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Rose of Red Lake

The Pact of Ice and Fire

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1 hour ago, Maia said:

Actually, Lonnel is an argument for Alys's early death, IMHO. We now know that it is highly unusual for the Starks to aknowledge their bastards. In the 300 years covered by WoIaF and FaB, there were only 3, it seems. And even in the unlikely event that Sara existed, she wasn't one of those, since otherwise there would have been no question about her. From elsewhere it is pretty evident that bastards much more often get aknowledged by fathers who aren't married when they do it, so it is fairly likely that Brandon was widowed ditto. 

Nor do I see why he has to be important just because he is male. Or why we need a repetition of the relationships already present in the novels. A lot of things came together to make Cat's relationship with Jon as fraught as it was and conversely, if some of them had been different, it may have been better. Depending on Lonny's age, appearance, personality, etc. he may not have appeared as the kind of compettion to his trueborn brothers that Jon did. Also, in something billed as "She-wolves of Winterfell", it would be incongrous if it was the one man who hogged the limelight...

You provided no actual argument for Alys early death. Unless Martin provides any new info it is reasonable that there still are going to be five widows of Lords Starks. And all Dunk and Egg novels are centered around Dunk anyway and She-Wolves of Winterfell seems to be working title since previous books were named after Dunk's role in the novel. 

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It is not clear that the she-wolves are all going to be widows. The family tree also depicts sisters, daughters, etc., some of which might live at Winterfell, too, either as maidens, widows who returned back home, or who live their with their husbands and children.

Genna Lannister and Emmon Frey also lived at Casterly Rock rather than the Twins. Some husbands of Stark daughters might have resided at Winterfell. It is a large castle.

It is clear that the widows are likely going to have the greatest claim to a regency in the name of an incapacitated/dying/minor Lord of Winterfell, but this doesn't mean that other (female) members of the family won't try to seize power.

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4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It is not clear that the she-wolves are all going to be widows. The family tree also depicts sisters, daughters, etc., some of which might live at Winterfell, too, either as maidens, widows who returned back home, or who live their with their husbands and children.

Genna Lannister and Emmon Frey also lived at Casterly Rock rather than the Twins. Some husbands of Stark daughters might have resided at Winterfell. It is a large castle.

It is clear that the widows are likely going to have the greatest claim to a regency in the name of an incapacitated/dying/minor Lord of Winterfell, but this doesn't mean that other (female) members of the family won't try to seize power.

Martin can of course change things, but our last info about the novel from him stated that the novels will be about "a group of formidable Stark wives, widows, mothers and grandmothers." 

https://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1409/

https://grrm.livejournal.com/365715.html

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9 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

Martin can of course change things, but our last info about the novel from him stated that the novels will be about "a group of formidable Stark wives, widows, mothers and grandmothers." 

https://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1409/

https://grrm.livejournal.com/365715.html

This is more or less what I said. I doubt that some ten-year-olds are going to play great roles, but the family tree lists, for instance:

- Beron Stark's sister Arsa - likely old enough to be a mother in the story

- Beron's aunt Lyanna Stark

- the four daughters of Cregan and Black Aly, with the younger possibly being still around in very old age, or possibly their children

- then there are Sansa and Serena and their daughters (and sons)

But overall it seems rather weird to actually assume George would actually accurately reflect the relations and marriage status of the women involved in that as of yet unwritten/unfinished story in a throwaway line of what it was about. We have no reason to believe such lines were made to enable us to accurately guess at the protagonists of this story on the basis of a family which was published much later. Especially since the creation of the family tree could actually also have influenced the contents of the story.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

But overall it seems rather weird to actually assume George would actually accurately reflect the relations and marriage status of the women involved in that as of yet unwritten/unfinished story in a throwaway line of what it was about. We have no reason to believe such lines were made to enable us to accurately guess at the protagonists of this story on the basis of a family which was published much later. Especially since the creation of the family tree could actually also have influenced the contents of the story.

Unfortunately this is the only info we have besides the family tree. Given that this novel was supposed to be written after Winds of Winters, it probably will never be finished.

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Posted (edited)

I've been thinking about this more. I'd argue the Pact wasn't fulfilled with Rhaegar and Lyanna. They did the opposite of what was intended by this pact; it divided the kingdoms. The only way this Pact can be fulfilled in the future is if Jon accepts Robb's legitimization and marries Dany with Northern support AND retains it after R+L=J is revealed; if Sansa is free to marry Jon with Northern support; or Bran marries Dany with Northern support.

Why I don't think Jon will accept Robb's legitimization: 

- He's not Daemon Blackfyre

- He's not going to usurp his siblings' rights to WF

- He would look like the biggest hypocrite in the story if he rejected Stannis' offer and took Robb's

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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7 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Why I don't think Jon will accept Robb's legitimization (...).

There is nothing there to accept. You are talking about the last will of a self-proclaimed king, not an offer. If Robb's will legitimized 'Jon Stark' and named him his heir then Jon Snow is now Jon Stark and Robb Stark's heir - at least for the people who give a damn about Robb Stark's last will.

Jon could, of course, refuse to go by the name 'Stark' - just as Brynden Rivers apparently never called himself 'Targaryen' - and he could also reject Winterfell and/or the North but his personal opinion on things might not matter. People wanting to call him 'Stark' or 'King Jon' could still do so, just as they could bent the knee, kiss his feet, and hail him as their king and savior.

And as the example of Addam and Alyn Velaryon show, legitimized male children can come in birth order - Laenor Velaryon's sons Addam and Alyn came before Laenor's son Joffrey Velaryon who was younger - meaning that Brandon and Rickon's claims are (or can be seen as) weaker as those of a 'Jon Stark', trueborn son of Lord Eddard Stark.

The claims of Sansa would pale in comparison to 'Jon Stark' in any case. People might accept it if Jon insisted that Rickon Stark rule the North before him, but both the cripple and the girls could not possibly hope to be seen as better/more legitimate claimants than a Jon Stark. The North isn't a place where the rule of cripples and women is accepted, meaning that Jon being already a man grown is also giving him the advantage over Rickon - who is most likely going to be reintroduced into the series as a savage child completely unprepared and unsuited to even serve as a good Stark figurehead, much less a pretender who could slowly be groomed into a person who could eventually rule in his own right.

In that sense - if Howland Reed allows Robb's will to influence the grand policy in the North then 'Jon Stark' will be a thing, whether he wants it or not. And that's not going to help unite House Stark. Not while Rickon, Arya, and Sansa are still out there. Bran is not likely to ever care about political nonsense.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is nothing there to accept. You are talking about the last will of a self-proclaimed king, not an offer. If Robb's will legitimized 'Jon Stark' and named him his heir then Jon Snow is now Jon Stark and Robb Stark's heir - at least for the people who give a damn about Robb Stark's last will.

Well, Jon doesn't follow the book when Stark siblings take precedent. He still thought Winterfell belonged to Sansa even if she's married to Tyrion Lannister, so that's Jon deferring to her as Lady of Winterfell. He knows her marriage was a shameless power-grab that he rejects. 

It would be hilarious if he issued his own decree to make himself a bastard again once the siblings show up. Whose going to slap his hand away if he signs his official documents "Jon Snow?" I think it would be badass if he kept his identity, like Cersei tearing up the royal decree. It should be torn up anyway because Bran and Rickon are alive and Robb wouldn't have legitimized Jon if he'd known that. 

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10 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Well, Jon doesn't follow the book when Stark siblings take precedent. He still thought Winterfell belonged to Sansa even if she's married to Tyrion Lannister, so that's Jon deferring to her as Lady of Winterfell. He knows her marriage was a shameless power-grab that he rejects. 

Jon has no clue that Robb discarded and disinherited his two sisters in his last will. Presumably, at least. We don't know what that will actually contained. What we do know is that it was a lonely decision of king who discarded advice and counsel. He didn't ask his lords for his opinion, he just commanded them to add their seals to his document, and the only person who was offering her advice - his own mother - was ignored and dismissed.

10 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

It would be hilarious if he issued his own decree to make himself a bastard again once the siblings show up. Whose going to slap his hand away if he signs his official documents "Jon Snow?" I think it would be badass if he kept his identity, like Cersei tearing up the royal decree. It should be torn up anyway because Bran and Rickon are alive and Robb wouldn't have legitimized Jon if he'd known that. 

Not sure if that would work. At least not for the people who want Jon to be their king. He certainly could refuse to wear a crown once he realizes that his siblings were still alive, but why should he do that if he already has the power by that time? He has a mission that far transcends the restoration of House Stark or the reconquering of Robb's kingdom. He wants to defeat the Others, and he would have problems doing that if he stepped back into the shadows again. As the ruler of the North - either as 'a king' or merely the Lord of Winterfell he would call the shots, and no one else.

That would be a better position to deal with the Others and make alliances than him being the regent of a five-year-old - assuming the Manderlys who brought back Rickon from Skagos would not insist that they lead the regency regime of Lord (or 'King') Rickon.

And if Rickon died and Sansa were the one taking over the North and Winterfell then the men at her side - Littlefinger, Harrold Hardyng, whoever else she allies with - would rule in her name while she was not yet an adult, not Jon Snow. Sansa is only going to rule the North if she arrives there with an army - but if she does that, then the army will ensure she ends up on top of things, not an amicable discussion or consensus.

But, in the end, Jon cannot become a bastard again if he has been legitimized. There is no precedent for any of that and it would be silly if he tried. Not to mention that rejecting Robb's last will is a completely different thing than rejecting Stannis' offer. Even if Jon didn't want to be king or Lord of Winterfell, he desperately wants to be a Stark. And if Robb finally acknowledged him as such in his last will he would be very, very happy. It would be a slap in his own face as well as a slap in the face of both Ned and Robb who loved him as a son/brother to reject that.

But then - this all hinges on the question whether Howland Reed - who knows that Jon Snow isn't Eddard's son and thus cannot really be legitimized as Ned's Stark son or Robb's Stark brother - actually is going to allow the lords who joined him to publicly reveal contents of the will. Assuming the will actually contains what we think it does. George himself has pointed out that we do not know that and should thus not jump to conclusions. It is certainly possible, for instance, that Robb had second thoughts about his sisters and kept them as heirs if Sansa were to be freed from her Lannister husband and Arya still alive.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not sure if that would work. At least not for the people who want Jon to be their king. He certainly could refuse to wear a crown once he realizes that his siblings were still alive, but why should he do that if he already has the power by that time?

I could see him doing that, to solve the succession crisis at Winterfell, because he's known for his self-restraint when it comes to crowns/titles. The Stark children aren't Stannis/Renly, Euron/Victarion, or Aegon/Rhaenyra. There won't be a *real* fight.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no precedent for any of that and it would be silly if he tried.

Daemon Blackfyre didn't take the name Targaryen. So I see Jon keeping the Snow and renouncing his claim to Winterfell. I think the show splitting the Lord of WF/KitN role between Sansa/Jon arrives at that compromise, which makes sense. If Rickon is still in the picture, Jon could be steward. Whatever happens, I think it is very important that Jon is elected by the Lords, and that he doesn't just become de facto leader by Robb's will alone. I think he will continue to be elected by consensus to positions.

 

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2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I could see him doing that, to solve the succession crisis at Winterfell, because he's known for his self-restraint when it comes to crowns/titles. The Stark children aren't Stannis/Renly, Euron/Victarion, or Aegon/Rhaenyra. There won't be a *real* fight.

The intentions and goals of Rickon won't be relevant. Whoever controls him will use him as they please. That might also be the case with Sansa, although to a lesser degree. And how independent Arya would be if she ended up under the *protection* of another lord or person is also completely unclear at that point.

The idea that Jon or Sansa have to be *happy* when Rickon or any of the others ended up being Lord of Winterfell is not clear at all. They all mourned for their siblings and came to terms with the fact that they are dead. And if they have plans for their lives and invested a lot in realizing them they certainly might not like that they have to (or are supposed to) abandon them all.

2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Daemon Blackfyre didn't take the name Targaryen. So I see Jon keeping the Snow and renouncing his claim to Winterfell. I think the show splitting the Lord of WF/KitN role between Sansa/Jon arrives at that compromise, which makes sense. If Rickon is still in the picture, Jon could be steward. Whatever happens, I think it is very important that Jon is elected by the Lords, and that he doesn't just become de facto leader by Robb's will alone. I think he will continue to be elected by consensus to positions.

Daemon Blackfyre chose his family name before he was legitimized. He chose the name Blackfyre when he got the sword.

The show difference there is nonsense. The King in the North was always the Lord of Winterfell, and vice versa. Chances that we'll get rehash of earlier scenes in future books also makes no sense. There won't be a 'King in the North' 2.0, just as there won't be a 'The Unburnt' 2.0.

And once/if the Northmen actually understand that the Others are real and a threat continuing the secessionist thing would be utter nonsense - because that way they would actually undermine their own best interest of getting support from elsewhere. If the Starks are strong enough to rule the North all by themselves they should also be able to protect their borders all by themselves, no?

It would be different if the Iron Throne was not ruling over all the Seven Kingdoms, if there were truly a King in the North and (multiple) King(s) in the South, but that's not the case. A confederacy or alliance of kings could make common cause against the Others and then return to business as usual - which would mean wars and infighting.

But regardless who controls the Iron Throne - or tries to conquer it - by the time of a speculative 'Stark restoration' - the Starks would always be in a weaker position. If they want help from the south they would have to make concessions. There is no way around that.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

And once/if the Northmen actually understand that the Others are real and a threat continuing the secessionist thing would be utter nonsense - because that way they would actually undermine their own best interest of getting support from elsewhere. If the Starks are strong enough to rule the North all by themselves they should also be able to protect their borders all by themselves, no?

No, it's utter nonsense that a country has to give up its sovereignty because they need aid. Just imagine how it looks - people are about to die and the person who could heroically swoop in and save them, only does it if they get crowns first. It just sows the seeds for rebellion later. Asha and Val have already expressed the sentiment that people can kneel but rise again with blade in hand, so kneeling is meaningless if you dont win people's support first. Daeron I learned that in Dorne. Theon learned this at Winterfell, where he was acting like a tyrant. A benevolent tyrant, to be sure, but still a tyrant. This is what practically every Targaryen king/queen thinks of themselves, and I have no doubt that Dany would act the same if she arrived at Winterfell. 

On a broader scope, it would be a geopolitical nightmare if people's right to choose their leaders was overruled simply because a country is poor, needs assistance from an invader, or needs food. If the North falls, their overlord dies anyway so they'd look extra obtuse if they insisted on a crown before taking action. 

13 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The show difference there is nonsense. The King in the North was always the Lord of Winterfell, and vice versa. Chances that we'll get rehash of earlier scenes in future books also makes no sense. There won't be a 'King in the North' 2.0, just as there won't be a 'The Unburnt' 2.0.

Nah, to me, it sounds like a compromise to the succession. And it fits with Jon's belief about Sansa's right to Winterfell. And, the king without a castle is something that I could definitely see the author doing because Jon will not get things handed to him perfectly, neatly wrapped up in a bow. 

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4 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

No, it's utter nonsense that a country has to give up its sovereignty because they need aid.

Nobody outside 'Robb's kingdom' acknowledged the existence of such a kingdom, just as nobody essentially accepted Balon Greyjoy's Ironborn kingdom (both back during his first rebellion and also during the War of the Five Kings).

The North is an integral part of the Seven Kingdoms, whether you like that or not. They are not some independent country.

Besides, Robb only seceded from the Baratheon-run Seven Kingdoms, and it is an integral part of Umber's proclamation speech that the fact that 'the dragons are all dead' enables or allows them to crown their own king. We have no clue whether any Stark is going to challenge a Targaryen pretender - be it Dany, Aegon, or even Jon Snow - the same way Robb was challenging Joffrey and later also Renly and Stannis. Especially not a Targaryen pretender who also happens to be a dragonrider.

4 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Just imagine how it looks - people are about to die and the person who could heroically swoop in and save them, only does it if they get crowns first. It just sows the seeds for rebellion later.

This has nothing to do with rebellions later. If undead armies and ice demons are knocking at your door - and they are knocking at the doors of the North, not the doors of KL - and you are obviously not in the shape to deal with this kind of threat and you do not only face subjugation of slavery at the hands of an enemy but actually complete annihilation, then you most definitely don't give a crap about 'independence' or the right to name your own king. You are in desperate need of help and if there are people willing to help - which no Targaryen pretender actually would be obligated to offer if the North were an independent kingdom - then you meet their demands. You don't haggle or bluster or make counter-demands.

More importantly, the North should actually finally understand the true meaning of this Others threat before there is a proper Stark restoration and most definitely before Daenerys arrives in Westeros. And once they understand the danger they are in they will make it their top priority, not some nonsense like 'independence' - which actually never was something Robb Stark himself came up with or wanted as far as we know. He accepted the crown that was offered him and he certainly grew to like it, but this was a spur of the moment thing, not something anyone planned. Which is also the reason why it failed.

Finally, the North also cannot really prop up a new Stark pretender to kingship while Stannis is still alive and allied with the anti-Bolton Northmen. Stannis would never accept another king in the North so pursuing something like that while he is alive is not going to work.

This doesn't mean Jon cannot end in a king-like position - he could even end up as Stannis' effective or even chosen successor considering they are likely going to continue to work together against the Others, and somebody would have to take up Stannis' torch after his death. But one assumes - or at least desperately hopes - that both Stannis and Jon will start to reach out to other people in Westeros and Essos after the Boltons are finally dealt with so that they form a really working alliance against the Others. This should also not work if either of them plays a regional game. 

4 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Asha and Val have already expressed the sentiment that people can kneel but rise again with blade in hand, so kneeling is meaningless if you dont win people's support first. Daeron I learned that in Dorne. Theon learned this at Winterfell, where he was acting like a tyrant. A benevolent tyrant, to be sure, but still a tyrant. This is what practically every Targaryen king/queen thinks of themselves, and I have no doubt that Dany would act the same if she arrived at Winterfell.

Well, apparently you have a fixed view how Dany will go to Winterfell. What makes you believe she will bother to go there at all? I wouldn't in her position. In her conquest of Westeros Winterfell and the North are the least important places, considering the relative weakness of the North. Dany has to subdue those regions where there is significant power left. Once that's done the other people will fall in line.

If she ends up interacting with the Northmen then, most likely, because they will beg for her help - or because she, realizing her true destiny, will understand that she should fight the Others and is offering them her help. Then they would be utter fools to reject her.

4 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

On a broader scope, it would be a geopolitical nightmare if people's right to choose their leaders was overruled simply because a country is poor, needs assistance from an invader, or needs food. If the North falls, their overlord dies anyway so they'd look extra obtuse if they insisted on a crown before taking action. 

See above. We are not talking about an independent country, we are talking about a rebellious province of a larger realm. Independence comes with a cost. And sure - nobody in the south would be obliged to offer any sort of help to an independent King in the North. We already see this happening when Tywin, quite correctly, points out that the wildlings are no longer a problem of the Iron Throne if the Starks no longer do homage to the Iron Throne.

It is the same with the Others. Sure, it might be stupid of them to not offer the Northmen help in holding the Wall. But then - the Northmen do want to manage their affairs themselves, no?

4 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Nah, to me, it sounds like a compromise to the succession. And it fits with Jon's belief about Sansa's right to Winterfell. And, the king without a castle is something that I could definitely see the author doing because Jon will not get things handed to him perfectly, neatly wrapped up in a bow. 

Sorry, that thing never made any sense in the show. For one, if 'King Jon' is not also the Lord of Winterfell he effectively has no castle/residence of his own. That is hilarious. Also, the king would always supersede the lord or lady of Winterfell, so he or she would just be a castellan or steward managing the castle in his absence, and not be a lord or lady in their own right.

I'm pretty sure, though, that Jon will have no interest in Winterfell whatsoever while the Wall still stands. His duty is there, not down in Winterfell. But then, Winterfell itself is in a crappy state right now, and is likely not going to be properly rebuild during the remainder of the series.

ADwD made it pretty clear that it is in no shape to house many people for a longer period of time, meaning chances are very low that it is going to be an important place in the remainder of the series. They might do some stuff there after the Wall has fallen, but the Neck is an infinitely better place to form and keep a second front after the Wall has fallen.

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