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Sly Wren

GRRM Already Told Us the Tower of Joy Backstory: Wrong Joy, No Hiding, and Fight Elsewhere.

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On 9/10/2018 at 4:21 AM, Sly Wren said:

Yes--Rhaegar giving the roses without knowing what's up--am wondering if it even is hinted at by Loras' giving the rose to Sansa. It means nothing to him--at all. Sansa misinterprets.

That said--what do you make of why Brandon reacts as he does?

Ok, my brain's officially fried now I've read the whole thread in one go... :blink:

... but this bit about the tourney roses stuck out. I never thought before that Rhaegar may have been less than deliberate in his choice. Loras certainly meant nothing by it when he gave Sansa her rose... so how should we read Rhaegar? Especially when you throw in the OTHER white castle in Westeros - Highgarden...

And I still have problems with Brandon's reaction. I mean is it really an insult to crown someone the Queen of Love and Beauty? What's the possibility that Rhaegar's choice of recipient was meant to be a signal (for instance to his fellow anti-Aerys conspirators?) :dunno:

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13 hours ago, Nevets said:

Huh?  Not sure what you mean about Mance and Jon.  As for Arya, she wound up with the BwB purely by accident, unlike Lyanna, who Rhaegar appears to have taken deliberately.

By Mance and Jon: Jon's a Stark Maid (according to Ygritte) and despite pretending to go along after capture, he's a hostage. Mance is using Jon, but Jon was never Mance's mission/plan/purpose.

On Arya--exactly. And we are told Rhaegar took Lyanna deliberately, but never told or shown how it went down. At all.

Instead, we're shown Stolen Stark Maids who end up with captors by accident--worked into existing plans. Stealing the Stark Maid was never the point--so, did Rhaegar intentionally take Lyanna, or did he end up with her and decide to use her? Like Mance and the brotherhood. The novels haven't told us--but given what Martin keeps showing us, seems like we should be willing to question whether Rhaegar deliberately took Lyanna.

13 hours ago, Nevets said:

As for Sansa, I think she is at the core of Baelish's plans.  It is clear that he was obsessed with Catelyn.  It appears that he has transferred that obsession to her look-alike daughter.  While he has no immediate plans for wedding and bedding her, I firmly believe that that is his end goal with her.  He also regards her as his protégé, in addition to future lover/wife.

Agree that he's using her--but his plan (whatever the end game is) started clear back with killing Jon Arryn and framing the Lannisters. Sansa was never the original plan. No way he intended to steal her from the start. He ended up with her--and decided to use her.

13 hours ago, Nevets said:

It is worth noting that Sansa is no longer at the Eyrie.  She is instead at the Bloody Gate, one of the main entrances to the Vale.  Hmmm.  Kind of like Prince's Pass (where the Tower of Joy is located) is an entrance to Dorne.

Might I suggest a rescue of a Stark maiden by a sibling accompanied by 6 companions.  

Yup--my tower premises rest on all this being "echoes" not perfect parallels. And I'm liking the catch on the entrance to the Vale. Prince's Pass is much wider, but yes--an interesting parallel. Though the castles at the Gates of the Moon seem very unlikely to be tear-downable by Ned--unless he's the hulk. And Sansa's still not holed up--she's hiding in plan sight under an alias. As Arya does for a big chunk of her time.

Though I personally think Sansa will be doing the "rescuing"--hearing that "Arya" is in trouble, using her influence on Sweetrobin to take the Vale knights north. But that's a crackpot for another thread.

13 hours ago, Nevets said:

Note:  I do not actually believe that any of this will necessarily happen, but I think it more likely and makes more sense than anything I've seen here.:D

All fair. :cheers:

13 hours ago, Nevets said:

So, what is it?  And, by the way, who are Jon's parents, anyway?

Whoops! I thought I'd written that here.

I think their mission is to protect Rhaegar's impending third child--he clearly wanted one.

But I think he got one via Ashara--that, at the time of the fight, she's pregnant with Dany.

And I think Jon's parents are Lyanna and Arthur.

13 hours ago, Nevets said:

Except, they damn near won, so it clearly wasn't hopeless.  Four or five others, and they could have easily wiped Ned and his friends out, and barely broken a sweat. 

Oh--no. I didn't mean Ned's force of 6 companions made it hopeless. Ned had a whole army. Had gotten a bunch of surrenders with that army. The KG have nothing close to that.

No--they meet the smaller force to talk--as Dunk does with the Widow. My guess is that Ned may have thought he was accepting a surrender, but the KG either had other ideas all along or changed their minds later--they start the fight when Arthur dons his helm and draws first.

No--the KG are sunk if they mean to fight off Ned and his Army. Let alone if Robert came with the rest of his forces. That fight is hopeless.

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5 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Have you looked to the older legends as far as Baelish's actions? Bride Stealing, Tourneys, etc.

I hadn't--I was more looking for the specific marker of the Stolen Stark Maid, since we've been given 5 of them, and three are Lyanna's nieces or nephew.

But you've got me intrigued--will need to go through this in detail tomorrow when I have more time--very interesting.

5 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Garth the green God on Earth                                                          

Garth Gardener            Maris = Uthor Hightower   Bloody Brandon   Durran God’s Grief     Grey King?

                            (Bloodstone Emperor before, during this time. Huzhor Amai and Azor Ahai also?)

And this looks amazing--but will take me some time to get through.

And I'm all for looking at alternative time lines.

Well done.

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5 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

Ok, my brain's officially fried now I've read the whole thread in one go... :blink:

Never a wise move--take a rest, ser!

5 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

And I still have problems with Brandon's reaction. I mean is it really an insult to crown someone the Queen of Love and Beauty? What's the possibility that Rhaegar's choice of recipient was meant to be a signal (for instance to his fellow anti-Aerys conspirators?) :dunno:

Someone on another thread was asking about when the Bael Tale happened--and I started wondering why Jon doesn't know it.

Jon makes quite a point that he knows all of the famous and infamous Brandons--but not this tale. 

  • Kinda like Bran doesn't know about the Knight of the Laughing Tree. 
  • And Cat doesn't know exactly how Brandon died until Jaime told her.
  • And Ned silenced Winterfell when he heard they were gossiping about Ashara.

Did Ned quash the Bael tale, too? ETA: He, Brandon, and Lyanna knew it well, but Ned quashed it so his own kids don't know it?

That might explain why Brandon and Ned are so furious--that rose has really specific meaning. And why the World Book writer is baffled as to their fury.

Which could mean Rhaegar did know the tale and intended the insult--there's an argument to be made Rhaegar got Barristan to throw their fight so Rhaegar had a better chance of winning.

Or could mean he didn't know and stumbled headfirst into a massive cultural faux pas. 

And would explain why Jon knows Winterfell history really well--but not the Bael Tale.

Edited by Sly Wren
Clarifications

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God that was a painfully long read and my brain is fried. But there is a lot of good info in there. I always thought ?+L=J was painfully obvious in the first book and seemed a little ... too obvious. 

I will have to ponder on this theory for a while, but awesome job with this. Really well thought out.

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17 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

I hadn't--I was more looking for the specific marker of the Stolen Stark Maid, since we've been given 5 of them, and three are Lyanna's nieces or nephew.

But you've got me intrigued--will need to go through this in detail tomorrow when I have more time--very interesting.

And this looks amazing--but will take me some time to get through.

And I'm all for looking at alternative time lines.

Well done.

As far as the time line, it's structured off the Quote about the kings serwyn served. So i started with them and who they interacted with, adding in a few logical ones like Garth Green, Garth I, Garth II etc. And from Twoiaf listing the Iron born activities in order from the IronBorn section. It's rough cause the bulk of my notes are on computer haha but it's pretty easy to follow if you look it up

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14 minutes ago, Sly Wren said:

That might explain why Brandon and Ned are so furious--that rose has really specific meaning. And why the World Book writer is baffled as to their fury.

Interesting take on that - any other flowers would have been seen as just 'any old' Queen of Love and Beauty award, but the blue roses would be an especially salacious 'come-on'... or worse.

It's quite possible Lyanna herself didn't know the whole Bael story, and as we might posit she and Rhaegar may have conversed and let slip that she liked blue roses (which I believe is established?) so both parties could have been entirely innocent of the way in which the Stark men may interpret the gesture.... which would be a little Martinesque.

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1 hour ago, Sly Wren said:

Agree that he's using her--but his plan (whatever the end game is) started clear back with killing Jon Arryn and framing the Lannisters. Sansa was never the original plan. No way he intended to steal her from the start. He ended up with her--and decided to use her.

I'm not sure that the bolded is a particularly strong point. The beginning part, absolutely. Littlefinger had never clapped eyes on Sansa until she arrived in Kings Landing with her father.

However, it's really unlikely that Sansa ended up in his captivity by serendipity. Littlefinger had to do a fairly significant amount of maneuvering over a fairly significant amount of time to accomplish that: suborn Ser Dontos, get the hairnet to her (probably before he had any inkling of the Tyrell's plans for her since Sansa receives the hairnet about the same time the Tyrells arrive in Kings Landing [Sansa VIII, ACOK]), find out about Olenna Tyrell's plans, blab to Tywin, and be complicit in her marriage to Tyrion so she safely remains in Kings Landing until he's ready to grab her.

It could be easily argued that Littlefinger's participation in the murder of Joffrey was done for the express purpose of getting his hands on Sansa.

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4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Agree that he's using her--but his plan (whatever the end game is) started clear back with killing Jon Arryn and framing the Lannisters. Sansa was never the original plan. No way he intended to steal her from the start. He ended up with her--and decided to use her.

Sansa has been a part of his plan since at least her saving of Dontos, and most likely since Ned's execution.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if his manipulations of Ned during the succession crisis leading to his arrest were done in part to remove an obstacle to his interest in Sansa.

In any event, he has doing a great deal of planning and plotting with regards to her.  She is definitely not an accidental or even incidental part of his plans, but an essential aspect of them at this point - and I think probably the most important one.

4 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Oh--no. I didn't mean Ned's force of 6 companions made it hopeless. Ned had a whole army. Had gotten a bunch of surrenders with that army. The KG have nothing close to that.

Ned had a whole army that he appears to have left at Storms End.  Which is many hundreds of miles from the Tower of Joy.  After the surrender of the besiegers, the war was over.  And judging from the dream, Ned seems quite surprised to see the KG there, and even more surprised they were insistent on fighting.

 

I am quite troubled by the fact you have cited minimal text describing the events or characters in question in support of this theory.  It all seems to be derived from the alleged symbolism of the echoes and parallels.  All good, but I need actual character-based or event-based evidence before I take a theory seriously.  And I haven't seen any.

ETA - By the way, I haven't read "The Sworn Sword" nor plan to.  Therefore, any references to it go right past me and have no real meaning.

Edited by Nevets

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20 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

As for Lyanna as the knightly protector--the big obstacle I see is Ned's saying Rickard didn't let Lyanna have a sword. Brienne, Maege, the Sand Snakes, Asha Greyjoy, Arya--female fighters in Martinlandia get a lot of training. We're specifically told Lyanna didn't get sword training. Her protective tendencies are clear--but without training. . . . unless Rickard changed him mind after Ned left for the Vale and Ned just never knew about it, seems unlikely she could be an effective sworn sword. . . 

As for lending the sword Dawn--if Lyanna did have training, she's still not presented as particularly tall and Dawn is a greatsword. Plus, Martin's said flat out that Dawn is only bestowed on members of House Dayne by the family. . . really seems like they keep to that. . . so far.

But the idea of a relationship between Ashara and Lyanna--really seems like that's an option. And I like the idea of Ashara as fighter/warrior. Could be very interesting.

But one of Bran's visions through the Winterfell heart tree seemed to be Lyanna and Benjen practicing sword fighting. We know that the Stark children played in the Winterfell crypt and that there were lots of swords there. Or she may have made a wooden blade out of a stick, as Arya did.

That thought about using Dawn was just off the cuff. I didn't realize it was a greatsword. If she was a woman warrior-figure, she probably had a different weapon.

20 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Ilyn Payne kills Ned with Ice. There's even talk that he should be given Ice, though he's given the gaudy sword instead. Whereas Ned and Howland kill Arthur--possibly with Arthur's own sword. But Ned takes the sword home. The Paynes in this case would be a  . . . .wrong-acting version of the Starks and the Daynes. 

I went back for a look at The Sworn Sword today because of the parallel you cited with the ruined tower. The diverted waterway in that story reminded me of the whole Reynes of Castamere story and that reminded me that Reyne also rhymes with Dayne and Payne. So the echoes continue . . . If I ever get around to pursuing them.

On 9/10/2018 at 1:04 PM, Seams said:

You also looped Arya and the Brotherhood Without Banners into your analysis of the mysterious, dream-recollection that seemed to refer to the Tower of Joy. Of course, I love this as further support for a possible Brienne parallel. Before he started dying and resurrecting, Ser Beric Dondarrion was betrothed to a Dayne. He is revived by Thoros of Myr. He finally gives Catelyn his last breath and she revives as Lady Stoneheart, taking command of the Brotherhood Without Banners. (Making the transition from mother to warrior, in a sense.) But we also see Thoros revive Brienne: after she narrowly survives the attack by Rorge and Biter at the inn at the crossroads, she finally starts to feel better and has the best food she has ever tasted (according to her) when Thoros feeds her. THEN, of course, they take her to Lady Stoneheart and the rest of the BWB, who hang Brienne, Podrick Payne and Ser Hyle Hunt. Pretty complicated, but I feel like there is a parallel or echo here, although clearly not an exact one-to-one parallel between your analysis of the Hound / BWB confrontation and the Ned / Kingsguard conflict.

 

20 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Interesting--especially the revival. But I'm not sure I'm following you on what this potential echo might be telling us--any chance you'd be willing to explain a bit further?

Oh, yes--I've been wondering what to do with the Kingswood Brotherhood's attack on Elia for a while. 

My current crackpot pet theory is that it was an attempt to get rid of Elia so Tywin could marry Cersei to Rhaegar--though the two brotherhoods do have strong echoes of each other, the Smiling Knight and Beric, the Lightning Lord/Scarecrow, are very different men. The attack on Elia seems completely insane--unless they thought they had a backer--not unlike the Brave Companions with Tywin. Or even the Freys with Tywin.

Well I clearly had too many neurons firing in rapid succession as I wrote that post. Coherence would have been helpful for readers but also for me now as I try to figure out what I was thinking.

Your comparison was The Hound compared to Ned as the Usurper's Dog and the Arthur Dayne / Oswell Whent / Gerold Hightower members of the Kingsguard compared to the Brotherhood without Banners. I find that comparison intriguing and your logic persuasive.

By contrast, when Brienne confronts the Brotherhood without Banners, the group is under new management - Beric has been swapped out for Lady Stoneheart (who might also be identified as Mrs. Usurper's Dog), Lem Lemoncloak is wearing the Hound's helmet. So the confrontation might be an echo of that same pattern you saw repeated from the Tower of Joy conflict except the Brotherhood without Banners has switched sides - they are no longer so focused on loyalty to King Robert but are now pursuing the agenda of Lady Stoneheart. The mission given to the BwB by Hand of the King Ned Stark is not necessarily incompatible with Stoneheart's goal of revenge for the Red Wedding, but the nasty vengeance and blood feud with Jaime Lannister does not seem like part of their original mission.

If my notion is correct that GRRM wants us to compare Ashara Dayne and Brienne, the confrontation of Brienne with the BwB feels as if it fits with the Ned / Arthur / Tower of Joy scenario as well as the Hound / BwB echo that you cited. But the teams seem to have changed - the BwB is attacking Brienne (Rainbow Guard) and wants her to kill Jaime (Kingsguard).

I wonder whether the variation in this echo is that the incidents you cited show the Stark maid as peripheral to the main goal of the group. With this iteration, maybe GRRM is showing us what happens if the Stark female (Catelyn) does become central to the group that really should be focused on defending a king or carrying out his orders. As with Arya crossing paths with the BwB and Sansa going to The Fingers with Baelish, there are other larger plots in motion and the Stark female (I can't call Catelyn a maid) initially just happens to become caught up in the larger situation. The BwB wasn't involved in the Red Wedding and just happened to come across Catelyn's body on the riverbank. But she then takes over and their mission changes along with her new, central role.

I think that's why I wrote that the one-to-one parallel doesn't work with this Brienne / BwB encounter, but many elements are shared.

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There's also something I've noticed while reading this thread:

There are many Rhaegar characters for different Stark Maids: Baelish - Sansa. Beric/Brotherhood without Banners - Arya. Sandor - Arya. Ygritte - Jon. Mance - Jon.

All of these "Rhaegars" happened upon their Stark Maid by accident, but decided to keep them hidden in plain sight under an alias and use them for their own gain. All of these "Rhaegars", with the exception of Baelish, died, either literally or metaphorically, after the Stark Maid ran away:

Beric died for the last time when he breathed life into Catelyn, which was after Arya ran away. The BWB is now different from when it was under Beric; under Beric it was about bringing the king's justice to those who harmed others, but under Lady Stoneheart it is about personal (albeit mostly Lady Stoneheart's) revenge, making the BWB metaphorically dead as they now do the exact opposite of what they set out to do (similar to the Night's Watch and Kingsguard, two once honourable and noble orders, but now corrupt and dishonourable).

After Arya ran away from Sandor, he died because of his wounds, however there is a possibility that he is still alive, but the brutal Sandor that we know no longer exists, making him metaphorically dead, but maybe he is actually dead.

Ygritte was killed after Jon ran away, actually dead.

Mance was taken and "killed" by Stannis and Melisandre, but was given a different identity, which would make him metaphorically dead, but he may now be actually dead because of Ramsay.

Not only did these "Rhaegars" die after their Stark Maid ran away, but the Stark Maids took on new identities/roles after they ran away; Arya went from a bunch of different aliases, but now she is training to become a Faceless Man, and Jon went from being a steward of the Lord Commander to a wildling to the Lord Commander himself.

The Stark Maids also learned quite a few things about their captors and began to become sympathetic towards them.

All of these "Rhaegars" lost their lives after their Stark Maid ran away from them. Did maybe Lyanna successfully run away from Rhaegar and his Kingsguard, but take on a new identity? Did she also become sympathetic towards her captor/s?

Can we learn anything from this? Baelish is still alive, but Sansa is still around him and learning from him. Will she maybe run away and take on a new identity?

Anything of this that can be used?

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13 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

I hadn't--I was more looking for the specific marker of the Stolen Stark Maid, since we've been given 5 of them, and three are Lyanna's nieces or nephew.

But you've got me intrigued--will need to go through this in detail tomorrow when I have more time--very interesting.

And this looks amazing--but will take me some time to get through.

And I'm all for looking at alternative time lines.

Well done.

If we keep to the main books and exclude the TWOIAF legends as just filler. That still leaves us the story of Durran God's Grief, bride stealing from the "God's", who may have just been the Valyrians. 

It's said the Valyrians had visited Westeros as a trading stop, but Barth speculates they met some catastrophe in Westeros that caused them to shun it.

Daenerys is also a stolen Maid, Stark or not. (Willem Darry stole Daenerys) What's more is her accounts with Drogo, sound similar to that of Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa and i argue else where that Azor was stabbing Nissa with metaphorical sword, and birthing dragons. (Though the legend also sounds like an Other dying).

Could the old legends have to do with a Valyrian daughter being stolen and used to either create dragons or the Others?

Quote

On the road from Yunkai, Daario had brought her a flower or a sprig of some plant every evening when he made his report . . . to help her learn the land, he said.

 

Edited by AlaskanSandman

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14 hours ago, Sly Wren said:

Oh--no. I didn't mean Ned's force of 6 companions made it hopeless. Ned had a whole army. Had gotten a bunch of surrenders with that army. The KG have nothing close to that.

No--they meet the smaller force to talk--as Dunk does with the Widow. My guess is that Ned may have thought he was accepting a surrender, but the KG either had other ideas all along or changed their minds later--they start the fight when Arthur dons his helm and draws first.

I don't think they want to talk, the KG wants to stand their ground and die with swords in their hand. It's a death fight.

"I looked for you on the Trident," Ned said to them.

"We were not there," Ser Gerold answered.

Gerold thinks he and the two Rhaegar buddies have been searched for since the Trident. Then we have our dialogue where Ned looked for them. And it is concluded by 

 "The Kingsguard does not flee."

"Then or now," said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.

The then is about the locations before. They would have fought at the Trident, they would have fought in KL, they would have fought at Storm's End, they could not go with Viserys because he fled. The Kingsguard does not flee. They have to stay in this land to fight. Even when all is lost. 

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On September 12, 2018 at 12:39 PM, btfu806 said:

God that was a painfully long read and my brain is fried. But there is a lot of good info in there. I always thought ?+L=J was painfully obvious in the first book and seemed a little ... too obvious. 

I will have to ponder on this theory for a while, but awesome job with this. Really well thought out.

1. Sorry for the length--I was afraid if I didn't include evidence, no one would be willing to go down this rabbit hole with me.

Very sorry about you're fried brains--but I hear those go great with cheese. Like an omelet.

2. :cheers:

On September 12, 2018 at 3:11 PM, Moiraine Sedai said:

If Rhaegar and Ashara had a child, the child will still be a bastard.  If Rhaegar had a child with Lyanna, the child is a bastard.

Yup.

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't spell.

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On September 12, 2018 at 12:55 PM, Rufus Snow said:

It's quite possible Lyanna herself didn't know the whole Bael story, and as we might posit she and Rhaegar may have conversed and let slip that she liked blue roses (which I believe is established?) so both parties could have been entirely innocent of the way in which the Stark men may interpret the gesture.... which would be a little Martinesque.

Maybe--but if Brandon and Ned knew it, can't see how Lyanna wouldn't have known. If she's like Arya, she paid attention. And The Bael Tale likely would have had far fewer painful connotations for the Starks at this time.

And since the Maesters who wrote the World Book know the Bael Tale, seems like there's at least a chance Rhaegar the scholar had come across it. Though it's not guaranteed. So, I could see Rhaegar not knowing that he was seriously insulting the Starks. . . .

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On September 12, 2018 at 2:11 PM, The Ned's Little Girl said:

However, it's really unlikely that Sansa ended up in his captivity by serendipity. Littlefinger had to do a fairly significant amount of maneuvering over a fairly significant amount of time to accomplish that:

Agreed--of all the people who end up with Stark Maids in the current stay, Baelish is the most. . . Bael-ish. Actively wants a Stark maid--once he finds on he can get.

On September 12, 2018 at 2:11 PM, The Ned's Little Girl said:

It could be easily argued that Littlefinger's participation in the murder of Joffrey was done for the express purpose of getting his hands on Sansa.

 

23 hours ago, Nevets said:

Sansa has been a part of his plan since at least her saving of Dontos, and most likely since Ned's execution.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if his manipulations of Ned during the succession crisis leading to his arrest were done in part to remove an obstacle to his interest in Sansa.

In any event, he has doing a great deal of planning and plotting with regards to her.  She is definitely not an accidental or even incidental part of his plans, but an essential aspect of them at this point - and I think probably the most important one.

But if this were so, why not take her and flee? If Sansa has become his main focus, sticking around Westeros and continuing his plan for domination seems odd considering how much money he seems to have. 

No--I think his plan for Westerosi domination is still his focus--though Sansa has become a BIG distraction. For my money, I think Baelish's choice to pursue/take Sansa is likely to be his downfall.

He's put a LOT of effort into killing and helping to kill/disrupt the major power players of Westeros--and it has gone really well for him, right from the start with Jon Arryn's murder. He's gotten his revenge on the Starks, on Arryn, proved himself as dominant as anyone--I think that was the original plan. And is still the main plan.

But Sansa knows this (though she's in serious denial). Once Sansa figures out how to use what she knows--Bael-ish's domination will likely get squished.

23 hours ago, Nevets said:

Ned had a whole army that he appears to have left at Storms End.  Which is many hundreds of miles from the Tower of Joy.  After the surrender of the besiegers, the war was over.  And judging from the dream, Ned seems quite surprised to see the KG there, and even more surprised they were insistent on fighting.

1. Right--he left the army behind. Why? We see why Dunk and the Widow do it. But also see it in the Novels Proper with Renly and Stannis, for instance: a parlay. Sizing each other up. Sometimes towards peace, sometimes towards a fight. 

And the war isn't over for Ned and Robert without Lyanna's return. And it's clearly not over for the KG. Maybe they lied to get Ned to come to a parlay. Maybe they changed their minds. Maybe something else--but Ned could have brought a much larger force if he feared a fight. He didn't. Could be he was just stupid. But could also be he thought this wouldn't be a fight.

2. Could be Ned was surprised--but it also sounds like he's taunting them--not surprised at all that they are at the tower for the meeting, just surprised/taunting that they skipped out on the big fights.

But the KG do start the fight--one of the reasons why I think Ned came expecting a parlay/surrender, not a fight. And thus left his larger force behind. 

Quote

I am quite troubled by the fact you have cited minimal text describing the events or characters in question in support of this theory.  It all seems to be derived from the alleged symbolism of the echoes and parallels.  All good, but I need actual character-based or event-based evidence before I take a theory seriously.  And I haven't seen any.

Fair enough--though Martin gave us five Stolen Stark Maids in his novels, with three in the current generation all closely tied to Lyanna. And he gives us the images surrounding Lyanna: tower, 3 KG, roses, "promise me, Ned"--and repeats them at key moments.

Seems like looking at when he repeats them and the context of those repeats is worth considering.

And we can't get much character-based evidence on Lyanna when everyone who knew her is dead or missing--symbolism/echoes is pretty much Martin's only way to give us info.

Quote

ETA - By the way, I haven't read "The Sworn Sword" nor plan to.  Therefore, any references to it go right past me and have no real meaning.

Don't blame you. Dunk's character is interesting, but the novellas have nothing on the novels.

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't spell.

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20 hours ago, Seams said:

But one of Bran's visions through the Winterfell heart tree seemed to be Lyanna and Benjen practicing sword fighting. We know that the Stark children played in the Winterfell crypt and that there were lots of swords there. Or she may have made a wooden blade out of a stick, as Arya did.

Very possible--but, would that inspire confidence for her to be a sworn sword? And again--the specific training: even with excellent training by Syrio, Arya still has a ways to go to be really dangerous to other trained fighters. If Lyanna's just doing her best to pick it up--seems like choosing her as a sworn sword might not be wise. . . 

20 hours ago, Seams said:

I went back for a look at The Sworn Sword today because of the parallel you cited with the ruined tower. The diverted waterway in that story reminded me of the whole Reynes of Castamere story and that reminded me that Reyne also rhymes with Dayne and Payne. So the echoes continue . . . If I ever get around to pursuing them.

Interesting--hadn't even thought in that direction. Nice!

On the bolded--sounds as if you, like me, might have a list of rabbit holes/threads to follow if you ever get granted infinite time.

20 hours ago, Seams said:

By contrast, when Brienne confronts the Brotherhood without Banners, the group is under new management - Beric has been swapped out for Lady Stoneheart (who might also be identified as Mrs. Usurper's Dog), Lem Lemoncloak is wearing the Hound's helmet. So the confrontation might be an echo of that same pattern you saw repeated from the Tower of Joy conflict except the Brotherhood without Banners has switched sides - they are no longer so focused on loyalty to King Robert but are now pursuing the agenda of Lady Stoneheart. The mission given to the BwB by Hand of the King Ned Stark is not necessarily incompatible with Stoneheart's goal of revenge for the Red Wedding, but the nasty vengeance and blood feud with Jaime Lannister does not seem like part of their original mission.

NICE! I'm liking the implications for this.

20 hours ago, Seams said:

If my notion is correct that GRRM wants us to compare Ashara Dayne and Brienne, the confrontation of Brienne with the BwB feels as if it fits with the Ned / Arthur / Tower of Joy scenario as well as the Hound / BwB echo that you cited. But the teams seem to have changed - the BwB is attacking Brienne (Rainbow Guard) and wants her to kill Jaime (Kingsguard).

I wonder whether the variation in this echo is that the incidents you cited show the Stark maid as peripheral to the main goal of the group. With this iteration, maybe GRRM is showing us what happens if the Stark female (Catelyn) does become central to the group that really should be focused on defending a king or carrying out his orders.

Echoes of the Night's Queen, perhaps? Falling under her thrall and away from the original purpose of the Night's Watch? Or the "brotherhood?"

20 hours ago, Seams said:

As with Arya crossing paths with the BwB and Sansa going to The Fingers with Baelish, there are other larger plots in motion and the Stark female (I can't call Catelyn a maid) initially just happens to become caught up in the larger situation. The BwB wasn't involved in the Red Wedding and just happened to come across Catelyn's body on the riverbank. But she then takes over and their mission changes along with her new, central role.

I'm liking this--as I said above, it puts me in mind of the Night's Queen. And makes me even more likely to believe Sansa will bring down Baelish.

Am now wondering if Arya will end up being as "disruptive" to the Faceless Men as Stoneheart has been to the brotherhood.

And, though she's not a Stark Maid, Brienne has disrupted Jaime's idea of his own brotherhood and his role in it. . . will she bring that current farce down, too? Interesting threads you are pulling here.

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21 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

There's also something I've noticed while reading this thread:

There are many Rhaegar characters for different Stark Maids: Baelish - Sansa. Beric/Brotherhood without Banners - Arya. Sandor - Arya. Ygritte - Jon. Mance - Jon.

All of these "Rhaegars" happened upon their Stark Maid by accident, but decided to keep them hidden in plain sight under an alias and use them for their own gain. All of these "Rhaegars", with the exception of Baelish, died, either literally or metaphorically, after the Stark Maid ran away:

Very true--though the OCD portion of my brain has to take a bit of exception: can't see Ygritte as the Rhaegar figure. That's Mance (red cloak, rebel leader, Bael fanboy, singer). Ygritte is a warrior follower of the Rhaegar figure--perhaps closer to his KG.

Beric is harder for me--that scene with the Hound; the brotherhood following the King's orders despite his death--really seems like they are the KG, too. 

But I'm right with you on the rest.

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Not only did these "Rhaegars" die after their Stark Maid ran away, but the Stark Maids took on new identities/roles after they ran away; Arya went from a bunch of different aliases, but now she is training to become a Faceless Man, and Jon went from being a steward of the Lord Commander to a wildling to the Lord Commander himself.

The Stark Maids also learned quite a few things about their captors and began to become sympathetic towards them.

All of these "Rhaegars" lost their lives after their Stark Maid ran away from them. Did maybe Lyanna successfully run away from Rhaegar and his Kingsguard, but take on a new identity? Did she also become sympathetic towards her captor/s?

Interesting. . . I do think Lyanna took on a new role with her child. But did she run away? Are you thinking the KG found her again? Or that her bed of blood is unrelated to her time with Rhaegar and the KG? Something else?

I've been thinking that the Stark Maids leave the figures because A: they are just echoes of Lyanna's time with the figures, not exactly, full plot parallels. And B: because the Stark Maids also have their own stories to follow, so the echoes can only take up so much of their plots.

I like your potential pattern of "take a Stark maid, screw up your cause." Though Beric seems to be struggling long before this (resurrections suck); and Mance is still alive.

But I do think Baelish's Sansa fettish is liable to get him killed. ETA: and one could argue Jon helped to undermine Mance by being in his inner circle.

And I wonder if Cat could count enough as a Stark in how Beric gives himself up to her. . . . thought that seems like a stretch.

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Can we learn anything from this? Baelish is still alive, but Sansa is still around him and learning from him. Will she maybe run away and take on a new identity?

Or reclaim her actual identity when she takes him down? She already has a new one--needs to get back to her old one, maybe.

Not unlike Jon's reclaiming his role as a sworn brother. Or Arya with Needle. Maybe.

Quote

Anything of this that can be used?

The above is my best first shot--anything else you are seeing that I didn't?

Edited by Sly Wren
I can't spell.

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13 hours ago, SirArthur said:

I don't think they want to talk, the KG wants to stand their ground and die with swords in their hand. It's a death fight.

"I looked for you on the Trident," Ned said to them.

"We were not there," Ser Gerold answered.

Gerold thinks he and the two Rhaegar buddies have been searched for since the Trident. Then we have our dialogue where Ned looked for them. And it is concluded by 

 "The Kingsguard does not flee."

"Then or now," said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm.

The then is about the locations before. They would have fought at the Trident, they would have fought in KL, they would have fought at Storm's End, they could not go with Viserys because he fled. The Kingsguard does not flee. They have to stay in this land to fight. Even when all is lost. 

Agreed--but they may have agreed to the parlay regardless, explaining Ned's few men. As 3 KG, they stood a far better chance against Ned's small contingency than against his army. 

Renly and Stannis had no intention of giving into each other, but still went to the parlay. 

No doubt about it--the KG are there to fight, not surrender or talk terms. And they, not Ned, start the fight.

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