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Knight of the Laughing Tree Theory


Crona
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28 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. 

The Tree Knight admonished three of Aerys' knight for not teaching their squires to behave with honor and then refused to unmask.  Aerys lost face and he was furious.  That's why Rhaegar was given the order.  We are also told that he never discovered the identity of the Tree Knight. 

Edited by LynnS
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I really hope that if Howland Reed is the KOLT it wasn't because Bran skinchanged him. Skinchange a person is an abomination. Varamy's prologue show us that is basically a mental rape. Holdor it's mental broken so it may be easy for Bran skinchange him but Holdor doesn't like it and fears it. The quote that said when Bran skinchange him Holdor retreats to a place where Bran cannot reach him its one of the saddest in ADWD.

I don't think Howland would fell bless at all.

Edited by Odej
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Bloody hell, @Crona, fourteen pages in two days? :bowdown::bowdown:

 

Like @Odej said up above, I really hope that Bran didn't warg into Howland just because he's got this hard-on for being a knight. It's effectively stealing his consciousness, and I always feel bad for Hodor and annoyed at Bran. Sure, emergencies like the wight situation, is still creepy but understandable. Taking Hodor for a ride, just to follow his crush is not cool, however. 

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39 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Bloody hell, @Crona, fourteen pages in two days? :bowdown::bowdown:

 

Like @Odej said up above, I really hope that Bran didn't warg into Howland just because he's got this hard-on for being a knight. It's effectively stealing his consciousness, and I always feel bad for Hodor and annoyed at Bran. Sure, emergencies like the wight situation, is still creepy but understandable. Taking Hodor for a ride, just to follow his crush is not cool, however. 

Well Bran has committed nearly every skin changing rule laid out by Varamyr. Dont eat man flesh in something else, don't take a human, and dont mate with anything while in something else like an animal. Say, like a firewyrm or a Wyvern together. You may mix a part of your selves into the new dragon hybrid you just made. This is the only one Bran hasn't done that we know of

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7 hours ago, Odej said:

I really hope that if Howland Reed is the KOLT it wasn't because Bran skinchanged him. Skinchange a person is an abomination. Varamy's prologue show us that is basically a mental rape. Holdor it's mental broken so it may be easy for Bran skinchange him but Holdor doesn't like it and fears it. The quote that said when Bran skinchange him Holdor retreats to a place where Bran cannot reach him its one of the saddest in ADWD.

I don't think Howland would fell bless at all.

Yea I don't like it either. I was reading Bran's chapters and the idea popped in my head

2 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Bloody hell, @Crona, fourteen pages in two days? :bowdown::bowdown:

 

Like @Odej said up above, I really hope that Bran didn't warg into Howland just because he's got this hard-on for being a knight. It's effectively stealing his consciousness, and I always feel bad for Hodor and annoyed at Bran. Sure, emergencies like the wight situation, is still creepy but understandable. Taking Hodor for a ride, just to follow his crush is not cool, however. 

Lol I know, but its something that I pieced together from Bran's chapters. Some of his chapters are very eerie. Of course I could be completely wrong

Bran hated being crippled then. "Don't cry," he said. He wanted to put his arms around her, hold her tight the way his mother used to hold him back at Winterfell when he'd hurt himself. She was right there, only a few feet from him, but so far out of reach it might have been a hundred leagues. To touch her he would need to pull himself along the ground with his hands, dragging his legs behind him. The floor was rough and uneven, and it would be slow going, full of scrapes and bumps. I could put on Hodor's skin, he thought. Hodor could hold her and pat her on the back. The thought made Bran feel strange, but he was still thinking it when Meera bolted from the fire, back out into the darkness of the tunnels. He heard her steps recede until there was nothing but the voices of the singers.

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7 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

I always feel bad for Hodor and annoyed at Bran. Sure, emergencies like the wight situation, is still creepy but understandable. Taking Hodor for a ride, just to follow his crush is not cool, however. 

The first time Bran skinchanges Hodor is at Queenscrown during a thunder storm.  Hodor is terrified of the storm and panicking, bellowing at the top of his lungs.  This is just when the wildlings appear and nobody can calm Hodor down. They are about to be discovered and Bran skinchanges him.  It's a necessary evil to save all their lives. 

The second time is when they are attacked by wights at BR's cave and I say this is different because Hodor is asking for Bran's help.   Bran is not forcing himself on Hodor.  There is a difference between violating someone against their will and lending your power to someone who requests it. 

I'm suggesting that the green men are lent the power of the gods for defensive purposes. They become avatars of the gods in a sense.   I think this is what Howland was doing on the Isle for two years and why Bran can lend him his powers

Bran in the books is not the Bran of the tv show.  He does not know that he went into Hodor's mind so powerfully that it crippled him mentally.  As far as Bran knows, Hodor has always been this way.  The difference between Varamyr and Bran is that Bran has a moral compass; knows that it's wrong but a necessary evil for the groups survival.

The events at the Tourney have to play out in the same way.  It's a closed time loop and the events cannot be changed.  But Howland doesn't seem the worse for wear since we know he continues on as Ned's friend.

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16 hours ago, LynnS said:

We are talking about god level skills.

Nope.

GRRM won’t have gods coming in as characters deus ex machina to control the story. HE said that. 
 

And the quote you kindly provided proves Bran, nor Howland possess the skill to do what you propose.

By the way, LynnS, I’m well aware this is your own theory now and not Crona’s and you will defend your own ideal with oathkeeper or dark sister had you both swords near at hand.

Honestly though, give up the ghost. It’s over my friend.

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I don’t suppose anyone, after 14 pages, has A REASON, why Howland (skinchanged by Bran all afternoon) does this at Harrenhal in regards to the story?

What does it serve?

Seriously…?

On the other hand, Lyanna as the knight has lots of story-related stuff attached. 
 

Bran skinchanging someone, and especially the effect it has when it ripples through time, only proves to be disastrous. We know this as fact. Yet, Howland helps win the war and fathers two children after this supposed magical feat. 
 

The facts we have contradict every angle of this theory. 

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21 minutes ago, Macgregor of the North said:

I don’t suppose anyone, after 14 pages, has A REASON, why Howland (skinchanged by Bran all afternoon) does this at Harrenhal in regards to the story?

What does it serve?

Seriously…?

On the other hand, Lyanna as the knight has lots of story-related stuff attached. 
 

Bran skinchanging someone, and especially the effect it has when it ripples through time, only proves to be disastrous. We know this as fact. Yet, Howland helps win the war and fathers two children after this supposed magical feat. 
 

The facts we have contradict every angle of this theory. 

Maybe Howland wasn't able to perform and Bran skinchanged into him to do the deed. That's why he sends the kids to him, so they would meet their third parent.

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16 hours ago, LynnS said:

The Tree Knight admonished three of Aerys' knight for not teaching their squires to behave with honor and then refused to unmask.  Aerys lost face and he was furious.  That's why Rhaegar was given the order.  We are also told that he never discovered the identity of the Tree Knight. 

So if it’s Howland, skinchanged by Bran, why waste time writing the search order into the story?

What’s the point of having Rhaegar search for the knight if (in-story) it has NOTHING to do with Rhaegar? Nothing. 

Why have Rhaegar search for her, (sorry, Howland)? Because Aerys thinks it’s Jaime? Why? Another KG could’ve searched. 
 

Rhaegar searches because, for goodness sake… it’s Lyanna and he finds that out after said search.

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5 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Maybe Howland wasn't able to perform and Bran skinchanged into him to do the deed. That's why he sends the kids to him, so they would meet their third parent.

And there is the answer.

GRRM said himself that Bran has been skinchanging Hodor and practising with the sword because Bran is trained at swordplay.

Absolutely nowhere is it ever stated that Bran or any of Ned’s bunch trained at jousting; even when the royal brigade arrive in AGOT, Winterfell doesn’t provide training of that sort. 
Winterfell doesn’t do that training anymore.

So, Bran nor Howland possess the skill so it wasn’t them. Simple really.

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4 hours ago, LynnS said:

The first time Bran skinchanges Hodor is at Queenscrown during a thunder storm.  Hodor is terrified of the storm and panicking, bellowing at the top of his lungs.  This is just when the wildlings appear and nobody can calm Hodor down. They are about to be discovered and Bran skinchanges him.  It's a necessary evil to save all their lives. 

The second time is when they are attacked by wights at BR's cave and I say this is different because Hodor is asking for Bran's help.   Bran is not forcing himself on Hodor.  There is a difference between violating someone against their will and lending your power to someone who requests it. 

I dunno, I think you may be minimizing Bran's moral transgressions here. Bran's skinchanging Hodor is never presented as a good thing. Even when it's a necessary evil, the evil nevertheless remains.

Like Stannis' burning of Shireen, the show presented us with some end points confirmed by GRRM to be in his story. As with Shireen's burning, the text we have with Bran presents a primrose path to that tragedy (whereas the show has random gotcha shock). 

"Go down into the crypts. When I woke, I told him to take me down, to see if Father was truly there. At first he didn't know what I was saying, but I got him to the steps by telling him to go here and go there, only then he wouldn't go down. He just stood on the top step and said 'Hodor,' like he was scared of the dark, but I had a torch. It made me so mad I almost gave him a swat in the head, like Old Nan is always doing." He saw the way the maester was frowning and hurriedly added, "I didn't, though."

"Good. Hodor is a man, not a mule to be beaten." --AGOT

"Abomination. That had always been Haggon's favorite word. Abomination, abomination, abomination. To eat of human meat was abomination, to mate as wolf with wolf was abomination, and to seize the body of another man was the worst abomination of all." --ADWD

You mentioned the first time Bran enters Hodor's mind as a necessary evil. We could argue the second time is the same. Still, it's a violation:

"Bran ripped Hodor's longsword from his belt. Deep inside he could hear poor Hodor whimpering still, but outside he was seven feet of fury with old iron in his hand."

And then there's the third chapter of ADWD, where it seems Bran has developed a new habit:

"But after they were gone, he slipped inside Hodor's skin and followed them.

The big stableboy no longer fought him as he had the first time, back in the lake tower during the storm. Like a dog who has had all the fight whipped out of him, Hodor would curl up and hide whenever Bran reached out for him. His hiding place was somewhere deep within him, a pit where not even Bran could touch him. No one wants to hurt you, Hodor, he said silently, to the child-man whose flesh he'd taken. I just want to be strong again for a while. I'll give it back, the way I always do." --ADWD

"No one ever knew when he was wearing Hodor's skin. Bran only had to smile, do as he was told, and mutter "Hodor" from time to time, and he could follow Meera and Jojen, grinning happily, without anyone suspecting it was really him. He often tagged along, whether he was wanted or not." --ADWD

Bran is young, so he doesn't understand the full extent of what he's doing. I am of the mind that the "Hold the Door" moment will be the point at which Bran finally understands the cost of his meddling, both with time and with a human mind.

I also am of the mind that GRRM will keep the time tinkering to a minimum, with this tragedy being the most prominent scene. Both because he has shown such restraint with time-travel narratives in past stories, because he is a resolute existentialist (and thus a believer in individual agency), and because magic in his stories are almost always more of a complication that reveals character than a plot device to resolve things.

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1 minute ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Bran is young, so he doesn't understand the full extent of what he's doing. I am of the mind that the "Hold the Door" moment will be the point at which Bran finally understands the cost of his meddling, both with time and with a human mind.

I also am of the mind that GRRM will keep the time tinkering to a minimum, with this tragedy being the most prominent scene. Both because he has shown such restraint with time-travel narratives in past stories, because he is a resolute existentialist (and thus a believer in individual agency), and because magic in his stories are almost always more of a complication that reveals character than a plot device to resolve things.

I agree.  I am not understating Bran's transgressions and I think he will come to understand the extent of the damage he has caused Hodor.  After all he loves Hodor.  I am drawing a distinction between Hodor and Howland though.  The unintended consequence of this transaction as the Tree Knight could be considered the event that led to everything else that followed.

As for time tinkering; I don't think we will see much more of it.  Potentially he will contact his siblings as he does with Jon at the Skirling Pass.  Potentially they will act as his agents or instruments.

  

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If the topic has wound down; perhaps I can ask this question:

Is Hodor Bran's dark angel?

Quote

 

A Feast for Crows - Arya II

"Death is not the worst thing," the kindly man replied. "It is His gift to us, an end to want and pain. On the day that we are born the Many-Faced God sends each of us a dark angel to walk through life beside us. When our sins and our sufferings grow too great to be borne, the angel takes us by the hand to lead us to the nightlands, where the stars burn ever bright. Those who come to drink from the black cup are looking for their angels. If they are afraid, the candles soothe them. When you smell our candles burning, what does it make you think of, my child?"

 

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran IV

Summer followed them up the tower steps as Hodor carried Bran back to his bed. Old Nan was asleep in her chair. Hodor said "Hodor," gathered up his great-grandmother, and carried her off, snoring softly, while Bran lay thinking. Robb had promised that he could feast with the Night's Watch in the Great Hall. "Summer," he called. The wolf bounded up on the bed. Bran hugged him so hard he could feel the hot breath on his cheek. "I can ride now," he whispered to his friend. "We can go hunting in the woods soon, wait and see." After a time he slept.

In his dream he was climbing again, pulling himself up an ancient windowless tower, his fingers forcing themselves between blackened stones, his feet scrabbling for purchase. Higher and higher he climbed, through the clouds and into the night sky, and still the tower rose before him. When he paused to look down, his head swam dizzily and he felt his fingers slipping. Bran cried out and clung for dear life. The earth was a thousand miles beneath him and he could not fly. He could not fly. He waited until his heart had stopped pounding, until he could breathe, and he began to climb again. There was no way to go but up. Far above him, outlined against a vast pale moon, he thought he could see the shapes of gargoyles. His arms were sore and aching, but he dared not rest. He forced himself to climb faster. The gargoyles watched him ascend. Their eyes glowed red as hot coals in a brazier. Perhaps once they had been lions, but now they were twisted and grotesque. Bran could hear them whispering to each other in soft stone voices terrible to hear. He must not listen, he told himself, he must not hear, so long as he did not hear them he was safe. But when the gargoyles pulled themselves loose from the stone and padded down the side of the tower to where Bran clung, he knew he was not safe after all. "I didn't hear," he wept as they came closer and closer, "I didn't, I didn't."

He woke gasping, lost in darkness, and saw a vast shadow looming over him. "I didn't hear," he whispered, trembling in fear, but then the shadow said "Hodor," and lit the candle by the bedside, and Bran sighed with relief.

 

 

Edited by LynnS
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23 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Is Hodor Bran's dark angel?

If I may ask, does that mean you expect Hodor to somehow be responsible for Bran's 'death'? Or that Hodor was responsible for leading Bran to the 'nightlands' aka realize his powers when hold-the-door eventually happens?

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2 minutes ago, Apoplexy said:

If I may ask, does that mean you expect Hodor to somehow be responsible for Bran's 'death'? Or that Hodor was responsible for leading Bran to the 'nightlands' aka realize his powers when hold-the-door eventually happens?

I don't really know.  Hodor's mind could not have been affected by Bran skinchanging him in the future until the day Bran is born.  So the notion that the gods send you a dark angel to walk beside you in life until you become weary of your sins and then lead you to the dark lands when you decide to leave life is very suggestive.  But it does sound like they go together.

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24 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I don't really know.  Hodor's mind could not have been affected by Bran skinchanging him in the future until the day Bran is born.  So the notion that the gods send you a dark angel to walk beside you in life until you become weary of your sins and then lead you to the dark lands when you decide to leave life is very suggestive.  But it does sound like they go together.

I'll be honest, hold-the-door from the show confused the hell out of me. I am hoping the books will have a better explanation. 

As for the dark angel, I think the what the kindly man was saying does not relate to the 'magic' in the north. Many faced god magic is a completely different thing IMO.

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8 hours ago, Macgregor of the North said:

And there is the answer.

GRRM said himself that Bran has been skinchanging Hodor and practising with the sword because Bran is trained at swordplay.

Absolutely nowhere is it ever stated that Bran or any of Ned’s bunch trained at jousting; even when the royal brigade arrive in AGOT, Winterfell doesn’t provide training of that sort. 
Winterfell doesn’t do that training anymore.

So, Bran nor Howland possess the skill so it wasn’t them. Simple really.

Bran won’t be raisin Howland’s lance be it atop a horse or his wife, but the reason is much more simple than his disability to use a long spear. 
 

Quote

But," said Bran, "he heard me."

"He heard a whisper on the wind, a rustling amongst the leaves. You cannot speak to him, try as you might. I know. I have my own ghosts, Bran. A brother that Iloved, a brother that I hated, a woman I desired. Through the trees, I see them still, but no word of mine has ever reached them. The past remains the past. We can learn from it, but we cannot change it."

 

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1 hour ago, Apoplexy said:

I'll be honest, hold-the-door from the show confused the hell out of me. I am hoping the books will have a better explanation. 

Yah, I don't think Hodor is going to die holding the door the way it was portrayed in the show.  It actually cracked me up that the cave had a door in the first place. This cannot be when Walder becomes Hodor.  I do think that happened on the day Bran was born.  Martin says the meaning is closer to hold the pass.

 

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