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Curled Finger

Harrenhall Through A Little Crannogman’s Eyes

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1 hour ago, Curled Finger said:

A well loved expression in my industry of very macho people is "don't back up".   Don't do it Arya--your distraction idea works just as well before as after the KotLT incident.   It would be a distraction for different reasons, but it still works to get a feel for Robert's politics or perhaps feelings about Lyanna.  Then again, it could be just as you say, to illustrate what a lousy husband Robert would have made in contrast to Rhaegar.  Sadly, I get your joke.   As I say, we really need a muzzle.  

I think there was more than one conspiracy going on here.  If the North/Riverlands/Vale and Stormlands were 1 front, Rhaegar and Dorne, possibly The Reach, were another.  I almost feel like Dorne is so good at playing things close to the vest we may never know what their conspiracy was exactly.  I've usually got wicked tunnel vision so it's sort of refreshing to be open to so many ideas here.  This Blackfyre spin isn't 1 I considered before about a half hour ago.  If frickin Little Finger can come up with all the intrigue and chaos and manage to advance his agenda why wouldn't Varys be capable of the same? 

I'm rethinking Ashara Dayne a great deal these days.  I don't know what to make of her either, though I enjoyed your use of the term revolution.  I don't know how Planetos genetics work so I can't say how a child of a Dayne and Reed would appear.  But I am beginning to understand what spies like Dayne and Reed would look like.  Was Ashara dishonored that night as Barristan feels or does he only think this and every move she made was planned?  

Too ambiguous to say.  We all know Ned didn't rape anyone, and we also know he deliberately put out a story that Ashara was Jons mom, so that could be what Barristan heard/referred to. Then there is Neds internal thought in AGOT that there was a stain on his honor, and part of me doesn't think that means Jon or the lie about Jon.   But at the same time Barristan seems to respect Ned, we see no animosity from him whatsoever, which makes me think he thought it was Brandon.  At the same time I just can't see the George bringing in children of Brandon at this point.

Then there is Aerys, who is a known rapist.  And even Lewyn Martell.  Barristan knows he kept a paramour, but never mentions a name.  Hell even Oberyn could've had her, women seem to love the guy.  

I always thought Ashara was a decent choice for Lemore, simply because she gets brought up in every book, people would actually remember her name, and Lemore had a child according to Tyrion.

This is something I simply cannot form a solid opinion on.

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3 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Too ambiguous to say.  We all know Ned didn't rape anyone, and we also know he deliberately put out a story that Ashara was Jons mom, so that could be what Barristan heard/referred to. Then there is Neds internal thought in AGOT that there was a stain on his honor, and part of me doesn't think that means Jon or the lie about Jon.   But at the same time Barristan seems to respect Ned, we see no animosity from him whatsoever, which makes me think he thought it was Brandon.  At the same time I just can't see the George bringing in children of Brandon at this point.

Then there is Aerys, who is a known rapist.  And even Lewyn Martell.  Barristan knows he kept a paramour, but never mentions a name.  Hell even Oberyn could've had her, women seem to love the guy.  

I always thought Ashara was a decent choice for Lemore, simply because she gets brought up in every book, people would actually remember her name, and Lemore had a child according to Tyrion.

This is something I simply cannot form a solid opinion on.

It would be interesting if she had twins (1 boy 1 girl). The girl was stillborn and the boy is fAegon. 

If lemore is ashara then fAegon is her kid. I don t think ashara would get involved with the fAegon plot otherwise. It doesn t make sense. And this makes very strange that the golden company would support fAegon or that ilirio likes the boy so much...

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21 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Too ambiguous to say.  We all know Ned didn't rape anyone, and we also know he deliberately put out a story that Ashara was Jons mom, so that could be what Barristan heard/referred to. Then there is Neds internal thought in AGOT that there was a stain on his honor, and part of me doesn't think that means Jon or the lie about Jon.   But at the same time Barristan seems to respect Ned, we see no animosity from him whatsoever, which makes me think he thought it was Brandon.  At the same time I just can't see the George bringing in children of Brandon at this point.

Then there is Aerys, who is a known rapist.  And even Lewyn Martell.  Barristan knows he kept a paramour, but never mentions a name.  Hell even Oberyn could've had her, women seem to love the guy.  

I always thought Ashara was a decent choice for Lemore, simply because she gets brought up in every book, people would actually remember her name, and Lemore had a child according to Tyrion.

This is something I simply cannot form a solid opinion on.

But you gave it a solid shot.   I didn't know anyone thought Ashara was Lemore anymore, but that's always been my favorite. 

Do you think there is any chance Lyanna was the Stark Ashara may or may not have had a thing with? 

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17 minutes ago, divica said:

It would be interesting if she had twins (1 boy 1 girl). The girl was stillborn and the boy is fAegon. 

If lemore is ashara then fAegon is her kid. I don t think ashara would get involved with the fAegon plot otherwise. It doesn t make sense. And this makes very strange that the golden company would support fAegon or that ilirio likes the boy so much...

I don't know, I always took Ashara's as a very sad story on the surface, but a far more intriguing story beneath.   Maybe there was a child and maybe not.   I can't explain where Allyria comes from and she's the right age...I know the disappearance was very sudden, but that is just intrigue I dig.   I'm going with spy whose cover was blown so she had to go to ground.   Aegon doesn't have to be her child.   There are lots of ideas for Aegon's parents.   Enough of this madness, we're getting off track.   We've got a tourney to decypher. 

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Posted (edited)

Let's try and go with the Ashara as Mata Hari and see where we can get? 

First, let's establish that she was a beauty. She's described by Catelyn:

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Ser Arthur's sword back to the beautiful young sister who awaited him in a castle called Starfall on the shores of the Summer Sea. The Lady Ashara Dayne, tall and fair, with haunting violet eyes.

Barristan:

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His choice would have been a young maiden not long at court, one of Elia's companions … though compared to AsharaDayne, the Dornish princess was a kitchen drab. 

Even after all these years, Ser Barristan could still recall Ashara's smile, the sound of her laughter. He had only to close his eyes to see her, with her long dark hair tumbling about her shoulders and those haunting purple eyes.

That is not unimportant. If she's playing this part, she must be able to entrance men, make them believe her, make them trust her. Barristan may not be the brightest guy around, but he honourable, that's certain. He was around forth years old when the tourney took place, and we have no account of him falling for anyone before he met Ashara. He'd been a light of the kings guard for a long time already and gen had never so much as considered breaking his vows. And then this young lady comes about and he's got his head spinning. Haunting eyes. What if she wasn't just pretty, what if she was flirting? What if she was trying to seduce him? I'm thinking about

Spoiler

The exchange between Alayne and Harry Hardwing in the Winds of Winter: littlefinger has her "Charm him. Entrance him. Bewitch him."

Why would she do that?

well... to gain another to their side? Barristan is nothing if not loyal. Even if Reaghar truly didn't trust him, he might have wanted him in his side just the same. And Ashara might have been the way. Say Arthur Dayne instructed her to "bewitch" Barristan Selmy..

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A Dance with Dragons - The Kingbreaker 

"Best not." Ser Barristan stepped out alone onto the terrace gardens. I am not made for this, he reflected as he looked out over the sprawling city. The pyramids were waking, one by one, lanterns and torches flickering to life as shadows gathered in the streets below. Plots, ploys, whispers, lies, secrets within secrets, and somehow I have become part of them.

Perhaps by now he should have grown used to such things. The Red Keep had its secrets too. Even Rhaegar. The Prince of Dragonstone had never trusted him as he had trusted Arthur Dayne. Harrenhal was proof of that. The year of the false spring. 

The memory was still bitter. Old Lord Whent had announced the tourney shortly after a visit from his brother, Ser Oswell Whent of the Kingsguard. With Varys whispering in his ear, King Aerys became convinced that his son was conspiring to depose him, that Whent's tourney was but a ploy to give Rhaegar a pretext for meeting with as many great lords as could be brought together. Aerys had not set foot outside the Red Keep since Duskendale, yet suddenly he announced that he would accompany Prince Rhaegar to Harrenhal, and everything had gone awry from there.

While it's 'bitter' for him that Reagan didn't trust him, how would he have reacted to a plot to overthrow the king he should protect? Maybe Arthur and Raeghar thought they could get to Selmy through Ashara. 

Now, some other information that we may want to think about:

- She was new to court. Perhaps brought in by her brother precisely to play a part? 

- She was probably close to her brother. Cersei refers to her as a 'grieving sister' when she speaks about her to Ned. People seem to assume she killed herself because he was killed and don't question it... it's not a lot of proof, but at least it's evidence enough that their relationship wasn't strained. 

- She got a lot of attention from our little crannogman. Was that at the time (he was in love with her theory) or in hindsight (she was important and therefore I'm telling my kids about it theory)?

- I don't think she danced with a lot of people. Might be precisely the opposite actually. It's not unusual for a maid to dance with several partners through the night. Remember Sansa's wedding? She danced with loads and loads of lords. Ashara had four partners.

- Usually the man asks the woman for a dance. This is important! If she was seducing Barristan, he was the first to ask her. Then we have Oberyn, Connington and Brandon in behalf of Ned. So we have Barristan motivation: he was enthralled by her. If she's indeed our Mata Hari, Connington (who obviously had no interest in her, because he was in love with Reaghar, and plus a Stormlander and a Dornish woman, not really best friends are they?) would be dancing with her to have an opportunity to talk to her about their common plans. Let's assume the Daynes, Raeghar, Connington and maybe Lonmounth are working together here. What did Oberyn want with her? Is there a special reason Brandon wanted her to dance with Ned?

how did I do? That's all speculation, of course, and I'm not really good with coming up with stuff... @Curled Finger did you have something like that in mind? 

Edited by Lady Dacey

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

Is there a special reason Brandon wanted her to dance with Ned?

It might have been completely innocent.

But Ned has been with Jon Arryn for 10 years by the time Harrenhal happens and would have a good idea of the ins and outs of the politics of the Vale. And he's the son of the Warden of the North. It would be easy to extract information from him by asking really innocent questions. Ashara has more than likely never traveled to the North or the Vale, so it's easy to pass her questions as her being very curious about these places.

Option 2, Brandon wants Ned to pass a message on to Rhaegar. "Stay the eff' away from my sister." Ned is more level-headed than Brandon.

But then, at this point, I'm pretty sure Rhaegar and Lyanna knew each other well before the tourney, so . . .

Edited by Widow's Watch

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6 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

But then, at this point, I'm pretty sure Rhaegar and Lyanna knew each other well before the tourney, so . . .

That's instersting, I've never seen anyone defending it... why do you think so? How could they have met? 

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18 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

The story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree is a staple mystery in the ASOIAF universe....[SNIP]

He notes all 4 of his wolf companions, the she wolf, wild wolf, quiet wolf and pup.   He mentions their bannermen, Barrowdown men, moose, bears and mermen.  He tells about the Dragon Prince singing a song so sad it makes the fierce she wolf sniffle and how she turns a cup of wine over her pup brother’s head when he laughs at her.   A black brother appeals to the knights to join his order.  The Storm King and Knight of Skulls and Kisses have a wine cup war.  Then we get a remarkable accounting of the men a maid with laughing purple eyes dances with: a White Sword, a Red Snake, the Lord of Griffins and finally the Quiet Wolf after the Wild Wolf speaks with her.  

4

Always love your thread topics, @Curled Finger and I love anything to do with "the little crannogman, Howland Reed". I haven't read the whole thread as this topic seems to have exploded so I'm not sure where everything is up to but I'll throw in my thoughts. A lot of the symbolism in the story is probably something we're only ever going to pick up with hindsight. 

Regarding the guests, Howland remembers not only drinking with the Starks as the rest of the bannermen as well -- barrowdown men (Dustin) and moose (Hornwood) and bears (Mormont, which is *very* interesting) and mermen (Manderly). Ignoring the fact that Meera might be missing out a few names in order to get to the point for the sake of a very impatient Bran, it is interesting that these are the ones he homes in on. At first, one might want to speculate he made merry with the later companions to the ToJ but only Willam Dustin would fit. Another thing I thought is that *maybe* it is a nod to the chief conspirators in the various Northern Conspiracies in the books? Dustin (Lady Dustin), Hornwood (Ramsay Bolton calls himself the "Lord of the Horwood" but the Horwood men still remember what happened to Donella; could also reference the other Hornwood claimants - the Glovers through Larence Snow, the Tallharts through Berena Hornwood), Mormont (Maege with Robb's will, Jory with Stannis) and Manderly (Wyman, obviously!) Not utterly convinced but I do wonder why those were the particular names noted.
 

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Still it’s just odd he homes in on 1 lady and her dance partners of all the people dancing.  She was a legendary beauty, even Barristan attests to that.   It is possible the Crannogman was simply taken with the maiden with the laughing purple eyes?

 

2

If he was, he wouldn't have been the only one. The fact Ashara danced with so many people shows that she was popular. Another reason Howland mentioned her might be because of her alleged romance with one of the Stark men. Given he appears to have been with the Starks throughout the tourney, he would more than likely be aware of this. He bunked with Ned, so whether it was Brandon (who I think was probably wooing Ashara) or Ned himself, he probably noticed.

There are some who might leap in to use this as evidence that she is somehow Howland's wife who has only ever been afforded a namedrop in the appendix of the books. Jyana has no family name, simply referred to as "Jyana of the Crannogmen". However, I really don't buy it. While it is odd that his wife has not been assigned some token family name, I think it is far more likely (and potentially interesting) if Howland was simply married to a woman of common birth. Might even be that she has passed away (though she is not indicated to have done) due to there being no more children after Jojen.
 

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The North, Riverlands, Westerlands, Dorne, Stormlands and Reach are all represented.  These are presumably the future movers and shakers Rhaegar hopes to enlist to his cause.  Is there some clue in the list of people mentioned or is it just Ashara’s dancing partners? 

 

 

I know this has been suggested it was politically motivated but I see nothing to suggest Ashara's dance partners were people Rhaegar hoped to enlist, as far as I can see.

According to Meera, excluding Ned, they were "a white sword" (i.e. a Kingsguard), "a red snake" (most likely Oberyn Martell who was known as the "Red Viper"), and the lord of Griffins (Jon Connington). Looking at these names, there is really isn't all that much to suggest that Ashara was spying on anyone or trying to enlist people because they were all people very likely on Rhaegar's side already: Jon Connington was already a part of Rhaegar's circle since they were boys and Oberyn Martell is Rhaegar's brother-in-law! The Kingsguard who took the first dance was probably Arthur, her brother. Most of the others seem to have been affiliated with Rhaegar's circle or friends with him. Only Jonothor Darry and Barristan Selmy are really the oddballs but would either of them really have taken the first dance? I doubt it.

Then there was Ned... but that was clearly a jape on Brandon's part to stop Ned hugging the bench.
 

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It is peculiar that Robert B is mentioned twice, but doesn’t dance with Ashara (and isn’t mentioned with Lyanna). He is noted with the Lord of Roses and a hard drinking Knight. Bizarre.

 

1

I believe Bobby B is mentioned to be engaged in a drinking contest with the "Knight of Skulls and Kisses", who I believe was Richard Lonmouth (who may or may not be Lem Cloak ^_^), one of his bannermen on the first night and then after the Knight of the Laughing Tree appears on the first day both men vow to unmask him. So, it looks like he was just hanging out with his bannermen.
 

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I think it’s possible if not probable that there was a conspiracy at play that was unable to find its light due to Aerys’ attendance.   Did Ashara get some information from her White Sword that she then passed to Oberyn and some answer he gave was then given to Jon Connington?

 

 

Interesting. I personally doubt it but nothing to say it isn't true if the dancing was to pass messages around the hall. If everyone was sitting according to their Great Lords and bannermen, then it is conceivable that Jon Connington - trapped on the Stormlands' bench and away from the royal party - might have needed a message passed to him, and so Ashara dance with him.

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It is unlikely that Barristan Selmy would have participated in an open rebellion against his king.  Whent? Surely he was aware of the premise at play.  

 

1

Absolutely. After the Defiance of Duskendale I doubt Rhaegar would ever have trusted him with a plot to overthrow the King. As for Whent, not only was he of the family hosting the tourney but he appears to have been the second KG closest to Rhaegar, after Arthur. If something was going on, he knew.

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Could Tywin have been aware of some dissension between Aerys and Rhaegar and sent his spies to hear Rhaegar’s plan?   Could Rickard Stark have sent all his children to hear Rhaegar out?   

 

 

Everyone seems to have been somewhat aware of the poor relationship between Aerys and Rhaegar, and Tywin would have got the brunt of it as Hand. After his comment at Duskendale, I wouldn't be surprised if he was a secret, secondary financer of this tourney. On the other hand, he might have been kept out of it simply due to his marriage proposal between Rhaegar and Cersei having been completely and utterly rejected.

I don't personally see anything to suggest that the younger Starks - Ned, Lyanna, Benjen - knew of any conspiracy or were hearing Rhaegar out, given Ned didn't want to leave the bench and Lyanna/Benjen seem to have gone into full "Avenger" mode. Brandon did ask Ashara to dance with his younger brother but that indicates he was swanning around the room, giving him more opportunity to schmooze. The tourney hasn't started yet so Brandon didn't have his 101 problems with Rhaegar yet.

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We see Howland Reed sent his children to act in his stead with Bran at Winterfell—maybe that’s how the North works?  Reclusive Dorne has a large presence at this event—why?

 

 

Could be though I think in that case, he sent Meera and Jojen to Winterfell to pledge themselves to Bran because Robb had ordered him to hold the Neck against any advances from Tywin, meaning he literally couldn't leave without disobeying his liege lord (and, at that point, King).

As for Dorne, since this is the area Princess Elia Martell comes from I suspect nobility from there would make up her entourage...

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28 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

Let's try and go with the Ashara as Mata Hari and see where we can get? 

First, let's establish that she was a beauty. She's described by Catelyn:

Barristan:

That is not unimportant. If she's playing this part, she must be able to entrance men, make them believe her, make them trust her. Barristan may not be the brightest guy around, but he honourable, that's certain. He was around forth years old when the tourney took place, and we have no account of him falling for anyone before he met Ashara. He'd been a light of the kings guard for a long time already and gen had never so much as considered breaking his vows. And then this young lady comes about and he's got his head spinning. Haunting eyes. What if she wasn't just pretty, what if she was flirting? What if she was trying to seduce him? I'm thinking about

  Hide contents

The exchange between Alayne and Harry Hardwing in the Winds of Winter: littlefinger has her "Charm him. Entrance him. Bewitch him."

Why would she do that?

well... to gain another to their side? Barristan is nothing if not loyal. Even if Reaghar truly didn't trust him, he might have wanted him in his side just the same. And Ashara might have been the way. Say Arthur Dayne instructed her to "bewitch" Barristan Selmy..

While it's 'bitter' for him that Reagan didn't trust him, how would he have reacted to a plot to overthrow the king he should protect? Maybe Arthur and Raeghar thought they could get to Selmy through Ashara. 

Now, some other information that we may want to think about:

- She was new to court. Perhaps brought in by her brother precisely to play a part? 

- She was probably close to her brother. Cersei refers to her as a 'grieving sister' when she speaks about her to Ned. People seem to assume she killed herself because he was killed and don't question it... it's not a lot of proof, but at least it's evidence enough that their relationship wasn't strained. 

- She got a lot of attention from our little crannogman. Was that at the time (he was in love with her theory) or in hindsight (she was important and therefore I'm telling my kids about it theory)?

- I don't think she danced with a lot of people. Might be precisely the opposite actually. It's not unusual for a maid to dance with several partners through the night. Remember Sansa's wedding? She danced with loads and loads of lords. Ashara had four partners.

- Usually the man asks the woman for a dance. This is important! If she was seducing Barristan, he was the first to ask her. Then we have Oberyn, Connington and Brandon in behalf of Ned. So we have Barristan motivation: he was enthralled by her. If she's indeed our Mata Hari, Connington (who obviously had no interest in her, because he was in love with Reaghar, and plus a Stormlander and a Dornish woman, not really best friends are they?) would be dancing with her to have an opportunity to talk to her about their common plans. Let's assume the Daynes, Raeghar, Connington and maybe Lonmounth are working together here. What did Oberyn want with her? Is there a special reason Brandon wanted her to dance with Ned?

You describe this much along my own thinking, Lady.   Ashara wasn't long at court so who really brought her?  We see Jamie take hostages in the Riverlands (yes, some conversations die hard) telling at least one father it is a great honor to serve the queen.  Was it Elia's idea?  I don't recall Elia and Ashara being called friends, only companions or her ladies.  Lets count that out.  Lewyn?  Perhaps she was his paramour?  Oberyn?  He knows a beauty--could this appointment to Elia have been part of a seduction?  He didn't seem to be the sort of guy who needed a trap.  Arthur?  Surely Rhaegar could grant this favor to his best friend to allow his sister greater opportunity.  Rhaegar?   Could he have come across Ashara during a trip to Summerhall and just liked her and thought Elia would enjoy the company of a woman from her homeland?  I think it's likely Ashara got this appointment via Arthur and the appointment was probably innocent.  At first.  

Ashara was a beauty.  Was that enough to turn our noble Barristan's head?   He doesn't seem to know her well so I think it may have been.   In that we don't know what White Shield she danced with we simply can't say here.  Perhaps he didn't pick up on any subtle seduction she tried to play?  I think there might be a logic to the partners.  I don't know that Ashara would know everyone at the tourney.   Did she dance with Whent or Hightower or Darry or her own brother to find out who to target?  Did she try to get the Rose Lord to dance and he demurred so she need direction as to whom to hit up next?   Were the dances a premise for passing something (new thought, sorry)?  Hypothetically and of course depending on what conspiracy Rhaegar was trying to run, couldn't that White Shield have whispered in her ear that X house was overheard badmouthing a policy?  She dances with Oberyn to pass the information along to target X house for further conversation?   He tells her which part of the castle some surreptitious meeting will be held at, she passes that information to Jon Connington and so on?  Maybe more discreet than wearing a giant yellow flower to signal something? Of course there is no way to know this yet, I'm only throwing it out to maybe focus the spy spin.  By the time Brandon approaches her she half expects he's been recruited then he asks her to dance with his slobbering younger brother.  She dances with the guy too shy to ask himself and sees he isn't slobbering or forthcoming with information, but he's got a very nice sword...

That was way more fun than I should have been allowed to have.   

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30 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

It might have been completely innocent.

But Ned has been with Jon Arryn for 10 years by the time Harrenhal happens and would have a good idea of the ins and outs of the politics of the Vale. And he's the son of the Warden of the North. It would be easy to extract information from him by asking really innocent questions. Ashara has more than likely never traveled to the North or the Vale, so it's easy to pass her questions as her being very curious about these places.

Option 2, Brandon wants Ned to pass a message on to Rhaegar. "Stay the eff' away from my sister." Ned is more level-headed than Brandon.

But then, at this point, I'm pretty sure Rhaegar and Lyanna knew each other well before the tourney, so . . .

I see we all got a little silly juice!   Why do you think Rhaegar and Lyanna knew each other prior to the tourney?   She was only 14 at the time and he was like mid 20's?  

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

That's instersting, I've never seen anyone defending it... why do you think so? How could they have met? 

I don't know how they would have met. It's this part of Meera's story that gets ignored that had me wondering.

Every speculation I've read about what happened at Harrenhal goes off the premise that the KotLT fled after the 3rd win, that Aerys sent Rhaegar after them right away. But that's simply not the case.

"Whoever he was, the old gods gave strength to his arm. The porcupine knight fell first, then the pitchfork knight, and lastly the knight of the two towers. None were well loved, so the common folk cheered lustily for the Knight of the Laughing Tree, as the new champion soon was called. When his fallen foes sought to ransom horse and armor, the Knight of the Laughing Tree spoke in a booming voice through his helm saying, 'Teach your squires honor, that shall be ransom enough.' Once the defeated knights chastised their squires sharply, their horses and armor were returned. And so the little crannogman's prayer was answered . . . by the green men, or the old gods, or the children of the forest, who can say?" (Bran II, ASOS 24)

If we accept that Lyanna was the KotLT, then she was still there after she won her 3 jousts, the knights she beat would have gone to her with their horses and their armors. So she did not flee. She stayed, told them what she wanted in return for them to keep their horses and armors.

It was a good story, Bran decided after thinking about it a moment or two. "Then what happened? Did the Knight of the Laughing Tree win the tourney and marry a princess?"
"No," said Meera. "That night at the great castle, the storm lord and knight of skulls and kisses each swore they would unmask him, and the king himself urged men to challenge him, declaring that the face behind that helm was no friend of his. But the next morning, when the heralds blew their trumpets and the king took his seat, only two champions appeared. The Knight of the Laughing Tree had vanished. The king was wroth, and even sent his son the dragon prince to seek the man, but all they ever found was his painted shield, hanging abandoned in a tree. It was the dragon prince who won that tourney in the end." 
(Bran II, ASOS 24)

This is the most important part that gets completely ignored. Aerys sent Rhaegar to look for the Knight of the Laughing Tree the next morning because they did not show up.

So this being the case, and if Lyanna was the mystery knight, then it leaves two options and the reason I don't use the political option is because Barristan confirms in The Kingbreaker chapter in ADWD that Rhaegar loved Lyanna, so that leaves this;

  • Rhaegar stumbles accidentally upon Lyanna as she is discarding her shield.
  • Rhaegar and Lyanna knew each other before hand, and we know from Harwin that Arya and Lyanna ride their horses the same way, like a northman (Arya III, ASOS 17). It would probably not be all that difficult for him to put two and two together if he knew her, saw her riding her horse. All he has to do is look at the stands and see that she is missing to confirm any suspicions he might have.

@aryagonnakill#2 had a clever speculation about Rhaegar using Richard Lonmouth as a distraction in order to confront Lyanna. I had never thought of that, and I think it fits even better if she's not just some stranger to him.

This was my unpopular opinion this evening.

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I see we all got a little silly juice!   Why do you think Rhaegar and Lyanna knew each other prior to the tourney?   She was only 14 at the time and he was like mid 20's? 

I don't think it's as silly as it sounds, especially when GRRM starts dropping his little bombs of Lysa murdered Jon Arryn and Tywin asked Aerys to marry Cersei to Rhaegar and so on. It's an unpopular opinion, but I don't think it's all that far fetched, you know?

And Rhaegar would have 21 or 22. But this is a universe where age difference doesn't seen to matter all that much anyway. 

Edited by Widow's Watch

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6 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Where are the symbolism people?  

You rang?

I don't know what to guess about Ashara, although I am completely on board with the idea that ladies in waiting, septas, wetnurses and silent sisters have been underestimated. I think there is a shadow "game" that the men don't know much about, with some women manipulating situations behind the backs of the menfolk. In some cases they probably ally with men, of course.

I realize you don't want this to take over the thread, but I love the idea that Oberyn and Elia might have had an ongoing affair. There is something secretive in Dorne's motives, and substituting a 100% Dornish baby for the heir to the throne would be a good conspiracy. Elia is another woman who is probably underestimated. All we are told about her, over and over, is that she was sickly and fragile. Every other Dornish woman we have seen, however, from Nymeria to Princess Meria to the sand snakes, is a serious badass. Elia must have had more going on that the unreliable narrators have not described to us - probably because they didn't know about it.

 

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. . . the mystery knight was short of stature, and clad in ill-fitting armor made up of bits and pieces. The device upon his shield was a heart tree of the old gods, a white weirwood with a laughing red face."

It's been awhile since I've read this. I always agreed with the people who pegged Lyanna as the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and I still think that's a good inference. This description matches Tyrion, however. He is both short and he wears armor scrounged from a discard pile. (The fool's motley outfit he makes on board the Shy Maid is also bits and pieces of second-hand clothing. He makes that motley outfit at the direction of Jon Connington.) Clearly, Tyrion was too young to be TKotLT, and he probably would not have been an effective jouster who could beat three knights. (He learns to joust from Penny while wearing wooden armor.)

But the author seems to want us to compare TKotLT to Tyrion, for some reason. If TKotLT is Lyanna, I suspect she was a reader who discovered something in the Winterfell library that Tyrion also found during his visit. That is the only thing I can think of that they would have in common. (Unless Tyrion is the uncle of Lyanna's baby.)

I suspect we need to examine the three mean squires, or squires in general, to get to the bottom of the Crannogman's story. This may be a symbolism task, or it may be more to do with plot (conspiracies, alliances, etc.). Some months ago, I concluded that the three squires represent the Frey / Bolton alliance that betrays Robb Stark but I don't remember why or how I reached that conclusion. So I must not have had a strong lock on that theory. I'd be interested to hear other ideas. Maybe we need to have a separate, "What is a squire?" thread.

The key role of Richard Lonmouth further underscores the importance of understanding the squires, I would think. Do you think the skulls and kisses could represent death and life? I believe you were the one on the recent Brienne thread who questioned whether perhaps Lonmouth / Lem Lemoncloak was responsible for reviving Ser Beric, and he just allowed Thoros of Myr to think that he was magically doing the trick. (Or am I imagining that comment? I don't mean to put words in your mouth.) This might fit with the lemon symbolism - Lem also asks whether there are any lemons to put on the fish they are preparing for dinner. If he is the one causing the BwB resurrections, this could foreshadow the revival of Catelyn / Tully trout sigil as Lady Stoneheart. It could also explain why Maester Colemon was almost successful in reviving Jon Arryn until he was sent away and Pycelle took over the nursing duties.

Anyway - Lonmouth drinks with Robert Baratheon at Harrenhal. Is there some kind of life and death skullduggery going on in this interaction? Robert later tells Ned something about how he never felt so alive as when he was battling for the throne and never felt so dead as after he won it. I wonder whether the skulls and kisses had something to do with Robert's sense of being energized?

An examination of Harrenhal itself would be another good source of information in getting to the bottom of the crannogman's story. That would require a look at Arya's POVs, I think. There is a courtyard, for instance, where soldiers drill and train. The courtyard is described as lumpy. We all know that lumpyface is one of Arya's nicknames, but how is her face like a courtyard? Lump is also the first name of Varamyr Sixskins, and originated with his mother's pregnant belly. I suspect the wordplay pair is "lump" and "plum" and that both have to do with pregnancy or symbolic pregnancy (rebirth). So maybe the lumpy courtyard at Harrenhal is telling us something about a pregnancy that began there? On the other hand, it may refer to the scene in which Arya rolls a barrel with her unbeknownst-to-her betrothed, Elmar Frey. Barrels are symbolic eggs, I suspect. Out of the barrel hatches - ta da! - Roose Bolton's still-rusty chain mail, which he will be wearing when he kills Robb Stark.

Does this subsequent kingslaying plot connect to the kingslayer possibilities going on at the Harrenhal tournament? Could be. But I have gotten far away from the OP. Sorry about that. There are other things in the description of Harrenhal that might relate back to the tournament, if we want to take this in that direction.

Edited by Seams

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23 minutes ago, Faera said:

Always love your thread topics, @Curled Finger and I love anything to do with "the little crannogman, Howland Reed". I haven't read the whole thread as this topic seems to have exploded so I'm not sure where everything is up to but I'll throw in my thoughts. A lot of the symbolism in the story is probably something we're only ever going to pick up with hindsight. 

Regarding the guests, Howland remembers not only drinking with the Starks as the rest of the bannermen as well -- barrowdown men (Dustin) and moose (Hornwood) and bears (Mormont, which is *very* interesting) and mermen (Manderly). Ignoring the fact that Meera might be missing out a few names in order to get to the point for the sake of a very impatient Bran, it is interesting that these are the ones he homes in on. At first, one might want to speculate he made merry with the later companions to the ToJ but only Willam Dustin would fit. Another thing I thought is that *maybe* it is a nod to the chief conspirators in the various Northern Conspiracies in the books? Dustin (Lady Dustin), Hornwood (Ramsay Bolton calls himself the "Lord of the Horwood" but the Horwood men still remember what happened to Donella; could also reference the other Hornwood claimants - the Glovers through Larence Snow, the Tallharts through Berena Hornwood), Mormont (Maege with Robb's will, Jory with Stannis) and Manderly (Wyman, obviously!) Not utterly convinced but I do wonder why those were the particular names noted.
 

If he was, he wouldn't have been the only one. The fact Ashara danced with so many people shows that she was popular. Another reason Howland mentioned her might be because of her alleged romance with one of the Stark men. Given he appears to have been with the Starks throughout the tourney, he would more than likely be aware of this. He bunked with Ned, so whether it was Brandon (who I think was probably wooing Ashara) or Ned himself, he probably noticed.

There are some who might leap in to use this as evidence that she is somehow Howland's wife who has only ever been afforded a namedrop in the appendix of the books. Jyana has no family name, simply referred to as "Jyana of the Crannogmen". However, I really don't buy it. While it is odd that his wife has not been assigned some token family name, I think it is far more likely (and potentially interesting) if Howland was simply married to a woman of common birth. Might even be that she has passed away (though she is not indicated to have done) due to there being no more children after Jojen.
 

I know this has been suggested it was politically motivated but I see nothing to suggest Ashara's dance partners were people Rhaegar hoped to enlist, as far as I can see.

According to Meera, excluding Ned, they were "a white sword" (i.e. a Kingsguard), "a red snake" (most likely Oberyn Martell who was known as the "Red Viper"), and the lord of Griffins (Jon Connington). Looking at these names, there is really isn't all that much to suggest that Ashara was spying on anyone or trying to enlist people because they were all people very likely on Rhaegar's side already: Jon Connington was already a part of Rhaegar's circle since they were boys and Oberyn Martell is Rhaegar's brother-in-law! The Kingsguard who took the first dance was probably Arthur, her brother. Most of the others seem to have been affiliated with Rhaegar's circle or friends with him. Only Jonothor Darry and Barristan Selmy are really the oddballs but would either of them really have taken the first dance? I doubt it.

Then there was Ned... but that was clearly a jape on Brandon's part to stop Ned hugging the bench.
 

I believe Bobby B is mentioned to be engaged in a drinking contest with the "Knight of Skulls and Kisses", who I believe was Richard Lonmouth (who may or may not be Lem Cloak ^_^), one of his bannermen on the first night and then after the Knight of the Laughing Tree appears on the first day both men vow to unmask him. So, it looks like he was just hanging out with his bannermen.
 

Interesting. I personally doubt it but nothing to say it isn't true if the dancing was to pass messages around the hall. If everyone was sitting according to their Great Lords and bannermen, then it is conceivable that Jon Connington - trapped on the Stormlands' bench and away from the royal party - might have needed a message passed to him, and so Ashara dance with him.

Absolutely. After the Defiance of Duskendale I doubt Rhaegar would ever have trusted him with a plot to overthrow the King. As for Whent, not only was he of the family hosting the tourney but he appears to have been the second KG closest to Rhaegar, after Arthur. If something was going on, he knew.

Everyone seems to have been somewhat aware of the poor relationship between Aerys and Rhaegar, and Tywin would have got the brunt of it as Hand. After his comment at Duskendale, I wouldn't be surprised if he was a secret, secondary financer of this tourney. On the other hand, he might have been kept out of it simply due to his marriage proposal between Rhaegar and Cersei having been completely and utterly rejected.

I don't personally see anything to suggest that the younger Starks - Ned, Lyanna, Benjen - knew of any conspiracy or were hearing Rhaegar out, given Ned didn't want to leave the bench and Lyanna/Benjen seem to have gone into full "Avenger" mode. Brandon did ask Ashara to dance with his younger brother but that indicates he was swanning around the room, giving him more opportunity to schmooze. The tourney hasn't started yet so Brandon didn't have his 101 problems with Rhaegar yet.

Could be though I think in that case, he sent Meera and Jojen to Winterfell to pledge themselves to Bran because Robb had ordered him to hold the Neck against any advances from Tywin, meaning he literally couldn't leave without disobeying his liege lord (and, at that point, King).

As for Dorne, since this is the area Princess Elia Martell comes from I suspect nobility from there would make up her entourage...

Welcome Faera.  Thanks so much for the vote of confidence.   We are sort of still sussing possibilities out. If you love that little Crannogman and you're in with our carousel of conspiracy you will have to start calling him our little Crannogman.   No worries about catching up.   @Widow's Watch flashed out a list of names of the attendees addressed in the OP to keep us straight.   Our ideas are running the gamut from our little CM was in love with Ashara to 3 possible conspiracy theories to N or B + A =? so we are having fun.   We've got the suggestion that some of these pairings were distractions or information exchanges designed to 1) break the North/Riverlands/Stormlands/Vale alliance  2) depose Aerys and 3) Blackfyres!  There are some smaller but really interesting ideas here about Rickard and Hoster's real intentions and the real Stark Robert Baratheon loved.   We've got an interesting side discussion about Richard Lonmouth going to.   As our friend, @The Fattest Leech says, pull on your comfy pants and come on in.   Just occurred to me it's Saturday night and I've not seen hide nor hair of Leech or @kissdbyfire--I do hope they aren't  getting Bloodraven drunk again. 

Are you satisfactorily caught up, Faera?   My recaps don't do the topic justice so feel free to jump in wherever you like.   We haven't reached page 20 yet so I have room to make a few comments on your observations.  Yes, I think each person mentioned in this story points to something very important.   We are sharing a vision here with the future GNC at least 1 faction.  Great catch with the sleeping arrangements, throw some fuel on that fire!  Don't buzzkill HR + AD--it's sweet and there is definitely not enough sweet in this story, but you are right on all counts for all that's worth.  Bobby B & Lonmouth--I think that's were we turn the most interesting turn.  That is precisely where the distraction idea popped up and I love it even if it's not right! Oh dear, did you just take me down a rabbit hole, Faera?   Tywin as a nominal partner in the conspiracy to overthrow Aerys!   Brilliant!  Though I'm taking some pride in envisioning this triple threat conspiracy I still haven't come up with anything other than to tell the tale of the KotLT and give a bit of background on the Starks--particularly their kindness in the face of the poor treatment our little CM received from the squires.   Couldn't agree more with your assessment of a certain CM sending his children in his stead.   But since you bring it up I would enjoy another option and dead is not acceptable.  

You made some excellent points for someone who just jumped in, Faera.   Thanks so much for joining the conversation. 

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32 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

I don't know how they would have met. It's this part of Meera's story that gets ignored that had me wondering.

Every speculation I've read about what happened at Harrenhal goes off the premise that the KotLT fled after the 3rd win, that Aerys sent Rhaegar after them right away. But that's simply not the case.

"Whoever he was, the old gods gave strength to his arm. The porcupine knight fell first, then the pitchfork knight, and lastly the knight of the two towers. None were well loved, so the common folk cheered lustily for the Knight of the Laughing Tree, as the new champion soon was called. When his fallen foes sought to ransom horse and armor, the Knight of the Laughing Tree spoke in a booming voice through his helm saying, 'Teach your squires honor, that shall be ransom enough.' Once the defeated knights chastised their squires sharply, their horses and armor were returned. And so the little crannogman's prayer was answered . . . by the green men, or the old gods, or the children of the forest, who can say?" (Bran II, ASOS 24)

If we accept that Lyanna was the KotLT, then she was still there after she won her 3 jousts, the knights she beat would have gone to her with their horses and their armors. So she did not flee. She stayed, told them what she wanted in return for them to keep their horses and armors.

It was a good story, Bran decided after thinking about it a moment or two. "Then what happened? Did the Knight of the Laughing Tree win the tourney and marry a princess?"
"No," said Meera. "That night at the great castle, the storm lord and knight of skulls and kisses each swore they would unmask him, and the king himself urged men to challenge him, declaring that the face behind that helm was no friend of his. But the next morning, when the heralds blew their trumpets and the king took his seat, only two champions appeared. The Knight of the Laughing Tree had vanished. The king was wroth, and even sent his son the dragon prince to seek the man, but all they ever found was his painted shield, hanging abandoned in a tree. It was the dragon prince who won that tourney in the end." 
(Bran II, ASOS 24)

This is the most important part that gets completely ignored. Aerys sent Rhaegar to look for the Knight of the Laughing Tree the next morning because they did not show up.

So this being the case, and if Lyanna was the mystery knight, then it leaves two options and the reason I don't use the political option is because Barristan confirms in The Kingbreaker chapter in ADWD that Rhaegar loved Lyanna, so that leaves this;

  • Rhaegar stumbles accidentally upon Lyanna as she is discarding her shield.
  • Rhaegar and Lyanna knew each other before hand, and we know from Harwin that Arya and Lyanna ride their horses the same way, like a northman (Arya III, ASOS 17). It would probably not be all that difficult for him to put two and two together if he knew her, saw her riding her horse. All he has to do is look at the stands and see that she is missing to confirm any suspicions he might have.

@aryagonnakill#2 had a clever speculation about Rhaegar using Richard Lonmouth as a distraction in order to confront Lyanna. I had never thought of that, and I think it fits even better if she's not just some stranger to him.

This was my unpopular opinion this evening.

I don't think it's as silly as it sounds, especially when GRRM starts dropping his little bombs of Lysa murdered Jon Arryn and Tywin asked Aerys to marry Cersei to Rhaegar and so on. It's an unpopular opinion, but I don't think it's all that far fetched, you know?

And Rhaegar would have 21 or 22. But this is a universe where age difference doesn't seen to matter all that much anyway. 

No no, don't misunderstand.   The silly juice comment was about a previous post.   Please accept my apologies it only went to the similarity of our ideas back to back.  I was not speaking of the prior meeting here.   As I read your reply I couldn't help but wonder how a little girl can have a booming voice.  Then it occurred to me that she had 3 brothers, 2 of whom would certainly be up for impersonating her in costume? Finally, a conspiracy angle for the Starks!  

Let me ponder your scenario.  You make it sound possible.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

1. This Blackfyre spin isn't 1 I considered before about a half hour ago. 

2. If frickin Little Finger can come up with all the intrigue and chaos and manage to advance his agenda why wouldn't Varys be capable of the same? 

1. How about this - tragedy at Summerhall, in which died Aegon V, and seven dragon eggs were gone, were also caused by Blackfyres?

Three of those eggs they gave to Daenerys, as her wedding gift.

Why I think that Blackfyres are connected to Tragedy at Summerhall; some events prior Robert's Rebellion; bringing Daenerys and Viserys to Braavos; giving fAegon to be raised by Jon Connington; their installment into Golden Company; marrying Daenerys to Khal Drogo, and thru this marriage getting rid of Viserys (it was obvious that person with his character, won't live long, if placed among Dothraki), and then thru Quaithe guiding Daenerys to her reunion with fAegon (she will give him her dragons, they will marry, and he will be established as King of 7K, thru both conquest and marriage with a Targaryen Queen):

Aegon V married with Betha Blackwood. Since times of Andals Invasion, House Blackwood and House Bracken were mortal enemies. Brackens even poisoned sacred Weirwood of Blackwoods.

Barba Bracken was mother of Aegor Bittersteel Rivers, half-brother and biggest supporter of Daemon I Blackfyre, who also married with Daemon's daughter Calla Blackfyre, and established Golden Company in Essos.

Melissa Blackwood was mother of Brynden Bloodraven Rivers, who was mortal enemy of Bittersteel, and also killed Daemon I Blackfyre, and at least three of his sons (twins during First Blackfyre Rebellion, and Aenys during Great Council held after death of Maekar I).

Aegon V participated in Third Rebellion of Blackfyres, alongside his father Maekar I, there was killed Haegon I Blackfyre, fourth son of Daemon I Blackfyre. During Fourth Rebellion, son of Haegon I, Daemon III Blackfyre was killed by Duncan the Tall, and Aegon's three sons also fought in that battle.

Aegon's family and supporters (Bloodraven and Duncan the Tall) caused death of Daemon I Blackfyre, his two oldest sons twins Aegon and Aemon, Daemon II, Aenys Blackfyre, Haegon I and his son Daemon III, Maelys the Monstrous (killed by Kingsguard of Aegon V Targaryen, Barristan Selmy).

In total Aegon V's closest people killed EIGHT Blackfyres.

Aegon himself, when he was still a child, caused imprisonment and subsequent death of Daemon II Blackfyre. Furthermore because of his and Duncan's involvement in Tournament at Whitewalls, during Second Rebellion, Blackfyres were unable to seize dragon egg, that was supposed to be prize for winner of Tournament. But instead that egg was stolen by people sent by Bloodraven. So most likely that egg was among those seven, present at Summerhall, during that ritual in which died Aegon and his family.

So how likely is it, that death of Aegon V, Duncan the Tall and Duncan the Small, and disappearance of Targaryens 7 dragon eggs, were result of tragical accident, and not revenge of Blackfyres? Is it likely that Rohanna of Tyrosh, whose husband and five children were killed by Aegon's family, just let him be, and didn't tried to revenge for ruining her family?   

Rohanna and her daughters (including Calla, wife of Bittersteel who founder Golden Company) were Princesses of Tyrosh, so they had people and resources, to bring revenge to House of Targaryens. So Varys and Illyrio are their agents. They serve to descendants of Rohanna and Daemon I Blackfyre, or could be that they themselves are also descendants of Blackfyres, from female line of that family.

Last time Blackfyres showed themselves in 260, during War of Ninepenny Kings. And then they were inactive in Westeros, until approximately year 278, when Varys became Master of whisperers in Small council of King Aerys. It took Blackfyres/Varys 18 years to get into Targaryen's inner circle. After their previous five failures, Blackfyres decided to act more cautious. First five times they failed, because they planned to fight against Targaryens in the open. But later they realised that no matter how many times they will try, they will fail, again and again. Because Targaryens are on their land, where they have more people, and more resources. So it's impossible to come in small numbers from Essos to Westeros, and defeat them. So they decided prior their next attack, to build a base for themselves in 7K. Thus they placed their spies and agents all over Westeros, and implanted them into many of noble Houses of 7K, and also intermarried with people of Westeros. 

Sixth Rebellion of Blackfyres was planned by a woman. She killed Aegon V and his family in 259, during tragedy at Summerhall. After that, in 260, Blackfyres lost to Targaryens in their Fifth Rebellion (War of Ninepenny Kings). So after she saw that sneaky-tricky way, thru which she got her revenge against Targaryens, works much better than fighting in the open, when male line of Blackfyres has ended, after death of Maelys the Monstrous, she decided to completely change the ways, in which Blackfyres will oppose Targaryens from then on. Her descendants are Quaithe and Varys or Illyrio.

They planned to overthrow Targaryen regime from within. They wanted to make Aerys kill his own son, by making him convinced that Rhaegar is planning to rebell agains him. Those people that supposedly were Rhaegar's people, that gathered at Harrenhal were actually agents of Blackfyres (at least some of them). Rhaegar never planned to overthrow his father, he was always loyal to him. Blackfyres just wanted to use him as their scapegoat. Though Rhaegar did something unexpected - kidnapped Lyanna Starks, and thus Robert's Rebellion began, and all plans of Blackfyres failed. So they changed their strategy again, and made Varys to either kidnap Aegon, or to give fAegon to Jon Connington, and raise him as pawn of Blackfyres. Eventually they planted him into Golden Company, which always was and still is a spawn of Blackfyres. And also they took under their wing Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen. They needed to keep them alive, just in case if they will need to hatch dragons out of those Targaryen dragon eggs, that Blackfyres stolen from Summerhall.

There are two hints, that show that saving Dany and Viserys was work of Blackfyres: 1. Even though Dany was brought into mansion of Illyrio, only six months prior her wedding with Khal Drogo, Illyrio later told Tyrion about years of planning. Which means that he was watching over those two Targaryens, for many years prior he revealed himself to them. 2. Illyrio and Varys for a long time lived in Braavos. Door of Dany's house in Braavos was painted in red - it was a sign to Blackfyres, that this is house of Reds, i.e. Targaryens - Red Dragons.

Also dragon eggs don't grow on trees, or appear out of thin air. Three dragon eggs that were given to Dany came from somewhere. And last known whereabouts of dragon eggs was Summerhall. There was seven of them. Blackfyres with dark magic caused death of Aegon V and his family. Also they stole those 7 eggs. And they gave three of them to Dany, because they had four more left in their possession.

 

2. I think that long ago, Littlefinger was one of Varys' pets, and he's also one of his best disciples. Though at certain point he decided to stop working for Varys, and instead to work for himself.

Littlefinger obviously has connection to Essos/Blackfyres - Tears of Lys; family of Kettleblacks; Mandon Moore was from The Vale, same as Littlefinger.

Mandon Moore attacked and seriously wounded Tyrion Lannister, and Tyrion thought that it was ordered by Cersei. Myrcella Baratheon was attacked and seriously wounded by Gerold Dayne, and Cersei thought that it was ordered by Tyrion.

But actually both attacks were planned by Varys/Blackfyres. They didn't seriously tried to kill Tyrion/Myrcella, they just wounded them bad enough, to make them believe that they survived by mere luck. And as result of that attack, Varys/Blackfyres clashed Lannisters against each other.

Varys also helped Tyrion to escape, and made him go to fAegon, because he's planning to use Tyrion's knowledge of 7K and Westerlands, to aid fAegon in his war against Cersei. Varys also has sent Shae to testify against Tyrion, and Balon Swann to support him in court. And now Balon Swann is in Dorne, supposedly going after Gerold Dayne, supposedly sent there by Cersei. But actually he went to Dorne to get together with Gerold Dayne, and the two of them will join fAegon, and Gerold is going to be general of Golden Company. That's why he said to Sand girl, that if he will lead to death 250,000 soldiers <- it's obvious that he wasn't referring to army of Martells, because Martells don't even have that many people in their army. 

So once upon a time Littlefinger was Little Bird of Varys, but then betrayed him and went independent. And Varys can't get rid of him, because LF knows too much about Varys and his deals and secrets. So Varys can't just kill him, and simultaneously keep his secrets from being exposed to Lannisters, as retaliation from LF's agents.

Edited by Megorova

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

No no, don't misunderstand.   The silly juice comment was about a previous post.   Please accept my apologies it only went to the similarity of our ideas back to back. 

You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. Things get lost in translation, my thoughts were more along the line of I know it might sound silly, but I don't think it's that silly because when I started thinking about Rhaegar and Lyanna knowing each other, I thought it was kind of silly, but then I was like wait a minute . . . it may not be all that far fetched. That was mainly my point. I don't really get offended that easily, tbh.

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Let me ponder your scenario.  You make it sound possible. 

I've got more that makes it sound even more plausible.

Edited by Widow's Watch

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33 minutes ago, Seams said:

You rang?

I don't know what to guess about Ashara, although I am completely on board with the idea that ladies in waiting, septas, wetnurses and silent sisters have been underestimated. I think there is a shadow "game" that the men don't know much about, with some women manipulating situations behind the backs of the menfolk. In some cases they probably ally with men, of course.

I realize you don't want this to take over the thread, but I love the idea that Oberyn and Elia might have had an ongoing affair. There is something secretive in Dorne's motives, and substituting a 100% Dornish baby for the heir to the throne would be a good conspiracy. Elia is another woman who is probably underestimated. All we are told about her, over and over, is that she was sickly and fragile. Every other Dornish woman we have seen, however, from Nymeria to Princess Meria to the sand snakes, is a serious badass. Elia must have had more going on that the unreliable narrators have not described to us - probably because they didn't know about it.

 

It's been awhile since I've read this. I always agreed with the people who pegged Lyanna as the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and I still think that's a good inference. This description matches Tyrion, however. He is both short and he wears armor scrounged from a discard pile. (The fool's motley outfit he makes on board the Shy Maid is also bits and pieces of second-hand clothing. He makes that motley outfit at the direction of Jon Connington.) Clearly, Tyrion was too young to be TKotLT, and he probably would not have been an effective jouster who could beat three knights. (He learns to joust from Penny while wearing wooden armor.)

But the author seems to want us to compare TKotLT to Tyrion, for some reason. If TKotLT is Lyanna, I suspect she was a reader who discovered something in the Winterfell library that Tyrion also found during his visit. That is the only thing I can think of that they would have in common. (Unless Tyrion is the uncle of Lyanna's baby.)

I suspect we need to examine the three mean squires, or squires in general, to get to the bottom of the Crannogman's story. This may be a symbolism task, or it may be more to do with plot (conspiracies, alliances, etc.). Some months ago, I concluded that the three squires represent the Frey / Bolton alliance that betrays Robb Stark but I don't remember why or how I reached that conclusion. So I must not have had a strong lock on that theory. I'd be interested to hear other ideas. Maybe we need to have a separate, "What is a squire?" thread.

The key role of Richard Lonmouth further underscores the importance of understanding the squires, I would think. Do you think the skulls and kisses could represent death and life? I believe you were the one on the recent Brienne thread who questioned whether perhaps Lonmouth / Lem Lemoncloak was responsible for reviving Ser Beric, and he just allowed Thoros of Myr to think that he was magically doing the trick. (Or am I imagining that comment? I don't mean to put words in your mouth.) This might fit with the lemon symbolism - Lem also asks whether there are any lemons to put on the fish they are preparing for dinner. If he is the one causing the BwB resurrections, this could foreshadow the revival of Catelyn / Tully trout sigil as Lady Stoneheart. It could also explain why Maester Colemon was almost successful in reviving Jon Arryn until he was sent away and Pycelle took over the nursing duties.

Anyway - Lonmouth drinks with Robert Baratheon at Harrenhal. Is there some kind of life and death skullduggery going on in this interaction? Robert later tells Ned something about how he never felt so alive as when he was battling for the throne and never felt so dead as after he won it. I wonder whether the skulls and kisses had something to do with Robert's sense of being energized?

An examination of Harrenhal itself would be another good source of information in getting to the bottom of the crannogman's story. That would require a look at Arya's POVs, I think. There is a courtyard, for instance, where soldiers drill and train. The courtyard is described as lumpy. We all know that lumpyface is one of Arya's nicknames, but how is her face like a courtyard? Lump is also the first name of Varamyr Sixskins, and originated with his mother's pregnant belly. I suspect the wordplay pair is "lump" and "plum" and that both have to do with pregnancy or symbolic pregnancy (rebirth). So maybe the lumpy courtyard at Harrenhal is telling us something about a pregnancy that began there? On the other hand, it may refer to the scene in which Arya rolls a barrel with her unbeknownst-to-her betrothed, Elmar Frey. Barrels are symbolic eggs, I suspect. Out of the barrel hatches - ta da! - Roose Bolton's still-rusty chain mail, which he will be wearing when he kills Robb Stark.

Does this subsequent kingslaying plot connect to the kingslayer possibilities going on at the Harrenhal tournament? Could be. But I have gotten far away from the OP. Sorry about that. There are other things in the description of Harrenhal that might relate back to the tournament, if we want to take this in that direction.

I did!  The symbolism gang is late to the party but here at last.   

Right off the bat with a Tyrion similarity!   and Boom, there it is.   Lyanna was a reader--who is to say she did not share Rhaegar's love of prophecy?  

Don't lose that thought about squires.   Our little CM mentions The Freys at least twice in the story.   He sneaks down the river so the Freys don't catch him and mentions later how his people were familiar with the Freys.  That indicates some sort of antagonistic relationship to me.   Any idea what this is about? 

I don't recall the comment over in our Brienne discussion, but it blows my mind.   I do, however, recall your connection between lump and plum and the allusions to pregnancy.  Instead of a pregnancy (which is plausible of course) could it be leadership as in the change from Targ to Baratheon?   Birth of an Empire, as it were? 

Seams you know you are welcome to take it anywhere you like.   I would ask if you see any significance to multiple mentions of Areys, Rhaegar and Robert Baratheon or simply the 2 glaring references to Bobby B?   Do you think there is anything to the order the characters are mentioned or even Ashara's dance partners?   Should we (yes I just blamed everyone here to cover my own compulsion) be focused on those conspicuously absent?  

 

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21 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. Things get lost in translation, my thoughts were more along the line of I know it might sound silly, but I don't think it's that silly because when I started thinking about Rhaegar and Lyanna knowing each other, I thought it was kind of silly, but then I was like wait a minute . . . it may not be all that far fetched. That was mainly my point. I don't really get offended that easily, tbh.

I've got more that makes it sound even more plausible.

Well give it up!   Let's have it all and let's talk about it.  

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23 minutes ago, Megorova said:

1. How about this - tragedy at Summerhall, in which died Aegon V, and seven dragon eggs were gone, were also caused by Blackfyres?

Three of those eggs they gave to Daenerys, as her wedding gift.

Why I think that Blackfyres are connected to Tragedy at Summerhall; some events prior Robert's Rebellion; bringing Daenerys and Viserys to Braavos; giving fAegon to be raised by Jon Connington; their installment into Golden Company; marrying Daenerys to Khal Drogo, and thru this marriage getting rid of Viserys (it was obvious that person with his character, won't live long, if placed among Dothraki), and then thru Quaithe guiding Daenerys to her reunion with fAegon (she will give him her dragons, they will marry, and he will be established as King of 7K, thru both conquest and marriage with a Targaryen Queen):

Aegon V married with Betha Blackwood. Since times of Andals Invasion, House Blackwood and House Bracken were mortal enemies. Brackens even poisoned sacred Weirwood of Blackwoods.

Barba Bracken was mother of Aegor Bittersteel Rivers, half-brother and biggest supporter of Daemon I Blackfyre, who also married with Daemon's daughter Calla Blackfyre, and established Golden Company in Essos.

Melissa Blackwood was mother of Brynden Bloodraven Rivers, who was mortal enemy of Bittersteel, and also killed Daemon I Blackfyre, and at least three of his sons (twins during First Blackfyre Rebellion, and Aenys during Great Council held after death of Maekar I).

Aegon V participated in Third Rebellion of Blackfyres, alongside his father Maekar I, there was killed Haegon I Blackfyre, fourth son of Daemon I Blackfyre. During Fourth Rebellion, son of Haegon I, Daemon III Blackfyre was killed by Duncan the Tall, and Aegon's three sons also fought in that battle.

Aegon's family and supporters (Bloodraven and Duncan the Tall) caused death of Daemon I Blackfyre, his two oldest sons twins Aegon and Aemon, Daemon II, Aenys Blackfyre, Haegon I and his son Daemon III, Maelys the Monstrous (killed by Kingsguard of Aegon V Targaryen, Barristan Selmy).

In total Aegon V's closest people killed EIGHT Blackfyres.

Aegon himself, when he was still a child, caused imprisonment and subsequent death of Daemon II Blackfyre. Furthermore because of his and Duncan's involvement in Tournament at Whitewalls, during Second Rebellion, Blackfyres were unable to seize dragon egg, that was supposed to be prize for winner of Tournament. But instead that egg was stolen by people sent by Bloodraven. So most likely that egg was among those seven, present at Summerhall, during that ritual in which died Aegon and his family.

So how likely is it, that death of Aegon V, Duncan the Tall and Duncan the Small, and disappearance of Targaryens 7 dragon eggs, were result of tragical accident, and not revenge of Blackfyres? Is it likely that Rohanna of Tyrosh, whose husband and five children were killed by Aegon's family, just let him be, and didn't tried to revenge for ruining her family?   

Rohanna and her daughters (including Calla, wife of Bittersteel who founder Golden Company) were Princesses of Tyrosh, so they had people and resources, to bring revenge to House of Targaryens. So Varys and Illyrio are their agents. They serve to descendants of Rohanna and Daemon I Blackfyre, or could be that they themselves are also descendants of Blackfyres, from female line of that family.

Last time Blackfyres showed themselves in 260, during War of Ninepenny Kings. And then they were inactive in Westeros, until approximately year 278, when Varys became Master of whisperers in Small council of King Aerys. It took Blackfyres/Varys 18 years to get into Targaryen's inner circle. After their previous five failures, Blackfyres decided to act more cautious. First five times they failed, because they planned to fight against Targaryens in the open. But later they realised that no matter how many times they will try, they will fail, again and again. Because Targaryens are on their land, where they have more people, and more resources. So it's impossible to come in small numbers from Essos to Westeros, and defeat them. So they decided prior their next attack, to build a base for themselves in 7K. Thus they placed their spies and agents all over Westeros, and implanted them into many of noble Houses of 7K, and also intermarried with people of Westeros. 

Sixth Rebellion of Blackfyres was planned by a woman. She killed Aegon V and his family in 259, during tragedy at Summerhall. After that, in 260, Blackfyres lost to Targaryens in their Fifth Rebellion (War of Ninepenny Kings). So after she saw that sneaky-tricky way, thru which she got her revenge against Targaryens, works much better than fighting in the open, when male line of Blackfyres has ended, after death of Maelys the Monstrous, she decided to completely change the ways, in which Blackfyres will oppose Targaryens from then on. Her descendants are Quaithe and Varys or Illyrio.

They planned to overthrow Targaryen regime from within. They wanted to make Aerys kill his own son, by making him convinced that Rhaegar is planning to rebell agains him. Those people that supposedly were Rhaegar's people, that gathered at Harrenhal were actually agents of Blackfyres (at least some of them). Rhaegar never planned to overthrow his father, he was always loyal to him. Blackfyres just wanted to use him as their scapegoat. Though Rhaegar did something unexpected - kidnapped Lyanna Starks, and thus Robert's Rebellion began, and all plans of Blackfyres failed. So they changed their strategy again, and made Varys to either kidnap Aegon, or to give fAegon to Jon Connington, and raise him as pawn of Blackfyres. Eventually they planted him into Golden Company, which always was and still is a spawn of Blackfyres. And also they took under their wing Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen. They needed to keep them alive, just in case if they will need to hatch dragons out of those Targaryen dragon eggs, that Blackfyres stolen from Summerhall.

There are two hints, that show that saving Dany and Viserys was work of Blackfyres: 1. Even though Dany was brought into mansion of Illyrio, only six months prior her wedding with Khal Drogo, Illyrio later told Tyrion about years of planning. Which means that he was watching over those two Targaryens, for many years prior he revealed himself to them. 2. Illyrio and Varys for a long time lived in Braavos. Door of Dany's house in Braavos was painted in red - it was a sign to Blackfyres, that this is house of Reds, i.e. Targaryens - Red Dragons.

Also dragon eggs don't grow on trees, or appear out of thin air. Three dragon eggs that were given to Dany came from somewhere. And last known whereabouts of dragon eggs was Summerhall. There was seven of them. Blackfyres with dark magic caused death of Aegon V and his family. Also they stole those 7 eggs. And they gave three of them to Dany, because they had four more left in their possession.

 

2. I think that long ago, Littlefinger was one of Varys' pets, and he's also one of his best disciples. Though at certain point he decided to stop working for Varys, and instead to work for himself.

Littlefinger obviously has connection to Essos/Blackfyres - Tears of Lys; family of Kettleblacks; Mandon Moore was from The Vale, same as Littlefinger.

Mandon Moore attacked and seriously wounded Tyrion Lannister, and Tyrion thought that it was ordered by Cersei. Myrcella Baratheon was attacked and seriously wounded by Gerold Dayne, and Cersei thought that it was ordered by Tyrion.

But actually both attacks were planned by Varys/Blackfyres. They didn't seriously tried to kill Tyrion/Myrcella, they just wounded them bad enough, to make them believe that they survived by mere luck. And as result of that attack, Varys/Blackfyres clashed Lannisters against each other.

Varys also helped Tyrion to escape, and made him go to fAegon, because he's planning to use Tyrion's knowledge of 7K and Westerlands, to aid fAegon in his war against Cersei. Varys also has sent Shae to testify against Tyrion, and Balon Swann to support him in court. And now Balon Swann is in Dorne, supposedly going after Gerold Dayne, supposedly sent there by Cersei. But actually he went to Dorne to get together with Gerold Dayne, and the two of them will join fAegon, and Gerold is going to be general of Golden Company. That's why he said to Sand girl, that if he will lead to death 250,000 soldiers <- it's obvious that he wasn't referring to army of Martells, because Martells don't even have that many people in their army. 

So once upon a time Littlefinger was Little Bird of Varys, but then betrayed him and went independent. And Varys can't get rid of him, because LF knows too much about Varys and his deals and secrets. So Varys can't just kill him, and simultaneously keep his secrets from being exposed to Lannisters, as retaliation from LF's agents.

You know, Megorova, we don't know what caused the tragedy at Summerhall--why not Blackfyres?   Although it's always good to catch up on extraneous matters I would like to focus on Harrnehal Through A Little Crannogman's Eyes.   Any time anyone makes a speculation a statement it hijacks a conversation and I think we have a really good conversation going, detractors included.  

You've got a wonderful imagination and talent for making your case.  Your post above can't possibly be served well here.  Why not make a topic so we can really get into it with you? 

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54 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

You know, Megorova, we don't know what caused the tragedy at Summerhall--why not Blackfyres?   Although it's always good to catch up on extraneous matters I would like to focus on Harrnehal Through A Little Crannogman's Eyes.   Any time anyone makes a speculation a statement it hijacks a conversation and I think we have a really good conversation going, detractors included.  

You've got a wonderful imagination and talent for making your case.  Your post above can't possibly be served well here.  Why not make a topic so we can really get into it with you? 

This fórum gives the blackfyres a realy bad reputation. Has anyone ever sugested that the balckfyres sent BR to the cotf and are responsible for the others apearing now?

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