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rotting sea cow

The Stark sucession crisis and Arya the unlikely

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56 minutes ago, zandru said:

Wow! I hadn't noticed that. It's an intriguing possibility, particularly if groom Ramsey and father in law Roose are dead, and can't testify that the woman Ramsey married was NOT "the real Arya."

Yeah, when you get the chance, go back and reread the chapter when Arya escapes Roose and maybe the chapter before and really look for the Arya Bolton/Jeyne Poole parallels. She puts on a Bolton cloak, rain runs down her nose (Jeyne loses her nose to frostbite)...lots of good stuff.

56 minutes ago, zandru said:

Makes sense. But we've never seen Arya longing to return to the Riverlands or wishing to see any of those other characters again. She wants to reunite with Jon at the Wall, and to go home to Winterfell. I think she wants this more than immediate vengeance, much less seeing Hot Pie's flour-dusted chubby face again. She's also never been to Riverrun and couldn't pick her Tully relatives out of a line-up. (And vice versa.) As for the Hound, forget it. She's thought of him just twice that we've seen, and never longingly. So that might not be a problem.

What a character wants doesn't figure much with me. They generally don't get what they want in this series and if they do, it's not what they expect. I'm thinking along these lines: Arya starts out wild, not belonging, feeling unseen. She sneaks around the Red Keep, she spies, gets mistaken for a peasant boy. Then she must be a peasant boy for her survival and takes several aliases. Then she moves up and those aliases become part of her FM training. Like in KL, she's learning to acquire secrets. It all flows and builds on itself. I didn't see Catelyn becoming anything like Stoneheart, but it flows seamlessly with her entire past. Likewise Jaime leaving the KG. His entire past was a build up for that. Characters go through big changes in this series, but they always flow with their past. I'd need too see a way for Arya as leader to flow with her past of having aliases, secrets and spying. Leaders must be available and need to be seen and that's a problem with aliases, faces, secret gathering. Right now, I just don't see how it could flow well.

 

56 minutes ago, zandru said:

I'm with you on Rickon's youth and inexperience, but Arya is being trained in politics, information gathering and assessment, effectively working with (and just plain "working", as in manipulating) people. Plus, even though Arya can be the badass, that is not the entirety of her character. We've often see her brood over whether to take violent action or do something smarter, and smart generally wins. Don't sell the girl short!

About the girl thing: that is less of a problem in the North, what with the Mormonts, the hill tribes, the Free Folk, and the massive die-off of men in general during the recent wars. I believe that North is where Arya will be heading, because of Jon and because of Winterfell. Sure, Nymeria is currently in the Riverlands. But now Arya realizes what her "wolf dreams" have been, and she may figure out how to summon Nymeria, instead of having to go searching around for her.

Mind you, all this is just possibility, and arguments against these events are quite credible, too.

There's different aspects of politics. Information gathering is part of it, but it's not learning to be a leader. The political analyst/Master of Whispers isn't the same as the candidate/Monarch but both are in politics. Sansa is also learning politics, but leadership isn't part of her training either beyond don't be like Joff/Cersei but Marg may be a better role model, but these aren't really much help. Bran's had a little leadership training standing in for Robb, but it's Jon who has the leadership arc. We saw this with Jeor who struggled to find a successor who could also lead. We saw Robb struggle to morph into a leader too. It's its own quality separate from politics and it's of the utmost importance in turbulent times.

I agree that badass isn't the sum of Arya's character and it's frustrating that she gets reduced to that. Unfortunately her tragic qualities get turned into "badassery". I get frustrated with the whole Fist pump! Badass! = Good leader. Just ugh. But it's used in this forum (and the real world) as qualification for being a good leader... :blink: I'm not sure on where the girl thing is going to land. Zombie apocalypses tend to change things unpredictably, but her age and inexperience is the big problem especially when there's a lot of conflict. In the Dance with the Dragons story, there was one family I can't recall which tossed aside a  younger true heir for someone down the rungs who had more experience and would be a better choice for war time.

 

Edited by Lollygag

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Interesting notion but I doubt it. She will be a Queen but during her second life as Nymeria.

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The issue of suitability is not directly relevant to the question. I don't know why Rickon's suitability would be considered. After all he is barely more than a toddler. The Manderlys, apart from being a prominent house in the North and therefore having the ambition to rule, Bolton rule would be unhealthy to them and so wish to rule through Rickon. 

Similarly LF told Sansa about the possibility of gaining Winterfell. Though I am convinced that LF does not give a crap about the North and the whole thing was a sales pitch to get Sansa aboard with his plans to pimp her to Harry, it still might come up, though even if only Darwin award candidates would consider landing an army in the North in winter. 

This is in addition to two already present factions that are vying for control of the North, Stannis as part of his bid for the Iron Throne and the Boltons as representatives of the current occupants. Considering that Aegon has already landed and we are expecting Dany eventually and that they will be looking for allies and that others will declare for them in hope of aid or out of ambition, it seems a safe bet that there will be more factions interested in controlling the North and not necessarily North men. 

Furthermore, the Manderlys ostensibly are looking for Rickon in order to declare for Stannis, while apart from a general intent to declare Sansa as the lady of Winterfell, nothing further has been stated. Such a declaration would mean of course a breach between the Vale and the Iron Throne.

We already have different factions, with different ideas, ambitions and allegiances shaping up to claim the North and the legacy of House Stark, which is consistent of course with the state of affairs in all Westeros. A certain amount of conflict is inevitable as well as the involvement of some if not all of the remaining Starks.

I personally consider it a given that the BwB and Lady Stoneheart are looking For Arya in order to crown her. She provides them legitimacy and an end game. It could provide the impetus for some of the River lords to join them and turn them from an outlaw band into a continuation of Robb's shortlived kingdom with a chance to reclaim the Riverlands from the Iron Throne. This wouldn't work in the climate as it were but with other claimants to the throne showing up and the throne itself on the verge of collapsing they could become a legitimate contestant for the Riverlands. 

As for Arya herself she is pragmatic, calculating, determined and charismatic. Her deepest desire is for a pack and the strength to protect it. Her characterization is entirely consistent with a leadership role. Though I doubt she would accept the role the BwB will want her to play without protest. 

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17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

Why would she involve herself with exactly the type of men she has grown disdain for throughout her travels? Why would 'they' consider pressing a claim on Winterfell?

Remember who rules the tBwB now.

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

Which northmen?

There are like a 1000 northmen still astray in the Riverlands, IIRC.

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

Why do the remnants of the BWB care about any of this?

See above

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

If they don't know who rules the North, isn't the assumption Boltons and Freys?

News of Stannis victory over the Boltons and Freys should spread quickly.

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

If not, why would she go against her siblings?

Ahhh...This is a better question, because I think it is the reason to set up this conflict, to show us that despite being separated from each other the Starks are still a family, a wolf pack, who work better together than alone. Not for nothing ADOS had the provisional title "A Time for Wolves".  So, IMHO, the conflict will happen, different factions will try to use the claimants for their own agendas, but in the end the wolves will show that they are one and they should decide.  Also, I think the conflict will be cut short by the fall of the Wall and in the end Sansa will be the Queen in the North.

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

 Why would they invade the North?

Invading is a strong word, is more like a come back.

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

When has any of this been foreshadowed apart from Ned telling her she will be a queen someday?

See the original post, they are elements in the whole plot that point to this direction (or not). Arya links to the Riverlands and tBwB, LS,  the location of Robb's crown, Robb's will messing up things, Gendry, Sandor, Nymeria

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

Why would Arya accept becoming a queen? 

If they crown her, why not?

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

Is Nymerias pack a political faction? 

Arya will certainly control Nymeria and Nymeria controls the pack.

17 hours ago, MostlyMoody said:

I'm sorry, I broke down a little bit there. I'm sure there are good, rational answers to all of this.

It is fine, they are many speculative things of course.

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19 hours ago, SirArthur said:

There is no conflict. The problem is that we talk about different things. Robb's Will was about King Robb declaring for a successor. This has to be accepted in all parts of his realm, including the Riverlands, so Jon is not the answer. Arya is the logical choice as a half Tully and not Lannister. However the situation was not clear, as the reports about Rickon and Bran were unclear and Arya is missing. However,

Bran has a title, he is prince of Winterfell, meaning he is the crown prince. The Will is only neccessary if Bran is dead. And I expect this as a clause in the document. 

Now Jon and his claim for Winterfell is a different thing. 

The problem I see is that some of the northmen will choose to abide to the Will (including Jon's legitimization) for different reason, from mere convenience to that some of the contents include things related to the organization of the Realm (just speculating) so, you cannot easily separate things. However, other lords may claim as you say that the will was issued based on false premises and therefore invalid.

Just to repeat myself,  Bran under normal circumstances is clearly the heir, however 1) he is unavailable 2) he is a cripple. Also do not forget that Stannis should have a say on all of this and he may prefer Jon over the other claimants, specially if they are seeing as puppets from particular factions. 

Anyway, I think it is the reason to set up this conflict, to show us that despite being separated from each other the Starks are still a family, a wolf pack, who work better together than alone. Not for nothing ADOS had the provisional title "A Time for Wolves".  So, IMHO, the conflict will happen, different factions will try to use the claimants for their own agendas, but in the end the wolves will show that they are one and they should decide.  Also, I think the conflict will be cut short by the fall of the Wall and in the end Sansa will be the Queen in the North.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

Just to repeat myself,  Bran under normal circumstances is clearly the heir, however 1) he is unavailable 2) he is a cripple. Also do not forget that Stannis should have a say on all of this and he may prefer Jon over the other claimants, specially if they are seeing as puppets from particular factions. 

1) Stannis preferes Jon as heir to Winterfell, not as heir for Robb's Kingdom. As I said in the second sentence you quoted, we are talking about different things. At this point Bran is a Viserys type of character. He is a prince of a (maybe) fallen kingdom. No other titles have been granted by Robb, as far as I am aware. 

2) Doran Martell literally is a crippled Lord. 

Edited by SirArthur

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18 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

To the OP

Robb's will is powerless to determine who gets winterfell. 

I strongly disagree. Robb's memory is a strong motivator both for the Stark siblings and for the northmen.  However, as I said, some of the lords will choose to honor the will, whilst others will claim it was issued based on false premises, therefore moot. I think the discussion of the Will, will be part of the conflict.

18 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Are you suggesting the north should rebel again? 

The north is still in rebellion. A big part of the northern forces are marching against the appointed warden of the North (Roose Bolton), supporting a rebel (Stannis). Unless, you are suggestion they will rebel against Stannis (a possibility), the IT is nearly powerless to prevent a renew Northern independence.

18 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

That could be very bad for them when the white walkers come down for an extended vacation. 

It is a problem, but I don't think that anyone will take the report seriously at first. No one (except Stannis) took the reports of wildings marching in force. And given the other problems in Westeros (devastation in the Riverlands, Euron trashing the Reach, Aegon and Daenerys), there will be little help from the South anyway.

18 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Arya is not suited to lead.  She's a lone wolf.  She doesn't want peace.  She wants revenge.  That cannot possibly lead to anything good for the north. 

I think your reading of Arya is a bit harsh after all she has experience. I'm sure Arya will have very dark moments, Sansa too, as well as Bran or even Jon. But her arc needs to come back from these feelings once she is reunited with her siblings. And we have this:

"Then, so faintly, it seemed as if she heard her father's voice. "When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives," he said.

"But there is no pack," she whispered to the weirwood. Bran and Rickon were dead, the Lannisters had Sansa, Jon had gone to the Wall. "I'm not even me now, I'm Nan."

"You are Arya of Winterfell, daughter of the north. You told me you could be strong. You have the wolf blood in you." - Arya X, ACOK

Anyway, I don't think that Arya will be Queen in the North at the end. I think it will be Sansa.

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1 minute ago, SirArthur said:

1) Stannis preferes Jon as heir to Winterfell, not as heir for Robb's Kingdom. As I said in the second sentence you quoted, we are talking about different things. At this point Bran is a Viserys type of character. He is a prince of a (maybe) fallen kingdom. No other titles have been granted by Robb, as far as I am aware. 

Oh yeah, I think you touch another point of conflict. Stannis won't accept any King or Queen in the North. He may even accept Rickon as Lord of Winterfell but not as King.

 

1 minute ago, SirArthur said:

2) Doran Martell literally is a crippled Lord. 

And what do his subjects think of him? Northmen may be even harsher

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17 hours ago, Chris Mormont said:

I do not think there will be a succession crisis.  A "crisis" would only occur if all the Stark kids come back and make claims to Winterfell.  Sansa and Arya would defer to Bran's claim, cripple or not, Rickon is the youngest, so by all laws Bran's claim comes first.  Jon is the only wild card and I think the wording of Robb's will would impact how it is interpreted.  If he indicated that based on the fact that Bran and Rickon are dead he appoints Jon as his heir, then Bran and Rickon's existence would negate that appointment.  If it is silent on why he is appointing Jon, then it can theoretically trump the natural order of succession. 

Your are describing a conflict actually. Bran is the heir, but unavailable and the lords anyway wouldn't want a cripple. Rickon will be a pawn of White Harbor. Jon's claim is based on Robb's will, but some will dispute its validity. Sansa will be probably manipulated by Littlefinger and Arya won't like that and may have other reasons too. Etc.

 

 

17 hours ago, Chris Mormont said:

But the real reason there will not be a crisis is because Ned raised these kids, and I can't see Jon trying to usurp his siblings.

to quote myself

20 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

I think it is the reason to set up this conflict, to show us that despite being separated from each other the Starks are still a family, a wolf pack, who work better together than alone. Not for nothing ADOS had the provisional title "A Time for Wolves".  So, IMHO, the conflict will happen, different factions will try to use the claimants for their own agendas, but in the end the wolves will show that they are one and they should decide.  Also, I think the conflict will be cut short by the fall of the Wall and in the end Sansa will be the Queen in the North.

 

 

 

 

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Another potential complication is the revelation of Jeyne Poole being an impostor. This would cast doubt on the veracity of any reports of the Starks potentially remerging, particularly Bran and Rickon who are largely believed to be dead. 

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On 9/19/2018 at 8:13 PM, zandru said:

Thanks! I forgot that. Nonetheless, it's the North where Arya might find the most support. If any Riverlands lords came down on her side, it might be her uncle Blackfish - assuming he knew she existed and decided to "recognize" her. Or ... Lady Stoneheart.

We know Catelyn never really cared for Arya, in spite of the mandatory parental "love".  Yet there's the fact she and the Brotherhood without Beric are searching for her. But will Stoneheart remember Catelyn's generalized disappointment and dismissal of Arya, or will she recognize a fellow vengeance seeker?

This is a very interesting topic.. and i am soo into all the theories and possibilities. 

Though this sentence nagged me a bit. I don’t know what passage in the book gave the impression that catelyn is indifferent to arya,but let me state that is not the case. AT ALL. 

Catelyn loves her kids. All her kids. Not because she has too,but much more than the obligatory love. She might have wished arya to be more lady like and arya was a trial for her most of the times but that doesn’t necessarily stop her from loving her child. I swear if arya had med with cat before the red wedding im pretty sure cat wouldnt have descended into madness. She broke down and went crazy only because she thought she had lost all her children.

I read somewhere here about a theory that only arya can redeem LSH and i 100% believe in that. If LSH somehow recognizes and realizes arya is still alive,its going to be explosive. 

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On 11/4/2018 at 10:27 AM, lavthelonewolf said:

This is a very interesting topic.. and i am soo into all the theories and possibilities. 

Though this sentence nagged me a bit. I don’t know what passage in the book gave the impression that catelyn is indifferent to arya,but let me state that is not the case. AT ALL. 

Catelyn loves her kids. All her kids. Not because she has too,but much more than the obligatory love. She might have wished arya to be more lady like and arya was a trial for her most of the times but that doesn’t necessarily stop her from loving her child. I swear if arya had med with cat before the red wedding im pretty sure cat wouldnt have descended into madness. She broke down and went crazy only because she thought she had lost all her children.

I read somewhere here about a theory that only arya can redeem LSH and i 100% believe in that. If LSH somehow recognizes and realizes arya is still alive,its going to be explosive. 

Lady Stoneheart knows for a fact that Arya was alive and into the Riverlands at least as far as when she was last in the BwB's custody. And is looking for her. The BwB were asking Merret Frey about the Hound and Arya when they caught him.

There is no question at least as far as that goes. 

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41 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

Lady Stoneheart knows for a fact that Arya was alive and into the Riverlands at least as far as when she was last in the BwB's custody. And is looking for her. The BwB were asking Merret Frey about the Hound and Arya when they caught him.

There is no question at least as far as that goes. 

Yes they were but i meant when she actually meets Arya. 

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External circumstances can still be written in any way, and all expectations for support would have arguments for and against them. But to consider their own ideas first, there is Rickon and neither Arya nor Jon would accept it over him, not when they can offer to become his reagents in case it becomes strictly necessary.

 

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I disagree with everyone that there is no way it would happen. I do agree that it is not going to happen because it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

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On 9/19/2018 at 9:57 AM, The hairy bear said:

We can all construct "potential" scenarios where our favorite character comes up a Lord of Winterfell. But the fact remains that it's extremely unlikely that the North accepts a woman as their leader. Or someone who is eleven. Or someone who has living elder siblings. Or someone who has been missing for some years and received training by a cult of murderers.

SO THIS.

Remember the guy who looks like the spitting image of Ned, has a better idea of how the North works and the threat it faces, has battle training, has leadership experience, is called "valiant, loyal, resourceful" by a 1000 year old wise man, is male, and most importantly, gets an OK from Robb to take his seat?

I know Jon has been dead for 2039802398 years but it's getting really tiring. He's getting the Gandalf the Grey resurrection twist, so he can be morally questionable but a good king and GRRM can make his points about ruling and resurrection at the same time. The king foreshadowing is going somewhere, his first stop is the North. 

I can't see Stannis hanging around influencing any of the succession stuff either. Ned, Cat, Robb were killed so that the Starks could learn to stand on their own feet. No one likes him, the North only follows him for Ned's little girl anyway, he got all of his good ideas from Jon, and he's forcing people to convert to a fire religion of which he's not only the One True king, but the One True Savior.

Terrible combo of character traits for a future in this series. He'll get the axe soon.

 

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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