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"The Gods are not done with me"


The Sleeper
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In Dance we were introduced to the possibility of skinchanging into people, were told it was taboo and have seen two instances of such attempts, one successful and one failed. This creates conflict in Bran's arc. His initial possession of Hodor's body begun in a case of emergency to save their lives, but has grown increasingly self-indulgent and abusive. But could it be leading up to anything more? This is such a potent plot element that seems unlikely to be limited to Bran's character development. Bran with his ability to see distant events in real time could have enormous impact in any arc, however this seems hampered by his inability to communicate with people. This could be remedied if he could possess someone to serve as his mouthpiece. 

We have also learned some aspects of what it takes to skinchange. Disposition toward the user and familiarity seem to play a role as well as the willpower of the target. Dogs were spefically mentioned as being the easier creatures to possess. There is a character who knows Bran very well, has lived as a dog, among dogs, unquestionably broken and present at a theater that is of immediate concern to Bran and that he has focused his undivided attention. I fear Theon was unwittingly prophetic when he said that the gods were not done with him. 

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Spoiler

That is exactly what I thought when the raven made their racket

Theon, WoW:

Spoiler

And suddenly there came a wild thumping, as the maester's ravens hopped and flapped inside their cages, their black feathers flying as they beat against the bars with loud and raucous caws. "The tree," one squawked, "the tree, the tree," whilst the second screamed only, "Theon, Theon, Theon."

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Yeah, this was pretty much where I got the idea myself. 

Besides, Bran's presence in Theon's chapters is so heavily implied that it seems inevitable for him to play a role.

I also think that this was meant to be included in Dance and it would be a payoff of Varamyr's introduction to skinchanging, Theon's arc and Bran's arc in a cullination at the end of the same book. That would have been chilling. Oh well, the people who read Dance and Winds back to back will enjoy it at least. 

It also ups the steaks for Bran's ethical conflict. Skinchanging into someone who can articulate who awful it is to experience that would bring into perspective how much he is abusing poor Hodor whom he cares about, while at the same time he would be forced keep doing it because he needs to talk to Stannis. 

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This sounds sufficiently horrible so I think it could happen. But would Bran necessarily need to possess Theon in order to communicate with Stannis? If I remember correctly Bran had some success using the Weirwood to 'talk' with Theon (I think Theon could hear his name being called) so he could alternatively just use Theon as an intermediary.

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Theon thought maybe he had heard something which he couldn't convince himself if it as real or not, so no. He felt Bran's attention but clearly this wasn't enough to communicate.

The way Theon can serve as intermediary is being possessed and having Bran use his mouth to speak actual words. Bran can even confirm his identity through the Liddles present. It even provides a reason for Theon to keep breathing, though he might prefer not to. 

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2 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

This sounds sufficiently horrible so I think it could happen.

It doesn't have to be permanent. Maybe just at times, before a weirwood. As guilty as he feels, I'm not sure Theon would feel bad about it. Maybe a necessary service, as part of his redemption. Which he doesn't need (not toward Bran anyway). He just saved him by forcing him to flee Winterfell and go to BR.

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9 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Theon has suffered enough :(

He deserves sanctity of his own mind, at the very least.

So, does Hodor. It is beside the point of whether it will happen or not.

 

2 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

It doesn't have to be permanent. Maybe just at times, before a weirwood. As guilty as he feels, I'm not sure Theon would feel bad about it. Maybe a necessary service, as part of his redemption. Which he doesn't need (not toward Bran anyway). He just saved him by forcing him to flee Winterfell and go to BR.

Arya wargs Nymeria from another continent. If it is done once, it can be done anytime, anywhere. The speculation is that Bran would need some physical proximity or the weiwood could act as proxy. The question would then be why hasn't Bran done it already. One answer would be that there would have been no need when Theon was at Winterfell. Another could be that he hadn't come along in his powers just yet.

The books also describe the process as horrendous. When forced. The direwolves clearly don't suffer when the kids warg them. It is still problematic on many levels. 

I don't adhere to the idea of suffering as penance.

Absolving Theon from what he did, because Bran managed to survive is a bit much. Theon did slaughter Bran's guards and many of his people and forced him to flee form his home. His invasion and him freeing Ramsay is what led directly to the death of the men of his household, the enslavement of the women (I shudder to think at what they suffered at the Dreadfort) and the destruction of his home. No, Theon has not balanced the scales.

What good has his suffering been to Bran? The boys he killed? The others who died and suffered because of his actions?

Theon can redeem himself if he does better. And no, none of this would not justify Bran torturing him anew for his own purposes. 

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15 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

Arya wargs Nymeria from another continent.

She doesn't seem in control. She is just sharing her dreams.

16 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

I don't adhere to the idea of suffering as penance.

It's not a penance. I don't see it that way. Theon has nothing to repay to Bran. But maybe he will feel better if he thinks he can help him. It's just in fact to help Theon rebuild himself.

20 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

Theon did slaughter Bran's guards and many of his people

Some of the crimes were Theon's. Maybe he could have explained that his taking of Winterfell was not for real. That it was for impressing his father and convincing him that he was not acting in the Stark interest. That he was true Ironborn. That everyone had to take the mummers show.

It would not have worked. And it went worse and worse.

23 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

is what led directly to the death of the men of his household, the enslavement of the women (I shudder to think at what they suffered at the Dreadfort) and the destruction of his home.

Please don't drop at Theon's feet what are Ramsay's crimes. Even if Theon made the mistake of believing him. Who would believe that of Reek?

24 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

and forced him to flee form his home

This I believe saved Bran from the Boltons. Ramsay if not Roose later. And put him on his way to Bloodraven.

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9 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

She doesn't seem in control. She is just sharing her dreams.

It's not a penance. I don't see it that way. Theon has nothing to repay to Bran. But maybe he will feel better if he thinks he can help him. It's just in fact to help Theon rebuild himself.

Some of the crimes were Theon's. Maybe he could have explained that his taking of Winterfell was not for real. That it was for impressing his father and convincing him that he was not acting in the Stark interest. That he was true Ironborn. That everyone had to take the mummers show.

It would not have worked. And it went worse and worse.

Please don't drop at Theon's feet what are Ramsay's crimes. Even if Theon made the mistake of believing him. Who would believe that of Reek?

This I believe saved Bran from the Boltons. Ramsay if not Roose later. And put him on his way to Bloodraven.

  • This is neither here nor there. Bran controls Hodor and Nymeria's example demonstrates that distance isn't an issue. Besides Nymeria's slaughtered Arya's pursuers, fished her mother's corpse out of the river and has been following her around the Riverlands. She, at the very least, is influencing on a subconscious level. 
  • Do you mean he took over his home killed a bunch of people, but didn't really mean it? 
  • I am laying Theon's crimes at Theon's feet. He turned his cloak, attacked the North, attacked Winterfell, killed people in Winterfell, had his own men killed to cover the secret of the miller's boys and had Miken executed as a scapegoat. The subsequent fall of Winterfell is a direct result of Theon's actions. 
  • No, he made Bran vulnerable to Ramsay. 
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34 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

Do you mean he took over his home killed a bunch of people, but didn't really mean it?

Yes. He expected Winterfell would yield to him without a fight. And he would return the castle to the Starks once he had the ironborn with him. No harm done. Or minimum. Back to Robb's plan.

Edited by BalerionTheCat
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2 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

So, does Hodor. It is beside the point of whether it will happen or not.

From a reader's perspective though if Theon goes through a huge round of suffering just followed by another huge round of suffering I would not really see the point, I think he needs to be given a way to repent and do good that doesn't involve further suffering because he's already gone through that.

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1 hour ago, Evolett said:

I sincerely hope Theon will be spared being skinchanged by Bran. This and other related possibilites were discussed here a couple of months ago:

 

Bran is on his way to becoming dark.  Doing this to Theon will be the final straw that pushes Bran to the side of the bad guys.  Which I think is a very real possibility in this story, @Evolett  Very real and rather an interesting direction for the character who wanted to become a knight in shining armor.  Instead he becomes a Sauron who controls events from the darkness of his lair.  

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2 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

From a reader's perspective though if Theon goes through a huge round of suffering just followed by another huge round of suffering I would not really see the point, I think he needs to be given a way to repent and do good that doesn't involve further suffering because he's already gone through that.

I disagree. I think there is a lot of dramatic potential in having the power dynamics from earlier in the story reversed. Both for Bran and Theon.

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Just now, The Sleeper said:

I disagree. I think there is a lot of dramatic potential in having the power dynamics from earlier in the story reversed. Both for Bran and Theon.

But for Theon the dynamic has already been reversed, he went from Theon to Reek, now I think it's time for recovery. I don't see why, from a thematic standpoint, he needs to suffer again.

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2 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

But for Theon the dynamic has already been reversed, he went from Theon to Reek, now I think it's time for recovery. I don't see why, from a thematic standpoint, he needs to suffer again.

It hasn't. Ramsay was never his victim. Bran was. There is a huge difference. He is not sorry for what he did. He is sorry for what happened to him. He killed two kids and thinks it is an excuse that they were not Bran Rickon.

His suffering is not the point. It hasn't made him a better person it has just broken him. 

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10 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

It hasn't. Ramsay was never his victim. Bran was. There is a huge difference. He is not sorry for what he did. He is sorry for what happened to him. He killed two kids and thinks it is an excuse that they were not Bran Rickon.

His suffering is not the point. It hasn't made him a better person it has just broken him. 

Theon has gone from being the one in charge to being completely humiliated and overpowered and stuff. So Theon has switched places. Bran hasn't. But Bran doesn't seem to want to continue the cycle of violence. This is quite an important them. If the violence is perpetuated then it can only lead to bad things. So if Theon is forcefully possessed by Bran then I don't really see the point. The cycle continues.

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On 9/25/2022 at 5:26 PM, Craving Peaches said:

Theon has suffered enough :(

He deserves sanctity of his own mind, at the very least.

He deserves no such thing. He’s a kinslayer. Remember the Miller’s wife and her sons that Theon ordered to be killed? One of them was probably his son.

 

@The Sleeper Theon is cursed as he’s a kinslayer. Theon conveniently remembers his “bedventures” for us the readers and the children are pointed out about the same age as Bran and Rickon. The older one may not be his but the younger most likely is.

Edited by Corvo the Crow
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