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Werthead

A Thread for Small Questions II

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We don't know why, but the Starks have a long history with the Watch, and Benjen was a shoe-in to becoming Lord Commander in time. We also know he was present when a black brother made his case for noble knights and lords to join the Watch at Harrenhal. Some, however, speculate his going to the Wall has to do with the events of the war -- for example, there's a notion that he blames himself for what happened to Lyanna, in some fashion.

We do know that he joined the Watch not long after Ned returned to Winterfell, joining Catelyn with Robb, and bringing along Jon Snow.

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New question: Why (and when) did Benjen Stark choose to go to the Wall?

Sometime after the war of the ursurper, the why is currently hotly contested

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New question: Why (and when) did Benjen Stark choose to go to the Wall?

As far as I know with my poor memory, we have never learned this. The general consensus on these boards is that he chose to join it and it seems he has been there for quite a while considering he is first ranger. However, I have my doubts. I think it would be a great story device for some secret/crime to be revealed concerning Benjen that forced him to take the black.

This is all speculation, let me know if I am wrong.

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Well, alright, I will feed the speculation a bit with a little analysis:

If he had gone to the Wall because he disagreed with the kingship of Robert Baratheon, he would be unlikely to make an appearance at Winterfell coinciding with the king's visit. Likewise, he could hardly be a loyalist for Aerys after Rickard and Brandon's executions.

What do we know of him before this? He was present at the tournement at Harrenhal, I think. Other than this, very little. Was this where a Black Brother made such a passionate plea for the Night's Watch? Maybe he had reason to dislike Catelyn Tully? Maybe it isn't a mystery, as such, but I still feel it is a loose end hanging out.

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What do we know of him before this? He was present at the tournement at Harrenhal, I think. Other than this, very little. Was this where a Black Brother made such a passionate plea for the Night's Watch? Maybe he had reason to dislike Catelyn Tully? Maybe it isn't a mystery, as such, but I still feel it is a loose end hanging out.

We also know that he was ay Winterfell during Robert's Rebellion, Always a Stark in Winterfell. It's likely that he decided to join the NW after the empassioned speached of the black brother at Harenhal (Do you think it was Yoren?), but had to wait for the war to be over before joining. Once Ned was back and Rob was born the bloodline was secure and he could join.

People have commented that he should have waited for another son to be born before joining though incase Rob died in infancy, but he may only have joined years after the war.

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Who's the noble who left Gendry with Tobho Mott, the blacksmith at King's Landing? He's described as being "stout, round of shoulder", having a brown beard with some red in it and wearing a rich cloak of heavy purple velvet worked with silver threads.

EDIT: Another small question: Would a topic on 'What if Ned Stark had returned to the North' be too broad and uncertain to start and effectively discuss?

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Who's the noble who left Gendry with Tobho Mott, the blacksmith at King's Landing? He's described as being "stout, round of shoulder", having a brown beard with some red in it and wearing a rich cloak of heavy purple velvet worked with silver threads.

I always assumed that was likely to be Varys in disguise, actually, though I'm probably wrong.

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Regarding Benjen, I always assumed it just a tradition amongst some of the north Northern houses (if you see what I mean) that they send younger sons or 'retired' lords to join the Night's Watch, such as Benjen Stark and Jeor Mormont, once the line is (apparently) secured. The Karstarks and Umbars apparently don't follow the same tradition, but it's possible the others do it as a matter of course.

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Regarding Benjen, I always assumed it just a tradition amongst some of the north Northern houses (if you see what I mean) that they send younger sons or 'retired' lords to join the Night's Watch, such as Benjen Stark and Jeor Mormont, once the line is (apparently) secured. The Karstarks and Umbars apparently don't follow the same tradition, but it's possible the others do it as a matter of course.

But Jeor Mormont didn't go as a "retired" lord (do the lords retire?), he went to make up for the shame that Jorah brought his family by slave trading.

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Anyone else feel like Coldhands is actually the Nights King?

Im bumping it because it got lost. Speculate people, speculate.

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Im bumping it because it got lost. Speculate people, speculate.

Um, no.

We'll find out who Coldhands is only if it's important to the story. He's a servant of the three eyed crow I think. Who he was before might be interesting, but it may not be important.

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But Jeor Mormont didn't go as a "retired" lord (do the lords retire?), he went to make up for the shame that Jorah brought his family by slave trading.

No. Jeor did indeed "retire" to the NW, and several years befor Jorah's shame. Jorah was Lord Mormont, his first marriage was arranged by his father, but he was free to marry Lynesse of his own decision because he was Lord by that point:

"By than my father had taken the black, so I was Lord of Bear Island in my own right. I had no lack of marriage offers, but before I could reach a decision Lord Balon Greyjoy rose in rebellion against the Usurper and Ned Stark called his banners to help his friend Robert."

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No. Jeor did indeed "retire" to the NW, and several years befor Jorah's shame. Jorah was Lord Mormont, his first marriage was arranged by his father, but he was free to marry Lynesse of his own decision because he was Lord by that point:

"By than my father had taken the black, so I was Lord of Bear Island in my own right. I had no lack of marriage offers, but before I could reach a decision Lord Balon Greyjoy rose in rebellion against the Usurper and Ned Stark called his banners to help his friend Robert."

:blushing: :blushing: :blushing:

Doh! *facepalm* Thanks for the correction, Other-in-law, not sure how I got confused on that point.

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Well, alright, I will feed the speculation a bit with a little analysis:

If he had gone to the Wall because he disagreed with the kingship of Robert Baratheon, he would be unlikely to make an appearance at Winterfell coinciding with the king's visit.

IIRC once Ned learnt about king Robert forthcoming visit he said something like that:

- We must call Benjen too. He would like to see king Robert...

As it was mentioned the Stark connection with the NW was very strong.

After Rob had been born the problem with the Starks succession was apparently solved.

There was a good chance of more inheritors to come soon and as a final resort remained that funny (Strak looking) bastard son of the lord Eddard.

It was not unusual among other noble families for the more distant heirer (cf Vaymar Royce from AGOT prologue) to take the black, to seek his own glory/ career. We have proofs that some younger noble brothers are not so stuck with their family (i.e. intermediate Royce IIRC Robar said something like that to Catelyn??).

Of course the possibility of some dark secret (sin, crime, sexual orientation, whatever) on Benjen conscience still exists but in so far has been never backed up by the story IMHO.

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That seems to be the gist of her thoughts on the matter, yeah.

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Um, no.

We'll find out who Coldhands is only if it's important to the story. He's a servant of the three eyed crow I think. Who he was before might be interesting, but it may not be important.

Actually it is kind of important. How do you think Bran would react if it turns out that Coldhands is the Night King? I mean who he was is going to play a major pat inthe storyline IMO.

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Actually it is kind of important. How do you think Bran would react if it turns out that Coldhands is the Night King? I mean who he was is going to play a major pat inthe storyline IMO.

I disagree, when we eventually find out that Coldhands is Benjen Stark/The Nights King/Bryndon Rivers/Howland Reed/Siro Forelle/Some unnammed Black Brother it'll be very interesting but it's unlikely to move the plot and is therefore unimportant. The important thing is that Coldhands brings Bran to the Three Eyed Crow.

Now admittedly I'm being a bit difficult here because we all live for the the interesting fluff and it will be very cool to know, but I don't see his identity changing the story much.

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I disagree, when we eventually find out that Coldhands is Benjen Stark/The Nights King/Bryndon Rivers/Howland Reed/Siro Forelle/Some unnammed Black Brother it'll be very interesting but it's unlikely to move the plot and is therefore unimportant. The important thing is that Coldhands brings Bran to the Three Eyed Crow.

Now admittedly I'm being a bit difficult here because we all live for the the interesting fluff and it will be very cool to know, but I don't see his identity changing the story much.

Well admittedly I'm speculating here but with Bran's knowledge of the legends of the north(as imparted by nan) I could see him having some serious emotional angst over whether or not Coldhands is the Night King. Possibly running away and ending up in a difficult situation ala the Starks in general. And maybe a good way for GRRM to get Bran someone where he needs to go?

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Well admittedly I'm speculating here but with Bran's knowledge of the legends of the north(as imparted by nan) I could see him having some serious emotional angst over whether or not Coldhands is the Night King. Possibly running away and ending up in a difficult situation ala the Starks in general. And maybe a good way for GRRM to get Bran someone where he needs to go?

That's an interesting point, but Bran has just suffered so much hardship to get to the 3EC why would he run now. Maybe he'd have to re-evaluate his position on the nights king.

I still don't think Coldhands is the nights king though ;)

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