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The difference between a deserter and a turncloak


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On 2/26/2022 at 7:29 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

You become a turncloak once you forsake one allegiance and join another. The Hound was a deserter for abandoning Joffrey and the Lannisters at the Battle of the Blackwater. If he had succeeded in joining Robb, that would have made him a turncloack.

Theon is considered a turncloak because he was aligned with Robb: they grew up together, Theon fought beside Robb, and he went to Pyke as Robb’s envoy. Of course, there is the question of why anyone expected Theon Greyjoy, the heir to the Iron Islands, to value his alliance with the Starks over his own house and kingdom, but that’s another conversation.

I agree, for a general definition. However I've often pondered on the Lord of the Crossing and what deeper meaning that might have so these ideas strike a chord:

On 2/26/2022 at 6:35 PM, Seams said:

If I had to guess, I would say that a turncloak turns out to be a necessary character for solving a problem: someone who can infiltrate, break barriers and cross boundaries. We see Theon crossing the walls at Winterfell (the sea flowing over the walls, as Bran sees it in his dream), taking Lady Dustin into the crypt after she had been unable to find the door on her own, taking the washerwomen into Ramsay and Jeyne's bedchamber and taking Jeyne over the wall to escape Winterfell. He also infiltrates Moat Cailin, allowing Ramsay to conquer the Ironborn occupants without engaging in combat. I'm wondering whether the foray into the woods around Winterfell to track down the missing Bran, Rickon, Hodor, Jojen and Meera can be undertaken only with Theon Turncloak leading the party? That crossing of that woodland barrier may be unsuccessful only because there is a countervailing force preventing the Turncloak from crossing the barrier: it is my understanding that Hodor has a special power to hold doors.

Robb had to strike a deal to cross Walder's bridge. The alternative was to take the Twins by force which was no real option, while the manner of Theon's taking of Winterfell was a piece of cake in comparison. We find out about the rules of the game "Lord of the Crossing" at Winterfell, through Little Walder and Big Walder. The kids play the game and Little Walder was Lord of the Crossing more often than not. I'm thinking the countervailing force preventing Theon turncloak from crossing the barrier to find the kids was Little Walder. We are not told which of the boys joined the party but my guess would be Little Walder because he wanted a wolf's pelt and held the crossing most of the time in the game. So perhaps Little Walder's presence hampered the turncloak. 

There's also Drogo who saw no reason to cross the poison seas with his Dothraki horde. He changed his mind after the poisoning attempt on Daenerys and that attempt came about because Jorah informed on her - Jorah in a turncloak role facilitating crossing the narrow sea. The Freys and Boltons are turncloaks, both have contributed to there no longer being a Stark in Winterfell. Perhaps they facilitate the crossing of the Others. And coming to think of it, Theon may have to facilitate yet another crossing into Winterfell, this time for Stannis to take the castle. 

I'm still not sure why this is important but I think it is. 

On 2/26/2022 at 6:35 PM, Seams said:

From a wordplay perspective, I can add one more little anagram clue: turncloak = turn a lock. Maybe a turncloak represents a key, allowing a lock to be opened. 

Not sure about this. I think there is a difference between turncloak and turn a lock (or turnkey). Theon escapes from the Dreadfort with Kyra who has the keys but it was a deception. Theon keeps thinking about Kyra and the keys in later chapters. There's something about the keys. The next time he's confronted with keys is when Little and Big Walder come to release him from the Dungeon to get him prepared for giving fArya away. Little Walder again - presiding over the "crossing" because he has the keys? 


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On 3/21/2022 at 9:12 AM, Mourning Star said:

It is also worth noting that it is the gift of the sword (and Arya practicing her "sowing") that results in her loosing her Direwolf, her family "arms".

I really like that morning star

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