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The Resurrection Plan/Night King's Identity

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1 hour ago, Eternally_His said:

So I found an interesting theory on Youtube.

What do you think about it?

Yeah I think it is extremely likely, although there is always the possibility that this what LS will WANT to do, but will find that the head is gone, with the head now being on Ser Robert Strong. Wouldn't surprise me that she brought him back with still his wolf's head attached to his body. He'd just be a big Frankenstein monster for LS, with the Direwolves at his command or something like that.

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Posted (edited)

I think the video takes too narrow a view of the clues he cites. If you're open to literary interpretation, the reasons behind some of the details do not necessarily point to a literal resurrection for Robb, although some of them could signal that kind of outcome. There are many, many kinds of rebirths in ASOIAF so Robb is (or will be) likely reborn but I don't think the clues will play out as laid out in the video.

When GRRM gives us a generic reference to a character instead of using the character's specific name, he is signaling that he is using one of his archetypes (for instance, titling a character The Turncloak instead of using Theon's name for the POV) or that he is being deliberately vague about the character reference. When Harwin says:

"She wants her son alive, or the men who killed him dead," said the big man. "She wants to feed the crows, like they did at the Red Wedding. Freys and Boltons, aye. We'll give her those, as many as she likes. All she asks from you is Jaime Lannister." (AFfC, Brienne VIII)

Remember that Catelyn had three sons and, when she died, she believed all three were dead. She believed that Theon killed Bran and Rickon. BUT. Jaime pushed Bran off of the old keep, which caused Bran to symbolically die when he went into a coma. She was not present when he woke from that coma and she never saw him again. 

If you read the passage where Bran eats the weirwood paste, he says that it tastes like his mother's last kiss:

It had a bitter taste, though not so bitter as acorn paste. The first spoonful was the hardest to get down. He almost retched it right back up. The second tasted better. The third was almost sweet. The rest he spooned up eagerly. Why had he thought that it was bitter? It tasted of honey, of new-fallen snow, of pepper and cinnamon and the last kiss his mother ever gave him. The empty bowl slipped from his fingers and clattered on the cavern floor. "I don't feel any different. What happens next?" (ADwD, Bran III)

Symbolically, Catelyn passes on her last breath of life to Bran, not Robb. just as Beric Dondarrion used his last breath to pass along a rebirth to Catelyn. 

In another example, the author of the video points out that Joffrey wants Robb's head so he can make Sansa eat it at a wedding feast. He correctly links this to Joffrey forcing Sansa to look upon Ned's severed head on the wall of Maegor's Holdfast. Along with Ned's head, Septa Mordane's head is also mounted on the wall. She was Sansa's governess, teaching her sewing and how to "be a lady." (Important because sewing is a big motif in the books and because Sansa's wolf is named Lady.) So giving Robb's head to Sansa would be a third head for Sansa. Where have we heard about three heads? The Targaryen prophecy says that the dragon has three heads. Joffrey would have "given" Sansa three heads if Robb's head were placed before her. They are not dragon's heads but are more appropriate for a Stark. (Alternatively, one of the three heads given to Sansa could be the ripe melon morningstar that Ser Dontos the fool-knight uses to hit her over the head. Melons are symbolic heads in ASOIAF, with the dwarf jousters at Joffrey's wedding feast showing us the most direct use of a melon to simulate a beheaded character. Another head in Sansa's story is the head of her direwolf, Lady. I think Sansa's direwolf is a symbolic Lyanna Stark, fwiw.) 

The video also fails to note a number of points where Robb is reborn already in ASOIAF. I believe the character at the Wall, Borroq, who calls Jon Snow "brother" is a symbolic version of Robb. He is a skinchanger with a wild boar. There is wordplay on Robb / Robert / boar.

Remember that Gregor Clegane has been reborn as Ser Robert Strong. This is both an allusion to King Robert Baratheon and to Robb Stark. (Stark means "strong" in German.) But there is a third character named "Rob": Sweetrobin Arryn. Sansa tells us that he likes to be told that he is strong. There is some symbolism and literary juxtaposition that tells us that Lysa is a symbolic version of Catelyn. So Lysa's oldest son could easily be a symbolic version of Robb Stark. I think the descent from the mountain with Mya Stone, Sansa/Alayne and 'Randa Royce is a symbolic rebirth for Sweetrobin. (However, in the complex world of literary symbolism, Sweetrobin does not represent only Robb Stark. He also represents Bran.) 

My thinking has evolved, but here are some related thoughts from an old thread.


Edited by Seams

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Posted (edited)

Nicely done video, although I have some issues with the theory.

First, we do have some guidelines for the state of bodies being resurrected, in particular we see that the bodies of wights keep moving until the bones are broken:


Summer dug up a severed arm, black and covered with hoarfrost, its fingers opening and closing as it pulled itself across the frozen snow. There was still enough meat on it to fill his empty belly, and after that was done he cracked the arm bones for the marrow. Only then did the arm remember it was dead.

A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

So it appear the animation magic, at least for wights, is in the bones. When they are broken the body becomes lifless again.

Fire also returns wights to a lifeless state.

Also, I think it is worth noting that while we have seen nearly headless Cold Hands, I don't think there have been any headless undead.

I would also point out that the vision Dany sees in the House of the Undying is NOT clearly Rob and the Red Wedding.


Farther on she came upon a feast of corpses. Savagely slaughtered, the feasters lay strewn across overturned chairs and hacked trestle tables, asprawl in pools of congealing blood. Some had lost limbs, even heads. Severed hands clutched bloody cups, wooden spoons, roast fowl, heels of bread. In a throne above them sat a dead man with the head of a wolf. He wore an iron crown and held a leg of lamb in one hand as a king might hold a scepter, and his eyes followed Dany with mute appeal.

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

The devil is in the details.

Robb's crown was bronze, not iron.

I've seen no references to him and scepters either, and It was Wendel Manderly (the sigil of house Manderly being a Merman) who had a literal leg of lamb in his hands, not Robb.


Ser Wendel Manderly rose ponderously to his feet, holding his leg of lamb. A quarrel went in his open mouth and came out the back of his neck. 

A Storm of Swords - Catelyn VII

Perhaps oddly, the word scepter appears only three times in the series.

First, when a fool wields a cod as one:


Patchface was capering about as the maester made his slow way around the table to Davos Seaworth. "Here we eat fish," the fool declared happily, waving a cod about like a scepter. "Under the sea, the fish eat us. I know, I know, oh, oh, oh."
Ser Davos moved aside to make room on the bench. "We all should be in motley tonight," he said gloomily as Cressen seated himself, "for this is fool's business we're about. The red woman has seen victory in her flames, so Stannis means to press his claim, no matter what the numbers. Before she's done we're all like to see what Patchface saw, I fear—the bottom of the sea."

A Clash of Kings - Prologue

The foreshadowing of the Battle of the Blackwater and Davos's dip under the water aside, we see a fool using food as a scepter here as in the Undying vision, the second use of "scepter". If you believe that Jon is the heir to the Seven Kingdoms, then all 5 kings of the war are false kings and about fool's business, destined for defeat. So far Robb, Joff, Balon, and Renly are all dead, and following the defeat at the Blackwater, Stannis leads his men into the North, giving up their former lands.

And it's final use:


He had no crown nor scepter, no robes of silk and velvet, but it was plain to Jon that Mance Rayder was a king in more than name.

A Storm of Swords - Jon II

I would propose that the leg of lamb in Dany's House of the Undying vision is representative of the wildlings, Jon's time as a "wolf in sheep's clothing" (wearing a sheepskin cloak in place of his black Night's Watch one), and granting the free folk passage through the wall and into the Seven Kingdoms. Much like how the Stark King of Winter once welcomed house Manderly into the North.

This is also not the only feast of the dead we've heard of in the series. Jon dreams of a feast of the dead, and given his current state at the end of Dance of Dragons, I think it's extremely likely this vision was about him.


That night he dreamed of the feast Ned Stark had thrown when King Robert came to Winterfell. The hall rang with music and laughter, though the cold winds were rising outside. At first it was all wine and roast meat, and Theon was making japes and eyeing the serving girls and having himself a fine time . . . until he noticed that the room was growing darker. The music did not seem so jolly then; he heard discords and strange silences, and notes that hung in the air bleeding. Suddenly the wine turned bitter in his mouth, and when he looked up from his cup he saw that he was dining with the dead.
King Robert sat with his guts spilling out on the table from the great gash in his belly, and Lord Eddard was headless beside him. Corpses lined the benches below, grey-brown flesh sloughing off their bones as they raised their cups to toast, worms crawling in and out of the holes that were their eyes. He knew them, every one; Jory Cassel and Fat Tom, Porther and Cayn and Hullen the master of horse, and all the others who had ridden south to King's Landing never to return. Mikken and Chayle sat together, one dripping blood and the other water. Benfred Tallhart and his Wild Hares filled most of a table. The miller's wife was there as well, and Farlen, even the wildling Theon had killed in the wolfswood the day he had saved Bran's life.
But there were others with faces he had never known in life, faces he had seen only in stone. The slim, sad girl who wore a crown of pale blue roses and a white gown spattered with gore could only be Lyanna. Her brother Brandon stood beside her, and their father Lord Rickard just behind. Along the walls figures half-seen moved through the shadows, pale shades with long grim faces. The sight of them sent fear shivering through Theon sharp as a knife. And then the tall doors opened with a crash, and a freezing gale blew down the hall, and Robb came walking out of the night. Grey Wind stalked beside, eyes burning, and man and wolf alike bled from half a hundred savage wounds.

A Clash of Kings - Theon V

And here we see Robb appear at the feast of the dead, seemingly whole and not wolf headed.

This is the same feast where Mance Rayder attended in disguise.


"I know every bawdy song that's ever been made, north or south of the Wall. So there you are. The night your father feasted Robert, I sat in the back of his hall on a bench with the other freeriders, listening to Orland of Oldtown play the high harp and sing of dead kings beneath the sea. I betook of your lord father's meat and mead, had a look at Kingslayer and Imp . . . and made passing note of Lord Eddard's children and the wolf pups that ran at their heels."

A Storm of Swords - Jon I

Perhaps Orland even wielded a cod? but I digress... It was a feast full of dead kings, including Robert, Joff, Robb, Mance, and perhaps Jon.


The warg, I've heard them call me. How can I be a warg without a wolf, I ask you?" His mouth twisted. "I don't even dream of Ghost anymore. All my dreams are of the crypts, of the stone kings on their thrones. Sometimes I hear Robb's voice, and my father's, as if they were at a feast. But there's a wall between us, and I know that no place has been set for me."
The living have no place at the feasts of the dead. It tore the heart from Sam to hold his silence then. Bran's not dead, Jon, he wanted to stay.

A Storm of Swords - Samwell IV

Although, by the end of Dance, perhaps Jon has earned his entry into he feast of the dead.

Ghost is the conspicuously silent wolf, not Grey Wind, and the phrase "mute appeal" is used only 3 times in the series.

First here, obviously about Jon:


The look Ned gave her was anguished. "You know I cannot take him south. There will be no place for him at court. A boy with a bastard's name … you know what they will say of him. He will be shunned."
Catelyn armored her heart against the mute appeal in her husband's eyes. "They say your friend Robert has fathered a dozen bastards himself."

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn II

Then in the Undying vision we are discussing here.

Then finally, at the Red Wedding itself, but given by Aegon Frey, not Robb Stark:


She pressed the blade deeper into Jinglebell's throat. The lackwit rolled his eyes at her in mute appeal. 

A Storm of Swords - Catelyn VII

The saddest sound, the little bells of Jinglebell, Aegon Frey.


"I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief," the dwarf woman was saying. "I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells.

A Storm of Swords - Arya VIII

Grey Wind isn't so mute in the Ghost of High Heart's dream. But the saddest sound is Cat's killing of an innocent mentally handicapped fool in a final act of vengeance.


I dreamt of a roaring river and a woman that was a fish. Dead she drifted, with red tears on her cheeks, but when her eyes did open, oh, I woke from terror.

A Storm of Swords - Arya IV

Well, clearly not so final...

"Under the sea, the fish eat us. I know, I know, oh, oh, oh."

Edited by Mourning Star

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5 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Ghost is the conspicuously silent wolf, not Grey Wind, and the phrase "mute appeal" is used only 3 times in the series.

The exact wording is probably important but I think this episode is linked to the three "mute appeal" situations you cite:

Even then the captive did not speak. "Mercy," he might have said, or "You have taken my horse, my coin, my food, let me keep my life," or "No, please, I have done you no harm." He might have said a thousand things, or wept, or called upon his gods. No words would save him now, though. Perhaps he knew that. So he held his tongue, and looked at Jon in accusation and appeal.


Jon walked away. A rotten apple squished beneath his heel. Styr will kill him. The Magnar had said as much at Greyguard; any kneelers they met were to be put to death at once, to make certain they could not raise the alarm. Ride with them, eat with them, fight with them. Did that mean he must stand mute and helpless while they slit an old man's throat? (ASoS, Jon V)

Long ago, I decided Ygritte killing the old man is like the White Witch killing Aslan except the old man is symbolic of the silent direwolf Ghost. Re-reading it just now, I wonder whether it is also like the killing of King Aerys. If it is the symbolic killing of a king, it probably would be worth comparing this death to Robb's death.

I think the squished apple is wordplay on "appeal." And Jon refers to himself as unwilling to be mute. There are many references to cutting out tongues, speaking the old tongue, holding one's tongue, biting one's tongue - it would probably be worthwhile to closely examine all of the tongue references as well as the mute references, including the wolf-king in Dany's HotU vision.

If the old man in the ruined inn is Ghost, Grey Wind may also be nearby:

The broken branches the old man had been burning seemed to generate more smoke than heat, ...

I don't know whether smoke is used as a coded reference to the direwolf Grey Wind, but it could be a match.

One more observation: I think you are correct to link the mutton scepter to the sheepskin clothes worn by the Free Folk. There may also be a reference to the Lamb Men, the people that Dany tried to treat with a measure of dignity after their village was raped, pillaged and plundered by the Dothraki. Her attempt to intervene is seen by Mirri Maz Duur as too little, too late.


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Posted (edited)

Catelyn's desire to revive Robb could end up being impossible to accomplish for various reasons, and if so she would realize as much once she finds Robb's corpse/head at the Twins most likely.

So then it's just a matter of her finding out at least one of her sons remains. Rickon would seem to be the most likely to emerge first, which could draw her north, maybe even bring an early end to her revenge plot in the Riverlands as she hurries off to reach him.

Next would be Bran, if Rickon dies. But who knows when Bran would return if he does.

Which would then leave only Jon.

That might be one conflict for LS' heart ahead; what would she do if the only son the Starks have left is Jon? King Jon is Robb's will.

Edited by Egged

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