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Aebram

The search goes on for the Hooded Man

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On 10/12/2019 at 3:16 AM, Aebram said:

So to summarize what we know about the Hooded Man:
 - He is strong and healthy.
 - He's well-educated.
 - He's accustomed to command.
 - He's either a member of House Stark, or a trusted  friend or ally (since he knew about the secret entrance to the castle).
 - He just arrived at Winterfell quite recently.
 - Until he saw Theon, he didn't think there was anyone in the castle who would recognize him.
 - He knows Theon well enough to recognize him, but not well enough for Theon to recognize the HM.
 - Until this moment in the story, he didn't know that Theon was at Winterfell, or even that he was still alive.
 - He has heard (falsely) that Theon had Bran and Rickon killed, and may be angry about it -- not quite angry enough to kill him over it, but enough to reach for his dagger.

With all that in mind, who the heck is he? 

Hallis Mollen. Captain of the Stark household guard. Last seen around the Neck, traveling towards Winterfell under the instruction of Lady Catelyn to return Ned's bones to the Stark crypts. It was the last order Lady Stark gave him before she was murdered and a task that the loyal captain would be determined to fulfil.

Catelyn describes him as someone who states the obvious and someone with a loose tongue. It is also noted that he likes to dice.

Hal is strong and healthy, castle educated, accustomed to command. He is a loyal member of the Stark household, and has a close relationship with Robb and Theon. He's often seen in Theon's company in AGoT.

We know that Winterfell was his destination the last time we saw him. He may be going solo. He would know Winterfell well enough to gain entry if that was the case. However, as he was last seen in the Neck, and would likely be assisted by the Crannogmen, he may be part of the pro-Stark conspiracy and could be there as part of the White Harbour host. It is noted that the White Harbour men in Winterfell like to dice and who is to say Hal was not amongst them, disguised as a common man-at-arms?

There are very few people still alive from Winterfell who would recognise him. Theon would be one, of course. It is debatable whether Theon did recognise him. Their eyes met briefly. I think it is likely that Theon looked away, unable to meet the man's gaze. He was ashamed, because he did recognise him. Later, Theon remembers all the people of Winterfell he knew who were now dead and does not list Hal amongst them.

The hooded man accused Theon of turning his cloak against the Starks and kinslaying, despite the fact that Theon is a Greyjoy. He also says Theon was false. This is a strong indicator that the hooded man remembers when Theon was supposedly loyal to the Starks, which is when he was false, and he also knows Theon was treated well in Winterfelll, almost like a brother by the Stark boys, which accounts for the accusation of kinslaying. Harwin is the only other living candidate who was part of that environment, but he was last seen with Lady Stoneheart and I suspect we will see he is still there when we return to Jaime and Brienne.

The hooded man's first instinct was to reach for his dagger, but he thought better of it. I think Hal's instinct would be revenge and justice for the Starks, but the mission he was on was more important and he dared not put it in jeopardy.

If Hal does turn up again with Ned's bones, then it will be at Winterfell. So perhaps he's there already. He has means, motive, and ample opportunity to get there. 

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Quote

"...Theon Kinslayer."

"I'm not.  I never ...  I was Ironborn."

Theon is no kin of the Stark boys, but quite likely is kin of the boys he killed in their place.  Who would know this?  

Possibilities are the unknowable "whoever the miller spoke to", and Ramsay, who seems unlikely as he would likely have perpetrated violence against Theon at some point afterwards, probably in an unusual and innovative manner.

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On 10/11/2019 at 8:16 PM, Aebram said:

snip

 

Good analysis, but you really should revisit the hooded man being a umber as there’s way more evidence supporting it than you’ve discussed here. Mance is conspiring with them via rowan, who’s an umber herself.

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On 11/20/2019 at 7:04 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

Hallis Mollen. Captain of the Stark household guard. Last seen around the Neck, traveling towards Winterfell under the instruction of Lady Catelyn to return Ned's bones to the Stark crypts. It was the last order Lady Stark gave him before she was murdered and a task that the loyal captain would be determined to fulfil.

Catelyn describes him as someone who states the obvious and someone with a loose tongue. It is also noted that he likes to dice.

Hal is strong and healthy, castle educated, accustomed to command. He is a loyal member of the Stark household, and has a close relationship with Robb and Theon. He's often seen in Theon's company in AGoT.

We know that Winterfell was his destination the last time we saw him. He may be going solo. He would know Winterfell well enough to gain entry if that was the case. However, as he was last seen in the Neck, and would likely be assisted by the Crannogmen, he may be part of the pro-Stark conspiracy and could be there as part of the White Harbour host. It is noted that the White Harbour men in Winterfell like to dice and who is to say Hal was not amongst them, disguised as a common man-at-arms?

There are very few people still alive from Winterfell who would recognise him. Theon would be one, of course. It is debatable whether Theon did recognise him. Their eyes met briefly. I think it is likely that Theon looked away, unable to meet the man's gaze. He was ashamed, because he did recognise him. Later, Theon remembers all the people of Winterfell he knew who were now dead and does not list Hal amongst them.

The hooded man accused Theon of turning his cloak against the Starks and kinslaying, despite the fact that Theon is a Greyjoy. He also says Theon was false. This is a strong indicator that the hooded man remembers when Theon was supposedly loyal to the Starks, which is when he was false, and he also knows Theon was treated well in Winterfelll, almost like a brother by the Stark boys, which accounts for the accusation of kinslaying. Harwin is the only other living candidate who was part of that environment, but he was last seen with Lady Stoneheart and I suspect we will see he is still there when we return to Jaime and Brienne.

The hooded man's first instinct was to reach for his dagger, but he thought better of it. I think Hal's instinct would be revenge and justice for the Starks, but the mission he was on was more important and he dared not put it in jeopardy.

If Hal does turn up again with Ned's bones, then it will be at Winterfell. So perhaps he's there already. He has means, motive, and ample opportunity to get there. 

Hal or Harwin, IMHO, are the only plausible candidates here. Harwin definitely, Hal most likely, on a mission from Lady Stoneheart to spy on the Boltons and rescue "Arya". If it's Hal, I think Ned's bones are kept safe at Greywater Watch, and that's where LS will be heading after orchestrating Red Wedding 2.0 (at I hope she will). Brienne and/or Jaime will be taken along because we damn need a POV there.

TWOW cannot arrive fast enough.

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2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Hal or Harwin, IMHO, are the only plausible candidates here. Harwin definitely, Hal most likely, on a mission from Lady Stoneheart to spy on the Boltons and rescue "Arya". If it's Hal, I think Ned's bones are kept safe at Greywater Watch, and that's where LS will be heading after orchestrating Red Wedding 2.0 (at I hope she will). Brienne and/or Jaime will be taken along because we damn need a POV there.

TWOW cannot arrive fast enough.

Yea I’m also of the mind that it’d Hallis Mollen(HMB)). He was on his way to deliver neds bones to winterfell and he was also named captain of the guards.

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I think it's worth noting that HM recognised Theon very quickly, after their eyes met. Which I find surprising, as by all accounts we have of Theon, he's completely unrecognisable from the person he used to be (Asha doesn't recognise him later on, and she's seen him much more recently than quite a few of the other candidates). Which leads me to think that he recognised him by his eyes (these won't change, no matter how thin you get/how much your hair changes, etc). So it's someone who knew Theon quite well beforehand. The only thing that really confuses me about this is that Theon should then recognise the HM too. But then I think the 'briefly' is the key here - does Theon look away/look at the ground? I think this is likely, considering the picture of Theon that's painted to us. I imagine Theon to be looking at the ground whenever he's speaking to somebody. This could explain why he doesn't recognise the HM.


I don't think, from his reaction, that the HM is surprised to see him there (ie he knew/heard rumors that Theon was alive, or was in the castle), but did not realise that it was Theon striding towards him until the moment their eyes met. Which would indicate to me that he hasn't been in the castle long enough to know/recognise what Theon now looks like from a distance.

I think he puts his hand on his dagger because he momentarily considers killing Theon there and then, definitely for honorable reasons (I think it's clear he's an ally to the Starks, and possibly fought alongside Robb and Theon previously), and maybe because he doesn't want to be recognised.

"How is it you still breathe?" is a rhetorical question - he didn't think that Theon was dead, he just thinks that Theon ought to be dead by now. But he's probably assessing the whole situation from the moment he recognises him, and it's obvious that Theon suffering. After seeing what Ramsay's done to him, he decides that killing Theon is unnecessary, as he's clearly already paying a high price for his crimes - so much so that death would be a mercy. And perhaps he sees that Theon hasn't recognised him.

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On 11/20/2019 at 7:04 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

Hallis Mollen. Captain of the Stark household guard. Last seen around the Neck, traveling towards Winterfell under the instruction of Lady Catelyn to return Ned's bones to the Stark crypts. It was the last order Lady Stark gave him before she was murdered and a task that the loyal captain would be determined to fulfil.

Catelyn describes him as someone who states the obvious and someone with a loose tongue. It is also noted that he likes to dice.

Hal is strong and healthy, castle educated, accustomed to command. He is a loyal member of the Stark household, and has a close relationship with Robb and Theon. He's often seen in Theon's company in AGoT.

We know that Winterfell was his destination the last time we saw him. He may be going solo. He would know Winterfell well enough to gain entry if that was the case. However, as he was last seen in the Neck, and would likely be assisted by the Crannogmen, he may be part of the pro-Stark conspiracy and could be there as part of the White Harbour host. It is noted that the White Harbour men in Winterfell like to dice and who is to say Hal was not amongst them, disguised as a common man-at-arms?

There are very few people still alive from Winterfell who would recognise him. Theon would be one, of course. It is debatable whether Theon did recognise him. Their eyes met briefly. I think it is likely that Theon looked away, unable to meet the man's gaze. He was ashamed, because he did recognise him. Later, Theon remembers all the people of Winterfell he knew who were now dead and does not list Hal amongst them.

The hooded man accused Theon of turning his cloak against the Starks and kinslaying, despite the fact that Theon is a Greyjoy. He also says Theon was false. This is a strong indicator that the hooded man remembers when Theon was supposedly loyal to the Starks, which is when he was false, and he also knows Theon was treated well in Winterfelll, almost like a brother by the Stark boys, which accounts for the accusation of kinslaying. Harwin is the only other living candidate who was part of that environment, but he was last seen with Lady Stoneheart and I suspect we will see he is still there when we return to Jaime and Brienne.

The hooded man's first instinct was to reach for his dagger, but he thought better of it. I think Hal's instinct would be revenge and justice for the Starks, but the mission he was on was more important and he dared not put it in jeopardy.

If Hal does turn up again with Ned's bones, then it will be at Winterfell. So perhaps he's there already. He has means, motive, and ample opportunity to get there. 

Hmmm, I assume Hal Mollen is dead... https://sweeticeandfiresunray.com/2016/11/01/them-bones/

There is no confirmation that Hal was last seen in the Neck. We do have Lady Dustin waiting for him to come out, therefore at least Hal crossed the Twins, even although Walder Frey or any of the other Freys never mentions him to Cat. GW can't be found by outsiders. It finds you - a moving castle. And it's too much to assume Hal would have dragged the silent sisters into the Neck when he learned of the IB taking WF and Moat Cailin, etc. Timeline wise and per Lady Dustin waiting for him to come out of the Neck, Hal never made it to the Neck before the Greyjoy attacks as Cat hoped. Both Cat and Barbrey were wrong imo in assuming Hal foolhardedly pushed through the Neck anyhow. Imo he took a far more sensible route with Ned's bones and the silent sisters. He turned back south on the KR and intended to make for Maidenpool, where he could board a ship to White Harbor - at the time he would have considered Darry, the Crossroads and Maidenpool a safe place and aligned with the Starks (part of Robb's kingdom). Except by the time he gets past Darry, Roose Bolton turned his cloak and let the Bloody mummers loose. They raped silent sisters and Hal Mollen ended up dead (at Maidenpool or en route makes little to no matter). The High Sparrow learned of these tales and without Hal Mollen there to tell him otherwise, he believed Ned's bones to be holy bones of septons. The HS took Ned' bones back to KL unwittingly, where they were dumped at the foot of Baelor's statue on the exact same square where Ned lost his head.

So, imo Hal Mollen can't be anyone, and Ned's bones will never return home.   Ned's bones circled back to KL. Literary hints for this can be found in the name George chose for the Tully castle, where Ned's bones were last seen - Riverrun, a reference to Finnegan's wake. And the passage in the "whispering woods" where Cat wonders about Hal's fate as well as Ned's bones, when she and Rob set out for the Twins, are heavily loaded with image references to Finnegan's wake. The book at the surface is about a burrial of a man who died by some stupid accident, and the theme surrounding the reference of Riverrun is recirculation, going rounds in circles, not getting from A to B.

------

To the OP: don't believe Benjen is alive either anymore. He ended up as bacon or sausage in Craster's larder imo: https://sweeticeandfiresunray.com/2016/08/30/crasters-black-blooded-curse/

 

Edited by sweetsunray

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3 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Hal or Harwin, IMHO, are the only plausible candidates here. Harwin definitely, Hal most likely, on a mission from Lady Stoneheart to spy on the Boltons and rescue "Arya". If it's Hal, I think Ned's bones are kept safe at Greywater Watch, and that's where LS will be heading after orchestrating Red Wedding 2.0 (at I hope she will). Brienne and/or Jaime will be taken along because we damn need a POV there.

TWOW cannot arrive fast enough.

Why would LS want fArya rescued from the Boltons, if she already knows the real Arya was seen with the Hound at the Crossroads Inn at the very least (if she doesn't know already that Arya went to Saltpans), and when she has both Brienne and Jaime who both can confirm to her that the Arya who wed Ramsay was not the real Arya?

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21 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Why would LS want fArya rescued from the Boltons, if she already knows the real Arya was seen with the Hound at the Crossroads Inn at the very least (if she doesn't know already that Arya went to Saltpans), and when she has both Brienne and Jaime who both can confirm to her that the Arya who wed Ramsay was not the real Arya?

If it was your daughter, would you rely on that, instead of sending someone who knows her to make sure?

Not to mention the last time they spoke, Jaime's word was worth shit, so double the reason to make sure.

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1 minute ago, Ygrain said:

If it was your daughter, would you rely on that, instead of sending someone who knows her to make sure?

Not to mention the last time they spoke, Jaime's word was worth shit, so double the reason to make sure.

She is sure enough to install an orphanage at the Crossroads in, have Gendry there to identify Arya if she were to be brought in or goes there, and some of her men watching and guarding the Inn day and night. She doesn't need Jaime's or Brienne's word. She already knows.

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52 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

She is sure enough to install an orphanage at the Crossroads in, have Gendry there to identify Arya if she were to be brought in or goes there, and some of her men watching and guarding the Inn day and night. She doesn't need Jaime's or Brienne's word. She already knows.

Well, eastablishing an orphanage while sending someone up North aren't mutually exclusive. Plus, how can she be sure that the girl Jaime saw leaving KL is the same that arrived North?

Edited by Ygrain

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1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

There is no confirmation that Hal was last seen in the Neck.

True, I should have said heading for the Neck.

It made her wonder where Ned had come to rest. The silent sisters had taken his bones north, escorted by Hallis Mollen and a small honor guard. Had Ned ever reached Winterfell, to be interred beside his brother Brandon in the dark crypts beneath the castle? Or did the door slam shut at Moat Cailin before Hal and the sisters could pass?

I suspect the door at Moat Cailin did indeed slam shut before Hal and the sisters could pass.

1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

We do have Lady Dustin waiting for him to come out,

So she tells Theon. Personally, given that she is a "snowman", I don't buy her story about Ned's bones.

1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

GW can't be found by outsiders. It finds you - a moving castle.

I'm not saying they found Greywater Watch. I'm suggesting that if they did get some way into the Neck then the Crannogmen found them, traveling north on the only road with Hal bearing a Stark banner as he did when he escorted Lady Stark.

1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

Both Cat and Barbrey were wrong imo in assuming Hal foolhardedly pushed through the Neck anyhow. Imo he took a far more sensible route with Ned's bones and the silent sisters. He turned back south on the KR and intended to make for Maidenpool, where he could board a ship to White Harbor - at the time he would have considered Darry, the Crossroads and Maidenpool a safe place and aligned with the Starks (part of Robb's kingdom). Except by the time he gets past Darry, Roose Bolton turned his cloak and let the Bloody mummers loose.

Certainly turning back in search of a ship from Maidenpool to White Harbor is very plausible. But it depends very much on whether Hal was found by Crannogmen or not. They might have known other routes or means to help get Hal to White Harbor.

East of the road lay a bleak and barren shore and a cold salt sea, to the west the swamps and bogs of the Neck, infested with serpents, lizard lions, and bog devils with their poisoned arrows.

East of the road lay a bleak and barren shore and a cold salt sea. It would not be the first time Ned crossed the Bite.

To get home and call his banners, Stark had to cross the mountains to the Fingers and find a fisherman to carry him across the Bite.

1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

They raped silent sisters and Hal Mollen ended up dead (at Maidenpool or en route makes little to no matter). The High Sparrow learned of these tales and without Hal Mollen there to tell him otherwise, he believed Ned's bones to be holy bones of septons. The HS took Ned' bones back to KL unwittingly, where they were dumped at the foot of Baelor's statue on the exact same square where Ned lost his head. 

I like this, even if it leaves me a little unsatisfied as a reader. But that's no reason to rule something out in this series. Still, I just feel with Lady Dustin bringing the subject up again in ADwD there is more to come on the matter of Ned's bones.

What the Hooded Man said to Theon, makes me quite sure it was someone who knew Theon well from Winterfell, back when he was Ned's ward, and is someone genuinely hurt by Theon's crimes. That leaves Hal and Harwin. Hal is almost always mentioned in Theon's presence in AGoT. They were portrayed as being close back then. My gut tells me we will see Harwin is still with Lady Stoneheart in Jaime or Brienne's next chapter. And given that Hal was destined for Winterfell, by whatever route, I still believe he is the hooded man.

 

Edited by three-eyed monkey

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My knock against Hallis Mollen is that Roose Bolton might recognize him if he saw him. Hal was thrown to the ground by Greatjon Umber during that incident with the unsheathed sword. And he was the one who bore Robb's banner when he left Winterfell. He traveled with Robb and Roose Bolton.

If the Hooded Man is on a mission on Lady Stoneheart's behalf, I don't think she would send someone who can be recognized. And Hal Mollen has a loose tongue to boot, something that Catelyn remarks on. I think those are strikes against him.

I think it's more likely to be Harwin. He left Winterfell with Ned, he was the son of the master of horse, so he would be unremarkable versus someone who was the captain of the guard.

He would recognize Jeyne Poole, and he might have some valuable information about the hostages at the Twins that he could pass on to the northmen. 

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48 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Still, I just feel with Lady Dustin bringing the subject up again in ADwD there is more to come on the matter of Ned's bones.

One has to wonder if, with the magic waking, there might be more to "bones remember" than just a meme.

48 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

What the Hooded Man said to Theon, makes me quite sure it was someone who knew Theon well from Winterfell, back when he was Ned's ward, and is someone genuinely hurt by Theon's crimes. That leaves Hal and Harwin.

:agree:

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I really liked the Theon Durden theory, but unfortunately I don't believe the full version of it.

I liked the idea of split personalities where Reek would walk around at day and Theon would stalk at night. But, as has been pointed out, we can be almost certain that the ones killing Ramsay's men and sewing distrust in Winterfell were the Spearwives.

It is still very possible, and I think likely, that this is all in Theon's mind and he is seeing a vision of what he used to be while he is contemplating killing himself...hence the hand on the dagger. All aspects of the meeting can be explained through the fact he is not real and much of it symbolic. His old self would be and was disgusted with his own actions even while he internally tried to justify them to himself. I still find it interesting, just not full on fight club.

I don't believe there is any surprise in "meeting" Theon, I think that was jumping to a conclusion which then spawned a bunch misleading theories.

It's possible it is someone else, but if we are actually meant to have a chance of guessing who and what they are up to, it would be an incredibly subtle clue. The Boltons holding Winterfell plot is already pretty full imo and about to move forward without Theon and Jeyne even there. If it was, I can't really see the point of it.

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I agree that Harwin is likely the hooded man.  I will add one thing.  People ask how the HM could recognize Theon, but Theon not recognize the HM.  Well, in ASOS, Arya also did not recognize Harwin, at first.  Why?  Because he was thinner than before AND he now had a beard that Arya noted he never wore at Winterfell.  

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5 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I think Mollen and Harwin are excellent candidates. I also don’t buy Theon Durden for a second. 

Those are very poor candidates.Theon knows them.

You can't have it both ways.

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50 minutes ago, redriver said:

Those are very poor candidates.Theon knows them.

You can't have it both ways.

 

7 hours ago, The Hidden Dragon said:

Well, in ASOS, Arya also did not recognize Harwin, at first.  Why?  Because he was thinner than before AND he now had a beard that Arya noted he never wore at Winterfell. 

This.  But Harwin/Hal recognizes Theon despite his changed appearance because he has been around for some time and learned from others.

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2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

 

 

Edited by redriver

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