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Solved Mysteries


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One of the biggest parts of  ASOIAF that keeps fans coming back for more is the endless theory-crafting and unsolved mysteries. So far, most remain unsolved. I thought it would be interesting to try to compile the mysteries that we have been given some kind of answer for. I'm excluding those that were introduced and solved in the same book (i.e. Olenna and Littlefinger poisoning Joffrey).

  1. Jon Arryn's murder: poisoned by Lysa under Littlefinger's instruction
  2. The catspaw dagger: sent by Joffrey in order to impress his father
  3. Dany's vision of the Red Wedding: pretty obvious--and literal--in retrospect, but confirmed in ASOS
  4. Varys' motive: installing Aegon on the Iron Throne; the details are still opaque
  5. The origin of Dany's eggs: technically not confirmed officially, but likely to have been the three eggs stolen by Elissa Farman

Are there other solved mysteries that I'm forgetting? And what do you think this has to save about how other mysteries in this series will be solved?

In my opinion, I think the solved mysteries we've gotten this far indicate that GRRM is capable of writing some really compelling twists (Lysa poisoning Jon Arryn) and some very underwhelming ones (Joffrey sending the catspaw blade). Another important takeaway is that most of the answers to these mysteries are more straightforward than most fan theories suggest (I believe Elio and Linda have said this before in the past). Dany's vision of the Red Wedding is a prime example of this.  

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Arstan Whitebeard being Barristan Selmy, which also solved the mystery of "where is Barristan Selmy?", a question mark throughout ACOK.

FArya being Jeyne Poole.  More of a confirmation than a solution but still....  It at least ended unfounded speculation, if there was any.

Lannister involvement in Robb's marriage.  We could guess from Tywin's (non)reaction that something was up.  Jaime's meeting with Lady Westerling cleared it up.  (Love potion theory notwithstanding)

I suspect, like you, that most solutions will be relatively straightforward.  Or, at least, not ridiculously complicated. 

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3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I'm excluding those that were introduced and solved in the same book (i.e. Olenna and Littlefinger poisoning Joffrey).

That is particularly still in contention.

3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Jon Arryn's murder

Word, that was crazy. It's cool how agot is kind of a detective novel and then only later we find out who the real murderer was

3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Are there other solved mysteries that I'm forgetting?

The big one is who's Jon's mother, but we know we should be asking who's his father?

Young Griff's origin is another good mystery, so is septa Lemore and consequently Ashara Dayne.

Who ratted out Arianna?

Why was Benjen and to a lesser extent Mormont sent to the wall?

How many eyes does Bloodraven have?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hugorfonics said:

That is particularly still in contention.

Only among a small minority, even on this forum.

Joffrey being responsible for the catspaw is a bit more contentious, largely because the solution is a weak one.  The only problem is, that all the other possibilities are even weaker

1 hour ago, Hugorfonics said:

The big one is who's Jon's mother, but we know we should be asking who's his father?

Young Griff's origin is another good mystery, so is septa Lemore and consequently Ashara Dayne.

Who ratted out Arianna?

Why was Benjen and to a lesser extent Mormont sent to the wall?

How many eyes does Bloodraven have?

The question was about mysteries we have been given a solution for.  I don't think any of these can be considered solved.   Some of them probably aren't even all that important.

Edited by Nevets
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2 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

George has talked at length in interviews about the Purple Wedding and how Olenna killed Joffrey. It boggles my mind that there are still people who try to deny this.

Disingenuous.

Quote

In the books — and I make no promises, because I have two more books to write, and I may have more surprises to reveal

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9 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

George has talked at length in interviews about the Purple Wedding and how Olenna killed Joffrey. It boggles my mind that there are still people who try to deny this.

I've never heard anyone try to counter that argument.  Is this on reddit?

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Posted (edited)

It's difficult to pin down a list of mysteries because often the thing that makes a mystery a mystery is that it wasn't presented as a mystery, or it was presented as a different mystery.

For Jon Arryn's murder mystery, the first solution offered explicitly by characters in the story is that the Lannisters did it. That solution ultimately comes from Lysa Arryn, because she's the one who sent the secret message to Catelyn. Catelyn told it to Ned and Ned carried that "knowledge" with him to King's Landing where the mystery does most of its unfolding for the reader.

That solution sticks throughout all of AGOT, because Cersei Lannister murdering or orchestrating the murder of Jon Arryn makes sense in light of the illegitimacy of her children and Jon discovering that. That solution sticks throughout all of ACOK. And it sticks throughout much of ASOS until Lysa says to Petyr that she put the tears into Jon's wine like Petyr told her to do.

Only then is the readership at large brought in on a deeper truth of the Jon Arryn murder mystery, years afterward. Petyr and Lysa did it. And their motivations had little to do with the illegitimacy of Cersei's children except to frame the Lannisters. Apparently, the motivation that was driving Jon's murder from the beginning was that Petyr wanted to be the Lord of the Eyrie and Vale.

Even still, we're left with a strong sense that being the Lord of the Eyrie and Vale is not the deepest motivation in Petyr that drove Jon's murder and is perhaps driving all of Petyr's behavior in all regards. Undoubtedly, the "cause" of Jon Arryn's murder is rooted in Petyr's childhood at Riverrun, his unrequited love for Catelyn, his defeat by Brandon, Lysa's arranged marriage to Jon, Lysa's aborted child with Petyr, and the cultural practices of Westeros as a whole upon which all of those events sit. 

It bears asking myself, how are my feelings about Lannister characters shaped by my first impressions of them as antagonists in the Jon Arryn murder mystery? Have I properly updated my feelings about Jaime, Tyrion and Cersei to exonerate them of the crime of murdering Jon Arryn? Probably not. Have I properly separated my feelings about Lannisters that derive from the Jon Arryn murder from my feelings about Lannisters that derive from Bran's "fall", Bran's assassination, Cersei and Jaime's incest, Cersei's adultery, Jaime's kingslaying, Tyrion's whoring, et all? Not a chance. To what extent am I even capable of updating a first impression?

The commentary of the reader is built right into the mystery's structure. 'You'll believe the first plausible sounding solution that presents itself to you, especially if it matches with your feelings about the characters, dilemmas and themes.' 

The metatextual warning, then, is about placing too much trust in one's feelings. Had I done a better job of preventing my feelings about Lannisters from influencing my investigation, I might have considered more seriously the possibility that the real murderer was the first person to point a finger at someone else, the very act that framed Jon Arryn's death for the reader as a mystery to begin with. 

Edited by Lissasalayaya
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15 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Reddit, YouTube, etc. People keep arguing that someone was trying to poison Tyrion or Margaery.

Oh, that's why I've never heard it before.  I've never really looked at Reddit.  I would expect something like this from new readers.

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ADWD, Mel I - "I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R'hllor shows me only Snow." - Jon Snow is Azor Ahai.

AGOT, Bran III - "he saw that the crow was really a woman" - The Three-Eyed Crow is Shiera Seastar.

AGOT, Dany IX - "the stars smiled down on them, stars in a daylight sky.", "Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white, and their eyes were opal and amethyst, tourmaline and jade. ... the ghosts cried as one", "After that, for a long time, there was only the pain, the fire within her, and the whisperings of stars." ADWD, Dany X - "She was flying once again, spinning, laughing, dancing, as the stars wheeled around her and whispered secrets in her ear. "To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward, you must go back. To touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow." "Quaithe?" Dany called. "Where are you, Quaithe?" Then she saw. Her mask is made of starlight. "Remember who you are, Daenerys," the stars whispered in a woman's voice." - Quaithe is Shiera Seastar, and she had appeared for the first time in the series way back in AGOT - those whispering and smiling stars and blue-green-eyed ghosts in red-black clothes/Targaryen colors/Quaithe's red mask made of starlight and her black cape with hood, which she took off in Dany's fevered "dream" in AGOT, which was NOT a dream.

Etc.

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17 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

One of the biggest parts of  ASOIAF that keeps fans coming back for more is the endless theory-crafting and unsolved mysteries. So far, most remain unsolved. I thought it would be interesting to try to compile the mysteries that we have been given some kind of answer for. I'm excluding those that were introduced and solved in the same book (i.e. Olenna and Littlefinger poisoning Joffrey).

  1. Jon Arryn's murder: poisoned by Lysa under Littlefinger's instruction
  2. The catspaw dagger: sent by Joffrey in order to impress his father
  3. Dany's vision of the Red Wedding: pretty obvious--and literal--in retrospect, but confirmed in ASOS
  4. Varys' motive: installing Aegon on the Iron Throne; the details are still opaque
  5. The origin of Dany's eggs: technically not confirmed officially, but likely to have been the three eggs stolen by Elissa Farman

Are there other solved mysteries that I'm forgetting? And what do you think this has to save about how other mysteries in this series will be solved?

In my opinion, I think the solved mysteries we've gotten this far indicate that GRRM is capable of writing some really compelling twists (Lysa poisoning Jon Arryn) and some very underwhelming ones (Joffrey sending the catspaw blade). Another important takeaway is that most of the answers to these mysteries are more straightforward than most fan theories suggest (I believe Elio and Linda have said this before in the past). Dany's vision of the Red Wedding is a prime example of this.  

The catspaw mystery is not over yet. We know it was Joffrey, but his motive is still sketchy. I think I know what it was but it's highly speculative still.

Varys' motive does seem clear(er) now. It's Illyrio's motive that is still fuzzy. I think I know his game too, but again, highly speculative.

The one mystery that has been solved that you didn't mention, though: Tyrion was the real target at the Purple Wedding, not Joffrey. The poison was in the pie, not the wine. And no, this is not speculative; it is confirmed by all the facts in the book.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Megorova said:

"Where are you, Quaithe?" Then she saw. Her mask is made of starlight.

Sorry if this is off-topic but is Quaithe one of the stars that are invoked in the prayers of the red religion?

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Tyrion VIII

It was dusk and the red priest had lit his nightfire in the great iron brazier amidships as the crew gathered round to pray. Moqorro's voice was a bass drum that seemed to boom from somewhere deep within his massive torso. "We thank you for your sun that keeps us warm," he prayed. "We thank you for your stars that watch over us as we sail this cold black sea." A huge man, taller than Ser Jorah and wide enough to make two of him, the priest wore scarlet robes embroidered at sleeve and hem and collar with orange satin flames. His skin was black as pitch, his hair as white as snow; the flames tattooed across his cheeks and brow yellow and orange. His iron staff was as tall as he was and crowned with a dragon's head; when he stamped its butt upon the deck, the dragon's maw spat crackling green flame.

 

Edited by LynnS
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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

The one mystery that has been solved that you didn't mention, though: Tyrion was the real target at the Purple Wedding, not Joffrey. The poison was in the pie, not the wine. And no, this is not speculative; it is confirmed by all the facts in the book.

?? So Oleanna/Littlefinger conspired to kill Joffrey while someone else had designs on Tyrion?  Poison in the pie would be indiscriminate. How do you reckon?

I'm not going to throw shade on you for having another opinion.  I've never heard the rationale for it before.

Edited by LynnS
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4 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 

The one mystery that has been solved that you didn't mention, though: Tyrion was the real target at the Purple Wedding, not Joffrey. The poison was in the pie, not the wine. And no, this is not speculative; it is confirmed by all the facts in the book.

Citation?

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16 hours ago, Nevets said:

The question was about mysteries we have been given a solution for.  I don't think any of these can be considered solved

Lol oh yeah.

16 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

. It boggles my mind 

 

4 hours ago, LynnS said:

I'm not going to throw shade on you for having another opinion.  I've never heard the rationale for it before.

That boggles the mind. Lol. You're a veteran here. It's not the biggest issue here, true, but it gets championed, I'd say frequently, by folks like me or @John Suburbs. (Though we disagree on some aspects of it) 

Alrighty, here I go

So when LF said he had no motive to kill Joff and did it because"it's good to keep the enemy guessing" its a LF (lying fucker). Why does a bear shit in the woods? Fantastic. 

Thornes also has no reason for Joffs death, sure she was grilling Sansa about Joffs true nature but that issue was resolved when Loras joined the KG. Thornes however kept grilling Sansa, as Dontos notes, "it's ya claim honey bunch". Before engagement, after her wedding and on the very same night as Thornes kills Joffrey and Sansa runs away, Thornes presses her to come to Highgarden, only thing is, she's not going to Highgarden.

Ok let's back up, Stannis has a son! But now no brother, what's a reachman to do? Tyrion spies an opportunity and puts his trust in an enemy who's already done his best to kill and ruin Tyrion. What could go wrong?

Tut tut says Thornes, Loras liked Renly but who is this boy and whats in to for me? The claim. Based on the speed and persistence of Thornes it's clear she's looking for that northern girl. So what'd LF offer Tyrell? Sansa. Only thing is, LF is a lying fucker.

Frey Lannister and even Robb can look at a map, this young wolf experiment isn't going well. Robb will lose, with his brothers dead that only leaves one Stark. Tyrell Lannister and even Lysa can look at a bachelorette, this girl is eligible! But with one Lannister boy a bachelor it doesn't take a Black Walder to predict wedding bells.

So, conclusion, Tyrion sent LF to conspire with Olenna (in order to lose all credibility for BW and in turn have the sacker of KL be renamed the savior). They conspired the death of Tyrion Lannister. (But the gods aren't don't with out imp and chose a lesser man to perish, the king) Therefore in one stroke they would manage to free Sansa and return her to her lucrative bachelorette standing, which will also be resolved quickly. But not only did the gods interfere, but Petyr too, because like he says; In for a stag, in for a dragon

@John Suburbs

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32 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

 Thornes also has no reason for Joffs death, sure she was grilling Sansa about Joffs true nature but that issue was resolved when Loras joined the KG.

This doesn’t add up. Amongst other things, it never stopped Robert from hurting Cersei. 

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