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Leo of House Cartel

Endgame for the Kettleblacks?

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Hey everyone.

I'd like to know what you think the future has in store for the ever charming Kettleblacks lads, Osmund, Osfryd and Osney, as well as their dodgy old dad, Oswell. 

Currently languishing in the dungeons of the Red Keep, having been revealed to have all had sexual relations with the Queen regent. as well as one of them being declared guilty of killing the high septon, the three brothers await some form of death by either Robert Strong or Illyn Payne. 

With their father seemingly safe and sound serving Littlefinger in the Vale,  one wonders what the old man's opinion on his son's imprisonment might be? 

Edited by Leo of House Cartel

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Fun topic!

My best guess is that they want Harrenhal and LF has promised it to them. Some ramblings about them which seem interesting and maybe important...or not.

 

1.. They seem very loyal to LF, even over Cersei and her resources. No doubt LF is paying them well, but I think LF is offering something more valuable to them than money.

2. Reports of Oswell Whent have him being very, well, Kettleblack-like excepting OW being of better character than the Kettleblacks, though Harrenhal is associated with many of questionable character. OW is known for having a black sense of humor and the Kettleblacks are named black with their own lack of seriousness - ahem. Harrenhal was built by Harren the Black and the Kettleblacks have that in their name. Another coincidence is that OW was from Harrenhal, and now LF has Harrenhal which obviously isn't LF's end goal making it likely that LF will offer Harrenhal to someone else when his game causes LF to move on. Oswell Whent being Oswell Kettleblack is a tough sell for me, but I entertain the thought that they have a claim to Harrenhal from the wrong side of the sheets. Perhaps Oswell might be a common Whent family name like Brandon is for the Starks.

3. Jaqen morphs into someone who looks like a Kettleblack. Arya sees a fat servant in Braavos who resembles a Kettleblack. More that ties to Braavos/LF and the Arya/Jaqen arc happened at Harrenhal.

4. Oswell is described as being called "Kettleblack" (see the old thread attached below), a description and name which point to common origins. But at one point, the Kettleblacks become a House in the Stormlands. They do resemble Baratheons with their dark hair, height and build. Was this retconned or did I miss something? They start out as sellswords. https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/House_Kettleblack

5. Tytos Blackwood has a hooked nose too. Both have "black" in their names. Don't know if that means anything but it's a weird coincidence. :dunno:

6.  Things seem to be building up that Harrenhal and its mysterious history will factor hugely in the future books. The Kettleblacks are likewise very prominent in the books for who they are.

7. Kettleblack is from the pot calling the kettle black. At this point, I don't see a reason for their name so I have to think this will become obvious in the future. One possibility is if the Kettleblacks have some claim to Harrenhal through less respectable lines and have been denied that claim by Lady Whent who has no heirs. That would smart badly. More so if the Kettleblacks were denied as Lady Whent's heirs when she had no others for their being too lowborn/classless when Harrenhal has historically been owned by families of likewise ill repute. Perhaps the Kettleblacks chose their name because they smart from the hypocrisy? Also, perhaps it's some reference to Harrenhal's burning. The stone would've created a sort of pot during the burning and both pots and kettles are set on fire.

8. When Arya starts approaching Harrenhal and she's thinking of the Whents and is retelling of Harrenhal being burned, Yoren mentions a character named Pots. GRRM often puts things in proximity in the text when things were connected, are connected or will be connected. Also notice that Arya is having a Sansa moment in regards to knights and the Kettleblacks making a mockery of the knighthood Arya speaks of here is a major aspect of the family.

ACOK Arya IV

Arya was remembering the stories Old Nan used to tell of Harrenhal. Evil King Harren (the Black) had walled himself up inside, so Aegon unleashed his dragons and turned the castle into a pyre. Nan said that fiery spirits still haunted the blackened towers. Sometimes men went to sleep safe in their beds and were found dead in the morning, all burnt up. Arya didn't really believe that, and anyhow it had all happened a long time ago. Hot Pie was being silly; it wouldn't be ghosts at Harrenhal, it would be knights. Arya could reveal herself to Lady Whent, and the knights would escort her home and keep her safe. That was what knights did; they kept you safe, especially women. Maybe Lady Whent would even help the crying girl.

The river track was no kingsroad, yet it was not half bad for what it was, and for once the wagons rolled along smartly. They saw the first house an hour shy of evenfall, a snug little thatch-roofed cottage surrounded by fields of wheat. Yoren rode out ahead, hallooing, but got no answer. "Dead, might be. Or hiding. Dobber, Rey, with me." The three men went into the cottage. "Pots is gone, no sign o' any coin laid by," Yoren muttered when they returned. "No animals. Run, most like. Might be we met 'em on the kingsroad." At least the house and field had not been burned, and there were no corpses about. Tarber found a garden out back, and they pulled some onions and radishes and filled a sack with cabbages before they went on their way.

 

 

 

Adding: LF has a habit of tracking and collecting bastards, or in Sansa's case, turning her into a bastard and teaching her that Westeros' establishment and status quo screws her over. LF collecting bastard Whents would fit right in.

Edited by Lollygag

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@Lollygag

Interesting analysis as always. 

The connections between LF/Harrenhal/Kettleblacks and Bravos you listed are all cool and I wonder where this all leads. 

In terms of the name "Kettleblack" if viewed through a Harrenhal inspired lense, it works nicely as a hint towards Black Harrens Hubris - considering how Balerion's fires famously turned the castle into a giant black furnace during the Conquest. 

I wonder how Jon Snow's election victory at Castle Black - featuring a black bird flying out of a Kettle - might also have some parallels to Harenhal, Oswell and Co. Mormont's raven emerging from the dark cook pot brings to mind the sigil ravens of the former Harenhal ruling houses, Lothston and Whent. As you mentioned earlier, Oswell Whent has certain Kettleblack qualities to him and vice versa, so there could be something there. 

I have to wonder how the Harenhal, Baratheon and LF connections with the Kettleblacks you mentioned might also relate to the awesome recent post by @three-eyed monkey regarding Robert Strong possibly being an actual shadow of the Mountain (check it out if you guys haven't already, a genuinely thought provoking, entertaining read) 

Could the name "Kettleblack" perhaps be looked at as a metaphor for "shadow womb"?

Kettles and wombs are each a form of gestation zone, where the respective contents (foetuses or food/drink) go through a development process. When thinking of the black blood and shadow oozing from Lady Mel, I can't help but think of the words "Kettleblack". 

Consider the subtle parallels between Qyburn, Lady Mel and the Kettleblack brothers.We have the above "shadow womb" angle which fits with both Mel and the potential shadow binding being done by Qyburn. Another point is that the Red Queen, Qyburn and the KB bros are all alike in the nature of their rapid rises to prominence. Each came out of seemingly nowhere and find themselves in the inner circles of various "royal" figures - Qyburn and the KBs with Cersei/Mel with Stannis. 

There is also the fact that all three parties first appear in the three locations associated with Aegon the Conquerer - Harenhal, Dragonstone and King's Landing. 

Let's also consider the draining, negative affect which a night of sex with Lady Mel or the Kettleblack brothers has been shown to cause.

Mel needed Stannis' seed for her shadow baby, the aftermath of which caused the King to begin to look like a haggard, gaunt "shadow" of himself. Meanwhile, Osmund and his siblings have been sleeping with Queen, and Cersei's public confession of the fact has left her public reputation in a similar state to the Mannis' appearance. 

We know the Kettleblacks have some other similarities to the shadow connected Baratheon boys, such as the their mutual status as trios, appearance, Stormlander status, questionable personalities and bedding of the Cersei. Two of Oswells's sons are also currently awaiting death by Robert Strong, he who is named for Robert Baratheon as well a potentially being a similar product of shadow binding to Stannis and Melisande's baby/Renly's murderer.

Ser Robert has also pretty much taken the Kettleblack trio's role as Cersei's main protector. A sworn sword can also be looked at as "shadowing" whoever they are sworn to protect. The dark haired KBs could also visually be compared to shadows.

Robert's handler Qyburn seems to be in charge of the Red Keep dungeons in which the hooked nosed Stormlanders are being held, which is interesting in itself, and makes one wonder just how the mad scientist could use the KBs to his advantage, be it through cutting a deal or cutting open a body. 

@Lollygag I'm not sure where this Kettleblack/shadow womb idea could lead, but another way to take it could be "hidden/shaded child", which fits with your remarks about Old Kettleblack's employer, LF,  collecting various bastards.

Also, if Cersei has indeed fallen pregnant by one of the Kettleblacks, as many have postulated, one could also refer to the contents of her womb being "black", considering the KB name and social status, as well as the potential hair colour of the kid and the fact she would probably try and keep it a secret. Perhaps her heavy drinking and gigantic stress could even cause her to miscarry (a situation several others have also pondered), which would no doubt draw some kind of "black womb" based, whispered insults if any of her enemies found out. 

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Every time I read the name Kettleblack the wee voice in my head says 'the pot calls the kettle black'.  I can't help but thinking that they're going to miss something really important because they're sitting around on the couch blowing spliffs while something really important that they're supposed to be a part of unfolds outside.

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Forget the heavy symbolism. Concentrate on simple politics.

in the Vale - Oswell Kettleblack

All three of his sons have been arrested in KL. He will no doubt expect LF to do something about that. LF is not likely to be interested.

He will have Lothor Brune kill Oswell. But remember the power dynamics of LF's people - Brune keeps an eye on Kettleblack, and

Kettleblack keeps an eye on Brune. This will free Brune from constraint. He's in love with Mya Stone, and is not all that bad of a chap.

He will be open for recruitment to Sansa's developing power base. Plus he's a Brune from Crackclaw Point, and all those Crackclaw

Pointers are good dragon men.

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2 hours ago, Ibbison from Ibben said:

Forget the heavy symbolism. Concentrate on simple politics.

in the Vale - Oswell Kettleblack

All three of his sons have been arrested in KL. He will no doubt expect LF to do something about that. LF is not likely to be interested.

He will have Lothor Brune kill Oswell. But remember the power dynamics of LF's people - Brune keeps an eye on Kettleblack, and

Kettleblack keeps an eye on Brune. This will free Brune from constraint. He's in love with Mya Stone, and is not all that bad of a chap.

He will be open for recruitment to Sansa's developing power base. Plus he's a Brune from Crackclaw Point, and all those Crackclaw

Pointers are good dragon men.

Why do you think Littlefinger will order Brune to kill Oswell? I'd imagine old Kettleblack wouldn't bee too happy if Littlefinger refused to try help the man's sons be released, but would his rage really result in a situation where LF felt the need to have him killed? There is a great chance Oswell might be just as cruel as his boys, leaving them to rot while he continues to reap whatever rewards his association with Petyr brings. 

Then again, if the three young, able bodied, tough guy sons are no longer able to serve a purpose in the Red Keep, perhaps there is no need for Lord Baelish to keep the dodgy old father around. 

I'd be interested to see if LF actually could get them out of the Red Keep dungeons. Perhaps he has a few jailers in his pocket who could help. The question is, why would he want to? The Kettleblacks seem to have served their immediate purpose in that they gave Baelish access to Cersei, while also helping add to the Queen Regent's downfall. With them now being imprisoned, LF might begin to consider the possibility that the brothers will rat him out to Cersei. 

Edited by Leo of House Cartel

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3 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

Why do you think Littlefinger will order Brune to kill Oswell? I'd imagine old Kettleblack wouldn't bee too happy if Littlefinger refused to try help the man's sons be released, but would his rage really result in a situation where LF felt the need to have him killed? There is a great chance Oswell might be just as cruel as his boys, leaving them to rot while he continues to reap whatever rewards his association with Petyr brings. 

Then again, if the three young, able bodied, tough guy sons are no longer able to serve a purpose in the Red Keep, perhaps there is no need for Lord Baelish to keep the dodgy old father around. 

I'd be interested to see if LF actually could get them out of the Red Keep dungeons. Perhaps he has a few jailers in his pocket who could help. The question is, why would he want to? The Kettleblacks seem to have served their immediate purpose in that they gave Baelish access to Cersei, while also helping add to the Queen Regent's downfall. With them now being imprisoned, LF might begin to consider the possibility that the brothers will rat him out to Cersei. 

Doesn’t he already consider Osmund unreliable since he received the White Cloak?

 

And one minor nitpick, but Osney is a prisoner of the Faith, not in the red keep with his brothers

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9 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Doesn’t he already consider Osmund unreliable since he received the White Cloak?

 

And one minor nitpick, but Osney is a prisoner of the Faith, not in the red keep with his brothers

Yeah, I guess these two points would reduce the chances of Littlefinger trying to organise some kind of jailbreak, as it might be a bit too much legwork to arrange the Kettleblacks escape from separate prisons held by competing factions. 

If Osmund is already considered dead weight then he's almost certainly screwed. 

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12 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

didn't Kevan gave them the option of taking the black?

I don't think so. Cersei's original plan was to have Osney confess to crimes to screw Marg over and then have him ask to take the Black. I don't think this ever came to fruition.

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