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kyleM

The Knight of the Laughing Tree

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The mountain clans did appear, some of them. Roose Bolton notes spearmen from the mountains among those men he left behind at the ford of the Trident (to get slaughtered, naturally), and Burleys and Norreys are explicitly mentioned just before that.

ETA: As to Ice, I suspect Lord Rickard had left it in Winterfell before coming south (for, I believe, Brandon's wedding), and Ned retrieved it when he went North as the Lord of Winterfell.

Bumping an old and interesting thread here, but you said that Ned must have retrieved Ice when he went North as the Lord of Winterfell? At what point did Ned go North as the Lord of Winterfell? Would that be after the sack of King's Landing? So he went from King's Landing to Winterfell, retrieved Ice and then went south again to the Tower of Joy?

Edit:

Also, I just want to add, I never even considered that the Knight of the Laughing Tree was anyone but Howland Reed, well, the little crannogman...Howland...whoever...and the reason was I never really took the time to interpret what I was reading from the point of view of each character into my own point of view, which is a dangerous game to play. Whenever I get around to reading through a second time, I am going to be sure to do just that, because G.M. clearly purposely tries to throw us red herrings by misrepresenting things through various characters POVs...why did I think it was the little crannogman, well because Bran ended the chapter with that thought, of course.

One small point and then a question.

I found it very interesting when Bran said he liked getting the shivers...I guess that makes sense for someone with ice in their veins.

And now the question, well the second question I suppose since I began this post with a question, are the Green Men not the same as the Children of the Forest? I always thought they were the same but reading through the Meera's story about the Knight of the Laughing Tree I felt like they may be seperate groups.

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Bumping an old and interesting thread here, but you said that Ned must have retrieved Ice when he went North as the Lord of Winterfell? At what point did Ned go North as the Lord of Winterfell? Would that be after the sack of King's Landing? So he went from King's Landing to Winterfell, retrieved Ice and then went south again to the Tower of Joy?

After the sack of Kings Landing, Ned went south to "fight the last battles of the war alone" after falling out with Robert over the deaths of Elia and the children. He broke the siege of Storms End, and at some point, he found out about the Tower of Joy, and that Lyanna was there.

He didn't return to Winterfell until after he'd taken Arthur Dayne's body back to Starfall.

I guess that if Rickard took Ice with him to Kings Landing, then Ned could have reclaimed it before leaving. If Rickard left it at Winterfell, then he still could have had it. Did he return north after Jon Arryn declared rebellion? I can't recall, but I would assume he would have to do so to gather his bannermen.

Either way, it seems likely that Ned would have had Ice at the Tower of Joy.

In response to the older posts about what Howland Reed did to save Ned, I always pictured it as something as simple as barging into Arthur Dayne as he was preparing a killing strike. No magic, no poison, nothing spectacular.

And I also agree that Lyanna was probably the Knight of the Laughing Tree. She fits the description, and what we know of her character indicates that she would consider such a thing. It does also give an opportunity for her and Rhaegar to have met, and spoken at length. The one thing I've always had trouble picturing is how the two came to a point where she was prepared to forsake her family and run away with him (if that's what happened), and this would give a solid starting point to that story.

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He didn't return to Winterfell until after he'd taken Arthur Dayne's body back to Starfall.

Didn't he go to Winterfell with Catelyn after marrying her, or was Robb concieved at Riverrun and he left immediately afterwards?

Either way, it seems likely that Ned would have had Ice at the Tower of Joy.

Is there any textual evidence for this? I always got the impression that Ice was never a fighting sword... at least not for Ned. I always assumed it was more a cerimonial sword.

In response to the older posts about what Howland Reed did to save Ned, I always pictured it as something as simple as barging into Arthur Dayne as he was preparing a killing strike. No magic, no poison, nothing spectacular.

And again with this, I seem to remember Ned saying somewhere, or thinking at least, that it was Howland that actually struck down Arthur Dayne. Maybe this was as simle as stabbing him in the back as he was focused on Ned... It makes you wonder just how good these two are at fighting. What was it Five on Two? five of (presumably) the best swords in the realm against Two? How did they manage to win? was it luck, is Howland the Greatest undiscovered talent, or did they use some sort of trickery?

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Didn't he go to Winterfell with Catelyn after marrying her, or was Robb concieved at Riverrun and he left immediately afterwards?

I seem to recall that when Catelyn first went to Winterfell, it was with infant Robb (and Jon was already there with his wet-nurse). But I could be wrong.

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Bumping an old and interesting thread here, but you said that Ned must have retrieved Ice when he went North as the Lord of Winterfell? At what point did Ned go North as the Lord of Winterfell? Would that be after the sack of King's Landing? So he went from King's Landing to Winterfell, retrieved Ice and then went south again to the Tower of Joy?

SPOILER: ADWD
Ned sailed from Gultown to Hwite Harbour to raise his banners at the beginning of the war

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Is there any textual evidence for this? I always got the impression that Ice was never a fighting sword... at least not for Ned. I always assumed it was more a cerimonial sword.

Quite possibly. I never pictured a two-handed greatsword as a weapon Ned Stark would choose to use in battle. He's not a particularly big man, like Robert or Sandor Clegane, and he's never portrayed as the sort of man who would be wild and reckless in a fight. I always saw him as being a regular sword and shield type of warrior.

But Ice is, or was, Valyrian Steel, and it has been mentioned in the books that having a sword made of the stuff can be the difference between life and death. So would he have been trained from a young age to fight with a greatsword, even if it wasn't particularly suited to him? I know that it would have been Brandon who inherited Ice, but you'd still want to make sure that both your heir and your 'spare' were capable of wielding the family sword.

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SPOILER: ADWD
Ned sailed from Gultown to Hwite Harbour to raise his banners at the beginning of the war

I am definitley missing something here, likely because it hasn't been written yet or explained, but what was Ned doing there before he sailed? He never returned North until after Rickard and Brandon died in the Red Keep? He stayed in the South after the Tourney at Harrenhal? Then after Rickard and Brandon died, he went to Riverrun, married Catelyn, conceived Rob and THEN went North to raise his banners for Robert and either retrived Ice or he would've retrieved it after the sack of King's Landing? Catelyn stayed at Riverrun throughout the whole war?

I was always under the impression Ned went North after Harrenhal but if what I said above is correct, then that certainly makes sense. Although I seem to remember Rickard definitley coming from Winterfell after Bradon and buddies were arrested...perhaps it isn't making sense because I am missing key parts from FFC and DWD that have yet to be explained, but if it can be explained, please do so.

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See this article which gathers most of the available information about what happened in the war, and puts forward a proposed chronology of events with some educated guesses in the mix.

SPOILER: ADwD
The information about Ned travelling to White Harbor from the Vale is, as you can guess, from a chapter GRRM has read from the next book.

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Guest Other-in-law
Is there any textual evidence for this? I always got the impression that Ice was never a fighting sword... at least not for Ned. I always assumed it was more a cerimonial sword.

Well, Ned used it to behead Gared, which sounds more utilitarian than ceremonial use to me.

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And now the question, well the second question I suppose since I began this post with a question, are the Green Men not the same as the Children of the Forest? I always thought they were the same but reading through the Meera's story about the Knight of the Laughing Tree I felt like they may be seperate groups.

To answer this one:

The Green Men appear to be something like a monastic religious order, apparently founded as part of the peace agreement between the Children of the Forest and the First Men. As such, they may be Children of the Forest or human or a mix. Though given that the CotF appear to be regarded almost as myths in present day Westeros, them being human is perhaps the most likely.

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Well, Ned used it to behead Gared, which sounds more utilitarian than ceremonial use to me.

That's what i meant by ceremonial... rather than in actual battle, like Randal Tarly does. As said upthread, Ned just seems to me like more a sword and sheild guy, just two small to weild a Greatsword effectivly... Infact I would have thought that for a greatsword would be kind of restricting in the throng of battle and close combat fighting.

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It was Lyanna Stark.

Raegar was sent to find out who it was, then the next day he wins the tourney, the Laughing Tree Knight never showed up for day two, but Raegar crowns her the queen of Love and Beauty.

I think he found her, fell for her..... Fire and Ice gets steamy and along comes Snow.

my only question is, How in the world did she make her voice deep, and Didn't anyone notice she wasn't around?

Maybe I missed it, but it seems this one was not answered in this thread?

My guess is that she did not need to make her voice deep at all, because the spectators will suspect her to be a young boy (the small size would further this speculation).

IIRC (and that's a big if), there's precedence - in some tourney Barristan Selmy masked himself as a mystery knight at the ripe age of 10, and was unmasked by Dunk. (Ran, can you verify that I'm not dreaming this up?)

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And again with this, I seem to remember Ned saying somewhere, or thinking at least, that it was Howland that actually struck down Arthur Dayne. Maybe this was as simle as stabbing him in the back as he was focused on Ned... It makes you wonder just how good these two are at fighting. What was it Five on Two? five of (presumably) the best swords in the realm against Two? How did they manage to win? was it luck, is Howland the Greatest undiscovered talent, or did they use some sort of trickery?

Five on Two??? I'm not sure whose side you're referring to with those numbers.. There were three knights of the KG present at TOJ - Whent, Dayne and Hightower. And Ned's party was definitely comprised of more then himself and Reed.

And, re: Was Ned carrying Ice during the Rebellion?

I will refer to the instances where Valyrian swords are spoken of such as Corbray's exploits with Lady Forlorn or Tarly's with Heartsbane. I feel that if Ned had been carrying Ice (esp. during the more celebrated battles) there would have been mention of "the greatsword Ice which was used to slay *so and so*", "Ice had drunk its fill of loyalist blood..." etc.

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Five on Two??? I'm not sure whose side you're referring to with those numbers.. There were three knights of the KG present at TOJ - Whent, Dayne and Hightower. And Ned's party was definitely comprised of more then himself and Reed.

Ah, ok three on two, I was torn between three and Five, and could only account for Jamie and Selmy in my mind so I went with Five (though the first 'five on two' was actually a question :D) Are you sure about them having more than just Ned and Howland??? Did I just miss that part?

And, re: Was Ned carrying Ice during the Rebellion?

I will refer to the instances where Valyrian swords are spoken of such as Corbray's exploits with Lady Forlorn or Tarly's with Heartsbane. I feel that if Ned had been carrying Ice (esp. during the more celebrated battles) there would have been mention of "the greatsword Ice which was used to slay *so and so*", "Ice had drunk its fill of loyalist blood..." etc.

Good point here.

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Ah, ok three on two, I was torn between three and Five, and could only account for Jamie and Selmy in my mind so I went with Five (though the first 'five on two' was actually a question :D) Are you sure about them having more than just Ned and Howland??? Did I just miss that part?

Hmm the other 2 unaccounted members of the KG would be Prince Lewyn Martell and Jon Darry (both perished at the Trident, the former was killed/finished off by Lyn Corbray).

And yea Ned's party originally contained 7 members : Martyn Cassel (Jory's father I think), Theo Wull, Ethan Glover, Mark Ryswell, William Dustin, Himself and Howland Reed (I just strapped that from a wiki) - though I would not be surprised if these odds were shortened very quickly once the 3 KG had been engaged.

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Fie. Howland Reed using poison! Can't go there with you on that. I cannot imagine Ned would have a good friend who would use poison on the greatest knight then alive.

Even if that was the difference between life and death? Poison, arrow or net, make your choice.

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Guest Other-in-law
Even if that was the difference between life and death? Poison, arrow or net, make your choice.

It's also worth noting that Ned spoke sadly about the way Howland Reed saved his life. That could either be because he really felt that bad about killing such a perfect knight as the SotM, or because he felt that his victory was tainted by something he felt was dishonourable. Either way, Ned is still friends with someone who came from a culture that does indeed use poisons to even up disproportionate warfare (see Victarion's bitterness toward the bog devil's who cause a man's live to bleed away through his bowels).

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It's also worth noting that Ned spoke sadly about the way Howland Reed saved his life. That could either be because he really felt that bad about killing such a perfect knight as the SotM, or because he felt that his victory was tainted by something he felt was dishonourable. Either way, Ned is still friends with someone who came from a culture that does indeed use poisons...

Having siad that, when was the last time that Ned and Howland Reed actually met up and conversed??? Am I right in thinking it was the Iron Islands rebellion, 10 years ago. While we know that they are still 'friends' cause his children come to re-swear fealty to the Starks, how close were they after these wars? Was Ned ashamed of Howland?

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In my mind the fight ended up, after members of both sides dying,with Ned fighting Dayne alone meanwhile Howland and perhaps someone else fighting another member of the KG. Reed survives his fight alone and interposes himself in the fight between Dayne and Stark at a moment where Ned is about to die or cannot recover in time. Reed blocks a blow from Dayne allowing Ned to recover and land a mortal blow on Dayne. No magic poison or leap of faith to believe this. Doesnt need Reed to be an excellent swordsman eetc etc....

For me this sort of story is implied in the text. Martin implies that Reed saves Ned not kills Dayne. Although that is just how I read it. Plus magic only really came into the world in my view when the dragons were hatched.... but this has several counter arguments.

In relation to the KotLT, I think that for the sake of the story Lyanna is the mystery knight. Jojen would have no other real purpose for being suprised that Bran had not heard it other than if it precipitated the events of Robert's rebellion.... ie Rheagars lust for Lyanna, rape and kidnap. (forgetting the whole R+L=J). Ned knowing the truth would realise the reason for Rheagar's interest in Lyanna would have sprouted from this event and explains his silence in the matter. He may also have felt guilty about it and in hindsight (if R+L=J is true) would have regretted his participation in the matter. Of course this could be applied to Benjen and could be a huge factor in his decision to join the NW. Esp if he found out of Lyanna's death from Ned after the war (which is when he made his decision).

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