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Knight of the Laughing Tree Theory


Crona
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5 minutes ago, LynnS said:

They don't ride much that isn't to say they don't know how to ride.  Riding skills in jousting have more to do with controlling a stallion than anything else.  It's more likely that Lyanna found Howland a good horse, most likely a mare.  Strength of arm does make a difference if you mean to unseat three grown men in armor.  For whatever riding skills or practice at rings, I doubt Lyanna had the strength in her arm to knock them off their horses.  It's more likely that the impact would have knocked her off her own horse.

I'm torn here, because in the "real world" I think you make a good point, but in this story it seems to me GRRM is setting up a plausible explanation for why Lyanna could win... obviously it's all speculation at this point, but I'm inclined to think these comments were purposeful, and it will get laid on even heavier with Lady Lance (Ironically named Elia?).

Edited by Mourning Star
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42 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

 

I suspect that Arthur, in this final duel, refused to use Dawn because of what Howland said. Did it have to do with Ashara Dayne, and whatever happened to her at Harrenhall? Did Howland say something that made Arthur feel unworthy to fight with Dawn? Or a reason to make it a "fair fight"? I can only wildly speculate further! haha

 

Very interesting, when Ned finds Arthur, he notices he has a sad smile, perhaps Howland was whispered something from the Old Gods about his sister or something else? GRRM has said there will be more information about Arthur. But we do know that Ned thought of him as being very honorable. Alternatively, Darkstar doesn't seem to like him very much. 

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12 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

I'm torn here, because in the "real world" I think you make a good point, but in this story it seems to me GRRM is setting up a plausible explanation for why Lyanna could win... obviously it's all speculation at this point, but I'm inclined to think these comments were purposeful, and it will get laid on even heavier with Lady Lance (Ironically named Elia?).

I think it's overstating or romanticizing Lyanna's capabilities to make it fit the romance narrative.  

Bran left his signpost:

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran II

It was a good story, Bran decided after thinking about it a moment or two. "Then what happened? Did the Knight of the Laughing Tree win the tourney and marry a princess?"

"No," said Meera. "That night at the great castle, the storm lord and the knight of skulls and kisses each swore they would unmask him, and the king himself urged men to challenge him, declaring that the face behind that helm was no friend of his. But the next morning, when the heralds blew their trumpets and the king took his seat, only two champions appeared. The Knight of the Laughing Tree had vanished. The king was wroth, and even sent his son the dragon prince to seek the man, but all they ever found was his painted shield, hanging abandoned in a tree. It was the dragon prince who won that tourney in the end."

And Meera ended up with his greathelm:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Bran III

"Howland Reed was a great friend to your father," Ser Rodrik told him. "These two are his, it would seem."

As the newcomers walked the length of the hall, Bran saw that one was indeed a girl, though he would never have known it by her dress. She wore lambskin breeches soft with long use, and a sleeveless jerkin armored in bronze scales. Though near Robb's age, she was slim as a boy, with long brown hair knotted behind her head and only the barest suggestion of breasts. A woven net hung from one slim hip, a long bronze knife from the other; under her arm she carried an old iron greathelm spotted with rust; a frog spear and round leathern shield were strapped to her back.

 

 

Edited by LynnS
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15 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

 Lady Lance (Ironically named Elia?).

 Lady Lance is such a caricature of Lyanna. I think she is going enter lists as a mystery knight and end up dying lol

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10 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I think it's overstating or romanticizing Lyanna's capabilities to make it fit the romance narrative.  

Bran left his signpost:

And Meera ended up with his greathelm:

 

Could be, although at it's core I think this is totally a romantic narrative.

What signpost? Lyanna was the princess and the knight?

I'm not sure why Meera having the helm points to anyone though, Howland could have taken it as a token regardless of the knight of the laughing tree's identity, and the fact that he gave it to his daughter makes me think, well, Lyanna.

But, it's hard for anyone to take the bias goggles off ones you see the story a certain way. So grain of salt with all the speculation.

Edited by Mourning Star
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33 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

I think this fits with Crannogpeoples not knowing anything about jousting... strength is not presented as much of a help:

Dunk watched a server fill his wine cup. "I am better with a sword than with a lance," he admitted, "and even better with a battleaxe. Will there be a melee here?" His size and strength would stand him in good stead in a melee, and he knew he could give as good as he got. Jousting was another matter.

Riding, which Crannogpeoples don't do, but Lyanna is talented at, is:

Jousting was three-quarters horsemanship, Jaime had always believed.

Yeah. Loras Tyrell, for example, is described as a thin, muscle-less boy who at edge of fifteen, jousting, brought down adult men who were much stronger than he was.

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10 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

Could be, although at it's core I think this is totally a romantic narrative.

What signpost? Lyanna was the princess and the knight?

I'm not sure why Meera having the helm points to anyone though, Howland could have taken it as a token regardless of the knight of the laughing tree's identity, and the fact that he gave it to his daughter makes me think, well, Lyanna.

But, it's hard for anyone to take the bias goggles off ones you see the story a certain way. So grain of salt with all the speculation.

For the sign post I think it is the fact that Bran is a weirwood, there is this passage when Bran wakes up and Sansa dreams of Bran smiling and they are sleeping in the heart tree by King's Landing

The heart tree there was a great oak, its ancient limbs overgrown with smokeberry vines; they knelt before it to offer their thanksgiving, as if it had been a weirwood. Sansa drifted to sleep as the moon rose, Arya several hours later, curling up in the grass under Ned's cloak. All through the dark hours he kept his vigil alone. When dawn broke over the city, the dark red blooms of dragon's breath surrounded the girls where they lay. "I dreamed of Bran," Sansa had whispered to him. "I saw him smiling."
"He was going to be a knight," Arya was saying now. "A knight of the Kingsguard. Can he still be a knight?"
 
 
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2 minutes ago, Crona said:

For the sign post I think it is the fact that Bran is a weirwood, there is this passage when Bran wakes up and Sansa dreams of Bran smiling and they are sleeping in the heart tree by King's Landing

The heart tree there was a great oak, its ancient limbs overgrown with smokeberry vines; they knelt before it to offer their thanksgiving, as if it had been a weirwood. Sansa drifted to sleep as the moon rose, Arya several hours later, curling up in the grass under Ned's cloak. All through the dark hours he kept his vigil alone. When dawn broke over the city, the dark red blooms of dragon's breath surrounded the girls where they lay. "I dreamed of Bran," Sansa had whispered to him. "I saw him smiling."
"He was going to be a knight," Arya was saying now. "A knight of the Kingsguard. Can he still be a knight?"

Nice find!  And now I'm going to bake a cake.

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27 minutes ago, LynnS said:

The shield. 

So I guess I just don't see how that involves Bran.

It sounds to me like Rhaegar found out it was Lyanna then didn't tell his father or reveal her identity, and proceeded to win and crown her.

29 minutes ago, Crona said:

For the sign post I think it is the fact that Bran is a weirwood, there is this passage when Bran wakes up and Sansa dreams of Bran smiling and they are sleeping in the heart tree by King's Landing

The heart tree there was a great oak, its ancient limbs overgrown with smokeberry vines; they knelt before it to offer their thanksgiving, as if it had been a weirwood. Sansa drifted to sleep as the moon rose, Arya several hours later, curling up in the grass under Ned's cloak. All through the dark hours he kept his vigil alone. When dawn broke over the city, the dark red blooms of dragon's breath surrounded the girls where they lay. "I dreamed of Bran," Sansa had whispered to him. "I saw him smiling."
"He was going to be a knight," Arya was saying now. "A knight of the Kingsguard. Can he still be a knight?"

It's so fantastic how people can read such different things into the same passage.

The Knight of the Laughing Tree was no Kingsguard, but I wouldn't be surprised if Hodor ends up as a white sword!

But the passage you quoted, I read wildly differently! (sorry again for all the tangents)

Kings Landing, the continental home of the Dragon Kings, doesn't have a Weirwood, instead it has an Oak wrapped in smokeberry vines. The only other time "smokeberry" is mentioned in Game of Thrones is by the wine merchant assassin. Then once more in the series when Tyrion travels with Illyrio.

She could smell home, she could see it, there, just beyond that door, green fields and great stone houses and arms to keep her warm, there. 

Ned's cloak bears his arms, the Direwolf of House Stark.

"We tasted them on the Trident, child, and when Bran fell. You were born in the long summer, sweet one, you've never known anything else, but now the winter is truly coming. Remember the sigil of our House, Arya."
"The direwolf," she said, thinking of Nymeria. She hugged her knees against her chest, suddenly afraid.
"Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths. So if you must hate, Arya, hate those who would truly do us harm. Septa Mordane is a good woman, and Sansa … Sansa is your sister. You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you … and I need both of you, gods help me."

And the end of the quote you sited:

"No," Ned said. He saw no use in lying to her. "Yet someday he may be the lord of a great holdfast and sit on the king's council. He might raise castles like Brandon the Builder, or sail a ship across the Sunset Sea, or enter your mother's Faith and become the High Septon." But he will never run beside his wolf again, he thought with a sadness too deep for words, or lie with a woman, or hold his own son in his arms.

Edited by Mourning Star
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1 hour ago, Crona said:

Well, I grant you we don't have much evidence for jousting. All I could say we do have this quote and Bran has time:

 A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. 

Yes, but the GRRM comment does say that he was skinchanging Hodor and training with the sword because Bran was already trained at swordplay.

I think it may only work if Bran, or the vessel (in this case Howland) was already a confident/skilled jouster. At least, that's what I'm taking from GRRM's words on that.

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

The gods gave him strength to his arm:

Sorry LynnS, that means nothing if Bran or the vessel (in this case Howland) was not already a confident/skilled jouster, and that is as per GRRM's own words.

It just won't work, I'm afraid. GRRM says that he skinchanges Hodor and practices swordplay because Bran is already trained at swordplay. The man himself says it.

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9 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

Sorry LynnS, that means nothing if Bran or the vessel (in this case Howland) was not already a confident/skilled jouster, and that is as per GRRM's own words.

It just won't work, I'm afraid. GRRM says that he skinchanges Hodor and practices swordplay because Bran is already trained at swordplay. The man himself says it.

My point about the swordplay is that Bran has been skinchanging Hodor repeatedly and this makes it easier for Hodor to accept him.  Training Hodor in swordplay could make big difference to them down the line.  But the main point is that you can ask for the gods help and recieve it if you invite them in, they can lend you their power.  That sounds like something you might learn from the green men on the Isle of Faces..   

I think Howland would be pretty confident with a power-up from Bran and an easy mount to ride.  He's skilled with a spear, why wouldn't he be able to aim with a lance.  The difference is his size (making him a smaller target) and the strength in his arms and we are told he was given strength to his arm.  All he really has to do is run his horse in a straight line and strike his target with enough force to unseat his opponent.

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5 minutes ago, LynnS said:

My point about the swordplay is that Bran has been skinchanging Hodor repeatedly and this makes it easier for Hodor to accept him.  Training Hodor in swordplay could make big difference to them down the line.  But the main point is that you can ask for the gods help and recieve it if you invite them in, they can lend you their power.  That sounds like something you might learn from the green men on the Isle of Faces..   

I think Howland would be pretty confident with a power-up from Bran and an easy mount to ride.  He's skilled with a spear, why wouldn't he be able to aim with a lance.  The difference is his size (making him a smaller target) and the strength in his arms and we are told he was given strength to his arm.  All he really has to do is run his horse in a straight line and strike his target with enough force to unseat his opponent.

Respectfully, I do believe you are reaching now, simply because GRRM basically spells it out...

In the book, Hodor has stolen one of the old swords from the crypt. Bran has been warging into Hodor and practicing with his body, because Bran had been trained in swordplay. 

The old gods can lend all the strength to Howland's arm in the world, it just won't allow him to beat three knights who have already won tilts that day.

He, nor Bran possess the skill having never practiced jousting. Theory debunked I'm afraid.

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7 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

He, nor Bran possess the skill having never practiced jousting. Theory debunked I'm afraid.

This has nothing to do with what I am talking about.  I understand the need to protect the romance narrative come hell or high water.   We are not talking little boy skills.  We are talking about god level skills.

If Bran wants to teach some knight about honor and knock them off their perches, he's going to do it.  All he needs is one day.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran II

Bran shook his head. The day was growing old by then, and long shadows were creeping down the mountainsides to send black fingers through the pines. If the little crannogman could visit the Isle of Faces, maybe I could too. All the tales agreed that the green men had strange magic powers. Maybe they could help him walk again, even turn him into a knight. They turned the little crannogman into a knight, even if it was only for a day, he thought. A day would be enough.

 

Howland is his 'green man'.

Edited by LynnS
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6 minutes ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

I'm curious to see what were Rhaegar's reasons for being so interested in the Knight of the Laughing Tree, aside from the knight being possibly Lyanna in disguise. 

Well, Aerys sent Rhaegar to look for the knight of the laughing three when he disappeared so Rhaegar kind of had no choice.

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