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Wow, I never noticed that. Vol. 18

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...Balerion, Meraxes, Vhaghar. Tyrion had stood between their gaping jaws, wordless and awed. You could have ridden a horse down Vhaghar’s gullet, although you would not have ridden it out again. Meraxes was even bigger. And the greatest of them, Balerion, the Black Dread, could have swallowed an aurochs whole...

- Tyrion II, AGOT

It’s interesting rereading and seeing little details that have since been retconned. While this size order may have been true during the conquest, we now know that Meraxes died significantly earlier than the others (and in Dorne, so she may never have been returned anyway), so should be noticeably smaller, as even Vhagar was almost on par with Balerion by the time she died.

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Posted (edited)

Stumbled across an old observation that suggests a new connection in my mind. I keep coming back to Quentyn Ball.

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... 'The Lord of Casterly Rock has sent his dwarf to see to King's Landing. Perhaps he hopes that his ugly face will frighten off attackers, eh? Or that we will laugh ourselves dead when the Imp capers on the battlements, who can say? The dwarf has chased off the lout who ruled the gold cloaks and put in his place a knight with an iron hand." He plucked a grape, and squeezed it between thumb and forefinger until the skin burst. Juice ran down between his fingers."

(ACoK, Davos I)

Janos Slynt is the lout who was exiled to the Wall after carrying out Cersei's order to kill Robert Baratheon's illegitimate children. Jacelyn Bywater, who lost a hand in combat during the Greyjoy Rebellion, is the knight with the iron hand who replaces Slynt. At the upcoming Battle of the Blackwater, Bywater will be killed by an arrow shot into his throat.

I had posted that excerpt from the meeting between Davos and Salladhor Saan because I had seen strong parallels between the pirate Saan and either Bloodraven, Shiera Seastar or Bittersteel (or all three of them).

But I didn't discuss the additional parallel between Bywater, who is shot in the throat at the Blackwater, with the historical character Quentyn Ball, who is shot in the throat while getting a drink of water before the Battle of Redgrass Field.

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"... Ser Quentyn Ball was the master-at-arms of the Red Keep. He taught my father and my uncles how to fight. The Great Bastards too. King Aegon promised to raise him to the Kingsguard, so Fireball made his wife join the silent sisters, only by the time a place came open King Aegon was dead and King Daeron named Ser William Wylde instead. My father says that it was Fireball as much as Bittersteel who convinced Daemon Blackfyre to claim the crown and rescued him when Daeron sent the Kingsguard to arrest him. ..."

..."Did Ser Quentyn die upon the Redgrass Field?"

"Before, ser," Egg replied. "An archer put an arrow through his throat as he dismounted by a stream to have a drink. Just some common man, no one knows who."

[The Mystery Knight]

This gets complicated, so skip this (as always) if you are not into the symbolism stuff.

I think House Ball is part of GRRM's Bael / Baelor / Baelish group. People who know more about Celtic legends have educated me about Balor, the supernatural Fomorian king who had a single giant eye that could unleash destructive power. The Bael the Bard story and the king and prince Baelor we know in the Targaryen lines don't seem much like the Balor of Celtic legend. But we do have Bloodraven, who is famous for (among other reasons) having one creepy red eye. Is Quentyn Ball also part of this series of characters? He sets in motion the Blackfyre Rebellions, if the history is correct. His nickname is "Fireball," so that may be an allusion to the single destructive eye and a hint about the destructive power of the civil wars he will trigger.

But Quentyn "Fireball" Ball is snuffed out, probably by Bloodraven's archers, as he stops to take a drink. And Jacelyn Bywater is discussed here by Saan, who seems to be an echo of Bloodraven. Saan pops the grape (an eyeball symbol) just after mentioning the new commander of the City Watch. The Gold Cloak has water in his surname and will die in the same manner as Quentyn Ball but at the Blackwater, not while getting a drink of water. Is this GRRM symbolically showing some kind of Bloodraven / Guardian Targ snuffing out another fireball? We know that Tyrion will be putting wildfire to use during the battle, flinging it at Stannis's fleet with trebuchets - perhaps an echo of the iron hand that Jacelyn Bywater wears to replace the hand lost in combat in the Greyjoy Rebellion. (Another GRRM parallel detail: Glendon Flowers, the son of Quentyn Ball, is the son of whores. The trebuchets at King's Landing are nicknamed The Whores.)

So the death of Jacelyn Bywater, like the death of Quentyn Ball, is symbolic of extinguishing a destructive fire. Later we see Quentyn Martell die in a ball of fire while his friend Drinkwater looks on.

Aside from the eyeball / fireball symbolism, Quentyn Ball and Glendon Flowers may both be associated with dragon "eggs": Glendon as a key player in the Dunk & Egg story, The Mystery Knight, where he is wrongfully accused of stealing a dragon egg and Quentyn as the possible guardian of Daemon Blackfyre's secret son who would be a "blood of the dragon" baby. (The likely role of Quentyn as the Blackfyre guardian was brilliantly outlined by Megorova in this post. Open up the "reveal hidden contents" box for the explanation.) Quentyn Martell is apparently killed while trying to steal a dragon.

Jacelyn Bywater doesn't seem to have a guardian role for an egg or a Targ baby. After the fact, however, Tyrion encourages Jacelyn to throw overboard an exiled Gold Cloak named Allar Deem, who killed Robert Baratheon's baby daughter Bara. The baby cannot be saved, but the baby's murderer can at least be punished.

We might all be skeptical that an egg is intended to be compared to a ball. (Although the eyeball association is clear and I always point out the same old pun on "eye" and "Ei," the German word for egg. In this case, because of Jacelyn Bywater's iron hand, we should probably also keep in mind "Eisen," which means iron in German.) The ball is connected again to dragon eggs, however, through a phenomenon observed by Lost Melnibonean in a post in 2018: obtaining or hatching a dragon egg requires the sacrifice of a man's balls (aka, gonads). Symbolic sacrifice may be acceptable in some cases - taking a vow of chastity, as in joining the King's Guard - but might require a literal castration (the maiming of young Varys) or the death of a warrior (Dany places one dragon egg at Drogo's crotch when she prepares the pyre that hatches the dragons).

I don't see a lot of ball imagery in Jacelyn Bywater's brief story. Maybe the use of the trebuchets for flinging the wildfire pots is this piece of the symbolism for him. Tyrion gives Joffrey use of the trebuchets (the Three Whores) for awhile so he can fling the Antler Men over the walls of the city, but says he will need them back later for more wildfire. Maybe this symbolic "celibacy" - giving up the Whores - is the sacrifice of "manhood" necessary for obtaining / hatching the dragon egg. (But who or what is the egg? Maybe Sansa, who soon becomes Tyrion's bride? Or maybe Young Griff / Aegon, who will enter Tyrion's arc after Joffrey's death.)

As always, GRRM's symbolism gets rearranged and players may switch sides as patterns are repeated across generations. If Bloodraven IS the equivalent of Balor, for instance, why does he want to destroy eyes / fireballs? Wouldn't he want to use eyes to spread destruction? And Jacelyn doesn't seem to be a full parallel for Quentyn Ball, Glendon Flowers or Quentyn Martell.

Just to further complicate things, Jaime Lannister thinks of Jacelyn's iron hand as he thinks about getting a gold hand for himself. Jacelyn and Jaime both have one metal hand - they can't juggle balls. (Probably Davos Seaworth also fits into this category. All three men are associated with honor, too. Maybe the symbolism is that honorable men don't try to juggle fireballs.)

If Jaime is to be compared to Jacelyn Bywater, that brings us back to the King's Guard (Quentyn Ball had wanted to join but was rejected) and to the vow of celibacy. Jaime is also the Kingslayer, of course, who stabbed King Aerys II because of his plan to destroy King's Landing with wildfire. In that case, Jaime prevented a destructive fireball even before losing his hand. He hasn't been good about his vow of celibacy, but his arc shows his growing interest in honor (although still in some conflict with his love of glory). He seems to be giving up his bond with Cersei as he grows more connected to Brienne. In ADwD, Jaime takes a crown away from a camp follower who calls herself the Queen of Whores. Jaime tells her that his sister holds that title. Renouncing whores may be the symbolic castration that seems to be part of the pattern.

In a nutshell, I'm guessing that Jacelyn Bywater is a symbolic Jaime - that would also fit with the Gold Cloak symbolism and Jaime's gold armor. His brief role may foreshadow the fate in store for Jaime. His echo of the Fireball archetype may tell us that Jaime will also have a role in guarding a royal child and in starting a civil war.

Edited by Seams

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@Seams Bar-A-Theon has an interesting meaning too, Theon reminds of Theos/Deus and the prefix -a has a negative meaning, so maybe Son of Un-Godly/Son of Mortal? Since Durran said to marry Elenei, a demigod, they have blood of deities in them but Orys had no special blood? Is that possible? 

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Posted (edited)

@Megorova

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Elissa Farman (in 54 AC) gave three dragon eggs to one Sealord of Braavos, and it's likely that a different Sealord (maybe Ferrego Antaryon) many years later (after 283) gave those eggs to Hop-Bean and his children, Penny and Oppo.

Why do you think it likely that the "grand gift" Penny and Oppo (not Hop-Bean) received from the Sealord were dragon eggs?

 

Edited by Rhaenys_Targaryen

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barathrum is latin for "abyss, deep pit, the maw, or to squander"

theon is latin for "a notoriously sarcastic person"

durandus is latin for "which is to be hardened"

Marsh is a family name of the frog/fish people from Shadow over Innsmouth, people from the neck are frog people.

barriston the bold is one of George's old character names (baire means "triumph" in gaelic)

along with R'hllor (rialoir = ruler in Gaelic),

Dothraki (duthracht = "zeal" in gaelic),

saagael (sgail = "shadow, eclipse" in gaelic)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

@Megorova

Why do you think it likely that the "grand gift" Penny and Oppo (not Hop-Bean) received from the Sealord were dragon eggs?

Here is her (his?) discussion of that topic in a 2018 thread. My own support for the idea is in the comments of that thread.

 

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10 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

barathrum is latin for "abyss, deep pit, the maw, or to squander"

theon is latin for "a notoriously sarcastic person"

durandus is latin for "which is to be hardened"

Marsh is a family name of the frog/fish people from Shadow over Innsmouth, people from the neck are frog people.

barriston the bold is one of George's old character names (baire means "triumph" in gaelic)

along with R'hllor (rialoir = ruler in Gaelic),

Dothraki (duthracht = "zeal" in gaelic),

saagael (sgail = "shadow, eclipse" in gaelic)

 

 

Duran in Turkish means standing, living, and is given to child born after a previous miscarriage/stillbirth. Don is hail as in precipitation type so Durrandon is related to Long Night for me, who knows if all Elenei incident didn't cause one? Or maybe Elenei was Durran's Night Queen. 

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Posted (edited)

 

On mystery knights, one in particular;

Tears are the mark given to the bedslaves in Lys, there is a poison called Tears of Lys and there’s a Lysene goddess called the weeping lady, so Lys is associated with tears and weeping.

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Mystery knights would oft appear at tourneys, with helms concealing their faces, and shields that were either blank or bore some strange device. Sometimes they were famous champions in disguise. The Dragonknight once won a tourney as the Knight of Tears, so he could name his sister the queen of love and beauty in place of the king's mistress. 

 

So how apt it is then, that Aemon the Dragonknight whose mother, Larra Logare, was from Lys to be the knight of tears?

We know that heraldry is a Westerosi thing, as it ends on the wall and Targaryens from Essos didn’t have any heraldic device either, so Rogares didn’t have any but even if they adopted one, I doubt it was something teary as Aemon wouldn’t have chosen that so as not to give away his identity so early.

Tears can perhaps also be associated with Larra as her family had suffered during her lifetime.

So, Aemon, a mystery knight, chose something associated with the lands his mother is from and perhaps also her as a person.

 

Now, with this in mind, what do you guys think about another mystery knight, one bearing a laughing weirwood sigil?

Edit: adding a few more things

 

Weirwoods are (mostly) a northern thing.

Lyarra was a Stark

We have a “laughing” Stark, Rickard Stark the Laughing Wolf. Would you call it a coincidence that he was the son of the king Jon Stark who built the Wolf’s Den and he is the king that binded the Neck and Crannogmen to the Starks by marrying the Marsh King’s daughter and giving the Neck to the Reeds?

 

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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17 hours ago, Rhaenys_Targaryen said:

@Megorova

Why do you think it likely that the "grand gift" Penny and Oppo (not Hop-Bean) received from the Sealord were dragon eggs?

 

Intuition. ^_^

And I think, that he gave a dragon egg for each of them, for all three dwarfs, not only for the kids.

"It was Father's idea to do the tilts. He even trained the first pig, but by then he was too sick to ride her, so Oppo took his place. I always rode the dog. We performed for the Sealord of Braavos once, and he laughed so hard that afterward he gave each of us a … a grand gift." - ADWD, Tyrion VIII.

Just because their father at that time was too sick to ride the pig, doesn't mean, that he didn't participated in that show at all. At the very least, he was the author of that show, a "playwright". So if the show was good, and was liked by the audience, then their aplause was not only for whoever performed on stage, but also for the one, who wrote the story/script, or in this case - trained the pig. So all three of them were rewarded with that grand gift.

Also there's connection between Illyrio (who gave three dragon eggs, as a wedding present to Dany) and dwarfs - they are mummers, and Illyrio's best friend, Varys, also used to be a mummer (and he still is using their methods, to occasionally change his looks, and impersonate someone else, for example - undergaoler Rugen). So it's likely, that Illyrio got those eggs from Hop-Bean and his kids.

Also this is similar to The Mystery Knight novel, where Bloodraven had sent mummer-dwarfs to steal Ambrose Butterwell's dragon egg from Whitewalls <- mainly because of this.

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Barriston was a Mystery Knight when he was 10 years old, and in recalling the events:

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"Barristan the Bold, they call you."
"Some do." Selmy had won that name when he was ten years old, a new-made squire, yet so vain and proud and foolish that he got it in his head that he could joust with tried and proven knights. So he'd borrowed a warhorse and some plate from Lord Dondarrion's armory and entered the lists at Blackhaven as a mystery knight. Even the herald laughed. My arms were so thin that when I lowered my lance it was all I could do to keep the point from furrowing the ground. Lord Dondarrion would have been within his rights to pull him off the horse and spank him, but the Prince of Dragonflies had taken pity on the addlepated boy in the ill-fitting armor and accorded him the respect of taking up his challenge.

So, we have a vain and proud boy who would later become a Kingsguard, who just received a promotion, steals armor that is ill-fitting, and enters a tourney as a mystery knight, and there is mention of a herald laughing

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King Aerys II was not a man to take any joy in mysteries, however. His Grace became convinced that the tree on the mystery knight's shield was laughing at him, and—with no more proof than that—decided that the mystery knight was Ser Jaime Lannister. His newest Kingsguard had defied him and returned to the tourney, he told every man who would listen.

Was the Mad King right all along and Jaime was the Knight of the Laughing Tree? (laughing heraldry) Jaime had just joined the Kingsguard, excited from his promotion, and is a vain and proud 15 year old kid, was very eager to compete in the Tourney to prove himself but Aerys commanded him to not compete, and we know Jaime does not honor his vows to Aerys,

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"He remembered Jaime Lannister, a golden youth in scaled white armor, kneeling on the grass in front of the king's pavilion and making his vows to protect and defend King Aerys."

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"Aerys II summoned Ser Jaime to attend him (whilst squatting over his chamberpot, some say, but this ugly detail may have been a later addition to the tale), and commanded him to return to King's Landing to guard and protect Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys, who had not accompanied His Grace to the tourney. The lord commander, Ser Gerold Hightower, offered to go in Ser Jaime's stead, but Aerys refused him.
For the young knight, who had no doubt hoped to distinguish himself in the tourney, this abrupt exile came as a bitter disappointment. Nonetheless, Ser Jaime remained true to his vows. He set off for the Red Keep at once and played no further part in the events at Harrenhal...save perhaps in the mind of the Mad King."
 
Did Jaime remain true to his vows to Aerys?
 
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"King Aerys made a great show of Jaime's investiture. He said his vows before the king's pavilion, kneeling on the green grass in white armor while half the realm looked on. When Ser Gerold Hightower raised him up and put the white cloak about his shoulders, a roar went up that Jaime still remembered, all these years later. But that very night Aerys had turned sour, declaring that he had no need of seven Kingsguard here at Harrenhal. Jaime was commanded to return to King's Landing to guard the queen and little Prince Viserys, who'd remained behind. Even when the White Bull offered to take that duty himself, so Jaime might compete in Lord Whent's tourney, Aerys had refused. "He'll win no glory here," the king had said. "He's mine now, not Tywin's. He'll serve as I see fit. I am the king. I rule, and he'll obey."
That was the first time that Jaime understood. It was not his skill with sword and lance that had won him his white cloak, nor any feats of valor he'd performed against the Kingswood Brotherhood. Aerys had chosen him to spite his father, to rob Lord Tywin of his heir."

Jaime learns that night that Aerys only appointed him to spite Tywin, so Jaime would have been justifiably pissed and decides he is going to compete despite his orders.  Gerold Hightower wanted Jaime to compete, and may have been his accomplice. 

"King Aerys II chose this event for the formal investiture of Ser Jaime Lannister as a knight of the Kingsguard...thus setting in motion the events that would end the Mad King's reign."

The World Book makes it sound like appointing Jaime to the Kingsguard was a pivotal event, a catalyst for Robert's Rebellion--if Jaime was the Mystery Knight, that makes sense.

Then years later, Jaime is at Harrenhal and gets his sword hand cut off, (previously Aerys symbolically did this) he takes a shield that is not his and leaves Harrenhal incognito,

"He was not such a fool as to show the lion of Lannister on his arms, though, nor the plain white blazon that was his right as a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard. He found an old shield in the armory, battered and splintered, the chipped paint still showing most of the great black bat of House Lothston upon a field of silver and gold. The Lothstons held Harrenhal before the Whents and had been a powerful family in their day, but they had died out ages ago, so no one was likely to object to him bearing their arms. He would be no one's cousin, no one's enemy, no one's sworn sword . . . in sum, no one."

Then he has a weirwood dream, and then returns to Harrenhal where a little impromptu tourney is going on (Brienne uses a tourney sword), saves a maiden, then leaves.

Then when Jaime is traveling with Brienne we have him collecting odd pieces of armor for Brienne:

"The shield was the one Ser Jaime had taken from the armory at Harrenhal"

"They had found men's garb for her along the way; a tunic here, a mantle there, a pair of breeches and a cowled cloak, even an old iron breastplate. "

 

Jaime is known for laughing while fighting,  

"there is only the fight, the foe, this man and then the next and the next and the next, and you know they are afraid and tired but you're not, you're alive, and death is all around you but their swords move so slowly, you can dance through them laughing." Battle fever.

"And me, that boy I was . . . when did he die, I wonder? When I donned the white cloak? When I opened Aerys's throat? That boy had wanted to be Ser Arthur Dayne, but someplace along the way he had become the Smiling Knight instead."

and he is a very good jouster and he won a tourney when Cersei married Robert.

 

Cersei accuses Jaime of being reckless and doing stupid things "but when did our sweet brother ever stop to think?"

 

And lastly, if the Kingsguard are a metaphor for the Others, it makes sense that Jaime defends Howland who is a CoTF-like character who just came from the Isle of Faces, because the Others defend the CoTF.

 

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4 minutes ago, El Diego said:

How would Jamie even know about the thing with the crannogman and the squires?

Don't know, maybe he saw something riding out of town or on his way back, or someone told him about it when he got back to Harrenhal, and it was a good red herring cover story for him to use.

Forgot to add that in Meera's telling of the story the Mystery Knight is a "he" and they have a first person account of what happened.

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Just now, By Odin's Beard said:

Don't know, maybe he saw something riding out of town or on his way back, or someone told him about it when he got back to Harrenhal, and it was a good red herring cover story for him to use.

Forgot to add that in Meera's telling of the story the Mystery Knight is a "he" and they have a first person account of what happened.

Not buying it. Doesn't make sense thematically, logically, or metastory wise.

I always took the description of "he" as misdirection. Of course one would assume a mystery knight is a male, but it being Lyanna makes too much sense.

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@By Odin's Beard love the idea, Lyanna being able to defeat three knights, one later become a KG, always bothered me a she was known to be a slin girl and her close parallel, Arya, is left handed. I always thought Ned was KOTLT but Jaime makes sense too, and the knight must be tall enough for Aerys to suspect he was Jaime as Tywin, Jaime, and Joffrey are all tall Lannisters.  

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Jaime is mentioned laughing four times about Harrenhal and not being allowed to joust, like its some sort of inside joke that only he gets.

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One day, he heard Urswyck say something about Harrenhal, and remembered that was to be their destination. That made him laugh aloud, and that made Timeon slash his face with a long thin whip. The cut bled, but beside his hand he scarcely felt it. "Why did you laugh?" the wench asked him that night, in a whisper.

"Harrenhal was where they gave me the white cloak," he whispered back. "Whent's great tourney. He wanted to show us all his big castle and his fine sons. I wanted to show them too. I was only fifteen, but no one could have beaten me that day. Aerys never let me joust." He laughed again. "He sent me away. But now I'm coming back."

They heard the laugh.

He is a knight who laughs, and who gets sent away but comes back, and who could not be beaten that day.

 

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Furious, he commanded his own knights to defeat the Knight of the Laughing Tree when the jousts resumed the next morning, so that he might be unmasked and his perfidy exposed for all to see. But the mystery knight vanished during the night, never to be seen again. This too the king took ill, certain that someone close to him had given warning to "this traitor who will not show his face."

Aerys thinks someone close tipped off the Mystery Knight to leave, the other Kingsguard would have warned Jaime.  If the Mystery Knight was Lyanna, why would she fear being unmasked? 

 

34 minutes ago, Jova Snow said:

@By Odin's Beard love the idea, Lyanna being able to defeat three knights, one later become a KG, always bothered me a she was known to be a slin girl and her close parallel, Arya, is left handed. I always thought Ned was KOTLT but Jaime makes sense too, and the knight must be tall enough for Aerys to suspect he was Jaime as Tywin, Jaime, and Joffrey are all tall Lannisters.  

I agree with you that Lyanna as the Mystery Knight seems implausible to me for a number of reasons; voice, size (did she were children's armor?), jousting being a specialized skill requiring years of practice, her absence from the crowd would have been noticed, etc, some of that could be explained away with old gods magic, and her wolf's blood and skill at riding, but still.  Ned is a good option, he bunked with Howland at the tourney and they later have a road trip and become best buds, but I can't think of a reason for him to use a disguise, he would have just jousted as himself, like Brandon did.  

Going through mentions of the tourney in the books, neither Ned nor Barristan mention a mystery Knight, so maybe it wasn't that big of a deal--nobody even remembers it.

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It was the year of false spring, and he was eighteen again, down from the Eyrie to the tourney at Harrenhal. . . Yet when the jousting began, the day belonged to Rhaegar Targaryen.

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Dany did not want to hear about Rhaegar being unhorsed. "But what tourneys did my brother win?"

"Your Grace." The old man hesitated. "He won the greatest tourney of them all."

"Which was that?" Dany demanded.

"The tourney Lord Whent staged at Harrenhal beside the Gods Eye, in the year of the false spring. A notable event. Besides the jousting, there was a mêlée in the old style fought between seven teams of knights, as well as archery and axe-throwing, a horse race, a tournament of singers, a mummer show, and many feasts and frolics. Lord Whent was as open handed as he was rich. The lavish purses he proclaimed drew hundreds of challengers. Even your royal father came to Harrenhal, when he had not left the Red Keep for long years. The greatest lords and mightiest champions of the Seven Kingdoms rode in that tourney, and the Prince of Dragonstone bested them all."

"But that was the tourney when he crowned Lyanna Stark as queen of love and beauty!" said Dany. "Princess Elia was there, his wife, and yet my brother gave the crown to the Stark girl, and later stole her away from her betrothed. How could he do that? Did the Dornish woman treat him so ill?"

To Barristan he mummer's show was more notable than the Mystery Knight.

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5 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:
"King Aerys made a great show of Jaime's investiture. He said his vows before the king's pavilion, kneeling on the green grass in white armor while half the realm looked on. When Ser Gerold Hightower raised him up and put the white cloak about his shoulders, a roar went up that Jaime still remembered, all these years later. But that very night Aerys had turned sour, declaring that he had no need of seven Kingsguard here at Harrenhal. Jaime was commanded to return to King's Landing to guard the queen and little Prince Viserys, who'd remained behind. Even when the White Bull offered to take that duty himself, so Jaime might compete in Lord Whent's tourney, Aerys had refused. "He'll win no glory here," the king had said. "He's mine now, not Tywin's. He'll serve as I see fit. I am the king. I rule, and he'll obey."
That was the first time that Jaime understood. It was not his skill with sword and lance that had won him his white cloak, nor any feats of valor he'd performed against the Kingswood Brotherhood. Aerys had chosen him to spite his father, to rob Lord Tywin of his heir."

 

6 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

"Aerys II summoned Ser Jaime to attend him (whilst squatting over his chamberpot, some say, but this ugly detail may have been a later addition to the tale), and commanded him to return to King's Landing to guard and protect Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys,

These two passages imply, to me, that Jaime's honor was healthy and intact (green grass) at the time of the tourney. He had honor but no glory. (Note that Honor and Glory are the names of his two horses as he travels through the Riverlands in ADwD.)

Aerys, on the other hand, reveals his true intentions for Jaime while sitting on a chamberpot, signifying the "shit for honor" symbolism that is later associated with Jaime the kingslayer and treasonous father of Cersei's children.

When Jaime returns to Harrenhal after losing his kingslaying hand, he notes the change in the tourney ground:

A bitter smile touched Jaime's lips as they crossed that torn ground. Someone had dug a privy trench in the very spot where he'd once knelt before the king to say his vows. I never dreamed how quick the sweet would turn to sour. Aerys would not even let me savor that one night. He honored me, and then he spat on me.

(ASoS, Jaime IV, Chap. 31)

In other words, I think Jaime obeyed the king on the day he took his vow, but his honor turned to shit when he grew older.

Interestingly, he thinks about Rickard and Brandon Stark a few paragraphs before his return to the site of his King's Guard vows. He is advising Brienne how to survive the likely rape about to be inflicted on her by Rorge and Shagwell and Zollo and tells her, "... let them have the meat, and you go far away." ... "Let them do it, and go away inside." That was what he had done, when the Starks had died before him, Lord Rickard cooking in his armor while his son Brandon strangled himself trying to save him.

There's all kinds of interesting symbolism here with meat, going away (To the Wall? Or like Hodor when Bran skinchanges him?) and Brandon strangling while trying to save someone, as Brienne will do in AFfC before shouting the word "Sword!" to save Podrick Payne. In this scene, instead of shouting the word, "Sword!" Jaime shouts the word, "Sapphires!" to save Brienne from the rapists. (Additional shared symbolism includes skulls and kisses, "strength to his arm," and roaring from the crowd.)

Your "Jaime-as-Laughing-Tree" evidence is growing on me. Chap. 31 of ASoS related Jaime's chivalrous protection of Brienne from Rorge and Shagwell. In Chap. 24 of ASoS, just 68 pages before Jaime's return to Harrenhal with Brienne, Meera tells the story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree.

At the tourney, it was the wolf pup who offered to scrounge up the armor for the crannogman to compete as a Mystery Knight. In Meera's telling of the story, he offered to find borrowed armor to the little crannogman, but the crannogman declined because he didn't want to make a fool of himself and shame his people. Last time I focused on the mystery knight, I thought it was Benjen (although I could see Ned Stark in the mystery role as well).

As you point out, Jaime later makes an effort to scrounge armor and clothing to outfit Brienne. (Eventually, he completes her ensemble by giving her the sword Oathkeeper, with its honorable name.) The scrounging of armor could be a hint to compare Benjen and Jaime.

6 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Then when Jaime is traveling with Brienne we have him collecting odd pieces of armor for Brienne:

"The shield was the one Ser Jaime had taken from the armory at Harrenhal"

"They had found men's garb for her along the way; a tunic here, a mantle there, a pair of breeches and a cowled cloak, even an old iron breastplate. "

On the other hand, Jaime as the scrounger of armor and Brienne as the wearer of that armor might lend credence to the theory of the female mystery knight, with Lyanna defeating the three knights, exacting honor as her payment, and escaping before being unmasked. Brienne will eventually kill Brave Companions Pyg, Timeon and Shagwell, the latter being one of the would-be rapists at Harrenhal. She does turn Shagwell into a gravedigger before he dies, though, which might be a symbolic way of becoming honorable in ASOIAF.

But Jaime also defends Brienne from the three rapists in his POV chapter. Maybe the scrounging of armor is less important as a parallel than this honorable act of defense. This could put Jaime in the position of the mystery knight, demanding honor from the three people who had threatened and beaten a defenseless person.

In the Jaime POV, I also see some parallels between Jaime / Brienne and Ser Duncan the Tall. Vargo Hoat threatens to take Jaime's foot as well as his hand, which was the threat Brightflame made to Dunk at Ashford Meadow, after Dunk defended Tanselle against an attack by the prince. Dunk chose a camp site with green grass, similar to the spot where Jaime took his vows for the King's Guard. Like Dunk, Jaime lies awake and stares at the sky (although Dunk focuses on a shooting star and Jaime visualizes constellations and the moon).

For what it's worth, I started to explore some parallels between Jaime and Amory Lorch in a long-ago thread. I love your remark about the "impromptu tourney" when Brienne uses a tourney sword in the bear pit. The bear defeated by Brienne and Jaime killed Amory Lorch in the bear pit. If Amory was a symbolic Jaime, this could represent one of GRRM's symbolic death and rebirth scenes, with Jaime setting aside his old kingslayer persona and, with Brienne's help, being reborn as the honorable young man who took his vows at Harrenhal.

After the last big thread debating the KotLT there was so much persuasive evidence for half a dozen candidates that it may have gone into my mental file labeled Murder on the Orient Express, where it turned out that all of the suspects worked together to commit the murder. Your good marshaling of evidence definitely adds Jaime to the list of candidates, strengthening my sense that GRRM doesn't want us to definitively identify a single likely candidate for the Mystery Knight.

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Posted (edited)

@By Odin's Beard & Jova

8 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

Lyanna being able to defeat three knights, one later become a KG, always bothered me a she was known to be a slin girl and her close parallel, Arya, is left handed. I always thought Ned was KOTLT but Jaime makes sense too

I think, there's a different possibility of why Jaime was laughing, while remembering Harrenhal.

When Jaime was 11, he was sent to Crakehall, to squire for Lord Sumner, alongside Merrett Frey.

AFFC, Jaime IV - " "We were squires together once, at Crakehall." He would not go so far as to claim they had been friends. When Jaime had arrived, Merrett Frey had been the castle bully, lording it over all the younger boys. Then he tried to bully me. "He was . . . very strong." It was the only praise that came to mind. Merrett had been slow and clumsy and stupid, but he was strong.

"You fought against the Kingswood Brotherhood together," sniffed Lady Amerei. "Father used to tell me stories."

Father used to boast and lie, you mean. "We did." Frey's chief contributions to the fight had consisted of contracting the pox from a camp follower and getting himself captured by the White Fawn. The outlaw queen burned her sigil into his arse before ransoming him back to Sumner Crakehall."

ASOS, Epilogue - "As a boy he'd been packed off to Crakehall to serve his mother's family as a page. When old Lord Sumner had made him a squire, everyone had assumed he would be Ser Merrett in no more than a few years, but the outlaws of the Kingswood Brotherhood had pissed on those plans. While his fellow squire Jaime Lannister was covering himself in glory, Merrett had first caught the pox from a camp follower, then managed to get captured by a woman, the one called the White Fawn. Lord Sumner had ransomed him back from the outlaws, but in the very next fight he'd been felled by a blow from a mace that had broken his helm and left him insensible for a fortnight. Everyone gave him up for dead, they told him later.

Merrett hadn't died, but his fighting days were done. Even the lightest blow to his head brought on blinding pain and reduced him to tears. Under these circumstances knighthood was out of the question, Lord Sumner told him, not unkindly. He was sent back to the Twins to face Lord Walder's poisonous disdain."

 

The fight of Kingsguards and Lord Crakehall's people against Kingswood Brotherhood happened in 281, some time prior the Tournament at Harrenhal (that's when Merrett Frey was branded by Wenda the White Fawn, and Lord Sumner had paid ransom for him). Jaime had saved Lord Sumner from Big Belly Ben (member of KB), and crossed swords with Smiling Knight (that's because, same as during latest encounter of Merrett with the Brotherhood Without Banners, that took the ransom money, but still hanged him, the Kingswood Brotherhood also took ransom money from Lord Sumner, but then attacked him, and Jaime had to defend him. And then the Kingsguards arrived). Then Smiling Knight was killed by Arthur Dayne, and Arthur knighted Jaime. Merrett remembers, that he got crippled in the very next fight.

At Harrenhal Howland Reed was attacked by squires of a pitchfork knight / House Haigh!, a porcupine / House Blount, and a knight of two towers / House Frey.

ASOS, Bran II - "The little crannogman was walking across the field, enjoying the warm spring day and harming none, when he was set upon by three squires. They were none older than fifteen, yet even so they were bigger than him, all three. This was their world, as they saw it, and he had no right to be there. They snatched away his spear and knocked him to the ground, cursing him for a frogeater."

"Were they Walders?" It sounded like something Little Walder Frey might have done.

"None offered a name, but he marked their faces well so he could revenge himself upon them later. They shoved him down every time he tried to rise, and kicked him when he curled up on the ground. But then they heard a roar. 'That's my father's man you're kicking,' howled the she-wolf."

"A wolf on four legs, or two?"

"Two," said Meera. "The she-wolf laid into the squires with a tourney sword, scattering them all."

 

I think, that the daughter of Shella and Walter Whents, the one, that was supposed to become the Queen of Love and Beauty at Harrenhal, was Wynafrei Whent. So the knight from House Frey was Danwell Frey (Wynafrei's current husband). And when Danwell was pariticipating in that tournament, his younger brother, Merrett, was serving as his temporary squire (like Edmure Tully did for Brandon Stark, during his duel with Petyr Baelish), and he was one of those three, that attacked Howland Reed. So it was Lyanna, who crippled Merrett Frey, and Jaime saw it. That fight had happened on the opening day of tournament, on the same day was held ceremony of Jaime joining Kingsguards. Some time later that day, after the ceremony, Jaime was ordered to go back to King's Landing. And after the fight, Lyanna brought Howland into her tent, and then to the evening feast. So it's likely, that Jaime was still at Harrenhal, when happened Lyanna's confrontation with those three squires. Probably later King Aerys, after returning to KL, had accused Jaime in being the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and when other people told him about events at Harrenhal, that happened after his departure from there, he figured out, who was the mystery knight. Because the Knight of the Laughing Tree defeated three knights, whose squires were previously beaten by Lyanna Stark. So Jaime figured out, who the mystery knight was, but didn't revealed it to Aerys. Thus, for Jaime, Harrenhal was a reminder of that story, and made him laugh, because of the irony of it.

P.S. And because Merrett Frey is brain-damaged, his account, that he was crippled by mace, and that he is turning 40 years old in less than 3 years, is unreliable. He was a chronic alcoholic for over 15 years, he was suffering from terrible migraines, most of the time he was drunk and kept drinking. Also, there was no way for Howland Reed to know the actual age of his attackers, that all three of them were no older than 15. So either Howland's estimation of their age was wrong, or Merret Frey's understanding, of how old is he, or even what year is it now, was flowed, same as his memory about with what kind of weapon exactly was he wounded.

Also it's likely, that all three squires were members of House Frey (that's why Bran asked whether they were Walders. They were, in a sense, that they were sons of Walder Frey). It was Merrett, Geremy (or maybe some other Frey) and Raymund! ->

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Raymund_Frey

"Raymund is introduced to Lady Catelyn Stark at the Twins when he is sitting in the great hall, drinking with his half-brother Lame Lothar, his brother Ser Hosteen, his goodbrother Lord Lucias Vypren and nephew Ser Damon Vypren, and the Haighs.[3] " <- the other one of three squires, that attacked Howland, served to the knight from House Haigh.

Danwell Frey married with a Whent-girl, and his three younger brothers, also were present at that tournament at Harrenhal.

P.P.S. Maybe it wasn't Lyanna, who crippled Merrett. She merely chased him and his brothers away from Howland. And Merrett got crippled a bit later, when he participated in a melee, that was part of that tournament.

The Frey-knight was definitely Danwell, and the squire of knight-Haigh was Raymund (if info about his age in the Wikia is correct, he was born in 264 or 265, and in late 281 could have been still 15).

""Were they Walders?" It sounded like something Little Walder Frey might have done." - Little Walder is son of Merrett Frey, so it's highly likely, that the one of three was indeed Merrett.

Merrett, Raymund, and Lame Lothar.

Edited by Megorova

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Before I forget, already mentioned that in the future Jaime takes a Lothston shield that has a bat emblem: "He found an old shield in the armory, battered and splintered, the chipped paint still showing most of the great black bat of House Lothston upon a field of silver and gold."

Assuming Jaime was the Mystery Knight, paint would be hard to come by to do an emergency shield painting (assuming he did not want to involve the armorer guys from the Lannister camp), two paint pigments that are easy to come by is white (chalk) and red (blood), mix with egg yolk and you have paint. 

A large bat design can be turned into a weirwood tree by painting the torso white (maybe lengthen it into more of a trunk shape and putting a root flare), paint the wings and head red--put a face on it and you've got a laughing weirwood.  The design might have been totally incidental, dictated by the pigments on hand and ease of painting, rather than actual symbolic import.

 

Then there's Dunk shield getting repainted from a winged chalice into a tree

"What would you want painted?"

Dunk had not considered that. If not the old man's winged chalice, what? His head was empty. Dunk the lunk, thick as a castle wall. "I don't . . . I'm not certain." His ears were turning red, he realized miserably." (red face)

Dunk brings up the possibility of pigments guiding the design "What color paint do you have?" and she says she makes her own paints ""I can mix paints to make any color you want."

"An elm tree," said Egg. "A big elm tree, like the one by the pool, with a brown trunk and green branches."
"Yes," Dunk said. "That would serve. An elm tree . . . but with a shooting star above. Could you do that?"
 
"The sight of his elm tree and shooting star gave him heart."
 
Tree sigil is randomly chosen, not because it is significant.  She can mix any color so he gets a colorful shield.  Winged sigil gets repainted into a tree, it gives him heart, he later competes as a Mystery Knight and is a Kingsguard. 
 
 

Then from Brienne's POV

Jaime "found an old shield in the armory, battered and splintered, the chipped paint still showing most of the great black bat of House Lothston upon a field of silver and gold. " . . . . "You bear a liar's shield," . . .  "The shield was the one Ser Jaime had taken from the armory at Harrenhal. Brienne had found it in the stables with her mare,"

Jaime steals a shield, a liar's shield, then she finds it abandoned.

Brienne wants to repaint the shield and mentions not wanting to use her real house sigil because she doesn't want to be recognized so she gets the shield repainted to have a tree on it

"You did beautifully," she said, when the woman showed her the freshly painted shield. It was more a picture than a proper coat of arms, and the sight of it took her back through the long years, to the cool dark of her father's armory. She remembered how she'd run her fingertips across the cracked and fading paint, over the green leaves of the tree, and along the path of the falling star." (Dunk's shield)

Winged sigil repainted into a tree. (and the weirwood came from a falling star)


 

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To go in a different direction, lon means "blackbird" in Gaelic. and the word blackbird can mean "to enslave someone, especially through chicanery or force"

In the Stark family tree there is a bastard Lonnel Snow who was born to Wylla Fenn and Brandon Stark.  

In Ned's version of events Jon Snow is a bastard born of a Wylla and a Stark.  He is a crow, a black bird, and the 13th LC was a Stark who was supposed to have bound his Sworn Brothers to his will with strange sorceries.  Mormont's raven calls Jon "King" and Patchface cried "The crow, the crow"--he is King Crow and LC, the cover of Feast for Crows has a crow with a crown and sceptre.  Yggritte says Jon Snow is an evil name.  And he has a dream where he is armored in ice and is killing everyone. 

Bran opened Jon's third eye in a dream (possibly through a time warp), if Jon is King Crow with his third eye open, was he the crow that opened Bran's third eye? (possibly through a time warp)  Bran's wolf is Summer and Bran is a sweet summer child, Jon's wolf is Ghost and is weirwood colored.  Is Jon the King Crow who is a ghost is the weirwood?

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Sometime ago, in the previous thread, I posted about the ship the Sloe-Eyed Maid and said there was only another instance where "sloe-eyed maid" was used and that was to describe Taena Merryweather and wondered if perhaps the ship wasn't named for her. 

So I went back and looked at some of the ships that bear the names of characters and there seem to be parallels between characters and those ships.

  • Lady Lyanna --> Named for Lyanna Stark, sent away from King's Landing as part of an escort to see Myrcella to safety. The ship goes to Braavos and I am unclear if she was supposed to head all the way down to Dorne with the Braavosi ships Tyrion hires. Davos before the battle of Blackwater comments that beautiful ship was not in King's Landing. 
    Lyanna Stark's whereabouts are unknown for a while. Brandon rides for King's Landing where she isn't. Got to wonder if she too sailed to Braavos before heading down to Dorne, or if she was going to make the opposite journey, sail from Dorne the Braavos.
  • Black Betha --> Destroyed by wildfire during the Battle of Blackwater
    Betha Blackwood's husband and eldest son both died at Summerhall when it was burned down by wildfire and we don't know what happened to her.
  • Lord Steffon --> Named for Steffon Baratheon. The ship makes it out of the Battle of Blackwater, but is sunk by its crew to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
    Lord Steffon Baratheon drowned
  • Queen Cersei --> Destroyed by wildfire at the Battle of Blackwater. We don't know how Cersei will die, but she sure loves her wildfire.

We have the ship Kingslander, which is named for an inhabitant of King's Landing. The ship is engulfed and destroyed by wildfire after another ship (Swordfish) explodes.

Cersei's dromonds;

I'm assuming Aurane Waters will change the names, but we have the following;

  • Brave Joffrey --> Joffrey is dead
  • Lord Tywin --> He's dead too
  • Sweet Cersei 
  • Lady Joanna --> She's dead
  • Lioness 
  • Queen Margaery
  • Golden Rose
  • Lord Renly --> He's dead
  • Lady Olenna --> a tin foil on this one. Olenna has been called a harridan by a couple characters. One of the ships that was destroyed by wildfire during the Battle of Blackwater was a Velaryon ship named Harridan. Over in Meereen, one of the catapults has also been named Harridan. So perhaps it will get destroyed by fire
  • Princess Myrcella --> She has been attacked and maimed.

It's possible that Aurane will lose half his ships.

I thought it was an interesting look at the fate of some characters through the ships that were named for them and vice versa.

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