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three-eyed monkey

Qhorin Halfhand was Ser Arthur Dayne - Revisited.

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2 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

"As shy as a maid on her wedding night," the big ranger said in a soft voice, "and near as fair. Sometimes a man forgets how pretty a fire can be."

He was not a man you'd expect to speak of maids and wedding nights. So far as Jon knew, Qhorin had spent his whole life in the Watch. Did he ever love a maid or have a wedding? He could not ask.

So you have to ask here, what's with this odd musing from Qhorin?

Another set of clues is attached the shy maids in the books. I believe that Asha refers to herself as a shy maid and, perhaps most importantly, Tyrion travels with other key players aboard a boat called The Shy Maid.

While aboard the Shy Maid, there is a passage where Griff / Jon Connington is described as single-handedly performing the Night Watch. While he does so, he tends a fire ....

Edited by Seams

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4 hours ago, Seams said:

Another set of clues is attached the shy maids in the books. I believe that Asha refers to herself as a shy maid and, perhaps most importantly, Tyrion travels with other key players aboard a boat called The Shy Maid.

While aboard the Shy Maid, there is a passage where Griff / Jon Connington is described as single-handedly performing the Night Watch. While he does so, he tends a fire ....

I am aware of the shy maid's use throughout the series, and as you point out there's certainly a strong textual connection to another of Rhaegar's friends, but I was asking specifically in reference to Qhorin. Who do you think was he talking about?

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So, I've tried to read through most of this thread, which is new to me, with an open mind, and I am failing miserably, so I'll just share my thoughts.  I've now seen theories that each of the 3 ToJ kinsguard became Qhorin.  If any of them survived, it's likely that all three of them did, as evidenced by Ned's seeing their faces clearly in his fever dream.  This might mean that he's seen them not that long ago.  Given that Qhorin knew Lords Rickard and Eddard, he's as good a person as any to be one of them, so I am open to that idea, alhough always skeptical that the comparisons and evidence might just turn out to be symbolic, and not meaningful in proving secret identity. 

That said, if Arthur is alive and went to the wall, which seems plausible, I don't think he was Qhorin.  I can't see Arthur Dayne ever saying "he was the best of us" about anyone.  Arthur Dayne was the best.  Period.  So, yeah, if they survived, Arthur became Mance, not Qhorin IMO. 

Whent?  Nah, he didn't go to the wall. 

Hightower?  Well, given that he was the "White Bull," who Mithras slew reluctantly, just as Jon did Qhorin.  Due to this, I think he is the most likely KG to be Qhorin.  Besides, the name Corin, means spear.  The name Gerald means "rule of the spear," and the Hightower, if anything, is "straight as a spear" which Jon thinks about Qhorin not once, but twice.  There's more, but I am not going to try to prove the theory right here.  I am just wondering what the strongest evidence for QH=AD?  I can't imagine any of that evidence beating this evidence, so please bring you "A" game.

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3 minutes ago, The Green Bard said:

So, yeah, if they survived, Arthur became Mance,

But Mance is Rhaegar. Or so they say. 

Sorry, @three-eyed monkey, I couldn’t resist. :blushing:

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17 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

But Mance is Rhaegar. Or so they say. 

Sorry, @three-eyed monkey, I couldn’t resist. :blushing:

I am sure you are joking, but Yeah....  No. Rheagar is dead.  If George comes out and says Rheagar is alive, I'll stop right then and there.  His death is the axis the whole story revolves around.  

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1 minute ago, The Green Bard said:

I am sure you are joking, but Yeah....  No. Rheagar is dead.  If George comes out and says Rheagar is alive, I'll stop right then and there.  His death is the axis the whole story revolves around.  

Mance = Rhaegar is a thing, and there’s loads of people who support it. I’m not one of them. In fact, off the top of my head, I don’t subscribe to any of the numerous hidden identities theories, such as Mance is Rhaegar, Daario is Euron, Howland Reed is the High Sparrow, Lem is Richard Lonmouth... what else... whatever, not buying it. :D

 

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Yes, I am aware of most of the secret identity theories.  I've spent a lot of time on Reddit!   

2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Mance = Rhaegar is a thing, and there’s loads of people who support it. I’m not one of them. In fact, off the top of my head, I don’t subscribe to any of the numerous hidden identities theories, such as Mance is Rhaegar, Daario is Euron, Howland Reed is the High Sparrow, Lem is Richard Lonmouth... what else... whatever, not buying it. :D

One of these things is not like the other.  The only one you cite above that I think has any reasonable chance is Lem = Lonmouth.  I'll support reasonable secret identity theories as possible, though I'll rarely consider them confirmed.  These can be easter eggs like Lem may be, or real important plot drivers, like Dayne would be.  In fact, the idea that some of Rheagar's supporters would go into hiding to try to continue whatever legacy is that they thought he represented seems very reasonable, and even likely, as underscored by Griff.  Certainly we have some hidden characters. 

Then, we have characters who scream out to be doxxed.  Lemore out and out admits she "must needs hide," even though it seems that Ashara = Lemore is a likely false alarm.   George sets up these mysteries and invites us to speculate on them.

As I said before, it seems reasonable to me that some of the kingsguard may have chosen the wall for their exile, under Ned's secret sentences, especially given the parallels between black brothers and white swords.  However, just because someone symbolically represents someone else, doesn't mean that they for sure are that person.  Unless there is compelling symbolic and compelling direct evidence combined, I consign these ideas to low probability.

I give Qhorin = Hightower credence because the man gave his life to protect Jon Snow.  Under RLJ, that isn't just the Mithral symbolism I discussed above.  That is symbolism AND upholding your sworn duty in a two very real ways, simultaneously.  It would constitute amazing story-telling.

Daario symbolically represents Euron, because they are both villains, but there is no other reason to believe with any significant probability that they are the same villain, aside from being in the same general vicinity as eachother early in ACoK (at least I haven't seen the evidence).

As to Rheagar, the rubies mean he probably cheated at Harrenhal, not that he faked his own death.  Now, if he faked his own death to then sweep in behind Ned and Robert, to then win the battle of the Trident, like the falcon knight?  That would make sense.  Faking your own death to see ruin come down on all who you care about.  I don't see that at all.

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@kissdbyfire Mance is Rhaegar should not be a thing and it is not in the same category as Qhorin is Arthur.

To begin with Mance and Rhaegar's eye and hair color don't match. Mance visited Winterfell with Lord Commander Qorgyle sometime before 288 AC, which is 5 years or less after the Trident, and was not recognized by Ned. Later he attached himself to Robert's tail and feasted in Winterfell once more with Ned and Robert and Cersei and Jaime all present. Rhaegar was known to be very good looking, no one ever says that about Mance. Rhaegar was knighted at seventeen and Mance told Jon no septon ever smeared his head with oil. And while I would put Arthur not revealing Jon's identity down to an oath of secrecy about the events at the ToJ that was imposed by Ned and honorably upheld by Arthur, it's harder to explain why Rhaegar would not reveal anything to Jon. It's also harder to explain why so many people think Rhaegar died at the Trident given there was a battle with thousands present, while there were only two witnesses to Arthur's death and we know Ned lied about what happened at the ToJ.

The fact is there are many identity swaps in the series, some obvious, some revealed, and some that are yet to be revealed. Most serve the plot but Arthur has no plot function, he serves the main theme. I have explained how motifs work and how theme interacts with plot and character. A monkey can only lead you to water, he cannot make you drink. :cheers:

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2 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Mance is Rhaegar should not be a thing and it is not in the same category as Qhorin is Arthur.

. :cheers:

Of course, I agree that Mance = Rhaegar makes no sense.  However, I was talking about all the kingsguard, and their potential identities, assuming they went into hiding, which is certainly not provable at this point in the books.  If we want to assign likely identities, to them, assuming they survived, I think the textual clues lead us to Oswell = Oswell, Gerold = Qhorin, and Arthur = Mance.  

Since you believe differently, I asked for your best evidence for Arthur = Qhorin, because my eyes were going cross-eyed and I did not see the compelling evidence jumping off my screen after reading the first 2 pages of this thread.  If you can supply something compelling, maybe I'll convince myself to keep reading this thread, lol.  What would make me feel like this? If you don't have a single-most compelling piece, please at least give me the high points.

Edited by The Green Bard
grammar

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50 minutes ago, The Green Bard said:

If we want to assign likely identities, to them, assuming they survived, I think the textual clues lead us to Oswell = Oswell, Gerold = Qhorin, and Arthur = Mance.  

What textual clues lead to Gerold = Qhorin? Or Arthur = Mance? Mance said no septon ever smeared his head with oil, if anything that's a strong clue that Mance was never knighted. On the other hand, "Dawn arrived with Qhorin Halfhand." If that's what you mean by a textual clue then it clearly points to Arthur Dayne, in my opinion.

Also, as I pointed out, the death of Arthur Dayne is signposted as a mystery by Bran, who wished Ned had said more about Arthur Dayne almost killing him but for Howland Reed. I don't see that type of technique used to guide the reader to ask what happened Oswell or Gerold, so I think they most likely died at the tower.

1 hour ago, The Green Bard said:

Since you believe differently, I asked for your best evidence for Arthur = Qhorin, because my eyes were going cross-eyed and I did not see the compelling evidence jumping off my screen after reading the first 2 pages of this thread.  If you can supply something compelling, maybe I'll convince myself to keep reading this thread, lol.  What would make me feel like this? If you don't have a single-most compelling piece, please at least give me the high points.

As you are a green bard and green bards are my favorite bards then I will try to briefly summarize my argument. Some of the points around motif and theme and how they tie into the climax are explained in more detail on the pages of the thread you didn't get around to reading. It's quite technical but it's central to the argument, and that's where the mind blown factor is for me as it demonstrates GRRM's mastery of his craft.

To begin with Arthur Dayne's "death" remains a mystery, and one Bran guides us to ponder. The points that suggest Arthur died are misleading, such as the eight cairns Ned built etc.

Qhorin's past remains a mystery to some degree. Jon says "so far as he knew" Qhorin spent his life in the Watch. Qhorin talks of a shy maid on her wedding night, which seems odd to Jon, but Jon shrinks from probing further. Again it's the author telling you there is more to the shy maid on her wedding night. What significant wedding could we be talking about here? I suggest it was Lyanna and Rhaegar. Qhorin says in the same passage that he almost forgot how beautiful a fire could be, fire is a Targaryen symbol and Rhaegar was renowned as beautiful.

Other clues include lines like Dawn arriving with Qhorin Halfhand, symbolism like the red tears and rubies which recall Rhaegar's death, a swordhand parallel with Jaime who wanted to be Arthur Dayne but turned into the Smiling Knight, and the fact that Qhorin uses the same turn of phrase as Arthur when he talks about knees not bending easily.

The point of Arthur being Qhorin is this. We know the ToJ will be revisited at the climax of the story and there will be reveals. The main reveal about Lyanna's child will affect main characters and the main plot. The reveal about Arthur taking the black will support the main theme. The climax is where the point of the story is made, and the point of the story is the main theme, which is why Arthur was placed in the ToJ scene to begin with. He has no plot function of note, because his function is to make the point of the story in symbolic terms. It's the same point reflected in the titles of the books which migrate from A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings through conflict to The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. A migration away from the game of thrones and all it represents towards a song of ice and fire and all that represents. A migration from the white cloak of a kingsguard who protects the king to the black cloak of the Night's Watch who protect the realm.

As I said, there is a more detailed breakdown of theme, motif, and climax a few pages back, but that's the brief version. I'm happy to delve deeper into any of it again.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

As you are a green bard and green bards are my favorite bards then I will try to briefly summarize my argument. Some of the points around motif and theme and how they tie into the climax are explained in more detail on the pages of the thread you didn't get around to reading.

Thanks for indulging me.  I do appreciate it!  Are you per chance a fan of Irish music, because that is exactly the type of green bard that I am? 

I think at least that what you've written here has piqued my interest enough to read the rest of it.  I agree that with unsolved mysteries in these books, motif and theme are mostly what we have to work with, so I can live in that space.  You'll likely never fully convince me, though.  My philosophy on most theories is one of relative probabilities and not absolutes.  That said, there are those ideas I assign very low probability as to be close to absolute. 3/4 of the theories kissed by fire mentions above, for instance.

16 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Also, as I pointed out, the death of Arthur Dayne is signposted as a mystery by Bran, who wished Ned had said more about Arthur Dayne almost killing him but for Howland Reed. I don't see that type of technique used to guide the reader to ask what happened Oswell or Gerold, so I think they most likely died at the tower.

I would read this in a more general fashion; the mystery to me is "What happened at the Tower of Joy?"  Yes, AD is pointed at specifically in Bran's thoughts, but there could be any number of other reasons our author has for this (i.e. the mystery around house Dayne and the Sword of the Morning / Dawn as it related to the ward for the dawn).  I don't think the text precludes the survival of the other kingsguard, nor all of Ned's other companions, even.  The 8 cairns prove only the deaths of their identities, not necessarily that of their bodies.  Don't get me wrong.  I think that AD is the most likely to have survived, but I am not wholly convinced that several men at this scene died, all 3 KG, and also Willam Dustin.  The only thing we know for certain is that Martyn Cassel and at least 2 more died and that, of Ned's seven, only Ned and Howland rode away.

Quote

It would have to be his grandfather, for Jory's father was buried far to the south. Martyn Cassel had perished with the rest.

Quote

They had been seven against three, yet only two had lived to ride away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed. 

What I am trying to say is that there is enough wiggle room in the wording, that one or more of Ned's companions may have lived, but not ridden away.  Clearly though, the second half of the statement doesn't need to apply to the three (KG) at all.  It would only apply to the seven.  

36 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Qhorin's past remains a mystery to some degree. Jon says "so far as he knew" Qhorin spent his life in the Watch.

Agreed, I am quite receptive to him having a secret past identity.  This doesn't preclude any of the other 2 KG, either. 

27 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Mance said no septon ever smeared his head with oil, if anything that's a strong clue that Mance was never knighted. On the other hand, "Dawn arrived with Qhorin Halfhand." If that's what you mean by a textual clue then it clearly points to Arthur Dayne, in my opinion.

I can see how you might think this meaningful, but it is not particularly convincing to me.  The thought of a Hightower  not being anointed at his knighting would be suspect.  A Dayne? Not so much.  The existence of the Order of the Greenhand is enough to convince me that knighthood was a thing before the Andal's came and tied it to the seven, and the Dayne's are assumed to be first men.  We don't know enough to be sure but there is enough doubt that I don't find this evidence preclusive of anything.  We know of at least one other KG who was never anointed, Dunk.  Any knight can make a knight. 

1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Qhorin talks of a shy maid on her wedding night, which seems odd to Jon, but Jon shrinks from probing further. Again it's the author telling you there is more to the shy maid on her wedding night. What significant wedding could we be talking about here? I suggest it was Lyanna and Rhaegar. Qhorin says in the same passage that he almost forgot how beautiful a fire could be, fire is a Targaryen symbol and Rhaegar was renowned as beautiful.

I agree that this is compelling evidence.  Further, I would say your catch here makes absolutely perfect sense for Qhorin, if he were a former KG seeing a fire while contemplating his mortality, to wonder back to the last time he saw Rheagar, at the wedding to Lyanna.  That said, we have no certainty that all 3 of those KG were not there for that hypothetical wedding.  The fact that they all were at the ToJ does tell me there was likely a wedding, though.

 

I am not going to get into the rest of your post because I want to read more of this thread.  

1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

What textual clues lead to Gerold = Qhorin?

As to that.  His half hand parallels Hightower's injury fighting the Kingswood brotherhood.  I also already hit on the most compelling evidence, the symbolism all over Jon's story that he is a Mithras figure.  Read Schmendrick's R+L=Lightbringer essay here for that evidence.  When you combine that with the fact that Qhorin was killed reluctantly by Jon, mirroring the real world Mithras myth where Mithras has to slay a white bull reluctantly, I don't think the hints are even subtle.  That is if you understand the mythology.  Otherwise they are just completely missed. GRRM is a genius.

Mance = AD follows from this with one quote, that "he was the best of us."  AD was the best.  Everybody agrees.  It's also why I doubt your theory from the start.  I just can't imagine AD saying that about someone else.  When Mance kicks Jon's ass all over the yard without breaking a sweat, it meant a lot to me.   Comparing the 2 battles between the men and Jon, Mance is a better swordsman than Qhorin, no doubt in my mind.   Then there's Jaime's story about how AD worked with the smallfolk in the kingswood, which mirrors Mance's work with the wildlings. There's more, but that is just off the top of my head.  TBH I've not read the definitive post on this, if there is one.     

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1 hour ago, The Green Bard said:

Thanks for indulging me.  I do appreciate it!  Are you per chance a fan of Irish music, because that is exactly the type of green bard that I am? 

I guessed as much and I am indeed from the Emerald Isle. I must also thank you for indulging me. I like testing this theory and my thoughts have solidified a lot since the beginning of the thread because of the discussion.

2 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

I think at least that what you've written here has piqued my interest enough to read the rest of it.  I agree that with unsolved mysteries in these books, motif and theme are mostly what we have to work with, so I can live in that space.  You'll likely never fully convince me, though.

I think a lot of mysteries are concerned with plot, but I consider Arthur Dayne and Qhorin Halfhand to be a bit different because it is primarily concerned with the main theme. I submit that GRRM could have written the story without either character. Imagine if Arthur Dayne had died fighting the Smiling Knight and Dawn was in Starfall since then, waiting until the next Sword of the Morning arose. And imagine if Jon went ranging with Stonesnake, Ebben, and Squire Dalbridge, spared Ygritte who later returned the favor when Jon was captured by Rattleshirt, opening the door for Jon's relationship with Mance and the free folk. You could easily write them both out and the story would proceed along the same lines because neither are essential to the main plot.

Yet they do have a purpose, and that is to support and indeed explain the main theme in symbolic terms. The journey away from the white cloak of the game of thrones and towards the black cloak of the song of ice and fire, because as we have been told several times, by night all cloaks are black and that will be true of the Long Night.

3 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

I would read this in a more general fashion; the mystery to me is "What happened at the Tower of Joy?"  Yes, AD is pointed at specifically in Bran's thoughts, but there could be any number of other reasons our author has for this (i.e. the mystery around house Dayne and the Sword of the Morning / Dawn as it related to the ward for the dawn). 

The ToJ mystery was already set-up since AGoT. Bran's recollection of his conversation with Ned came in ACoK. The question that is left to linger is what happened between Ned, Arthur and Howland? I believe this question will be answered. My point is I don't see the same question being raised about Hightower and Whent or the others.

3 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

I don't think the text precludes the survival of the other kingsguard, nor all of Ned's other companions, even.  The 8 cairns prove only the deaths of their identities, not necessarily that of their bodies.  Don't get me wrong.  I think that AD is the most likely to have survived, but I am not wholly convinced that several men at this scene died, all 3 KG, and also Willam Dustin.  The only thing we know for certain is that Martyn Cassel and at least 2 more died and that, of Ned's seven, only Ned and Howland rode away.

We would need several more plausible identities. I know some have proposed that Whent is Mance, and Hightower is Tormund, but I don't see it. I think the fight started seven against three and ended with three alive and seven dead.

3 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

What I am trying to say is that there is enough wiggle room in the wording, that one or more of Ned's companions may have lived, but not ridden away. 

I should think spare horses were not a problem, but even if there was a shortage then where did the third northman walk to and why hasn't he been seen since?

3 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

I can see how you might think this meaningful, but it is not particularly convincing to me.  The thought of a Hightower  not being anointed at his knighting would be suspect.  A Dayne? Not so much.  The existence of the Order of the Greenhand is enough to convince me that knighthood was a thing before the Andal's came and tied it to the seven, and the Dayne's are assumed to be first men.  We don't know enough to be sure but there is enough doubt that I don't find this evidence preclusive of anything.  We know of at least one other KG who was never anointed, Dunk.  Any knight can make a knight.

Ser Arthur stood over Jaime during his vigil at the sept, which suggests to me that he does keep the new gods, even if the Daynes once kept the old gods. Dunk was never knighted. It will be interesting to see if he is anointed by a septon, possibly the high septon, when he is appointed to the kingsguard.

4 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

As to that.  His half hand parallels Hightower's injury fighting the Kingswood brotherhood. 

I think learning to fight with his left parallels Jaime closer.

4 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

I also already hit on the most compelling evidence, the symbolism all over Jon's story that he is a Mithras figure.  Read Schmendrick's R+L=Lightbringer essay here for that evidence.  When you combine that with the fact that Qhorin was killed reluctantly by Jon, mirroring the real world Mithras myth where Mithras has to slay a white bull reluctantly, I don't think the hints are even subtle.  That is if you understand the mythology.  Otherwise they are just completely missed. GRRM is a genius.

I understand mythology quite well but comparisons between characters and mythological figures are due to the hero with a thousand faces factor. They share an archetypal hero's journey. This is very common in storytelling. We could compare Jon with Jesus, compare Jesus with Mithras, and compare Mithras and the slaying of the bull to the journey of the sun through the constellation Taurus. I doubt very much that GRRM is retelling one particular mythological figure's story, but rather that he is retelling them all. Some people argue that the Dothraki are based on the Mongols, or the Ironborn are based on Vikings, or Dorne is based on Andalusia, but it's never that simple. GRRM has stated he takes inspiration from a wide variety of influences.

4 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

Mance = AD follows from this with one quote, that "he was the best of us."  AD was the best.  Everybody agrees.  It's also why I doubt your theory from the start.  I just can't imagine AD saying that about someone else. 

Maybe Arthur's ego was not as fragile as you think.

4 hours ago, The Green Bard said:

When Mance kicks Jon's ass all over the yard without breaking a sweat, it meant a lot to me.   Comparing the 2 battles between the men and Jon, Mance is a better swordsman than Qhorin, no doubt in my mind.   

Jon also admits that Qhorin could have swatted him like a bug if he had wanted to. Mance can handle himself for sure, but I don't think we can be certain he was a better than Qhorin was. We can't really compare the battles because Qhorin's intention was to lose to Jon, and Ghost played a major part in his defeat. Mance's intention was to win and ghost was not involved.

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On 1/20/2020 at 4:31 PM, sweetsunray said:

I'm not yet convinced that Qhoryn is Arthur. I started this post with the intent to write why I was not convinced. But ended up writing arguments that could make this work, and now I think it actually might have some potential, logic and purpose to it.

I'll point out that while I find a few glaring issues with logic (I see no reason to think that singing the Dornishmen's wife means he's not Dornish), overall I like what he's done with the analysis I am quoting the conclusion of.  I'll point out that the things he though might "have some potential" could all apply to Qhorin = Hightower

On 1/21/2020 at 3:32 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

It's not very nice of you to compare me to Preston. He doesn't deserve to be trashed like that when he's not here to defend himself.

Ha ha.  I am a fan myself.  Just because he's wrong a lot (and I think he's very wrong about a lot of things regarding Qhorin and Mance), doesn't mean there isn't value in his method of rethinking the generally accepted version of things.  I am very much anti-lemming.  

To the rest of page 3, all I can say is timeline arguments usually go nowhere and bore me to tears. ... working through this slowly but surely.

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On 1/22/2020 at 6:54 AM, three-eyed monkey said:

Accomplishing nothing... or at least nothing that matters for the story. I think this is a good summary of many of the objections. The thing is your statement is not correct. Arthur is Qhorin does exactly the same for the plot as Arthur and Qhorin, whatever function you think Arthur Dayne and Qhorin fulfil to the plot, then those plot functions remain unchanged. What you really mean is that the theory does little extra for the plot, and that may be true, but the plot is not the story.

Story is the relationship between plot, character, and theme. Plot is only an element of story. Reader's often talk about plot-holes but there are theme-holes too, though they are rarely discussed by anyone other than editors, writers and complete nerds. Theme needs to be served every bit as much as plot. Plot is just what happens. Theme is the message of the story, the very reason the story is being told in the first place. The climax of any good story is as reliant on theme as it is on plot, because that's where the thematic truth of the story is delivered.

I think you overextend yourself here.  The first point is good, I suppose; they do what they do for the plot.  When you pivot to wholly thematic arguments when we are after all analyzing an unfinished piece of art, I am very skeptical that the themes you ascribe to it are where the author is going with it.  THat is a general statement, not specifically about your arguments.  If theme is the biggest part of your theory, count me out on giving high likelihood to your conclusions.  I am much more about the specifics around the language used in the text at this early stage.  

Speaking of, the big thing in p.4 of this thread is this idea that somehow Qhorin's waterfall story kills the idea that Qhorin = AD.  I don't buy this "debunking" at all.  An author can be very tricky about hiding duplicitousness.  Nowhere does it say that Qhorin was in the night's watch when this "brother" told him, nor does it say that this "brother, was even a brother of the night's watch.  Neatly, this also doesn't preclude Qhorin = Hightower for the same reasons.  Both men likely had biological brothers and certainly had brother's of the night's watch.  Dagger removed.  

I really am not a fan of how people find one thing to latch onto to try to kill theories, rather than assessing overall strengths and weaknesses of them.  Single dagger debunking like this is kinda lazy, and typically involves strawmen.   Sure, that may be a weakness to the theory, but I'd hardly flip the "Risk" board over just for this.   

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On 1/22/2020 at 7:26 PM, kissdbyfire said:

As to what is a true knight, I think the point Martin is making is that it doesn’t matter what you said, or where, “words are wind”, after all. The truly important requisite is one’s actions, not empty words.

[...]

The boy who dreamt of becoming Arthur Dayne, but turned into the Smiling Knight along the way. And maybe the way for Jaime to fulfill his dream will be by becoming the leader or an outlaw band.

Arthur Dayne's actions in the issue of the Kingswood Brotherhood show his bonafides as a "true knight", much as Dunk showed at Ashford.  Your point reminds me of an argument I made above regarding Dunk and Mance's words about never having been anointed by a septon.  I have no good reason to think Dayne had to be anointed. 

I am not sure what your second point is, but I'll make a couple observations, with no coherent motive behind them. 

  1. As one might notice, Mance did become the leader of an outlaw band. 
  2. Jon also dreamt of being a KG hero, Aemon the dragonkniight.
  3. Jaime obviously is joining an outlaw band, though as an unwitting captive, although perhaps your idea will come true and he may lead it, if only for a short time.  I doubt this is the end of his plot/arc.
On 1/22/2020 at 7:44 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

Swordhand parallel between Qhorin and Jaime, but that's not all

@three-eyed monkey You mentioned this to me as well.  I think that a swordhand three-way works even better than a parallel when you consider Jaime, Qhorin, and Gerold Hightower together.  Arthur Dayne is notably absent from any suggestion of maiming.

This also works with the below comparison if Qhorin is Gerold H.  After all, Jaime had his hand wound after becoming Lord commander of the KG.  Add the 2 times that he tells Jon "I am no lord," which would be an ironic twist if he actually had been a Lord (commander).  

On 1/22/2020 at 11:42 PM, The Map Guy said:

I'm positive that Qhorin Halfhand ~ future Jaime Lannister.

Jon knew Qhorin Halfhand the instant he saw him, though they had never met. {Jon V ACOK}

 @three-eyed monkey It appears we see eye to eye about the sneaky language in seven against three and in the waterfall line.  I also stand by the whole theme argument from my last comment.  A lot of theme arguments happen here, but I don't find them very compelling.  

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On 1/25/2020 at 4:30 PM, sweetsunray said:

So, that he didn't for Qhorin, or Arthur is not actual evidence. It just lets the door open for the thoughful reader to stop and think, "Hey, wait a minute." And certainly in Arthur's case in a ToJ scene full of Arthurian motifs, it's not so surprising that he'd incorporate some ambiguity into his death, after his namesake.

Nice point here.  It only leaves the door open.  It doesn't mean that George drives through it later.  

 

On 1/29/2020 at 12:05 PM, sweetsunray said:

So, while Whent's symbolism ties him to Lyanna as Persephone, Hightower and Arthur are symbolically tied to Jon as Dionysys (the Iacchus incarnation).

Very interesting, since I think it possible both those men tied to Jon to have gone to the wall, while the one tied to Lyanna ends up in the free cities.  Could Whent be tied to Dany in the same way?

 

On 1/28/2020 at 5:45 PM, sweetsunray said:

Jon can be said to have been twice born as well

Wouldn't a more likely second birth be when he gets resurrected in the next book? 

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5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I guessed as much and I am indeed from the Emerald Isle.

Ah.  Well look at that.  It even says so on the left bar here... n

 

5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

My point is I don't see the same question being raised about Hightower and Whent or the others.

I'd submit to you that they are not highlighted as much, because they are not as important.  The same can be said for the relative importance of Mance vs Qhorin.  Mance is more important.  Qhorin was part of a few chapters and sacrificed.  If one of these men is important to the plot, and the main theme, it is Mance, not Qhorin.  Same for AD vs Hightower or Whent.  

 

5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Dunk was never knighted.

Which obviously supports my point that there may be any number of reasons that a famous member of the KG may not be anointed by a septon. 

5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

comparisons between characters and mythological figures are due to the hero with a thousand faces factor. They share an archetypal hero's journey. This is very common in storytelling.

What I am talking about is an implication of a direct usage of the myth in one that fits the archetype, not just a comparison.  Sure, it is not 100% proof, but it's a good deal stronger that just a thematic connection .

5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Maybe Arthur's ego was not as fragile as you think

Come now, I never said anything about ego.  We are talking truth.  Arthur was the best.  Nowhere in any where in the text or SSMs is there a suggestion that he wasn't.  We all know that Rhaegar cheated to win at Harrenhal.  That is the only instance of defeat, save the ToJ, which you obviously don't buy. 

5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Jon also admits that Qhorin could have swatted him like a bug if he had wanted to. Mance can handle himself for sure, but I don't think we can be certain he was a better than Qhorin was. We can't really compare the battles because Qhorin's intention was to lose to Jon, and Ghost played a major part in his defeat. Mance's intention was to win and ghost was not involved.

While I certainly agree in an absolute sense because Qhorin did intend to lose, there are some mitigating circumstances.  1) Jon seems to have some humility in his opinion of his performance here.  As described, he held his own against Qhorin's flurry, only needing the single opening Ghost provided.  2) Jon also fights and destroys Iron Emmett, even though in the prior paragraphs he is humble there as well.  3) He lost to "Rattleshirt" even though he had every reason to want to destroy the man.  Mance is exceptional.  There is no doubt about that.  The fact that QH calls him "the best of us" really cannot be contested.  

5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

We would need several more plausible identities. I know some have proposed that Whent is Mance, and Hightower is Tormund, but I don't see it. I think the fight started seven against three and ended with three alive and seven dead.

I don't see of those either, though you obviously knew that, given the ones I do see as possible for Hightower and Mance.  I don't want to derail your thread, so I am not going to defend them here, only mention the possible identity.  Willam Dustin would be the "Willem Darry" that Dany remembers from the house with the red door.  Oswell W. would be Oswell K.  

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@The Green Bard Ok, we agree about a lot here and that's good. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that we're both open to Arthur having survived the ToJ, and Qhorin being someone other than who we are told. I must say though, for someone who doesn't subscribe to 3/4 of the identity swap theories that are out there you are pedaling quite a few of them.

I don't subscribe to the theory that Oswell Whent is Oswell Kettleblack. That he went into hiding in the Crownlands without even changing his first name and then entered the service of Littlefinger, with his three sons, some of whom were born when he was still a kingsguard? Sorry, but none of that make sense to me.

As for Willam Dustin walking away from the ToJ and becoming Willem Darry? I should like to read that theory if only to find out what happened the real Ser Willem. I seems ridiculous to me on first impression but I guess I should be fair and read the theory first. It sounds entertaining at least.

It seems to me that you are basing Qhorin being Hightower on the fact that Hightower was the White Bull, Jon is Mithras, Mithras killed a bull, and therefore Qhorin who was killed by Jon must be that bull. The Mithras myth is based on the sun rising in the constellation of Taurus during the vernal equinox in the age of Taurus. The constellation died or faded from view as the sun rose in that section of the sky and then journeyed west to it's death and ultimate resurrection again. This tale has been retold through the ages with goats and lambs or whatever replacing the bull depending on the astronomical age. It seems to me that the White Bull dying at the ToJ where Jon was born would better fit the myth. As I said, I don't deny parallels between main characters and mythical figures but that is archetypal heroes journey and is to be expected, especially in the fantasy genre.

It also seems that a large part of your case for Mance being Arthur is based on what Qhorin said about Mance being the best of us, Arthur Dayne was the best swordsman, therefore Mance is Arthur. However, the full quote is that Mance was the best of us and the worst of us, paraphrasing here. He's talking about Mance's character not his skill with a sword to begin with. Clearly he can't be the best swordsman and the worst swordsman at the same time. Qhorin also told us that Mance never learned to obey and was ill-disciplined. So you are proposing a Ser Arthur Dayne that was ill-disciplined, fond of the charms of women, and who never learned to obey. Sounds more like the Smiling Knight than Arthur Dayne to me. I just think Qhorin is a much better fit for Arthur than Mance.

I'm going to stick with the master numbers of the series at the ToJ, three survivors and seven dead. I don't see the other possibilities as plausible.

I don't accept that arguments based on mythical parallels trump arguments based on theme. This is simply not the case for literature. Plot, Character, and Theme are essential to forming a story, while mythical parallels are not, even if they are often unavoidable. All three are intrinsically linked and develop together when done well. Theme is the point of the story, the reason the story is being told. Themes are supported by motifs. Motif's are very common literary devices that explain or underline the main theme. Motifs have to be created and inserted into the story. Nothing I'm proposing is outside standard story structure for a novel. The titles of the books and series reflect the same message, a journey away from the game of thrones and all it represents. For me, it's too well constructed to be a coincidence.

 

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6 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Plot, Character, and Theme are essential to forming a story

I think you might have missed where I said Mance’s actions in indentifying with and taking up the cause of the wildlings, a huge part of the plot, also fit the character of Ser Arthur Dayne.   The theme of the wildlings being men, and not “savages” or “less than” is enormous in Jon’s plot from ACoK through ADwD.  So I think plot, character, and theme are aplenty.  Hey, you and I agree on a lot, we just disagree on the relative probability of the final conclusion here.  I’ll buy you a shot of Jameson if you turn out to be right!  

You also choose to interpret Qhorin’s praise and criticism of Mance in the worst light possible to minimize my argument.  He was the best fighter and/or had the best heart, but had a lack of discipline is a much better paraphrasing of the totality of it IMHO.  Who would be more apt to be critical of a man who is undisciplined or who does “not bend easily” (yes Dayne and Mance said very similar phrases about knees as well) to authority than a man’s former lord commander.   
 

 I am not a huge supporter of the Oswell = Oswell theory myself but (devil’s advocate) once you consider house Whent as being the seat of Harrenhal,  the same place that brought you house Strong, that really screwed with both sides in the Dance, it starts to make a bit more sense.  
 His “sons” would clearly actually be his nephews, those same ones who jousted at the Harrenhal tourney.  Being supportive of the man who holds the title to Harrenhal would make some sense if you want it back.   Just wait until he holds it in truth, not just in name, then engineer an opportunity to double-cross him.  I also thought the were in the disputed lands, not the Crownlandd, but whatever.   Like I said, I am not a huge supporter of that one.  

As to Dustin, the full blown theory has not been published yet, is certainly tinfoil, but may be interesting.   

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7 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

someone who doesn't subscribe to 3/4 of the identity swap theories that are out there you are pedaling quite a few of them.

As I said before, I am one of relative probability, and I think the probability of Dayne surviving to be quite high.  If he does, I think it follows that some of the rest did too.  
 

 

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