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Theon's future role in aSoiaF


Evolett
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, LynnS said:

Someone advanced the idea that Theon could become Bran's prophet.  That would be quite interesting.

Theon becoming Bran's prophet is new to me but now you mention it, I can see him becoming a mouthpiece for Bran rather than a Damphair style prophet. As I stated in the OP, the ravens cawing "tree" and "Theon" could indicate a summons to the weirwood to receive a message or some intelligence from Bran rather than be interpreted as a call for him to be sacrificed to the tree. Bloodraven and Bran are isolated from the rest of the world in their cave beyond the Wall. How are they to participate in affairs at the Wall or beyond without being able to communicate with actors beyond the cave? Theon has already heard Bran speak to him  through the Winterfell weirwood, so that's a clear connection there. Previously, Mormont's raven imparted wisdom in crucial moments, such as giving Jon the hint to use fire against wighted Othor and readers believe the raven relayed Bloodraven's instructions (Bloodraven skinchanging the raven).

I don't see any characters at the Wall who might fulfill this purpose. There's Boroq the skinchanger but he seems suspect because of Ghost's antagonism towards his boar. Patchface may be a likely subject as a recipient of messages via supernatural means but if he is capable of receiving dreams from a greenseer there's still the problem of interpretation. Readers are barely able to decipher his so called prophecies and characters in the books just think he's talking nonsense. Patchface's current presence at the Wall may be a hint to Theon taking up this role however - all that under the sea imagery, the drowning and returning to the living "what is dead can never die" vibe surrounding him suggesting a link to the Drowned God and his prophets. 

With Jon dead, who can fill this void at Castle Black? There's also no telling how long Jon will remain dead. Theon as a mouthpiece for Bran is  a possible option. 

 

Edited by Evolett
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14 minutes ago, Evolett said:

Theon becoming Bran's prophet is new to me but now you mention it, I can see him becoming a mouthpiece for Bran rather than a Damphair style prophet.

This is new to me too, but I've thought other similar things and making Theon Brans prophet fits nicely into my theories. 

First of all, let me just say this is great. Killing Bran only to bring him back to life is just fantastic. So Aeron and Meli, Thoros, maybe even the Sparrow they all deeply feel the presence of God, but Theons chatting with him, honestly it's not even a question of if Theons gonna be a prophet, it's what's he gonna do about it?

Or really, what's Bran gonna do about, and what do Starks do? Skinchange. Summer was easier then the birds, puppies are naturally submissive and get trained to obey, that's why Hodor the loyal stableboy was possible to skinchange into. Now what on Brans green earth is more submissive then Reek? 

Yea so not only do I think Theons hearing the voice of Bran and will probably spread it, but it might be Bran directly speaking through Reek, more like an instrument then a human 

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Theon is a compelling character. Even if you don’t like him. He is one of the author’s best creations. He plays the role of a troubled young man who needs his family’s approval. The author believes blood is thicker than friendship and this will make Theon return to the Greyjoys even if they mistreat him. Theon will always pick the Greyjoy over the Stark. He is the Jon among the Ironborn. Jon always picks the Starks over the watch. Theon is similar.  

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55 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Or really, what's Bran gonna do about, and what do Starks do? Skinchange. Summer was easier then the birds, puppies are naturally submissive and get trained to obey, that's why Hodor the loyal stableboy was possible to skinchange into. Now what on Brans green earth is more submissive then Reek? 

Yea so not only do I think Theons hearing the voice of Bran and will probably spread it, but it might be Bran directly speaking through Reek, more like an instrument then a human 

Omg, I would hate for Theon to be skinchanged by Bran but the suppression of Theon's true identity by Ramsay kind of echoes Bran suppressing Hodor's identity while he's skinchanging him. Theon is also turned into a "dog." So your suggestion is a distinct possibility. I can only hope Theon will have recovered his own identity sufficiently enough to resist such an assault on his body and soul. I think remembering his real name (a symbolic clue that signifies one's identity) will be important in this context. Recall Hodor doesn't remember his own name - he was named Walder. 

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1 hour ago, Evolett said:

Theon becoming Bran's prophet is new to me

It was new to me as well and it has a lot of interesting possibilities for plot development..  Instead of being sacrificed to the tree; he speaks for Bran.  What sort of impact would that have on Stannis and the R'hollorists?

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24 minutes ago, Evolett said:

Omg, I would hate for Theon to be skinchanged by Bran but the suppression of Theon's true identity by Ramsay kind of echoes Bran suppressing Hodor's identity while he's skinchanging him. Theon is also turned into a "dog." So your suggestion is a distinct possibility. I can only hope Theon will have recovered his own identity sufficiently enough to resist such an assault on his body and soul. I think remembering his real name (a symbolic clue that signifies one's identity) will be important in this context. Recall Hodor doesn't remember his own name - he was named Walder. 

It may turn out that Theon can hear Bran without being skinchanged.  Like Howland Reed; his magic may be that he can "speak to trees".

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38 minutes ago, LynnS said:

It may turn out that Theon can hear Bran without being skinchanged.  Like Howland Reed; his magic may be that he can "speak to trees".

That's without a doubt, and while speaking to Trees is pretty nifty, it's a bit cooler when the tree speaks back

Quote

The night was windless, the snow drifting straight down out of a cold black sky, yet the leaves of the heart tree were rustling his name. 

"Theon," they seemed to whisper, "Theon."

The old gods, he thought. They know me. They know my name. I was Theon of House Greyjoy. I was a ward of Eddard Stark, a friend and brother to his children. "

Please." He fell to his knees. "A sword, that's all I ask. Let me die as Theon, not as Reek." Tears trickled down his cheeks, impossibly warm. "I was ironborn. A son ... a son of Pyke, of the islands."

A leaf drifted down from above, brushed his brow, and landed in the pool. It floated on the water, red, five-fingered, like a bloody hand.

"... Bran," the tree murmured.

They know. The gods know. They saw what I did. And for one strange moment it seemed as if it were Bran's face carved into the pale trunk of the weirwood, staring down at him with eyes red and wise and sad. Bran' s ghost, he thought, but that was madness. Why should Bran want to haunt him? He had been fond of the boy, had never done him any harm. It was not Bran we killed. It was not Rickon. They were only miller' s sons, from the mill by the Acorn Water. "I had to have two heads, else they would have mocked me ... laughed at me ... they ..."

A voice said, "Who are you talking to?"

Theon spun, terrified that Ramsay had found him, but it was just the washerwomen-Holly, Rowan, and one whose name he did not know. "The ghosts," he blurted. "They whisper to me. They ... they know my name."

This is some real Damascus Road shit, except even scarier 

 

1 hour ago, Evolett said:

Omg, I would hate for Theon to be skinchanged by Bran but the suppression of Theon's true identity by Ramsay kind of echoes Bran suppressing Hodor's identity while he's skinchanging him. Theon is also turned into a "dog." So your suggestion is a distinct possibility. I can only hope Theon will have recovered his own identity sufficiently enough to resist such an assault on his body and soul. I think remembering his real name (a symbolic clue that signifies one's identity) will be important in this context. Recall Hodor doesn't remember his own name - he was named Walder. 

Yea my heart went to Theon in regards to Ned in acok, in adwd Ramsay nearly snapped it. Theon deserves more. A LC or king of Iron Born, defenders of the first men with three arrows vs the mad kings daughters children. It's all romantic and would construct a magnificent arc. 

But, I may have, and you and most of our fanbase, can forgive Theon for the millers children, but Bran won't. Not that Brans a vengeful Cersei like creature, but idk, this Theons road to Damascus, he sees the light (or doesn't? I'm not really comfortable with the story. Not Christian) so why's he justifying himself? 

Quote

Why should Bran want to haunt him? He had been fond of the boy, had never done him any harm. It was not Bran we killed. It was not Rickon. They were only miller' s sons, from the mill by the Acorn Water. "I had to have two heads, else they would have mocked me ... laughed at me ... they ..."

Like deadass? This is the prophets takeaway? I think Theon needs a little more growing up to do, and should unlike Hodor but more like Aeron, accept his heinous past and fully dedicate himself (like fully submit, more hardcore then praying to Pyke five times a day) to the glory of God, basking in his skinchange (which is such a fucking depressing/beautiful arc) 

Nice pick up on Hodor not knowing his name and Ramsay referring to Theon as a dog!

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, LynnS said:

What sort of impact would that have on Stannis and the R'hollorists?

Good question. My first instinct would be they must never find out, though I can only speculate on how that might be achieved. First hinderance to the idea of Bran speaking to Theon through the weirwoods is the fact that we don't have weirwoods waiting at every corner and none at the Wall. Long term, a different form of communication would be necessary. Short of Bran skinchaning Theon, there is the possibility of Theon perhaps enjoying some weirwood paste to heighten his extrasensory perception and make it possible for him to receive dreams.  

Edited by Evolett
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6 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

But, I may have, and you and most of our fanbase, can forgive Theon for the millers children, but Bran won't. Not that Brans a vengeful Cersei like creature, but idk, this Theons road to Damascus, he sees the light (or doesn't? I'm not really comfortable with the story. Not Christian) so why's he justifying himself? 

Theon saying the two boys he killed were only miller's sons bothers me. I'm waiting for him to recognise his deed as an act of murder and not a justification for evading being mocked. 

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13 minutes ago, Evolett said:

Good question. My first instinct would be they must never find out, though I can only speculate on how that might be achieved.

Historically kings have done a pretty bad job shutting up prophets. If Theon resurrects Bran it would be a miracle no shorter then Thoros and Catelyn. That's got practically the entire Riverlands unofficial army wearing red, I see a similar trend in Stannis' army (only the gods are reversed)

When I speculate on Stannis vs Roose, I can't see Stannis winning for one reason, the weirwood. Stannis like hes done in Dragonstone and Stormsend will kill any god Rhloor is jealous of. (I'm at a cross if it's a big deal, I used to think Ice was special but now that it's not a thing I realize it was always just a piece of metal. Is the weirwood just a piece of wood? Probably not) But if Stannis chooses a new hawk, a three eyed hawk, well that'd put Stannis' entire northern campaign into a new light.

14 minutes ago, Evolett said:

Theon saying the two boys he killed were only miller's sons bothers me. I'm waiting for him to recognise his deed as an act of murder and not a justification for evading being mocked. 

Definitely 

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17 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

When I speculate on Stannis vs Roose, I can't see Stannis winning for one reason, the weirwood

Let's assume Stannis will manage to root out the Boltons from Winterfell. What if he cuts out the weirwood tree? Surely everyone would care, save the Manderlys. The clansmen alone would be enough to turn against Stannis in a minute, regardless of how long they haven't seen a king. 

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24 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Let's assume Stannis will manage to root out the Boltons from Winterfell. What if he cuts out the weirwood tree? Surely everyone would care, save the Manderlys. The clansmen alone would be enough to turn against Stannis in a minute, regardless of how long they haven't seen a king. 

Manderlys would be on the wrong side of the battle, so they wouldn't even be any help. But are the mountain clans and Karstark soldiers enough to outmatch Stannis' storm and florent folk? Not really sure what the numbers game looks like but it'll look different after the battle, and Stannis' core are pretty elite having fought in the two biggest battles (now three).

It may be bloody and some more things may be put to the flame then an old tree, but when someone sacks a town, Id put my money on the sacker

Edited by Hugorfonics
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1 hour ago, Hugorfonics said:

Manderlys would be on the wrong side of the battle, so they wouldn't even be any help. But are the mountain clans and Karstark soldiers enough to outmatch Stannis' storm and florent folk? Not really sure what the numbers game looks like but it'll look different after the battle, and Stannis' core are pretty elite having fought in the two biggest battles (now three).

It may be bloody and some more things may be put to the flame then an old tree, but when someone sacks a town, Id put my money on the sacker

Stannis' stormlander troops are few. I'd say they have no ground (at all) against a unified North. And if Stannis wants to have any support there, he won't call their gods false. He's not in that position anymore.

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1 hour ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Stannis' stormlander troops are few. 

Asha meets lots of them, and there's enough of them to convince Stannis to burn the cannibals. I mean, they just took out Mance, they got muscle.

1 hour ago, Daeron the Daring said:

I'd say they have no ground (at all) against a unified North.

What unified North? Bolton Manderly and Stannis are all in different camps.

1 hour ago, Daeron the Daring said:

And if Stannis wants to have any support there, he won't call their gods false. He's not in that position anymore.

Of course he is, and does. I mean that's the whole point of Stannis, he doesn't compromise and he sees things through. 

It's not about calling the gods false, it's about burning them to a crisp. Perhaps this is Theons mission?

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Stannis isn't going to destroy the weirwood tree at Winterfell.  He may be rigid; he's not stupid.  At this point, he is utterly dependent on the Northerners, especially the clansmen, and also Mormont and Glover.  He destroys the weirwood, he loses their support.  They abandon him, he's toast.  He needs them a lot more than they need him.

As for Theon, the reopening of the Kingsmoot isn't there for the hell of it.  It's a Chekhov's Gun if I ever saw one.  My guess is they'll tire of Neuron and/or realize the threat he poses and use Theon's absence from the Kingsmoot to hold another one.  I doubt Theon will be chosen; he's just the excuse.  My money is on Asha, and a new way of doing things.

If Bran is going to communicate with Theon (or anyone else), he is going to have to upgrade his skills considerably, and quickly.  I have doubts about that.  In fact, I think Bran may leave the cave in part to be able to communicate what he knows.

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16 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

That's without a doubt, and while speaking to Trees is pretty nifty, it's a bit cooler when the tree speaks back

I feel like  Theon has almost reached a state of extremis, somewhere between life and death. This is when the veil to the Otherworld is lifted.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Sansa VI

"He is eight. And not robust. But such a good boy, so bright and clever. He will be a great man, Alayne. The seed is strong, my lord husband said before he died. His last words. The gods sometimes let us glimpse the future as we lay dying. 

Or if you reach a certain state physically and mentally; you can hear the gods.

Edited by LynnS
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16 hours ago, Evolett said:

Good question. My first instinct would be they must never find out, though I can only speculate on how that might be achieved. First hinderance to the idea of Bran speaking to Theon through the weirwoods is the fact that we don't have weirwoods waiting at every corner and none at the Wall. Long term, a different form of communication would be necessary. Short of Bran skinchaning Theon, there is the possibility of Theon perhaps enjoying some weirwood paste to heighten his extrasensory perception and make it possible for him to receive dreams.  

I guess the question is what would convince the Northerners and R'hllorists that Theon speaks for the old gods.  Skinchanging would be the most dramatic.  So would prophesying what will happen in the near future or some intel that can be verified at some point.  Dreams do seem like a likely conduit after some initial dramatic reveal.

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

I feel like  Theon has almost reached a state of extremis, somewhere between life and death. This is when the veil to the Otherworld is lifted.

Or if you reach a certain state physically and mentally; you can hear the gods.

Word, like nuncle Aeron. Although he was physically drowning where as suicidal Theon is metaphorically drowning. Prophets love metaphors.

3 hours ago, LynnS said:

I guess the question is what would convince the Northerners and R'hllorists that Theon speaks for the old gods.  Skinchanging would be the most dramatic.  So would prophesying what will happen in the near future or some intel that can be verified at some point.  Dreams do seem like a likely conduit after some initial dramatic reveal.

I think the main guy to convert would be Stannis and then maybe some of his men will fall in line. Maybe. Not all and not Melisandre 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, LynnS said:

I feel like  Theon has almost reached a state of extremis, somewhere between life and death. This is when the veil to the Otherworld is lifted.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Sansa VI

"He is eight. And not robust. But such a good boy, so bright and clever. He will be a great man, Alayne. The seed is strong, my lord husband said before he died. His last words. The gods sometimes let us glimpse the future as we lay dying. 

Or if you reach a certain state physically and mentally; you can hear the gods.

Brilliant, what a great observation :)

Theon has certainly spent a lot of time in both mental and physical darkness. Bloodraven lectures Bran on  darkness as an aid to developing his psychic ability:

Quote

“Never fear the darkness, Bran.” The lord’s words were accompanied by a faint rustling of wood and leaf, a slight twisting of his head. “The strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother’s milk. Darkness will make you strong.” ADWD, Bran

Bran’s third eye opens while the children are hiding in the Crypts of Winterfell and prior to that, after his fall, he remained in a near-death experience for a long time before waking.

Seeing through a cat’s eyes is an ability that manifests itself during Arya's period as Blind Beth, during her blind training. 

What Theon has experienced goes way beyond Bran's and Arya's trials, so yes, I very much agree with your assessment.

 

7 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

Word, like nuncle Aeron.

 Yes, Aeron is another good example. Patchface too. 

11 hours ago, LynnS said:

Skinchanging would be the most dramatic.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that skinchanging Theon will not be possible if he remembers his name and fully recovers his identity. My examination of breaking taboos suggests breaking the taboo of cannibalism facilitates skinchanging humans. Varamyr, a powerful skinchanger, failed at taking over Thistles body. She died in the attempt. Earlier in the prologue he admitted to breaking several of the taboos, but not that of cannibalism. From this discussion, it appears likely that it's possible to easily skinchange a person who has lost his identity, like Hodor. Patchface also lost his identity when he drowned. He obviously does not remember his real name and for all we know, skinchanging him might be simple for a skinchanger as powerful as Bran or Bloodraven to accomplish. 

Historically (or in mythology), knowing a person's true name gave a wizard or otherwise powerful person control over the victim whose name was known. Ancient Egyptians took great care not to reveal their true names, for instance. I think GRRM is subverting this trope. A character who does not remember his name loses his identity and becomes the pawn of another. In aSoiaF, knowing your name and making your name known means others cannot gain power over you. This is also demonstrated by the faceless men who make sure the intended victim is unknown to them before accepting a contract. 

It's also possible that eating human meat makes a man succeptible to being skinchanged. Theon did not eat of the Frey pies at the wedding feast, perhaps a good sign. 

Edited by Evolett
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