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LynnS

Howland Reed is the KotLT - Proof by Canon

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So what happens to the greathelm now?  Does he throw everything away?  Or does the helm and the ill-fitting armor become part of his military kit.   We know he fought with Theo Wull and the mountain clans during Robert's rebellion.  Did he have armor?  When you are called to arms by your liege lord; aren't you expected to bring your own kit?  Even if the helm serves as a cook pot. 

I can't see Howland discarding the armor but keeping it as his due, since didn't ransom the armor he won.  I think it would have become part of his "bronze and iron" kit.  Some of which he passes down to Meera, when it is her turn to make the pledge to the Starks, on behalf of her clan.

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6 hours ago, LynnS said:

Yes, there will always be more questions than answers. :D  But this is a good question.  Why do Meera and Jojen think that Bran must have heard the story hundreds of times and why didn't Ned tell anyone this story at all?

I imagine that Ned did know that Howland was the Tree Knight; that he helped him in the hours leading up to the jousting and this is the beginning of Ned's friendship with Howland.  Ned may not talk about it because it brings up Lyanna and her death which may also have been an unintended consequence of the tourney. Something that creates a lot of pain.  Bran doesn't actually know the gorey details of the demise of his uncle and grandfather.  Robb talks to Bran at one point and tells him that they are not sure how much information to give him because of his age.   I suspect these are all factors. 

  Edit: Oh, the most obvious answer may be that he doesn't want to stir up stories and rumours about Lady Ashera again.  That's not a story his Lady Wife will appreciate hearing hundreds of times. 

Perhaps but that does not answer the question why Meera does not straight up tell Bran her father is tKotLT why would this need to be a secret.

Of all the questions that would be the most important one for me.

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The impression I got from the conversation between Bran, Jojen and Meera, is that Jojen and Meera may have had the same debate we have regarding the identify of the KOTLT.

It’s Meera who first suggests that the KOTLT was a Crannogman, which further suggests that she probably thinks it’s her father.  Jojen is the one who seems skeptical.  Jojen is also the one, I think, who keeps asking Bran about whether Bran’s father has told him the tale.  I kind of wonder if Jojen suspects that it might have been Lyanna, which is why he is interested in how Ned would have told the tale.

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Posted (edited)

Meera and Jojen go to Winterfell to free the chained winged wolf and take him beyond The Wall where the CoTF have been waiting for his "wedding" to the trees; they are escorting a prince that was promised. The references to Ned during the KoTL chapter make me wonder if Ned was supposed to prepare Bran and this is another of his broken promises. Maybe Bran was supposed to know some missing bits of the KoTL tale.

Edited by Tucu

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Bran and Howland together make one knight. They are both the Tree Knight.  Jojen is Howland's magical child and so he knows more about the old gods than Bran.  He and Meera both know that Bran has been chosen to be a GSeer.  How do they know this unless Howland told them.  Jojen would certainly believe that the old gods answered Howland's prayer and that magic is involved.

So when Jojen disagrees with Meera, it's not because he thinks the knight was Lyanna, he disagrees because he knows it is Bran.  He's trying to determine what Bran knows if anything at all.

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5 hours ago, Tucu said:

Meera and Jojen go to Winterfell to free the chained winged wolf and take him beyond The Wall where the CoTF have been waiting for his "wedding" to the trees; they are escorting a prince that was promised. The references to Ned during the KoTL chapter make me wonder if Ned was supposed to prepare Bran and this is another of his broken promises. Maybe Bran was supposed to know some missing bits of the KoTL tale.

I don't think Howland told Ned anything about Bran.  Ned would not believe that he would father a magical child who would become a GSeer.  Its one of the 'truths' mentioned by Jojen, that have been forgotten by the Starks.

He would have to believe in magic, that he will sire a magical child and that this child would not be confined by linear time.

 

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5 hours ago, direpupy said:

Perhaps but that does not answer the question why Meera does not straight up tell Bran her father is tKotLT why would this need to be a secret.

Of all the questions that would be the most important one for me.

She tells him part of the answer,  Bran and Howland together make up one knight.  They know that Bran will become a GSeer but he doesn't know his future yet.  It's a story for another time, like the wolf maid's story.  It's not something they can tell him right now.

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

Bran and Howland together make one knight. They are both the Tree Knight.  Jojen is Howland's magical child and so he knows more about the old gods than Bran.  He and Meera both know that Bran has been chosen to be a GSeer.  How do they know this unless Howland told them.  Jojen would certainly believe that the old gods answered Howland's prayer and that magic is involved.

So when Jojen disagrees with Meera, it's not because he thinks the knight was Lyanna, he disagrees because he knows it is Bran.  He's trying to determine what Bran knows if anything at all.

We have gone from the unlikely to the utterly ridiculous.  That Howland is the KotLT is unlikely, in my estimation, but not entirely unreasonable.  That Bran is actively involved is ridiculous and without foundation.  Bran is an incredibly powerful greenseer; that I'm prepared to believe.  He can see what is happening and has happened, especially if there is a camera (i.e., a wierwood) nearby.  But I don't believe that he is a time-travelling warg, or whatever else is being suggested.

I think Jojen is surprised that Bran hasn't heard it because it is a story about Lyanna, and an important one at that, that gives insight to her character, and helps explain how she came to the attention of Rhaegar.  I got the distinct impression from the story that the armor she was wearing was essentially cast-off stuff, hence the term "odds and ends".  Howland can borrow something if he needs to, but nobody is going to give Lyanna any help because she is a girl, as well as being underage, hence she has to go scrounging.  That is also why she has to appear as a mystery knight.  Nobody is going to let her on the field otherwise.

I firmly believe that R+L=J.  I think that the reason Ned doesn't name Ashara is because he can't.  She would be the perfect one to name, as she is already connected to him, and is no longer around for her reputation to be sullied.  It could even be presented as a romance interrupted by war.  The problem is that, according to Barristan, she was apparently pregnant and had a stillborn child.  I suspect she would have been pregnant during the time period during which Jon was conceived, which eliminates her from being his mother.  if that is the case, it could be easily discovered, hence raising questions that Ned would have great difficulty answering.

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6 minutes ago, Nevets said:

We have gone from the unlikely to the utterly ridiculous. 

It's entirely up to you what you think.  I'm not going to debate RLJ.  And I'm not going to try and change your mind.  

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Posted (edited)

 

Both Meera and Jojen either do not know the identity or keeping the identity away from Bran. If it was Lyanna, what is the point of keeping the identity away from Bran? If Meera and Jojen don’t know then why is Howland keeping the identity away. Because if it was Lyanna, there is no consequence for anyone to know, it just means she dressed up as a knight once and jousted. It does not indicate Jon because this is before Rhaegar took Lyanna. 

Howland Reed visited the isle of faces before Harrenhal, stayed with Ned throughout the war, and the discovery of Jon. Howland Reed probably has a lot more to do with Lyanna and Rhaegar than we think. There was something magical about Jon’s birth

hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.

Edited by Crona

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29 minutes ago, Crona said:

Both Meera and Jojen either do not know the identity or keeping the identity away from Bran. If it was Lyanna, what is the point of keeping the identity away from Bran? If Meera and Jojen don’t know then why is Howland keeping the identity away. It couldn’t be because it was Lyanna because there is no consequence for anyone to know, it just means she dressed up as a knight once and jousted. It does not indicate Jon because this is before Rhaegar took Lyanna. 

That's what I tought as well. They have no reason to tell the story unfaithfully. They either know it this way (meaning Howland didn't tell them the truth), or it really happened this way. And Howland has no reason to not tell his children the story how it happened, does he? Consider the story very important, as Jojen does, who is surprised Bran never heard it.

Unless! Unless Meera intentionally told Bran a false version of the KOTLT, believing Bran will correct him or something. I can imagine the tale being incomplete (Bran didn't hear everything), but why false if not for that reason? And again, what difference would that make?

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14 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

 

Unless! Unless Meera intentionally told Bran a false version of the KOTLT, believing Bran will correct him or something. I can imagine the tale being incomplete (Bran didn't hear everything), but why false if not for that reason? And again, what difference would that make?

Well it has to be a secret that can cause damage now whether it is Howland or Meera and Jojen that are keeping the secret. Lyanna being the secret knight would not cause any damage if known throughout the seven kingdoms now because she’s dead. However, if Bran or someone else finds out that it was Bran that was actually the knight then it could cause issues. Especially for Bran. Just like how Ned kept Jon’s mother a secret, if it was known he was Lyanna’s then it could cause damages if Robert knew.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, LynnS said:

I don't think Howland told Ned anything about Bran.  Ned would not believe that he would father a magical child who would become a GSeer.  Its one of the 'truths' mentioned by Jojen, that have been forgotten by the Starks.

He would have to believe in magic, that he will sire a magical child and that this child would not be confined by linear time.

 

I think Ned might have memory blocks like Bran, that's why he has weird dreams of him commanding shades. Leaving that aside I think you will like this bit:

Quote

Maester Luwin has the truth of it, he told himself. Nothing bad was coming to Winterfell, no matter what Jojen said. Bran was relieved . . . but disappointed too. So long as there was magic, anything could happen. Ghosts could walk, trees could talk, and broken boys could grow up to be knights. "But there isn't," he said aloud in the darkness of his bed. "There's no magic, and the stories are just stories."

And he would never walk, nor fly, nor be a knight.

Yet bad things came to Winterfell, the white walkers walk, Bran flies and he was a knight

Edited by Tucu

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4 hours ago, LynnS said:

She tells him part of the answer,  Bran and Howland together make up one knight.  They know that Bran will become a GSeer but he doesn't know his future yet.  It's a story for another time, like the wolf maid's story.  It's not something they can tell him right now.

And that's where the question about Howland wanting Bran in his head comes from, he has honor and pride and while i can imagine him having no problem using his own magic, i doubt he would want to cheat by having a "god" take over his body. Howland having magic would also mean he could block Bran. So for the whole takeover by Bran Benjen or Lyanna make more sence, even more so because there skillset is more suited to jousting. 

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Meera and Jojen certainly know more about what happened to Lyanna than Bran.  I suspect that Meera doesn't tell him the story because it's a sad story and she is supposed to be telling him a story he will like.  So she will either get to that another time or Bran will find out for himself once he is wed to the tree. 

I don't know what happened to Lyanna after Rhaegar fell upon her.  We are told nothing about it until Ned's dream of the ToJ where she is screaming in the dream.  We do know that Ned, Howland and anonymous others were with her when she died.  I don't favor the ToJ as a place of Jon's birth.   RLJ assumes that Jon is the PWIP and that requires him to be born in a place of salt and smoke. Aemon later amends that to salt tears and smoke referring to Summerhall; but I think what the prophecy is referring to is a place of saltwater and smoke.  Hence we get Aegon and Dany born on Dragonstone.  So I have trouble reconciling Jon's birth with the prophecy and place of birth.  

Ned's dream seems to me to be full of signs and portents where Lyanna appears screaming (like a banshee) to warn of Ned's imminent death.  What follows are additional signs and portents: the red comet, the coming storm, dragons and white walkers.

The significant event at the ToJ where Howland is concerned is that he stops Arthur from killing Ned otherwise Bran will not be born and that the Sword of the Morning dies indicating a cycle of some kind:  now it begins---now it ends.

As for Bran's involvement at the tourney. I look to the passage where Hodor calls to Bran when he is failing and suddenly Bran is with him giving him strength and power.  This doesn't seem to be a conscious choice on Bran's part.  He is called and reacts.  This seems to be the template or example of how the "old gods" strengthen the crannogman's arm. 

The description of the shield itself is a match for the laughing red face that Theon sees at Winterfell.  This and the false spring tells me that Bran was present at the tourney, that Howland is Bran's champion and that Bran gave strength to Howland's arm in some manner.  

I don't know what happened to Lyanna but I don't think a fourteen year old girl or her younger brother would prevail over three knights and there is just no evidence that Lyanna knew anything about magic. 

Jojen may know more or suspect more about Bran's involvement at the tourney; but I don't think Lyanna has to be the Tree Knight for a sad tale to unfold around her and the birth of Jon. 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Tucu said:

I think Ned might have memory blocks like Bran

I do find this plausible and suspicious.  This in particular:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Eddard I

"She should be on a hill somewhere, under a fruit tree, with the sun and clouds above her and the rain to wash her clean."

"I was with her when she died," Ned reminded the king. "She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father." He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister's eyes. Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black. After that he remembered nothing. They had found him still holding her body, silent with grief. The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his. Ned could recall none of it. "I bring her flowers when I can," he said. "Lyanna was … fond of flowers."

It does sound like his mind is suppressing something.  

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Eddard XV

Robert had been jesting with Jon and old Lord Hunter as the prince circled the field after unhorsing Ser Barristan in the final tilt to claim the champion's crown. Ned remembered the moment when all the smiles died, when Prince Rhaegar Targaryen urged his horse past his own wife, the Dornish princess Elia Martell, to lay the queen of beauty's laurel in Lyanna's lap. He could see it still: a crown of winter roses, blue as frost.

Ned Stark reached out his hand to grasp the flowery crown, but beneath the pale blue petals the thorns lay hidden. He felt them clawing at his skin, sharp and cruel, saw the slow trickle of blood run down his fingers, and woke, trembling, in the dark.

The thorns beneath, could also be an expression of repressed memories, in a dream state.

"He felt them clawing at his skin, sharp and cruel",  This could be a description of the Iron Throne itself or of Aerys considering what happened tp Brandon and Rickard.  The underlying or hidden menace at the Tourney.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Tyrion VIII

A warhorn sounded in the far distance, a deep mournful note that chilled the soul. The clansmen climbed onto their scrawny mountain horses, shouting curses and rude jokes. Several appeared to be drunk. The rising sun was burning off the drifting tendrils of fog as Tyrion led them off. What grass the horses had left was heavy with dew, as if some passing god had scattered a bag of diamonds over the earth. The mountain men fell in behind him, each clan arrayed behind its own leaders.

In the dawn light, the army of Lord Tywin Lannister unfolded like an iron rose, thorns gleaming.

 

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Crona said:

Well it has to be a secret that can cause damage now whether it is Howland or Meera and Jojen that are keeping the secret. Lyanna being the secret knight would not cause any damage if known throughout the seven kingdoms now because she’s dead. However, if Bran or someone else finds out that it was Bran that was actually the knight then it could cause issues. Especially for Bran. Just like how Ned kept Jon’s mother a secret, if it was known he was Lyanna’s then it could cause damages if Robert knew.

It would certainly affect Bran himself and the choice he has to make about becoming a GSeer.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran I

"The gods give many gifts, Bran. My sister is a hunter. It is given to her to run swiftly, and stand so still she seems to vanish. She has sharp ears, keen eyes, a steady hand with net and spear. She can breathe mud and fly through trees. I could not do these things, no more than you could. To me the gods gave the green dreams, and to you . . . you could be more than me, Bran. You are the winged wolf, and there is no saying how far and high you might fly . . . if you had someone to teach you. How can I help you master a gift I do not understand? We remember the First Men in the Neck, and the children of the forest who were their friends . . . but so much is forgotten, and so much we never knew."

Meera took Bran by the hand. "If we stay here, troubling no one, you'll be safe until the war ends. You will not learn, though, except what my brother can teach you, and you've heard what he says. If we leave this place to seek refuge at Last Hearth or beyond the Wall, we risk being taken. You are only a boy, I know, but you are our prince as well, our lord's son and our king's true heir. We have sworn you our faith by earth and water, bronze and iron, ice and fire. The risk is yours, Bran, as is the gift. The choice should be yours too, I think. We are your servants to command." She grinned. "At least in this."

It's in Bran II that Meera tells the story of the Tree Knight.  In other words, she and Jojen can't influence the choice that Bran makes, but will abide by his choice.

Edited by LynnS

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

The impression I got from the conversation between Bran, Jojen and Meera, is that Jojen and Meera may have had the same debate we have regarding the identify of the KOTLT.

It’s Meera who first suggests that the KOTLT was a Crannogman, which further suggests that she probably thinks it’s her father.  Jojen is the one who seems skeptical.  Jojen is also the one, I think, who keeps asking Bran about whether Bran’s father has told him the tale.  I kind of wonder if Jojen suspects that it might have been Lyanna, which is why he is interested in how Ned would have told the tale.

I think that Jojen is in part incredulous that Ned never told Bran about his father; since they met at the tourney, went to war under Ned's banner and was one of Ned's six good men and close friends..  But Ned doesn't tell Bran a thing about Howland.

I think a large part of it has to do with Ashera Dayne and bringing up the tourney would start up the old rumors and stories about her.  Something that he squashed pretty hard when Catelyn brings it up with him.  She says that this is the only time she was ever afraid of Ned and nothing was ever spoken of it again.  Hearing the story of the tourney would not be something Catelyn would appreciate and she is resentful of Jon enough as it is.  This is something that also hurts Ned.  So he keeps his peace and doesn't speak of it. 

Edited by LynnS

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On 7/12/2021 at 2:58 PM, LynnS said:

Isn't this what it means to be a true knight?

Hi @LynnS hope you're well. :)

Cool thread, and I love the great helm catch, brilliant stuff. I haven't read the thread in its entirety yet, but thought I'd jump in and add a couple of insights that some of my fandom friends have caught and discussed in the past.  

The idea I like the most (@Frey family reunion I think mentioned it first in the thread) is that the old gods/green men/greenseers may have had a magical influence on events. With that in mind my Twitter friend ColinVW pointed out years ago that the word 'boom' means tree in dutch. If George is perhaps playing with this, then it means that when the Knight of the Laughing Tree was speaking with a booming voice he/she was also speaking with a tree voice. This would strengthen the idea that Bran/old gods etc were lending strength to their arm.

As for your idea of Bran becoming a knight for a day having spoken to Howland on the Isle of Faces etc. You ask....... 

'Isn't this what it means to be a true knight?' 

One could also ask.....

'Isn't this what it means to be a tree knight?'

My friend @Rusted Revolver has written an essay on the etymology of the words druid, tree & true. His excellent essay can explain it far better than I could, so here's a brief snippet.....

Quote

The etymology of ‘tree’ and ‘true’ is really fascinating. Druids, while not a complete analog to greenseers in any way, are at least similar to George’s greenseer. The word druid literally means oak-knower in Proto Celtic. Oak comes from the Proto-Indo-European noun meaning tree which comes from the PIE root drew meaning hard, firm, strong, solid. From this root, we not only get the word tree but we also get the word true.

And here's the link to the essay in its entirety.  :thumbsup: 

I thought you may enjoy the read, while also perhaps inspiring new thoughts on the Knight of the Laughing Tree and the relationship between Bran, Howland, Lyanna & the old gods etc. After all, we are talking a potential tree knight -- true knight -- perhaps speaking in a tree voice. 

I hope some of this is useful, or at the very least interesting, and may support or inspire any thoughts you have around this cool subject. :D

Cheers  :cheers:

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13 hours ago, Wizz-The-Smith said:

I hope some of this is useful, or at the very least interesting, and may support or inspire any thoughts you have around this cool subject

Hello Wizz-The-Smith!  What a pleasant surprise! :D  Yes, I am taking the road less travelled again.  I blame it on Meera's greathelm.

Thank you for the link to Rusted Nail's essay.  It was very interesting.  The word play between tree knight and true knight, as well as between Night Watch and Knight Watch is fascinating.  The NW wasn't always populated by brigands and criminals as the Shield Hall can attest,  They are the black knights.  The connection to the white knights of the kingsguard is interesting considering that that the conference table in the lord commander's chamber is weirwood fashioned in the shape of a shield.  Which suggests that the king also has the protection of the old gods.  

I like the notion that the Tree Knight's booming voice is the tree voice.  

Thank you for your comments!

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