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Heresy 244 Big Scaly Beasties with Bad Breath


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1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

I think it's reasonable to conclude that the catspaw intended to leave the dagger, but then again he was a "small, dirty man" "gaunt" and with "sunken eyes". In other words, extremely poor, desperate for money, and wouldn't have had the means to own any kind of knife. There really isn't any proof that he intended to leave the blade. In fact, I would argue that such a man would want to keep such a valuable weapon. If he wanted to make a quick getaway from Catelyn, he could have just dropped the knife and ran, but he chose to attack her and he clutched the blade tightly.

The person doing the hiring would have needed to provide the blade. This particular blade could have been deliberately selected, but it equally could have just been handy or close at hand. It may also indicate that the person hiring didn't have many blades at their disposal and just took one. Having it throw suspicion on someone else may have been just a lucky bonus. 

 

He tells Catelyn "You aren't suppose to be here".  Did the employer intentionally mislead the catspaw so he'd get caught?  Or did the employer expect the assassination to be successful without anyone finding the blade?  I don't believe the catspaw was told to leave the knife behind, it would be too easy to say he left the knife and someone else must have taken it.

The assumption everyone (readers and characters) seem to make is that the employer is the owner of the dagger.  To me, it seems obvious that it is someone else.  The dagger was too valuable to gift to the assassin, especially if this was a poor man desperate for food.  Stealing the dagger from someone else makes a lot more sense.

The problem I have with Littlefinger as a suspect, is it seems the employer intended the catspaw to get caught by Catelyn, leading to a very real risk that Catelyn would die.  I don't see Littlefinger wanting her dead, and might even be plotting against Ned in hopes of winning her over, especially at this point in the story.

It seems entirely possible that Littlefinger never owned the dagger, but made up the story about losing it to Tyrion to set the Starks against the Lannisters, and the employer stole it from Joffrey with the intent of framing him.  Varys seems a likely suspect, if for no other reason than we can rule out most of the other people with motives.

Another alternative is the dagger was stolen without any intent to frame, but happened to be "close at hand".  If that's the case, then the catspawn was not intended to be caught.

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5 minutes ago, Back in Black-Snow said:

Could Cersei have been involved?

I believe Jamie when he admits to throwing Bran but denies hiring the catspawn.  She has by far the strongest motive of anyone else to want Bran dead. This fits the theory of the dagger happened to be "close at hand" with the assumption the catspawn would not get caught.  I don't see her doing this if the dagger was in any way connected to Joffrey, as she's too clever and Joffrey is her main motive for everything at this point.

Edited by Brad Stark
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2 hours ago, Melifeather said:

There really isn't any proof that he intended to leave the blade. In fact, I would argue that such a man would want to keep such a valuable weapon. If he wanted to make a quick getaway from Catelyn, he could have just dropped the knife and ran, but he chose to attack her and he clutched the blade tightly.

You're right if the assassin knew the value of the blade.  I'm not sure he would have known however.  The blade on first appearances was fairly plain.  You would have to recognize both dragonbone and valyrian steel to understand how valuable it was.  If the catspaw had never seen either then he would have no reason to consider the blade valuable.

If the catspaw knew the true value of the blade, then he would know that it made the bag of silver he was paid pale in comparison.  So if the silver was what motivated him, he probably didn't realize how valuable the blade was.

Edited by Frey family reunion
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21 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

I believe Jamie when he admits to throwing Bran but denies hiring the catspawn.  She has by far the strongest motive of anyone else to want Bran dead. This fits the theory of the dagger happened to be "close at hand" with the assumption the catspawn would not get caught.  I don't see her doing this if the dagger was in any way connected to Joffrey, as she's too clever and Joffrey is her main motive for everything at this point.

As I was going over all the information, Cersei came to my mind as well, and seeing how much she hated her husband Robert, I'm thinking she would love to throw suspicion his way.

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The catspaw muttered twice that Catelyn wasn't supposed to be there. So he knew who she was, but he must have been led to believe that she'd leave with Ned, or alternately he wasn't expecting her to keep vigil after Maester Luwin assured her he wasn't going to die.

Quote

 

Catelyn III

Robb's voice softened. "He's not going to die, Mother. Maester Luwin says the time of greatest danger has passed."

"And what if Maester Luwin is wrong? What if Bran needs me and I'm not here?"

 

The catspaw waited until Bran was out of danger and then assumed Catelyn would leave the room from time to time. If he was hired by the Lannisters, then he stuck around for a couple weeks after everyone left, which would account for him being seen the last few weeks leading into the attack. He needed to get close enough to gather intelligence regarding Bran's condition. What would he have done if Bran had died?

 

Edited by Melifeather
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One important thing to remember about the dagger is that it came from Robert's personal collection.  The logical place for that is within the royal quarters, access to which would be highly restricted.  Whoever provided the dagger would have needed access to that area, severely limiting the number of suspects.

Also, the dagger itself is not necessarily easily identifiable.  It is plain, without markings, and we have no idea if it is unique, or one of several dozen, or several hundred, for that matter.  Whoever took it likely didn't know much about its history, either.

I've always assumed that the dagger was part-payment.  It is valuable in its own right, and likely could be easily sold, albeit probably at a steep discount.

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9 hours ago, Nevets said:

I've always assumed that the dagger was part-payment.  It is valuable in its own right, and likely could be easily sold, albeit probably at a steep discount.

I assumed that 1. not everyone can identify Valyrian steel , otherwise Joff wouldn't have to say " I am familiar with VS" and 2.the catspaw wasn't that much of a professional and did not have any daggers in his possessions .. I mean , he goes on to kill son of Lord of Winterfell and all he is armed with is one dagger

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1 hour ago, EggBlue said:

I assumed that 1. not everyone can identify Valyrian steel , otherwise Joff wouldn't have to say " I am familiar with VS" and 2.the catspaw wasn't that much of a professional and did not have any daggers in his possessions .. I mean , he goes on to kill son of Lord of Winterfell and all he is armed with is one dagger

Indeed.

The whole purpose of the exercise was to leave an incriminating dagger at the crime scene. There was no point in the catspaw having it otherwise and we can see this in the text by the discussion anent its origin and ownership

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Indeed.

The whole purpose of the exercise was to leave an incriminating dagger at the crime scene. There was no point in the catspaw having it otherwise and we can see this in the text by the discussion anent its origin and ownership

I doubt this.  

The dagger itself came from Robert's private collection, which was probably in the royal family's quarters, accessible mainly to the family and close retainers.  I doubt the members of the royal family or those close to them have any interest in casting suspicion on . . . the royal family.

The dagger is described as being Valerian steel and dragonbone.  Very nice, but not especially distinctive or memorable.  In fact, it is probably one of the less distinctive and memorable items in the collection.  I would expect the employer to use something more distinctive if he was trying to cast suspicion.

There is also no assurance the dagger will be left behind to find.  The catspaw could easily keep it, either to use himself, or to sell.  And if it is left behind, it almost screams "plant".  The only reason the Starks knew it was legit was because Summer killed the guy.  Given that that was the first time one of the wolves had done that kind of thing, there was no reason to expect it.

The dagger is a useful clue, but it only leads to the royal family or close retainers.  And the servants and officials would likely be unable to afford the cash payment made.  So we're pretty much looking at royal family.

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Another option is that the catspaw is one of the Faceless Men?

He would be able to fetch the dagger from Robert's quarters, and not care about the dagger's value.

We do not know about the motives of the Faceless Men. Maybe Jaqen is on a mission to  kill Bran as well?

It's a bit suspicious that the motives of the Faceless Men weren't revealed in the tv series, though Jaqen was quite popular.

 

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41 minutes ago, alienarea said:

Another option is that the catspaw is one of the Faceless Men?

He would be able to fetch the dagger from Robert's quarters, and not care about the dagger's value.

We do not know about the motives of the Faceless Men. Maybe Jaqen is on a mission to  kill Bran as well?

It's a bit suspicious that the motives of the Faceless Men weren't revealed in the tv series, though Jaqen was quite popular.

 

If the catspaw were of the Faceless Men, then he's a flunky. :lol:

Maybe we should run through possible motives. What does the killer hope to accomplish? The reason why I thought maybe it was Cersei was, not only did Bran see her and Jaime, I don't think she's happy that Ned is coming to Kings Landing to be Robert's Hand. It benefits her to keep Robert isolated from true friends.

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I can't see Ned turning on Robert, not without more substantial evidence, and Cersei likely knew it.

I believe Tyrion speculated that Joffrey wanted to impress Cersei and Jamie by killing Bran.  I don't remember where this was mentioned, but it is possible, especially if the dagger wasn't distinct or distinctly associated with Joffrey.  Cersei or Jamie might know the dagger was Joffrey's even if no one else did. 

The motive is questionable - if Joffrey considered the Starks a threat, or thought Cersei or Jamie did, killing Ned would make sense.  Killing Bran is just going to make them a bigger threat, and going after a cripple, and not even doing it yourself is not exactly the best way to prove you are anything.

 

Another argument against Littlefinger - He claimed to have lost the dagger to Tyrion.  If he planned this from the start, it would have made much more sense to make people aware of this story before the incident.

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Looking at this sensibly. 

We have a low-born, anonymous would-be killer. He doesn't look, sound or behave like a faceless man. There's no reason to believe that he isn't the loser he appears to be.

Whoever he is/was, somebody hired him and provided him with an expensive dagger. Why? Bran wasn't reckoned to be able to fight him. A cheap knife, which he would have anyway, to cut food or whatever would have sufficed

Instead he is given the murder weapon.

He's not going to flee with it in his possession - and get caught

And then there's the unexpected appearance to Catelyn

The answer is actually ridiculously simple

Bran was to be discovered - dead

And the dagger was to be found sticking in his corpse - hence the reason for the dagger instead of a common [anonymous] kitchen-knife.

 

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12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Looking at this sensibly. 

We have a low-born, anonymous would-be killer. He doesn't look, sound or behave like a faceless man. There's no reason to believe that he isn't the loser he appears to be.

Whoever he is/was, somebody hired him and provided him with an expensive dagger. Why? Bran wasn't reckoned to be able to fight him. A cheap knife, which he would have anyway, to cut food or whatever would have sufficed

Instead he is given the murder weapon.

He's not going to flee with it in his possession - and get caught

And then there's the unexpected appearance to Catelyn

The answer is actually ridiculously simple

Bran was to be discovered - dead

And the dagger was to be found sticking in his corpse - hence the reason for the dagger instead of a common [anonymous] kitchen-knife.

 

I don't see it as that simple.  Assuming you are right about the employer not anticipating Catelyn's return or the assassin getting caught, that still leaves the question of why use this knife?  Do you go along with the idea that the knife was intended to frame someone?  If not, why not just use a cheap kitchen knife?  If you agree the knife was intended to frame someone, who was it intended to frame? and who was the employer?  And why kill Bran?

I do agree this is highly unlikely to be a faceless man.  I disagree with your logic - not looking, sounding or behaving like a faceless man is exactly what faceless men do best.  The killer was almost certainly contracted after Bran fell, and it is a real stretch to see someone rushing to Bravos and hiring a faceless man, especially for an unconscious boy.  And then why impersonate someone who looks like a common criminal instead of Ludwin, a servant, or anyone else?  And a faceless man would not fail this badly to get away or kill Catelyn on discovery.

Edited by Brad Stark
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4 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

I don't see it as that simple.  Assuming you are right about the employer not anticipating Catelyn's return or the assassin getting caught, that still leaves the question of why use this knife?  Do you go along with the idea that the knife was intended to frame someone?  If not, why not just use a cheap kitchen knife?  If you agree the knife was intended to frame someone, who was it intended to frame? and who was the employer?  And why kill Bran?

 

That's why I think that it is simple

Somebody thought it would be a good idea to kill Bran. The intended assassin could have done it with a common kitchen knife or strangled him, or suffocated him, or bashed his head in with a half brick

Instead he attempted to use a Valyrian dagger which was quickly traced back to the Royal household. Clearly it was intended to be found at the crime-scene

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7 hours ago, Black Crow said:

That's why I think that it is simple

Somebody thought it would be a good idea to kill Bran. The intended assassin could have done it with a common kitchen knife or strangled him, or suffocated him, or bashed his head in with a half brick

Instead he attempted to use a Valyrian dagger which was quickly traced back to the Royal household. Clearly it was intended to be found at the crime-scene

On the surface, yes, that is a completely reasonable conclusion which I had suggested upthread. Then I offered an alternative. That the hired man wouldn't have owned his own knife. That he was too poor to have anything of value, even any kind of knife. If, for example, Cersei hired this man and he didn't own a knife. Where would she get a dagger? She'd grab what was at her disposal. How many daggers would Robert travel with? But the motive is what is more important than the choice of weapon. Why kill Bran? Here are some possible motives:

1) He saw Cersei and Jaime in the tower.

2) To create a divide between Ned and Robert.

3) To put a cripple out of misery - in my opinion, this is the least likely.

4) Some outside magical force wanted to prevent Bran from becoming the next greenseer.

Can anyone think of any other possible motives? 

Edited by Melifeather
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3 hours ago, Melifeather said:

On the surface, yes, that is a completely reasonable conclusion which I had suggested upthread. Then I offered an alternative. That the hired man wouldn't have owned his own knife. That he was too poor to have anything of value, even any kind of knife. If, for example, Cersei hired this man and he didn't own a knife. Where would she get a dagger? She'd grab what was at her disposal. How many daggers would Robert travel with? But the motive is what is more important than the choice of weapon. Why kill Bran? Here are some possible motives:

1) He saw Cersei and Jaime in the tower.

2) To create a divide between Ned and Robert.

3) To put a cripple out of misery - in my opinion, this is the least likely.

4) Some outside magical force wanted to prevent Bran from becoming the next greenseer.

Can anyone think of any other possible motives? 

Bran is an annoying brat.

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3 hours ago, alienarea said:

Bran is an annoying brat.

I actually think it's not so far fetched that Joffrey had decided he should shut Bran up after Tyrion told him to pay respects to Ned and Cat . it was just too much for Joff . he probably just summoned a nobody ,commanded him to kill the boy for his prince and when the guy muttered that he is not a knight and doesn't even have a weapon , Joff gave him a dagger nearby. 

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24 minutes ago, EggBlue said:

I actually think it's not so far fetched that Joffrey had decided he should shut Bran up after Tyrion told him to pay respects to Ned and Cat . it was just too much for Joff . he probably just summoned a nobody ,commanded him to kill the boy for his prince and when the guy muttered that he is not a knight and doesn't even have a weapon , Joff gave him a dagger nearby. 

Yeah how much planning goes into an assasination when the would be murder you're hiring doesn't have his own knife? I think you're probably right that this was an ad hoc decision by the prince.

This attempt on Bran's life and the mystery of who did it and why is one of the areas that doesn't stand up well to close scrutiny for me. For my money the author really shouldn't have used a vs blade (and how did Cat not get her hands cut off at the base of the fingers when she fought the would be killer for it?). Or there should have been something that had to be overcome that needed the VS blade - lock on the door it could cut or something else to that effect.  it's such a 'look at me' tool and not appropriate for skulking and killing.  Who was it that said 'Knight's work isn't night work"?  it applies here as well I think.

That it was an offhand decision and the murderer and tool were coincidentally at hand when it was made is probably the best explanation.

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