Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Alexis-something-Rose

Spotted Sylva did it (posted)

Recommended Posts

Several re-reads later, I noticed a couple of things in the Queenmaker chapter that can serve as a motivator for another one of Arianna's conspirators to want to harm or kill Myrcella. 

GRRM never established what the relationship between Sylva and Aron Santagar is. We know the two are related because of their last names, but that's as far as it goes. What we do however know is that Aron Santagar was brutally murdered during the Bread Riots, on the day Myrcella left King's Landing. 

There are two instances in Myrcella's interactions with Arianne's companions that seems to stand out a bit more to me. It's the passage when Arianne introduces Sylva, Gerold Dayne and Garin to Myrcella.

Sylva cleared her throat, till Arianne said, "Might I present Lady Sylva Santagar, my queen? My dearest Spotted Sylva."
“Why do they call you that?” Myrcella asked.

“For my freckles, Your Grace,” Sylva answered, “though they all pretend it is because I am the heir to Spottswood.”
Garin was next, a loose-limbed, swarthy, long-nosed fellow with a jade stud in her ear. “Here is gay Garin of the orphans, who makes me laugh,” said Arianne. “His mother was my wet nurse.”
“I am sorry she is dead,” Myrcella said.
“She’s not, sweet queen.” Garin flashed the golden tooth Arianne had bought him to replace the one she’d broken. “I’m of the orphans of the Greenblood, is what my lady means.”
Myrcella would have time enough to learn the history of the orphans on her voyage up the river. Arianne led her queen-to-be to the final member of her little band. “Last, but first in valor, I give you Ser Gerold Dayne, a knight of Starfall.”
Ser Gerold went to one knee. The moonlight shone in his dark eyes as he studied the child coolly.
“There was an Arthur Dayne,” Myrcella said. “He was a knight of the Kingsguard in the days of Mad King Aerys.”
“He was the Sword of the Morning. He is dead.” (The Queenmaker, AFfC 21)

Myrcella is a good girl. She knows her courtesies and she clearly knows some of the history of the Seven Kingdoms. When she thinks that Garin’s mother died, she extends her condolences and when she finds out what Darkstar’s last name is, she connects it to Arthur Dayne who’s been dead for some 16-17 years.

And this is where I think there’s an important omission.

Aron Santagar was the master-at-arms of the Red Keep and someone Myrcella would have known by name and even by sight even if she never interacted with him. It doesn’t matter whether she knows or doesn’t know that he died. The bottom line is that while Myrcella acknowledges Arthur Dayne whom she only heard of, she doesn’t do the same for a man who lives in the Red Keep and whose family is right there with her.

The last we see Sylva’s name on page in that chapter is when she helps veil Myrcella against the glare of the sun, sometime before arriving at the poleboat and finding Aero Hotah waiting. 

And there’s something interesting here too. 

Hotah tells Arianne that his orders are to kill everyone but her and Myrcella if she doesn’t yield. Garin yielded before those words were even spoken. Drey says they should yield, Darkstar tells Arys Oakheart that he should yield which means he was prepared to do the same. The only people who don’t speak during this scene are Spotted Sylva and Myrcella.

Then Arys Oakheart charges the poleboat and everything becomes a confused mess after that.

When Oakheart decides to commit suicide by Hotah, Arianne says that she is shrieking, she yells that this was not supposed to happen.

She also tells us that she could hear Myrcella shrieking too, her voice shrill with fear.

Arianna is able to tells us that she and Myrcella were both shrieking. But we get absolutely nothing on her BFF Spotted Sylva. It’s of course possible that she became paralyzed with fear. 

But it’s also possible that she seized her opportunity to try and kill Myrcella. There’s chaos around them, and the action is happening on the poleboat. 

She has the motive for it and the Martells are not the only one who have monopoly on vengeance. Everyone around her is focused on what happened Elia and the children, and on Oberyn’s recent death that the loss of her own kin seems to have pretty much flown under the radar. 

And she is the one who reaped the worst punishment. She was married off to a 70 year old man. Even at that ripe old age, Eldon Estermont seems to be healthy and vigorous enough that he took part in the Battle of the Blackwater.

While Garin and Drey Dalt were both sent to Essos as punishment, she was shipped off to an old husband as punishment. Doran alleges that it was her father’s decision to marry her off, but he lies where it suits him, so who knows if that’s true.

And Doran knew about this conspiracy and let it play. He doesn’t know what sort of outcome this will have. But he carries on with his own plan. And he lies about the manner of Arys Oakheart’s death. We, the readers, know exactly how he died, Arianne and her companions know how he died and why. But Doran pins it on the man who fled instead. By doing so, he protects Arianne and his own secrets.

And I think it’s easy to suspect that Darkstar tried to kill Myrcella. He talks about it and he has no reason to take off the way he did if he didn’t do it. But Arys Oakheart’s actions did put Arianne’s companions in danger. Instead of yielding, he chose to die. It almost feels like he was also making the choice for the others who had chosen to yield.

But to go back to Sylva Santagar, the thing with her, is that is seems that we are supposed to forget about her. She is the only one in the group of conspirators who says nothing to Hotah appearing. And while Arianne recognizes her own screams and Myrcella, Sylva remains quiet. 

I think Sylva may have been the one to give up Arianne’s plans to Doran and I think that she took advantage of Arys Oakheart’s actions to try and do Myrcella in. 

In ADwD, we find out that Greenstone, where Sylva was sent has fallen to the Golden Company. 

And in Arianne II, WoW

Spoiler

 

We find out that the high born hostages are going to be brought to Storm’s End, which means that Arianne will be reunited with her good friend.

 

That should make for a rather interesting conversation, I think.

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t have anything specific to add/comment but find the idea quite interesting. You make some very good points, and now I’m more curious than I was before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good, but

On 10/23/2019 at 2:01 PM, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I think Sylva may have been the one to give up Arianne’s plans to Doran and I think that she took advantage of Arys Oakheart’s actions to try and do Myrcella in.

surely not both?

Doran wants to keep Myrcella unharmed. If Sylva wants to betray Arianne (with her loyal Sandsnake cousins) - then it would be a terrible idea to betray Doran as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

surely not both?

Maybe she gave up Arianne's plans, maybe she didn't. There's chaos, and no one would have been watching Myrcella because everyone's attention would have been on Arys Oakheart. What works for Darkstar works as well for Sylva. I'm not saying it's premeditated, but the opportunity does present itself. 

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

 Doran wants to keep Myrcella unharmed. If Sylva wants to betray Arianne (with her loyal Sandsnake cousins) - then it would be a terrible idea to betray Doran as well.

Doran says a lot of things, and we're very unfortunately not in his head. Doran could have kept Myrcella completely out of harm's way by nipping Arianne's plans in the bud. He was aware of what she was doing. Hotah and his men arrived at that poleboat ahead of Arianne and her party. And he didn't. He didn't know how Arianne and her party would react to the ambush. He was banking on her loving her friends enough that she wouldn't want to see them killed.

But Arianne is very contemptuous of her father. She tells him that he wouldn't have dared make enemies of those houses. In the end, it was Drey and even Darkstar who were the more reasonable ones about yielding.

If Doran had been wanting so badly to protect Myrcella from harm, he would have done with Arianne what he did with the Sand Snakes. He would have locked her up.

I know a lot of people find the Arys Oakheart chapter useless, but his conversation with Doran is not. There's a lot of stuff to unpack, imo.


"Ours is a harsh land, and poor, yet not without its beauties. It grieves us that you have seen no more of Dorne than Sunspear, but I fear that neither you nor your princess would be safe beyond these walls. We Dornish are hot-blooded people, quick to anger and slow to forgive. It would gladden my heart if I could assure you that the Sand Snakes were alone in wanting war, but I will not tell you lies, ser. You have heard my smallfolk in the streets, crying out for me to call my spears. Half my lords agree with them, I fear."
"And you, my prince?" the knight had dared to ask.
"My mother taught me long ago that only madmen fight wars they cannot win." If the bluntness of the question had offended him, Prince Doran hid it well. "Yet this peace is fragile . . . as fragile as your princess."
"Only a beast would harm a little girl."
"My sister Elia had a little girl as well. Her name was Rhaenys. She was a princess too." The prince sighed. "Those who would plunge a knife into Princess Myrcella do not bear her any malice, no more than Ser Amory Lorch did when he killed Rhaenys, if indeed he did. They seek only to force my hand. For if Myrcella should be slain in Dorne whilst under my protection, who would believe my denials?"

"No one shall harm Myrcella whilst I still live."
"A noble vow," said Doran Martell with a faint smile, "but you are only one man, ser. I had hoped that imprisoning my headstrong nieces would help to calm the waters, but all we've done is drive the roaches back beneath the rushes. Every night I hear them whispering and sharpening their knives."

He is afraid, Ser Arys realized then. Look, his hand is shaking. The prince of Dorne is terrified. Words failed him. [snip] (The Soiled Knight, AFfC 13)

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/23/2019 at 7:47 PM, kissdbyfire said:

I don’t have anything specific to add/comment but find the idea quite interesting. You make some very good points, and now I’m more curious than I was before.

I think there's something here. Doran lies. We've seen it firsthand. I doubt he lied to protect Sylva if she in fact did harm Myrcella, but it's possible he has no clue who did the deed and chose to pin it on the guy ran away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

but it's possible he has no clue who did the deed and chose to pin it on the guy ran away.

It’s been a while since I read the pertinent chapters, but yes, from what I recall I think it’s entirely possible. I now want to reread those chapters... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me see if I understand the scenario the original poster is describing. Sylva suddenly attacks Myrcella and Myrcella screams. There are many people present but not one turns their head at the princess' scream and sees Sylva near Myrcella with a drawn bloody weapon. Myrcella herself is apparently oblivious to who just attacked her in broad daylight. Sylva also has time to wipe off and sheathe her weapon with no one noticing. Fortunately for Sylva, no blood got on her hands or clothes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

God I love this series, its a mystery wrapped in an enigma. 

 

What we see can lead us false, and assumptions can take us down the wrong path. 

What did we actually see in Arianne's perspective? 

What did Tyrion see when he walked into the room with Shae? 

What do we actually know of people's motives besides what they tell us (minus POVs). 

We know the lemon tree matters, we know the tower of joy matters, the Dayne's were everywhere around the reign of Aerys II. Arthur served Rhaegar in the same way Ashara did Elia. 

Oberyn knew something he was not telling us when he entered KL, the widow's blood wasn't a mistake, neither is rosamund's role in Myrcella's plot. 

 

Something more is going on, and Doran either wanting Myrcella dead or not fits another puzzle piece into how close he was working with Oberyn or not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...