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Mance Rayder's background story?

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2 hours ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

It's not hearsay, no-one questions the established story that he was raised at the Wall. Unless you think Denys Mallister and Quorin Halfhand are in on it too?

There is part of me that thinks that if the supposed son of Rhaegar Targaryen can be masqueraded as the son of Ned Stark and never know his true identity thus far, is it really that far fetched to think that Ned and the survivors of the ToJ could be involved in some equally elaborate conspiracy to hide the identities of Arthur Dayen, Gerold Hightower and Oswell Whent using the NW- if they survived that is.

 

I remember so much emphasis was placed on Jon Snows skill with a sword and it does seem odd that Mance is such a bad ass swordsman - how did he get that good just with wildlings?

6 hours ago, kleevedge said:

Mance did ask to use a 2handed greatsword when he fought Jon, glamoured as rattleshirt, Dawn was a 2handed greatsword. He literally whooped the shit out of Jon effortlessly and bested the Magnar of Thenn 3 times, proving himself one of the most capable fighters in the north. Tormund reminds me a lot of the white bull, and also seems to have a lot of knowledge from south of the wall as well. Maybe the fight didn't go down as we think it did.

I suppose I want it to be true. LOL.

I want the ToJ Kingsguard to be alive. Such awesome characters.

Arthur Dayne - "Now it begins" - could this mean the beginning of TPTWP prophecy?

Ned responds with "now it ends" - could he have meant this is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it?

Rhaegar was all about the prophecy - could this all have been endgame prep?

I just went major tinfoil but I love this idea no matter how far fetched it is. 

 

The ideas presented here really captivate me. I encourage everyone to read - interesting and entertaining if nothing else. 

 

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1 hour ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

There is part of me that thinks that if the supposed son of Rhaegar Targaryen can be masqueraded as the son of Ned Stark and never know his true identity thus far, is it really that far fetched to think that Ned and the survivors of the ToJ could be involved in some equally elaborate conspiracy to hide the identities of Arthur Dayen, Gerold Hightower and Oswell Whent using the NW- if they survived that is.

It's a much more far fetched story. One is a secret held by at most a few people. Another’s an elaborate conspiracy with no rhyme or reason behind it.

1 hour ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I remember so much emphasis was placed on Jon Snows skill with a sword and it does seem odd that Mance is such a bad ass swordsman - how did he get that good just with wildlings?

It wasn't just the Wildlings, he was raised in Castle Black and was a leading ranger.

 

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4 hours ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

It's not hearsay, no-one questions the established story that he was raised at the Wall. Unless you think Denys Mallister and Quorin Halfhand are in on it too?

Qhorin is more of a mystery than Mance.  As far as I know, there is not one bit of background on him as far as where he came from or what, if any sort of surname he had before losing half of his hand well after he was an established ranger.  

The shadow cat story has always come across as allegorical to me, but that is just my interpretation.  It is certainly possible it is the literal truth.

Mallister has the type of bio that is believable, so I do agree, if there is more to Mance's story, he would certainly know about it, as he was the ST commander for a good portion of Mance's life--although at 33 years, if Mance is 45ish as I suspect, then Mallister was conveniently not in command when the orphan was found.

Jon/Sam missed an opportunity to query Mallister while he was a Castle Black--unless they did, and nothing was said worth noting.  Or he's senile enough to not remember.

Anyway, I have just enough doubt about Rayder and Qhorin to fuel seeds of suspicion, but not enough evidence to fertilize the fuel of certitude.

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1 minute ago, Asshai Backward said:

Qhorin is more of a mystery than Mance.  As far as I know, there is not one bit of background on him as far as where he came from or what, if any sort of surname he had before losing half of his hand well after he was an established ranger.

Lack of backstory doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a mystery about him. If there were any doubt about his real identity there would be some indication in the text. There’s none. He is Quorin, end of.

5 minutes ago, Asshai Backward said:

if Mance is 45ish as I suspect, then Mallister was conveniently not in command when the orphan was found.

I don't know why that's "convenient" really. The point is making up a story about finding a baby Beyond the Wall, then raising him at Shadow Tower, wouldn’t be sustainable as hundreds of Black Brothers would have to be a part of it.

7 minutes ago, Asshai Backward said:

Jon/Sam missed an opportunity to query Mallister while he was a Castle Black--unless they did, and nothing was said worth noting.  

Why would Jon or Sam question Mallister about Mance at all? Neither of them frequent this forum, so wouldn’t have come across any theories about Mance having a hidden identity. The story of Mance is well-known and accepted by everyone in the Nights Watch. No-one has ever challenged the “official” version of events.

9 minutes ago, Asshai Backward said:

Or he's senile enough to not remember.

He's perfectly lucid. I don't know where you get the idea he's senile.

 

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2 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

There is part of me that thinks that if the supposed son of Rhaegar Targaryen can be masqueraded as the son of Ned Stark and never know his true identity thus far, is it really that far fetched to think that Ned and the survivors of the ToJ could be involved in some equally elaborate conspiracy to hide the identities of Arthur Dayen, Gerold Hightower and Oswell Whent using the NW- if they survived that is.

 

I remember so much emphasis was placed on Jon Snows skill with a sword and it does seem odd that Mance is such a bad ass swordsman - how did he get that good just with wildlings?

I suppose I want it to be true. LOL.

I want the ToJ Kingsguard to be alive. Such awesome characters.

Arthur Dayne - "Now it begins" - could this mean the beginning of TPTWP prophecy?

Ned responds with "now it ends" - could he have meant this is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it?

Rhaegar was all about the prophecy - could this all have been endgame prep?

I just went major tinfoil but I love this idea no matter how far fetched it is. 

 

The ideas presented here really captivate me. I encourage everyone to read - interesting and entertaining if nothing else. 

 

There's a reason to hide Jon's true identity and have everyone think he's just Ned's bastard. Having any of the 3 KG still alive and being known as Wildlings or NW members, just doesn't add anything to the overall story imo. 

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59 minutes ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

It's a much more far fetched story. One is a secret held by at most a few people. Another’s an elaborate conspiracy with no rhyme or reason behind it.

It wasn't just the Wildlings, he was raised in Castle Black and was a leading ranger.

 

The rhyme and the reason would be preparation for the PTWP etc., pre-directed by Rhaegar. If you can imagine for a moment that is was true, there would be no more than a few people who knew would there?

Aren't leading Rangers usually from a noble house? Waymar, Benjen etc.

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8 minutes ago, Daemon The Black Dragon said:

There's a reason to hide Jon's true identity and have everyone think he's just Ned's bastard. Having any of the 3 KG still alive and being known as Wildlings or NW members, just doesn't add anything to the overall story imo. 

To me it would add an extra layer of depth if we come to learn that Rhaegar orchestrated all this, the uniting of the wildlings so the NK will have fewer potential wights. Everything Hos the Hostage laid out.

 

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8 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

If you can imagine for a moment that is was true, there would be no more than a few people who knew would there?

There would be hundreds that knew. If just after Robert's Rebellion someone turned up at the Wall, and told them that he had actually been raised there, the whole of the Shadow Tower would have to go along with it. Why? Plus, there are several officers at the Wall who would have known Rhaegar, having recently been forced to take the black, arriving at the same time.

The lie is just too ludicrous. It would make more sense just to turn up in disguise as some peasant or whatever and say you want to take the black. Even then I doubt that everyone who knew Rhaegar on the Wall would just not recognise him or never come across him.

The backstory "Rhaegar" made up is needlessly elaborate and too easily debunked.

 

Edited by Shouldve Taken The Black

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1 minute ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

To me it would add an extra layer of depth if we come to learn that Rhaegar orchestrated all this, the uniting of the wildlings so the NK will have fewer potential wights. Everything Hos the Hostage laid out.

I'm afraid you liking the idea doesn't make it correct :-(

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Has anyone mentioned recently that we need the next book?

Because we do.

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2 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Hear, hear!

 

Captain Obvious at your command, Sir!

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17 hours ago, Mon ami said:

His skill set is breaking regulations.  He's a song and dance man.  Those skills he can use to pass off as Abel the bard.  The wall is not hard to leave from.  Mance only need to make sure he got back in time before he was missed.  He was probably sleeping with the girls all over the north while he was supposed to be scouting on the other side.  

He is sure to have bastards on both sides of the wall.  AND ONE AT THE WALL, ACCORDING TO MANY FANS.    ;)

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51 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

At this point, I'm more inclined to believe that Mance is one of Craster's son than this stuff about him being one of the KG t the ToJ. There are people on the Wall who would recognize them.

and I bet one-time Targ-loyalist Alliser Thorne would be one of them.

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5 minutes ago, Rufus Snow said:

and I bet one-time Targ-loyalist Alliser Thorne would be one of them.

And Ulmer of the Kingswood. Arthur broke the Kingswood Brotherhood. Ulmer put an arrow through Gerold Hightower's hand (according to him at least). That's two people at Castle Black already.

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11 hours ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Lack of backstory doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a mystery about him. If there were any doubt about his real identity there would be some indication in the text. There’s none. He is Quorin, end of.

I don't know why that's "convenient" really. The point is making up a story about finding a baby Beyond the Wall, then raising him at Shadow Tower, wouldn’t be sustainable as hundreds of Black Brothers would have to be a part of it.

Why would Jon or Sam question Mallister about Mance at all? Neither of them frequent this forum, so wouldn’t have come across any theories about Mance having a hidden identity. The story of Mance is well-known and accepted by everyone in the Nights Watch. No-one has ever challenged the “official” version of events.

He's perfectly lucid. I don't know where you get the idea he's senile.

 

--Lack of backstory for Qhorin is a mystery, to me.  In a book series in which family lineage and history is so important as to necessitate a companion book of reference, as well as novellas that further flesh out historical characters, Q's lack of any backstory beyond a fight with some wildlings one time where he lost half a hand stands out like a sore thumb--or severed finger.  Most, if not all leaders of the NW have recognizable surnames, backstories, or both.  Even minor ranger characters get more development than Qhorin does.  But, if you and others aren't curious, no big whoop.  Its a big book.  It really not have much bearing on the story in the end, but it has always piqued my critical thinking bone.  I'd read a novella about the adventures of a young Q and The Mance.

--Since hundreds of black brothers must be aware of Mance's orphan upbringing at the wall, why not one account?  Maybe Donal Noye referencing some story of Lil' Mance making a wall of building blocks and toppling it with a stick giant.  This is the kind of rich tapestry that GRRM weaves.

--To learn more about the man, his motivations, the motivations of the wildlings, and the impending invasion of the Others.  What, specifically, was in Mance's character to make him go from freewheeling skirt chaser to the self-ordained savior of the wildlings?  Skirt chasing Mance would've/could've hightailed it for Braavos and life would have been a lot easier.

--Was tongue in cheek speculation.

Anyway, I'm not a dyed in the wool Mance-Is-Anybody But Who The Book Claims, but I feel this has always been an interesting gray area to speculate on, although these types of threads almost always get filled up with absolutists.

 

 

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