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Morgana Lannister

The Politics in the Arya TWOW chapter

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Okay, I know much and more has been discussed regarding whether Arya is likely or not to be in trouble with the FM, whether killing a guard was her mission, her mission was something else or there was no mission.  Still, the more I think about this chapter, the more I think there are a hell of a lot of variables here with potential further implications beyond whether Arya goes back to Essos, stays longer etc.

Firstly, Kevan (prior to his death) sent his father in law to negotiate with the Iron Bank.  Yes, sure, it could be just to beg them for extra time.  However, even in real life, ordinary high street banks want a little something if they are to renew a repayment agreement that has been defaulted on and especially if the debtors are trying to secure further loans.  Also, the "Emissary from Westeros" and his retinue appeared to be treated with great privileges, such as him being accompanied by the most prestigious courtesan etc.  Then again, the Tyrells are rich and, provided Margaery is acquitted, it is in their interest that her and her husband remain in power (everyone seems to know the reputation of the IB backing other candidates).  Also, it has never been stated in the books that the mines of Casterly have run dry.  We know from early in the series, GOT in fact, that the Crown owed a huge amount to Tywin.  It is conceivable that, in utter despair, poor Kevan had decided (probably behind Cersei's back) to forgive the debt and that he is probably even prepared to put some more money forward as long as the IB doesn't "foreclose" on them (as we would say today, whatever name they used in them days).  Cersei is too cocky to accept this but hey she was in a cell more likely when he decided (assuming he did) upon this course of action.  This could have well been a reason why Varys decided to get rid of Kevan.  Well, that and the fact that he was the most competent of the Lannister/Tyrell alliance after Tywin.

Now, where am I going with this?  The fact that I think extremely unlikely that the Lannisters & Co are able to settle the debt in full but that they come with a good incentive or some very sound collateral.  My guess is that they are putting forward a lot of capital, say 30, 50% of the debt of some such and proposing sensible, affordable repayments in installments for the rest or a good collateral (possibly the collateral provided by the Tyrells...).  I know I am basing this a lot on modern banking modus operandi but I just don't see early banking as being that different.  The IB of course knows in advance that they are recovering good coppers, if not the total, hence since they are highly influential in Braavos Swift & Co are getting treated like royalty.

There could be more to it though.  We know that the current SeaLord is not long for this world and that Tormo Fregar is the favourite candidate, but still an election of sorts (if I remember rightly) is involved.  Maybe not as fierce an election campaign as ours nowadays but fierce must be for sure.  Now, one faction or another (we haven't seen them yet and may never do if not too relevant) may have chosen to part-finance the Lannisters in exchange for their influence in the Braavos election.  Now how can the Lannisters/Tyrells influence the SeaLord election?  Not sure on that one, since surely the bank could have done it themselves but hey, maybe they are providing the IT with some money to please the bank so that the bank doesn't interfere too much, provided the IB doesn't have a huge interest in one particular candidate.  There are a lot of "ifs" here, I know, and we don't know who the parties are and what they stand for so guessing who backs people we don't even know is hard lol.

Now, if the IB gets an offer from the IT they cannot refuse, depending on whether they treat their own reputation in a similar fashion to the Golden Company (say, "we never break a contract") they are in a pickle because they have already offered Stannis their backing.  Okay, maybe not strictly true since they have only promised Stannis and Jon a loan, not necessarily backing.... but I think this was done not too discreetly to send a message to the IT.  Now the question is:  do they seem themselves committed by some sort of banking honour to Stannis?  Can they take the money from the IT and lend enough to Stannis to have a chance?  What is their code of conduct?

Several crackpot ideas have come to my mind but none of them make a huge deal of sense.

a)   If the IB feels bound to backing Stannis and feel they cannot pull out after that was sealed they could try to derail the IT's deal in a sneaky way and maybe that is where the FM come into.  But wouldn't it be simple to just say no, sorry too late...?  Again, surely banks hedge their bets and giving money to Stannis does not secure a victory... so keep them all sweet, then no need for derailment and possibly no associated mission for Arya.

b ) they are just lenders - they could say so what? we lent him money, we are lending you money, no big deal and no plot consequences for now.

c) Braavos was founded by former slaves.  There are rumours that they have dealt in slavery themselves though, still, surely they have heard of what is going on in Slavers Bay, shouldn't they be supporting Danny?

I am certain that these links will meet somewhere in the plot: i.e. the SeaLord election, Stannis and the IT loans and interests, possibly Danny, possibly Aegon...

My mind is spinning with this one.

I am certain though that the IB and the FM are very, very connected, not just because they deal with one another but much more fundamentally as "A World of Ice and Fire"  appears to suggest with the buildings alone.  Now Arya has in her possession a key that "doesn't belong to Mercy," and it doesn't seem to me to belong to Arya either.  Whether it was given to her or she stole it I couldn't say but that is important for sure.  My first thought is that she was on a  "mission" to derail the deal with the IT on behalf of the IB, to steal some paperwork mayhaps???  Also we don't know yet if the negotiations have taken place (IT and IB) or are about to but Braavos are welcoming these people so the deal is certainly not officially off.  Now stealing the "contract" may have been up to Mercy later on in the week or something.  We don't seem to have the timelime for that.

Still, I find it too coincidental that our novice FM finds herself in the middle of all these politics.  I really think she was on a job but not a killing one.  Many argue that she is too unpredictable and inexperienced to be trusted with something huge.  Although I agree, maybe they saw stuff in her, like she can warg etc, she is from Westeros that made them feel she was their best bet.

Now, every statement I have made is an assumption based more on what I consider logic than anything else and every premise contradicts another one lol.

Now, what do you guys think?  Could I be onto something on some of this?

e-cookies and Arbor Gold to anyone who tries to untie this knot ;)

 

Edited by Morgana Lannister

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10 hours ago, Morgana Lannister said:

cookies and Arbor Gold to anyone who tries to untie this knot ;)

Braavos knot. So, that is reason why sixth book isn't coming.

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3 hours ago, Kandrax said:

Braavos knot. So, that is reason why sixth book isn't coming.

:D well it certainly has got my head in knots; any ideas anyone?  Tinfoil welcome!

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No offense, but could you tell me where in the books that it says that the Casterly Rock gold mines have run dry? I know Tywin says that in the show and all, but I'm most of the way through a series re-read right now and I dont remember reading that or anything that suggests it to be true. I know Tywin is refusing to forgive or pay the crowns debts, but I don't think Tywin would do that out of principle.

Edited by Buddhakin

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3 hours ago, Buddhakin said:

No offense, but could you tell me where in the books that it says that the Casterly Rock gold mines have run dry? I know Tywin says that in the show and all, but I'm most of the way through a series re-read right now and I dont remember reading that or anything that suggests it to be true. I know Tywin is refusing to forgive or pay the crowns debts, but I don't think Tywin would do that out of principle.

Sorry, I said the same as you; i.e. that in the books (I omitted to say unlike the show in case this prevented the thread from being approved) there is no indication that the mines have gone dry, so I assume they are still producing gold.  

Personally, sure Tywin may not have forgiven the debts to him by the Crown but if he were alive now and knew what pickle they are in for defaulting like that I think he would cope up some money.  The alternative is the IB backing someone else, which I don't think for a moment he would contemplate.  I think he would have paid up at least part of the debt, just as I believe Kevan had ordered Swift to do.  I have no evidence for this as such, i.e. it is not mentioned.  My assumption is based on the fact that the IB would be unlikely to treat with them if they are offering nothing or next to nothing.  It could be that it is Mace who is forking out the coin though, or that is someone backing one of the Sea Lord candidates or a combination but I find it very unlikely that this Essos Emissary would be treated with such honours if he had merely come to Braavos to beg the IB.

No offence taken of course ;) and thanks for the contribution.

Edited by Morgana Lannister

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You make a very good point, although you think its equally as likely that Kevan (like Tywin) just doesn't want the crown to be dependant on the Lannisters, so Kevan only paid some of it off now with the hope that the crown could raise the rest of the funds if given more time? The crown naturally collects more incomes than the Westerlands (not counting gold mines) so as long as the crowns incomes are handled responsibly (as I'm sure Kevan and Tywin were arranging to have done) there should be no need for Casterly Rock to pay out everything. I think its equally possible and likely that Casterly Rock is broke and Tywins unrivaled management was the only thing keeping the illusion of their wealth in tact. It would make one hell of a shock for Cersei in TWOW to find out that she doesnt have the family resources she thinks she has.

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1 hour ago, Buddhakin said:

You make a very good point, although you think its equally as likely that Kevan (like Tywin) just doesn't want the crown to be dependant on the Lannisters, so Kevan only paid some of it off now with the hope that the crown could raise the rest of the funds if given more time? The crown naturally collects more incomes than the Westerlands (not counting gold mines) so as long as the crowns incomes are handled responsibly (as I'm sure Kevan and Tywin were arranging to have done) there should be no need for Casterly Rock to pay out everything. I think its equally possible and likely that Casterly Rock is broke and Tywins unrivaled management was the only thing keeping the illusion of their wealth in tact. It would make one hell of a shock for Cersei in TWOW to find out that she doesnt have the family resources she thinks she has.

There are really several possible scenarios regarding what the Crown can afford to pay right now, what later, whether someone else is helping etc but you really make excellent points.  The thing is that both Robert and Cersei managed the Crown's money extremely badly, even with whatever magic LF performed, whatever Tyrion could manage to straighten up and of course Tywin's input too.  The only thing I am certain of is that this Emissary does not come to Braavos empty-handed or he would have just be sent on his way period.

My question from here on, of course, is what is the position of the IB if the Crown makes a reasonable payment proposal and/or payment given that they already appear to be backing Stannis?  Could someone be playing at derailing this deal?  If so who, why and how? and ultimately, is Arya or the mummers doing so on behalf of the FM?

Keep the ideas coming guys! :)

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The IB simply wants to get paid.  The regime in Kings Landing is still the best bet for this.  Stannis is, I think, a Plan B and a pressure point on Cersei.  As to how they get paid, it is possible that the Lannisters have decided to cover the debt, at least for the time being.  It is also possible that the IB could get access to a guaranteed revenue stream, such as a customs house or mint.  ABviously, Swyft has to give them something.

What they do about Stannis I don't know.  They probably figure that he isn't going to be very successful, and they aren't actually fronting any money as far as I can tell (it's essentially a line of credit).  So if he falls on his face, they haven't lost much.  

As for Arya, I expect that GRRM is setting the stage for her eventual return to Westeros.  I have a nasty suspicion that the FM are just stringing her along until they can find an excuse  to wash her out, but still keep ties.  As a member of a prominent family in Westeros, she would be a useful contact. 

The fact is that her training has, from what I can see, been very haphazard and dilatory.  Not what I would expect if they are going to make her an assassin, which I think she would be very bad at (she still has too much of a conscience, hasn't lost her identity and asks too many questions).  I expect Jeyne Poole to play a part in her departure, but nmot sure exactly how.   Arya's story is one of the harder ones to figure out.   That's all I have for now. 

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11 hours ago, Morgana Lannister said:

My question from here on, of course, is what is the position of the IB if the Crown makes a reasonable payment proposal and/or payment given that they already appear to be backing Stannis?  Could someone be playing at derailing this deal?  If so who, why and how? and ultimately, is Arya or the mummers doing so on behalf of the FM?

Keep the ideas coming guys! :)

i think that the IB would tell them that if they hope to win the war than they better take out a bigger loan than Stannis did. They may tweak the interest rates in the spirit of good business, maybe. The IB makes money by lending it, after all.

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20 hours ago, Nevets said:

The IB simply wants to get paid.  The regime in Kings Landing is still the best bet for this.  Stannis is, I think, a Plan B and a pressure point on Cersei.  As to how they get paid, it is possible that the Lannisters have decided to cover the debt, at least for the time being.  It is also possible that the IB could get access to a guaranteed revenue stream, such as a customs house or mint.  ABviously, Swyft has to give them something.

What they do about Stannis I don't know.  They probably figure that he isn't going to be very successful, and they aren't actually fronting any money as far as I can tell (it's essentially a line of credit).  So if he falls on his face, they haven't lost much.  

As for Arya, I expect that GRRM is setting the stage for her eventual return to Westeros.  I have a nasty suspicion that the FM are just stringing her along until they can find an excuse  to wash her out, but still keep ties.  As a member of a prominent family in Westeros, she would be a useful contact. 

The fact is that her training has, from what I can see, been very haphazard and dilatory.  Not what I would expect if they are going to make her an assassin, which I think she would be very bad at (she still has too much of a conscience, hasn't lost her identity and asks too many questions).  I expect Jeyne Poole to play a part in her departure, but nmot sure exactly how.   Arya's story is one of the harder ones to figure out.   That's all I have for now. 

Yes, this makes sense too.  I also get the feeling that there is no way that Arya is going to stay with the FM much longer and that she will go back to Westeros in Winds, however I also get the impression that she has some role still to play in Braavos before hand.  I guess we will have to wait and see...  Yes, I think she is going to cross paths with Jeyne Poole at some point too, just no idea what the storyline is likely to be there.

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14 hours ago, Buddhakin said:

i think that the IB would tell them that if they hope to win the war than they better take out a bigger loan than Stannis did. They may tweak the interest rates in the spirit of good business, maybe. The IB makes money by lending it, after all.

It is in fact quite likely that they are happy to fund more than one contender for the IT.  Still, I am rather intrigued by why George has put Arya in the path of Swift and with the election of the Sea Lord in the background, as it were for only an opportunity for her to cross someone out of her list.  I mean, it may come down that that is all that chapter means but there seems to be so much build up that I am kind of convinced that somehow someone is trying to stop the IB from securing further funding.  Who could benefit, Stannis of course but I agree with other posters that he doesn't seem to have a huge chance of winning.  For one thing I think it is going to be hard to contract sellswords since the ones with the best reputations are already booked; i.e. the Golden Company and the Second Sons.  There are other companies of course but even if Stannis wins the battle of ice I think that Aegon is going to beat him to the IT.  Now, someone backing Aegon or Dany could have a vested interest in ruining the Lannisters' negotiation with the IB, I guess.  I would have no problem with such a scenario what it becomes harder to figure out is why the FM, if at all, would become involved since this would just be meddling in politics and not simply taking someone's prize for giving someone the "gift," although it is absolutely possible that I have got a number of things wrong here.

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Well during Kevan's PoV he was stated to be considering to use Lannister gold to pay off the Crown's debt. So the Iron Throne's debt isn't to the point where it's irrecoverable. I think the Iron Bank isn't bound by any sort of banking honor or anything, they're just hedging their bets. Thanks to Cersei's antics they're taking steps to make sure they get their money. Giving Stannis a loan under the condition that if he wins, he pays off the entirety of the Iron Throne's debt either way is one such safeguard. That doesn't mean they're going to cease treating with the Iron Throne or it's representatives, especially since Kevan and the Tyrells represent a step of sanity as opposed to Cersei.

Either way, I think Arya's involvement is just an opportunity the FM took to gauge if she'd do as instructed without exception, or if she still had ties to her past that she'd act upon. Sort of dangling a temptation in front of her.

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14 hours ago, Morgana Lannister said:

 I would have no problem with such a scenario what it becomes harder to figure out is why the FM, if at all, would become involved since this would just be meddling in politics and not simply taking someone's prize for giving someone the "gift," although it is absolutely possible that I have got a number of things wrong here.

We have a HUGE precedent for the FM doing more than fulfilling a mere contract. Jaquen Hagaar killed Pate, someone who there is a 90% chance of not having a contract on their head, who would pay to have a faceless man murder a loser like Pate? Secondly, once Jaquen took Pates face and his stolen Archmaesters key, he lingered for quite a while at the Citadel up until Sam showed up. Is Jaquen trying to exploit something at the Citadel to get access to Lord Leyton Hightower? Is he trying to get his hands on the blood-soaked time known as "fire and blood" that Tyrion reflected on being locked away in the Citadel so Jaquen can bring down dragons? (That one is more unlikely because when Jaquen first set out to Westeros, it had to have been while Ned was still Hand and the dragons didnt even exist yet so unless Jaquen received ordera after coming to Westeros, he is not after dragon killing info.) Was Jaquen waiting for Sam for some reason? Sone people even think that Jaquen is after Bloodraven and needed the glass candle to find him which is why hes lingering around Marwyn. Sorry to get carried away but the FM are either up to something bigger than a contract in this case, or at the very least, are obviously ok with murdering innocents (Pate) to clear a path to their target, which means that they could be manipulating Arya in training her for another purpose as a pawn in a scheme that is worth spending months training Arya the way Jaquen is spending months doing 'god knows what' at the Citadel. Magic and prophecy are coming back all around everybody and the Faceless men are playing a big game of some kind. I for one and very intrigued on how Braavos feels about the situation with Daenerys because on one hand, Braavos hates dragons, Tycho Nestoris (I know I probably spelled that wrong) wouldnt even jape about them, he had a very solemn attitude that is probably reflected in the other elite members of Braavos, if not the entire Braavosi population. But on the other hand, this palpable hatred for the dragons and dragonlords of Valyria that apparently hasn't diminished over the centuries stems from the dragonlords using their dragons to oppress and enslave so the fact that Dany has been using her dragons to FREE slaves, not make more. The Braavosi HAVE to respect that, between their fleet and the backing of the IB, Braavos could have hired the necessary men to deal with slavers bay themselves long before Daenerys came around so Dany has done more for slaves in a year than Braavos has done in centuries. Now one thing that is important to note that Braavos itself is not caught up in the war or the politics of Westeros, just the IB. But what if the FM do something that gets Braavos tied in? What if Arya does? And if the IB is aware of (which I bet they are) Aegon invasion and the fact that Dany will be coming west too? Will Tycho meet with Dany and disrespect dragons to her face? Or will he swallow his prejudice to do business? So many questions, all of,which lead to more like a hydra of uncertainty and speculation. Its fun to wonder though!

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14 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Well during Kevan's PoV he was stated to be considering to use Lannister gold to pay off the Crown's debt. So the Iron Throne's debt isn't to the point where it's irrecoverable. I think the Iron Bank isn't bound by any sort of banking honor or anything, they're just hedging their bets. Thanks to Cersei's antics they're taking steps to make sure they get their money. Giving Stannis a loan under the condition that if he wins, he pays off the entirety of the Iron Throne's debt either way is one such safeguard. That doesn't mean they're going to cease treating with the Iron Throne or it's representatives, especially since Kevan and the Tyrells represent a step of sanity as opposed to Cersei.

Either way, I think Arya's involvement is just an opportunity the FM took to gauge if she'd do as instructed without exception, or if she still had ties to her past that she'd act upon. Sort of dangling a temptation in front of her.

Thanks so much for the reminder  The first paragraph makes 100% sense to me.  As for Arya, yes, it does make sense too.  The only thing that is throwing me off path is the fact that she has a key with her that I would be surprised if it merely opens her apartment or something.  I have various possible theories for the key.  One is that it either opens the Hall of Faces (maybe her contingency plan to take another face if things went arse up), or a vault of the IB (both buildings appear connected according to "A World of Ice and Fire") or that is connected to the ones the important people in Braavos carry...

Keep the possibilities coming guys! :)

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5 hours ago, Buddhakin said:

We have a HUGE precedent for the FM doing more than fulfilling a mere contract. Jaquen Hagaar killed Pate, someone who there is a 90% chance of not having a contract on their head, who would pay to have a faceless man murder a loser like Pate? Secondly, once Jaquen took Pates face and his stolen Archmaesters key, he lingered for quite a while at the Citadel up until Sam showed up. Is Jaquen trying to exploit something at the Citadel to get access to Lord Leyton Hightower? Is he trying to get his hands on the blood-soaked time known as "fire and blood" that Tyrion reflected on being locked away in the Citadel so Jaquen can bring down dragons? (That one is more unlikely because when Jaquen first set out to Westeros, it had to have been while Ned was still Hand and the dragons didnt even exist yet so unless Jaquen received ordera after coming to Westeros, he is not after dragon killing info.) Was Jaquen waiting for Sam for some reason? Sone people even think that Jaquen is after Bloodraven and needed the glass candle to find him which is why hes lingering around Marwyn. Sorry to get carried away but the FM are either up to something bigger than a contract in this case, or at the very least, are obviously ok with murdering innocents (Pate) to clear a path to their target, which means that they could be manipulating Arya in training her for another purpose as a pawn in a scheme that is worth spending months training Arya the way Jaquen is spending months doing 'god knows what' at the Citadel. Magic and prophecy are coming back all around everybody and the Faceless men are playing a big game of some kind. I for one and very intrigued on how Braavos feels about the situation with Daenerys because on one hand, Braavos hates dragons, Tycho Nestoris (I know I probably spelled that wrong) wouldnt even jape about them, he had a very solemn attitude that is probably reflected in the other elite members of Braavos, if not the entire Braavosi population. But on the other hand, this palpable hatred for the dragons and dragonlords of Valyria that apparently hasn't diminished over the centuries stems from the dragonlords using their dragons to oppress and enslave so the fact that Dany has been using her dragons to FREE slaves, not make more. The Braavosi HAVE to respect that, between their fleet and the backing of the IB, Braavos could have hired the necessary men to deal with slavers bay themselves long before Daenerys came around so Dany has done more for slaves in a year than Braavos has done in centuries. Now one thing that is important to note that Braavos itself is not caught up in the war or the politics of Westeros, just the IB. But what if the FM do something that gets Braavos tied in? What if Arya does? And if the IB is aware of (which I bet they are) Aegon invasion and the fact that Dany will be coming west too? Will Tycho meet with Dany and disrespect dragons to her face? Or will he swallow his prejudice to do business? So many questions, all of,which lead to more like a hydra of uncertainty and speculation. Its fun to wonder though!

Excellent analysis and a lot of food for thought.  My instinct here is that yes there is something more here than just a simple contract killing and I get the feeling that Arya does know something about it but very little, the top of the iceberg perhaps...  Yes, I have been pondering about Jaquen in the Citadel and the black candles and about the FM position re Aegon but especially Dany.

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2 hours ago, Morgana Lannister said:

Thanks so much for the reminder  The first paragraph makes 100% sense to me.  As for Arya, yes, it does make sense too.  The only thing that is throwing me off path is the fact that she has a key with her that I would be surprised if it merely opens her apartment or something.  I have various possible theories for the key.  One is that it either opens the Hall of Faces (maybe her contingency plan to take another face if things went arse up), or a vault of the IB (both buildings appear connected according to "A World of Ice and Fire") or that is connected to the ones the important people in Braavos carry...

Keep the possibilities coming guys! :)

Possible theories about the key

1.  It opens a secret entrance to the House of Black & White.  This would be so that Arya doesn't have to use the front door.  We know that most of their agents enter using secret passages.

2.  It opens a vault at the House of Black & White.  I don't think it is the Hall of Faces.  I doubt that she would be trusted with it, or would know how to use it in any case.  I'm also skeptical of how many faces they would have that would be suitable for an 11 year-old girl.  But it's quite possible that there are other vaults.  

3.  It could be something like a safe-deposit key, opening a vault or box where she has something hidden.

4.  It could be a keyholder's key.  I don't know what she would be doing with one though.  There are enough around that I doubt it would have much value as a planted item, and I seriously doubt anybody has made her a keyholder.

Given that she describes it as a "treasure".. it is likely that it is something that belongs to her, at least for the time being.

8 hours ago, Buddhakin said:

We have a HUGE precedent for the FM doing more than fulfilling a mere contract. Jaquen Hagaar killed Pate, someone who there is a 90% chance of not having a contract on their head, who would pay to have a faceless man murder a loser like Pate? Secondly, once Jaquen took Pates face and his stolen Archmaesters key, he lingered for quite a while at the Citadel up until Sam showed up. Is Jaquen trying to exploit something at the Citadel to get access to Lord Leyton Hightower? Is he trying to get his hands on the blood-soaked time known as "fire and blood" that Tyrion reflected on being locked away in the Citadel so Jaquen can bring down dragons? (That one is more unlikely because when Jaquen first set out to Westeros, it had to have been while Ned was still Hand and the dragons didnt even exist yet so unless Jaquen received ordera after coming to Westeros, he is not after dragon killing info.) Was Jaquen waiting for Sam for some reason?

I don't have immediate access to a timetable (and wouldn't trust it if I did), but I think it is at least 2 to 3 months between leaving Harrenhal and killing Pate, sufficient time to return to Braavos, tell them about Arya and get new orders, and sail to Oldtown.   My guess is that he is there to learn all he can about dragons, both in preparation for Dany's likely arrival, and to see if there is anything they can do with Euron's egg.

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On 2/23/2018 at 10:55 PM, Nevets said:

Possible theories about the key

1.  It opens a secret entrance to the House of Black & White.  This would be so that Arya doesn't have to use the front door.  We know that most of their agents enter using secret passages.

2.  It opens a vault at the House of Black & White.  I don't think it is the Hall of Faces.  I doubt that she would be trusted with it, or would know how to use it in any case.  I'm also skeptical of how many faces they would have that would be suitable for an 11 year-old girl.  But it's quite possible that there are other vaults.  

3.  It could be something like a safe-deposit key, opening a vault or box where she has something hidden.

4.  It could be a keyholder's key.  I don't know what she would be doing with one though.  There are enough around that I doubt it would have much value as a planted item, and I seriously doubt anybody has made her a keyholder.

Given that she describes it as a "treasure".. it is likely that it is something that belongs to her, at least for the time being.

I don't have immediate access to a timetable (and wouldn't trust it if I did), but I think it is at least 2 to 3 months between leaving Harrenhal and killing Pate, sufficient time to return to Braavos, tell them about Arya and get new orders, and sail to Oldtown.   My guess is that he is there to learn all he can about dragons, both in preparation for Dany's likely arrival, and to see if there is anything they can do with Euron's egg.

There are so many possible variables here and the FM are so mysterious that it seems nearly impossible (for me at least) to come up with a single theory that is cohesive enough to tie various ends convincingly TBH.

1.  Yes, it could be just that and that would only show that she is now trusted enough to have a key to a side door so it wouldn't (with what we know) advance the plot very much if at all.

2.  One of my theories here is that she must have some incline that, given her personality, sooner or later she may need to make a quick escape from the Faceless and has already starting to formulate a plan B for that scenario.  The fact that describes the objects as "treasure" however does not, in my mind, indicate that those items belong to Arya or even to No-one.  She could have stolen one or more of them but of course we are missing a lot of background info here.  Yes, I agree it could open another hall in the House of B&W or even a vault in the bank itself.  In terms of how she has obtained this key, it's got to either have stolen it or it has been given to her for a specific mission.  Now, if she was on a mission prior to killing Raff the agent in that mission is Mercy.  It could be that George is trying to throw us off path in that this, at face value, appears to indicate that those items are not connected to Mercy's training or to any current mission.  Still, if she had been allowed to "borrow" those items or at least the key, they would still not belong to Mercy.

3.  Certainly she is not a heyholder, hell no.  You are right, there are new ones that anyone of community standing and enough wealth can have and they are symbolic and used for functions and stuff as a kind of status symbol.  However there are a small number from the original keyholders (funders I seem to recall of the IB - correct me if I am wrong here, haven't got the reference at hand).  There were only 23 of them and the do open vaults, so if this is a connection at all, I am very inclined to believe that this would be one of the original keys.

Now, of course we know that the IB and/or FM seems to be thinking re Stannis and the Lannisters but we haven't got a iota of a clue as to what they hope/fear re either Aegon or Dany, together or at odds and what they have in mind to do about them.  As things appear to stand, either of them (if Dany wasn't currently missing) seem to have a greater chance of gaining the IT that the other two parties.  And of course, there is Euron, the very wild car.  So wild in fact that I think noone (other than probably in the Citadel and his own family) have given the guy much of a thought (although I wagger a thousand dragons that the IB/FM know more about Euron than we do lol).  They seem contented to just kick him out of the lands he is pillaging etc, so so far is being treated as a pirate that is slightly over the top.  This of course links with your point about "Pate."  Yes, that egg has some significance, I wagger and I would double-wagger that the FM and IB know something about him, even something we readers probably don't lol.  I agree with you that Jaquen is likely to have given instructions after whatever is that he went to Westeros to do, so yes he is in the Citadel trying to learn about dragons, WWs, candles or all of the above, or even possibly to steal something...

I am probably really over-thinking all these but there are so many storylines going on around Braavos right now that I guess I am finding it hard to control myself lol

Edited by Morgana Lannister

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All I can add is that the Iron Bank has to stipulate that Cersei not be in charge of anything if a loan is to be approved. She's the reason the IB isn't approving any loans, after all.

They can do this, per the Golden Rule (The one with the gold makes the rules).

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On 2/26/2018 at 8:12 PM, Light a wight tonight said:

All I can add is that the Iron Bank has to stipulate that Cersei not be in charge of anything if a loan is to be approved. She's the reason the IB isn't approving any loans, after all.

They can do this, per the Golden Rule (The one with the gold makes the rules).

I can't argue with that.  If I represented the IB I would certainly stipulate that lol ;)

Edited by Morgana Lannister

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