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The Royces should have been Old God worshippers


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Posted (edited)

I don't know for the life of me why GRRM only chose one house south of the Neck to carry on the old gods worship. He could have made his point just as easily with a number of other houses who weren't followers of the Seven. And of all the non-North houses, it's House Royce that seems most obvious a candidate to cling to the old ways. 

Everything about them suggests it; they still send sons to the Wall, they wear bronze armour, they've got a rich and ancient lineage back to the First Men, they're the second most powerful house in the Vale even after all this time, it would have said a lot more if they were also old gods worshippers. and sure, the Andals were ruthless in stamping out that faith, but even so, they could have been secretly faithful until it was safe to be honest about it again.

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn
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Looking for an in-universe explanation, I will note that the Vale is somewhat isolated, cut off by its geography from   the rest of Westeros. Once the Andals took control of the place, they may have been ruthless in exterminating all worship of the old gods.  It would have been difficult for House Royce to request or receive help from other Houses.

Also, it's possible that some Royces do still keep the old gods, but in secret.

What is the "point" that you think GRRM was making?  Or was that just a figure of speech?

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Posted (edited)

At least for the Royces the simplest explanation is that they were the victims of a forcible conquest by the Andals.  As such the Andal religion was probably forced upon them.  I'm sure that there were several generations of Royce's that may have secretly kept to the Old gods, but after a while and after subsequent generations, the hold of the Old Gods would grow weaker and the religion mandated by their Andal conquerors would just become passively accepted.

Edited by Frey family reunion
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I like the complexity of House Royce holding to older traditions / having First Men heritage despite worshipping the Seven.

It shows the overlap between the two cultures as varied, so that they are knitted together in different ways. If ever house was fully immersed in one culture the story would be more simplistic.

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7 hours ago, Buried Treasure said:

I like the complexity of House Royce holding to older traditions / having First Men heritage despite worshipping the Seven.

It shows the overlap between the two cultures as varied, so that they are knitted together in different ways. If ever house was fully immersed in one culture the story would be more simplistic.

That's a fair point, but the problem is that we could still have gotten that if only a few more houses were also old god worshippers. We're told that the majority of people in Westeros are descended from the First Men, and some still worship the old gods, but the only ones we've met are the Blackwoods. And the Blackwoods are very much involved in the ways of the south. Instead of one house bearing that burden, we could have had several other ones. Maybe House Crakehall in the west, for example, or House Dondarrion in the Stormlands. Beric could have been another Jorah-like example of an old gods worshipper being knighted and participating in knightly activities. 

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn
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If you think about it, the Vale would be the place where there are most definitely no followers of the old gods left.

Because the Vale was well and truly conquered by the Andals, unlike many of the other kingdoms.

If you want to look for followers of the old gods south of the Neck then the places where any of them would remain are the kingdoms and regions were the Andals weren't conquerors so much as marrying into the ruling families, meaning especially the Westerlands and the Reach. In those places certain houses could have originally refused to convert and then made a habit out of it. After all, if the lands weren't conquered then nobody could actually force them to convert. George could easily have followers of the old gods like that at Highgarden and Casterly Rock, just as he has them at White Harbor.

The other places would be the rural and remote areas of Westeros, i.e. the Red Mountains (House Wyl springs to mind there), other remote regions of Dorne (bannermen/vassals of the Ullers and Daynes), remote settlements in the Rainwood, isolated valleys and glens in the West, etc.

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I can't remember how much the religion of the Mountains of the Moon wildlings is addressed. They are descended from the First Men, so I would think they are still worshippers of the old god's - though probably their religious practice had diverged from that of the northerners just as their other traditions are distinct.

 

When Arya and the Hound were in that area we saw there was more contact between the hill clans and the local peasants than is immediately obvious. So there could have been flow of old god worship back into the bottom level of the feudal pyramid, despite the lords being particularly Andal.

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8 hours ago, Buried Treasure said:

I can't remember how much the religion of the Mountains of the Moon wildlings is addressed. They are descended from the First Men, so I would think they are still worshippers of the old god's - though probably their religious practice had diverged from that of the northerners just as their other traditions are distinct.

 

When Arya and the Hound were in that area we saw there was more contact between the hill clans and the local peasants than is immediately obvious. So there could have been flow of old god worship back into the bottom level of the feudal pyramid, despite the lords being particularly Andal.

This makes me wonder how many of the common peasantry in the southern kingdoms are old gods worshippers. We hear of Northmen settling in the Riverlands and helping revive worship south of the Neck, but could a thousand Northern husbands really make that much of a difference?

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On 5/24/2022 at 11:47 PM, Floki of the Ironborn said:

I don't know for the life of me why GRRM only chose one house south of the Neck to carry on the old gods worship. He could have made his point just as easily with a number of other houses who weren't followers of the Seven. And of all the non-North houses, it's House Royce that seems most obvious a candidate to cling to the old ways. 

Everything about them suggests it; they still send sons to the Wall, they wear bronze armour, they've got a rich and ancient lineage back to the First Men, they're the second most powerful house in the Vale even after all this time, it would have said a lot more if they were also old gods worshippers. and sure, the Andals were ruthless in stamping out that faith, but even so, they could have been secretly faithful until it was safe to be honest about it again.

Weirwoods are necessary in the rites of the OG religion. They do not flourish in the shallow, rocky soil of the mountains. 

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Clues for us in the story of House Teague and the Battle of Six Kings:

Quote

Humfrey of House Teague was King of the Rivers and the Hills in those days. A pious ruler, he founded many septs and motherhouses across the riverlands and attempted to repress the worship of the old gods within his realm.

This led Raventree to rise against him, for the Blackwoods had never accepted the Seven. The Vances of Atranta and the Tullys of Riverrun joined them in rebellion. King Humfrey and his loyalists, supported by the Swords and Stars of the Faith Militant, were on the point of crushing them when Lord Roderick Blackwood sent to Storm's End for aid. His lordship was tied to House Durrandon by marriage, as King Arlan had taken one of Lord Roderick's daughters to wife, wedding her by the old rites beneath the great dead weirwood in Raventree's godswood.

Arlan III was quick to respond. Calling all his banners, the Storm King led a great host across the Blackwater Rush, smashing King Humfrey and his loyalists in a series of bloody battles and lifting the siege of Raventree. Roderick Blackwood and Elston Tully both fell in the fighting, along with Lords Bracken, Darry, Smallwood, and both Lords Vance. King Humfrey, his brother and champion, Ser Damon, and his sons Humfrey, Hollis, and Tyler all perished in the campaign's final battle, a bloody affray fought beneath two hills called the Mother's Teats on land claimed by both the Blackwoods and the Brackens.

The World of Ice and Fire - The Riverlands

In another current thread, someone just pointed out that Karyl Vance is the person who persuaded Jaime to treat with the Brackens and Blackwoods, and that this could be part of a larger BWB conspiracy. Here we see Houses Tully and Durrandon (I think House Dondarrion is descended from them) allied with the Blackwoods against the representative of the Faith of the Seven. It seems as if that Battle of Six Kings is a parallel for the BWB contact with Jaime, and a possible plot to entrap him. 

Both plots are good clues for us about traditional followers of the Old Gods and possible alliances and secret worshippers still active in contemporary Westeros.

Your point about House Royce is well-taken, though. There's something about the armor with runes, as well as Waymar's important role in the AGoT prologue, that tells me House Royce deserves special attention from readers. There is also "other" wordplay in some names ("Andar" and "Randa" may be variations on "ander," the German word for "other"). Controlling the Gates of the Moon also seems like an important hint. There is something very "First Men" about them, if not older.

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11 hours ago, Seams said:

There is something very "First Men" about them, if not older.

This is really intriquing for it's parallel to the Black Gate, a sort of moon gate, each with it's own gatekeeper.  Along with the waycastles of stone, snow and sky.  Leading to the weirwood throne and moon door at the top of the Eyrie.   

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53 minutes ago, LynnS said:

This is really intriquing for it's parallel to the Black Gate, a sort of moon gate, each with it's own gatekeeper.  Along with the waycastles of stone, snow and sky.  Leading to the weirwood throne and moon door at the top of the Eyrie.   

Yes to all of this.

Guardians and openers of doors (as well as people who can go over walls or swim under a portcullis or fall out of a window) are important figures in ASOIAF. For reasons I have not yet identified, members of the kings guard have special powers to pass through barriers.

Although we are not given specifics about the "senior" House Royce as gatekeepers (although there may be subtle clues but I would have to do a re-read to pick up on them), their sigil / shield looks like an oak door studded with iron and, perhaps, sealed with a spell written in runes. I am put in mind of Dunk's "prayer" in The Hedge Knight, which he thinks of as a rhyme about a shield: "Oak and iron, guard me well. Or else I'm dead and doomed to hell."

We know that Brienne's shield is painted for her at Duskendale by a woman who has also painted a magical landscape scene on a door, implying that shields and doors should be compared. Jon Snow opens the long-sealed shield hall at Castle Black shortly before he is stabbed and presumed dead - I think the shields represent magical doors and might help to explain how Jon will rise again in the next book. Or maybe they just show us that Jon opened Pandora's Box (similar to Arya letting Jaqen, Rorge and Biter out of the locked cage?), leading to the release of evil spirits that brought on the attack against him. 

Ser Robar Royce was a member of Renly's kings guard (Rainbow Guard) and he was guarding the door (along with Emmon Cuy) when Renly was killed. I may be wrong, but one guess is that Melisandre's shadow weapon got past Ser Robar and Ser Emmon because Renly was in a tent instead of a castle or other building. But it may be that the presence of Ser Emmon or Catelyn or Brienne allowed the shadow to reach Renly - Ser Robar went with Catelyn to pray at the sept before the attack; maybe there was some mojo that came with that interlude at the sept that let down his guard, so to speak, leaving Renly vulnerable. 

Yellow, Emmon and lemons are associated with teeth in GRRM's system pairing body parts with fruit, so it may be that the presence of Ser Emmon signaled an "open mouth" that gave the shadow weapon an opening. 

One conclusion that might be drawn from the "Royce as gatekeeper" theory is that the Others were delighted to find Ser Waymar vulnerable because they wanted to incorporate this special gatekeeper power into their army by wighting Ser Waymar. They didn't mistake him for Jon Snow when they cut him, they realized he had the Royce blood they needed to get south of the Wall. 

But this notion would lead me to examine Lord Commander Mormont's decision to put Ser Waymar in the lead of the ranging group. Did Jeor want to "open a gate" to the Others (or the Free Folk?) by sending a Royce-gatekeeper into enemy hands? I think of Jeor Mormont as one of the players or puppetmasters of the Game of Thrones. What strategy would explain his gambit to give the Others an open door to come south? Maybe he needed it to let his next ranging group or groups get into a deeper layer beyond the Wall - Jon Snow could find the obsidian cache only if the "Royce door" was opened. Did he then have a plan for resealing the door, or was he going to leave that up to Jon Snow to sort out?

Meanwhile, in the Vale, we have a newly-elevated, "junior" House Royce earning a possible permanent seat at the Gates of the Moon. We also have an effort to create a new kings guard of sorts in the upcoming tourney. Both initiatives coming from (or approved by) Petyr Baelish who, like Jeor Mormont, strikes me as a puppetmaster in Game of Thrones gameplay. Is Baelish trying to create a sealed door around Sweetrobin (or Sansa), or is he setting up a gate the opening and closing of which he can control? My gut tells me he is setting up this gate in order for Sansa to control it. And Sansa is an heir of Catelyn (she has her hair), so this would put a Tully back in charge of the gate to the Eyrie. 

You know, this magical gate line of thinking might explain the stone, snow and sky waycastles at the Eyrie. Each waycastle represents a stage of leaving the earth and going higher. When you reach the top, you are at the home of the Falcon Knight or the Winged Knight, where people can fly. (Similar to dragonriders.) Maybe the symbolism is that doors guarded by Royces lead to magical realms, coveted by players in the Game of Thrones. Previously, the Gates of the Moon were guarded by Brynden Tully, the Blackfish. Interesting to have another Tully connection to go with Catelyn as Lady Stoneheart in the BWB and Elstone Tully (another stone name?) in the Battle of Six Kings. And interesting that "flying" out of the Moon Door was the culmination of Lysa Tully's role as the Lady of the Eyrie. 

It's also interesting that Tyrion and Marillion are the only characters (we know of) who spend time in the sky cells - that have no doors. Does this imply that they have reached a higher level of consciousness than people who have not spent time beyond doors? Tyrion's jailer at the sky cells is named Mord, which I assumed was an allusion to death ("mort" is a French word for death). Mord temporarily takes Tyrion's shadowskin cloak (previously owned by Marillion and called a shadowcat cloak - what does the disembodied "shadow" tell us about the shadow that killed Renly?) and apparently uses gold paid to him by Tyrion to have his rotting brown teeth capped. The capped gold teeth may bring us back to Emmon / lemon Cuy and the "mouth as gate". 

After Renly's encounter with the shadow, he does not go to the sky, he goes to the Battle of the Blackwater (where Garlan Tyrell wears his armor). He is also buried at the base of a tree by Ser Loras, who tells Jaime that no one else will know where the body lies. So maybe Renly's Royce door was destroyed with Ser Robar and Ser Emmon both dead, while Sansa / Sweetrobin's Royce door is reinforced with new gold teeth and a new (soon) kings guard-type set of sworn guardians. Littlefinger is also working to obtain lemons for Sansa and Sweetrobin so they can enjoy their favorite lemon cakes and he has put Harry the Heir in Sansa's path. (It's a long story, but the diamonds in Harry's Hardyng sigil represent dragon teeth so they are probably linked to the lemon / teeth symbolism GRRM has created.) 

Jon Snow's Royce door may also have been destroyed with the death of Ser Waymar. But is there any lemon / teeth imagery around Jon Snow that is also destroyed or breached? Oddly, I think that Moles Town may be the "lemon" at the Wall: it anagrams to make "two lemons." We are told that there was never a fortification on the south side of the Wall, and this was deliberate to prevent the rise of another Night's King situation. But the possible lemon connection suggests that Moles' Town is that gate to ward the Castle Black area against attacks from the south. Unless they are subsequently wiped out in the manner of Emmon Cuy, I predict that the people at Mole's Town will rise up to somehow defend the Night's Watch or Jon Snow at a critical moment. 

How does this all connect with the initial topic of Royces as worshippers of the old gods? I suspect that they are one of a handful of houses that uniquely unite iron and wood. When those two materials come together harmoniously, they can make a door or shield. In ASOIAF, wood is associated with the old gods and iron may have been the precursor to Valyrian steel - the metal used before the Andals. 

 

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34 minutes ago, Seams said:

How does this all connect with the initial topic of Royces as worshippers of the old gods? I suspect that they are one of a handful of houses that uniquely unite iron and wood. When those two materials come together harmoniously, they can make a door or shield. In ASOIAF, wood is associated with the old gods and iron may have been the precursor to Valyrian steel - the metal used before the Andals. 

JEEPERS! I really enjoyed reading that.  This is next level stuff.  I hope you don't think my answer will be that brilliant.  :D

I have to think about these things, but what do you make of the doors of the Winterfell crypt being made of ironwood?  I think iron/wood is not so much a door but a shield or ward.

Then there is the table in the LC's quarters made in the form of a shield from weirwood?     

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

JEEPERS! I really enjoyed reading that.  This is next level stuff.  I hope you don't think my answer will be that brilliant.  :D

I have to think about these things, but what do you make of the doors of the Winterfell crypt being made of ironwood?  I think iron/wood is not so much a door but a shield or ward.

Then there is the table in the LC's quarters made in the form of a shield from weirwood?     

Nice examples! I think we may be onto something. 

I bet House Yronwood is part of the club, too. They guard the Boneway during the War of the Five Kings and guard Quentyn Martell until he (perhaps) enters an "Otherworld" by becoming a fireball consumed by dragon fire. He dies in Daenerys' bed, which is kinda where he wanted to be. The Yronwood sigil is an iron portcullis and their words are, "We guard the way." 

2 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Good stuff, but just to nitpick, I thought that Brynden Tully was the guard over the Bloody Gate, not the Gates of the Moon.

Yes! Mea culpa. You are right. 

But I'm still curious about the possible Tully / Royce partnership in guarding magical doorways. Maybe you have to get past both guardians to reach the magic person or place on the other side. 

If Sansa is Catelyn's heir/hair, and Randa Royce represents House Royce, why is Mya Stone also part of the escort for Sweetrobin descending the mountain from the Eyrie? She is a mule-handler, and she is described as half-mule, which is an odd coincidence: her father, Robert, was in love with Lyanna Stark, who was described as half-horse. 

Also interesting: 

Quote

"We don't want to get bunched up on the mountain," she told the other mule handlers. "I'll take Lord Robert and his companions. Ossy, you'll bring down Ser Lothor and the rest, but give me an hour's lead. Carrot, you'll have charge of their chests and boxes." She turned to Robert Arryn, her black hair blowing. "Which mule will you ride today, my lord?"

"They're all stinky. I'll have the grey one, with the ear chewed off. I want Alayne to ride with me. And Myranda too."

(AFfC, Alayne II) 

Rereading those Alayne excerpts about the descent reminded me that Sweetrobin actually rejects the proposal that Mya Stone ride down in the bucket with him and Sansa. She follows in a separate bucket, as does Maester Colemon, who is the lemon symbol for this journey. So the stone and the lemon are both sent away or separated from the travelers. The "Tully" and the Royce are both included. 

When I looked up Mord for my previous comment in this thread, I noticed that he was missing an ear, like the mule chosen by Sweetrobin. We also saw Gared with missing ears, who traveled with Ser Waymar, and Myrcella Baratheon, traveling with Arianne, whose ear is cut off by Darkstar.

The companion with the missing ear may be a pre-condition for some of these characters trying to transcend barriers. In the case of Myrcella, I was going to say that GRRM could be treating Trystan and Quentyn Martell as two halves of the same character, with Myrcella providing the requisite ear amputation for Quentyn to complete his mission in Meereen. But then I remembered earless Pretty Meris! She forces the Brazen Beasts to reveal their code word, allowing Quentyn's party to infiltrate the dragon lair. 

Hmm. I bet that Brienne biting off the ear of Vargo Hoat may have been a necessary step in her ability to escape Harrenhal. And Hoat then throws her in a bear pit with a tourney sword: I bet that "black ear" and "lack bear" are a wordplay pair, except the point may be that "lack ear" and "black bear" are the things we will see in the books. 

Quote

Timeon shrugged. "We all went our own ways, after we left Harrenhal. Urswyck and his lot rode south for Oldtown. Rorge thought he might slip out at Saltpans. Me and my lads made for Maidenpool, but we couldn't get near a ship." The Dornishman hefted his spear. "You did for Vargo with that bite, you know. His ear turned black and started leaking pus. Rorge and Urswyck were for leaving, but the Goat says we got to hold his castle. Lord of Harrenhal, he says he is, no one was going to take it off him. He said it slobbery, the way he always talked.

(AFfC, Brienne IV)

Maybe Tyrion's good relationship with the mountain clans, including the Black Ears clan, gives him plenty of sacrificed ears to allow him to cross barriers. The wiki says that the Black Ears are close to the Moon Brothers but don't get along with the Stone Crows. I bet an analysis of the mountain clans would help us to decode the system of gates and guards in place around the Vale and the Eyrie. The wiki also indicates that Tyrion makes strategic use of the Black Ears as guards until they are kept out of King's Landing after the Battle of the Blackwater. 

Another possible connection: Ysilla Royce marries Horton Redfort. I had wondered whether Ysilla's name was GRRM giving a nod to the Odysseus story that he grafts onto Tyrion's travels through Essos. Scylla is a six-headed monster from classical mythology. (Charybdis is a whirlpool.) Odysseus has to carefully navigate between the two hazards. Are they gatekeepers? Does Redfort marrying a Royce gatekeeper represent the Red Keep taking possession of one of the magical gatekeepers associated with House Royce? Interesting that Mya Stone wanted Mychel Redfort but the stone loses out, yet again. 

Also in the Odysseus story, the hero decides against plugging his ears to guard against hearing the siren song that causes men to jump into he sea. Instead, he has his crew lash him to the mast so he can hear the song but avoid the fate suffered by other mariners. There is a lot of mast symbolism in Tyrion's voyage on the Selaesori Qhoran. So some people lose their ears to enable others to pass through a guarded gate. Tyrion manages to keep his ears (so far) but we still have to figure out the symbolism of his maimed nose . . . .

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Yes they should have been. Even if Vale was hot bed of Andal invasion, Royces were the previous royal House.Their motto is also " We remember". Their eyes & hair are made same as that of Stark despite probably being no less Andal than Arryns who are termed "purest Andal high nobility".

Would also make sense of Stark Lord marrying a Royce.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/1/2022 at 7:17 AM, Seams said:

their sigil / shield looks like an oak door studded with iron and, perhaps, sealed with a spell written in runes. I am put in mind of Dunk's "prayer" in The Hedge Knight, which he thinks of as a rhyme about a shield: "Oak and iron, guard me well. Or else I'm dead and doomed to hell."

Love this. I’ve been looking at the Royce sigil and it’s unique design. The number of studs, bolts? and the possible meaning, or use of the runes. I can’t think GRRM would design anything without meaning or importance. At work can’t wait to finish reading this. :) 

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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I was thinking about shields as doors. One of the combatants who joined the Trial of Seven on behalf of Ser Duncan the Tall was Ser Robyn Rhysling who, so far, is the only Rhysling to appear in the books. 

The Rhysling sigil is: "An oaken door banded with iron, in a grey stone doorway, on black masonry." Since Dunk is often compared to a castle wall ("Dunk the lunk, thick as a castle wall"), it seems as if the door in the wall would be an important clue about something central to his being. My guess would be that the door in the wall represents Dunk's shield.

  • Dunk uses Aerion's shield to beat him into submission in the Trial of Seven combat.
  • Tanselle paints Dunk's shield for him. Dunk, Egg and Tanselle collaborate to design Dunk's sigil.
  • The shield was handed down from Ser Arlan of Pennytree - there's that tree symbolism again. 
  • Dunk's shield was reinforced with iron bands by Pate, the armorer. I believe that Dunk pays him a penny for this extra work. (Pate did it because the small folk want Dunk to win after he came to the rescue of Tanselle.)
  • Brienne will have a shield painted by a Duskendale woman who also painted a beautiful scene on a door. Brienne adopts Dunk's sigil as her own. 

Ser Robyn is an interesting guy for several reasons. He lost an eye when a splinter from a broken lance hit him in an earlier tourney. (I always think of Ser Jorah's reply to Tyrion when I think about Ser Robyn. Tyrion: "I fell off the bloody pig and bit my tongue. What could possibly be worse than that?" Jorah: "Getting a splinter through your eye and dying.")

In the earlier tourney action, Ser Robyn makes a good showing for a few passes but is eventually defeated by Leo "Longthorn" Tyrell, who might be his liege lord. (House Rhysling is in the Reach.) Two notable details: Robyn goes "cartwheeling" to the ground. We know it's important when Bran Stark and Lysa Arryn fall to the ground; it seems as if this unique cartwheeling character might also represent something important. Also, Dunk had told Plummer (probably an incarnation of Bloodraven) that the only witness to his knighting was a robin in a thorn tree. So there must be something significant about the "robin" and the "thorn" now clashing and the thorn now sending the robin cartwheeling to the ground. 

He serves on Dunk's team in the trial because Egg knew him from an earlier tourney. I suspect this may be a hint about GRRM's reincarnation rules, if that's the right term. Egg (Prince Aegon) is only 8 years old in this novella. I think we are being told that one of the earlier Aegon Targaryens had some kind of relationship with this shield / door guy (Ser Robyn) and whatever he symbolizes. Since "Ser Robyn Rhysling" anagrams to "Reborn grins shyly," I have speculated that Ser Robyn is a reincarnation of another warrior, perhaps Dunk's old mentor, Ser Arlan. But there could also be a hidden hint about "berrying horns," which could be a pun on the "buried" Horn of Joramun that can bring down the wall. That could bring us back to the gatekeeper symbolism and hints about who can or cannot cross barriers.

We never hear what happens to Ser Robyn after the Trial of Seven. He defeats ("unhorses") Prince Daeron, who is the namesake of the then-current king. Apparently Ser Robyn is not further injured and he survives. 

Aside from the similar "door" sigils, Ser Robyn may bring us back to House Royce because Robar and Robyn are in the same "Rob" name group. His coloring includes some grey elements that may allude to House Stark as well. 

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The Royce's certainly share similarities with worshipers of the Old Gods. As far as names as evidence go, I think the Royces and perhaps the Redforts are distantly related to the Boltons. The Boltons have a number of Royces and Robars in their lineage. Domenic, son of Roose fostered at the Redfort which sounds rather like the Dreadfort. The use of "fort" in the castle's names seems to emphasize the stronghold aspect of the building which ties into the discussion of doors above. Also, the Royce family motto "We remember" reminds me of Theon who must remember his new name. The name "Bolton" further suggests a closed door with the "bolt on" and shut to all who don't posses the keys to it. Theon keeps thinking of Kyra and the keys - she had the keys to escape the Dreadfort but it was only a trick by Ramsay. Nevertheless, Theon comes back to Kyra having the keys over and over again. I suspect the Boltons are gatekeepers of the underworld, which is why they are paired with the Freys of the Crossing. 

On 6/1/2022 at 4:17 PM, Seams said:

Ser Robar Royce was a member of Renly's kings guard (Rainbow Guard) and he was guarding the door (along with Emmon Cuy) when Renly was killed. I may be wrong, but one guess is that Melisandre's shadow weapon got past Ser Robar and Ser Emmon because Renly was in a tent instead of a castle or other building. But it may be that the presence of Ser Emmon or Catelyn or Brienne allowed the shadow to reach Renly - Ser Robar went with Catelyn to pray at the sept before the attack; maybe there was some mojo that came with that interlude at the sept that let down his guard, so to speak, leaving Renly vulnerable.

Interesting. I can see this too though my bet on the "culprit" that let Mel's shadow in, having failed in its duty, would  be Renly's armor that stood sentry outside his tent:

Quote

Beside the entrance, the king’s armor stood sentry; a suit of forest green plate, its fittings chased with gold, the helm crowned by a great rack of golden antlers. The steel was polished to such a high sheen that she could see her reflection in the breastplate, gazing back at her as if from the bottom of a deep green pond. The face of a drowned woman, Catelyn thought. Can you drown in grief?

The breastplate is like a deep green pond, with ponds also being entrances to the Otherworld. Brienne was dressing the king in his armor when the shadow struck. The reference to the deep green pond could be telling us that this armor of forest green plate (described earlier on) was not suitable as protection, but rather an open doorway for a supernatural entity or shadow. "Renly's shade" returning in the same armor also suggests the armor is wide open and a door that allows the passage of spirits from beyond the grave. 

 

 

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