that burns books. Don't care what the SSM says to the contrary about that.

If it is a prophecy that Varys is attempting to avert or destroy (with assistance from Baelish), then there should soon be an incident in the Oldtown library, too. And anywhere else that is likely to have a copy of Malleon's book, or the particular thing it refers to. I expect that the Kings Landing copy will be destroyed (currently it has wax and Pycelle's brains all over it, so it is probably ruined anyway, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Rookery was set on fire and Kevan burnt along with the book). Hopefully Marwyn has taken the Oldtown copy with him. Also, I'm guessing there will be a book burning fire at Castle Black.

In the time I have taken to write this, there have been half a dozen replies to this thread, so I'm clearly not the only one who thinks the burnt book is significant. Hopefully this isn't an exact repetition of one of them, although if someone else has a better articulated version of this theory, I won't mind a bit.

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