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Jojen Reed's fate? (ADWD Spoilers)


starkloyalist

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I recently reread the Bran and Reed chapters in the COTF caves with Bloodraven and a sneaking suspicion I had in my first read through has solidified into something I would be surprised to find out not to be true. This being: Jojen Reed was sacrificed to the Old Gods and then fed to Bran in the weirwood paste in order to awaken his latent ability to warg into weirwood.

Now, you have to read between the lines in order to come to this conclusion, but I believe the hints are disturbingly clear in retrospect. Jojen's deepening gloom and sense of his impending demise, Bran seeing ancient Men sacrificing humans to the Old Gods and then tasting their blood, Bran's initial perception that the weirwood paste had blood in it and his initial revulsion at its taste, and finally Bran's looking for Jojen and Meera as his last chapter in the book closes and not finding them. Also, to a lesser extent, the ancient bones of animals and humans scattered through the caves.

Add on top of this a broader theme in Martin's work; that magic comes with a price. Dany's sacrifice of her unborn child to "save" Drogo and burning of the witch to wake the dragons. The burnt human sacrifices that the Fire God's disciples give him for power. Craster sacrificing his sons to the Others. Bran having to partake in a human sacrifice for his expanded powers would fit perfectly into this pattern. Which is why, along with the context clues in his chapters, I believe Jojen was that sacrifice. Which is dark. And creepy. And kind of pretty freakin' cool.

Thoughts? Counter arguments? I also realize that this is probably not a original take on this chapter, but I have not seen it discussed recently and am curious to see how many people had the same idea that I have about it.

I don't think GRRM would kill Jojen Reed offscreen. He's a secondary character, yes, but I don't think he'd be so damned vague about it (he'd just let us know that this was Jojen's "day to die" etc.).

GRRM definitely WANTS the reader to notice these gloomy undertones he adds to Bran's chapter, notice the repetition regarding the moon phases. The "sickle" is used in other chapters prior and after Bran's as well.

I think he meant to establish an uneasy tone in Bran's chapter because we're supposed to question who BR (really) is, who the CoTF (really) are, what is greenseeing?, and then, back to Bran and his visions, and the others with him (Hodor, Jojen and Meera are basically stuck there, because of the wights).

All we know is that Jojen is moody, and grim, and says "You are not the one who has to be afraid!". Jojen also says "This is not the day I die". I think there's been a lot of buildup to not have Jojen say the counter, "This is the day I die" if GRRM is going to kill off Howland Reed's only son (that we know of). Plus, that's such a BAMF line!

We get the sense that the weirwood paste acts similarly to what Dany experienced when she drank the shade-of-the-evening (first tasting bad/bitter, then neutral/sweeter, then tasting good/very sweet). I think it's just a magic thing and not a "We needed human blood" thing.

I think GRRM is setting Jojen up to be killed with a sickle, perhaps even near a Weirwood tree, but that it hasn't happened yet. There's more to the story of Jojen and Meera than merely being tourguides for Bran and Hodor from Winterfell to BR's Cave. At least I hope we didn't get all this character buildup, bonding, and creation for nothing.

It's another "sorta" cliffhanger in ADWD that GRRM had. I think it was just the fact there was so much Jon and Dany materiel, that others got kinda cut. I barely felt like Arya, Davos, Bran, Cersei, Jaime and Brienne were even there. Some of The Wall stuff could've been cut (like the chapter that is exclusively a trip to the weirwood grove north of the wall for them to pick up MORE wildlings, Wun Wun, and corpses....plus GRRM could've cut smaller parts out of other Wall chapters. Selyse's stuff was boring and seemed kinda unnecessary - does Jon really have to care what the secondary "Queen" says about his ongoing activities? It's none of her business! Stannis wasn't there, Jon could've taken more control of the situation than he did.

(I don't say this as antifeminist or anything, I just didn't find anything interesting about Jon's interactions with Selyse, Shireen, Patchface to be entertaining or adding anything to the story other than "Aw poor Shireen. Creepy and sad Patchface. Selyse is a bitch!")

And obviously, and this is a popular opinion, a lot of Mereen stuff should've come out. I won't even go there because this thread will turn into another Dany debate and I'm NOT trying to derail. I just wish GRRM had edited his two main stories down a bit more and added more to non-Jon/Dany POV characters' stories.

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We get the sense that the weirwood paste acts similarly to what Dany experienced when she drank the shade-of-the-evening (first tasting bad/bitter, then neutral/sweeter, then tasting good/very sweet). I think it's just a magic thing and not a "We needed human blood" thing.

Like Bran's first sip of beer. Ha.

Weirbeer.

It's a tiny bit more likely for the tree's magic paste to include blood compared to shade of the evening. The blood sacrifices are apparently what woke the trees up and made them into a combination of plant and animal, with meat eater appetites. So blood paste might just be the ongoing currency used by greenseers to "log on" to the tree magic internet.

I don't think Jojen's dead. And I don't think we're going to see Evil Bran emerge from this, even if Jojen is volunteering his blood for the paste. Greenseers are close to neutral, since they're nature-aligned. In fact, Bran's struggle against the trees might be that they want him to be absolutely neutral but he'll still want to strike a blow for the home team.

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I don't know which thread is better to put this in, so it's in two:

I found another clue that might point to Jojen Paste:

On the Kindle for ipod version: Page 542 of 1024, Theon goes to the Godswood.

This isn't the scene where he hears his name, but he does hear something from the Hearttree.

Quote

"Please," he murmured through his broken teeth, "I never meant..." The words caught in his throat. "Save me," he finally managed. "Give me..." What? Strength? Courage? Mercy? Snow fell around him, pale and silent, keeping its own counsel. The only sound was a faint soft sobbing. Jeyne, he thought. It is her, sobbing in her bridal bed. Who else could it be? Gods do not weep. Or do they?

The sound was too painful to endure. Theon grabbed hold of a branch and pulled himself back to his feet, knocked the snow off his legs, and limped back toward the lights. There are ghosts in Winterfell, he thought, and I am one of them.

In hindsight we can see that this is Bran crying. But why would he be crying? Not because of Theon surely, maybe because he just found out Jojen is dead.

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It's a tiny bit more likely for the tree's magic paste to include blood compared to shade of the evening. The blood sacrifices are apparently what woke the trees up and made them into a combination of plant and animal, with meat eater appetites. So blood paste might just be the ongoing currency used by greenseers to "log on" to the tree magic internet.

Why do we all assume this? In the Bran chapter BR tells him the singers carved eyes into the trees to awaken them. But I keep seeing people (not just you, it was just your post that made me want to ask the question) assume the trees were awoken w/ blood sacrifice. I've re-read the Bran chapter and I don't see where this comes from?

The execution(sacrifice?) of the captive that Bran sees can't be what woke the tree--or the tree would not have 'seen' it. The tree 'sees' the man force the captive down, the woman cut his throat w/ the sickle, etc. All this was prior to the blood hitting the tree-so it is logical to assume the tree was awake prior to the execution/sacrifice.

I do not think we can assume the singers use blood magic to awaken the trees. Now can we assume they do not. We just don't have enough facts to decide one way or the other.

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I don't know. It's all supposition. There's no knowing what order it all happened in. (The face carving, the greenseeing, the blood sacrificing, the children eating that special concoction..... It's all very chicken-and-the-egg.)

Basically there's the (Davos?) chapter where he sees the fatness of the tree and imagines the city's ancestors feeding entrails to the trees after battles or whatever. The idea being that the greenseer situation had a lot of time to develop, and the trees were getting bathed in blood over that time, absorbing it, drinking it in place of usual plant nutrients, mutating. Then I added in the whole blood magic thing we've got in ASOIAF as what likely allowed the trees to be transformed. (Or it sustains the connection to the greenseers). Then I combined that with plant science (how plants and insects have developed symbiotic relationships, with the pollenation done for the plants by other creatures, etc. And now plants have formed that kind of interdependence with the Children. So maybe the children's seers make themselves blood brothers with the trees by mixing plant stuff with biped stuff and downing it. .........Or the secret ingredient in the paste could have nothing to do with hemoglobin and just be a magical "eye of newt" type thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jojen's frequent mention of "the day I die" makes me believe that we will see his death. Thus, I think he's still alive. That said, the theory is very plausible. Maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe Jojen will die in the prologue to Winds.

I think we will see his death, but in a "seeing into the past" sort of way. I think Bran will see this happen at some point when he's looking into the past therefore giving us the complete story "on screen".

Also, a lot of people are dismissing the Jojen paste theory based on the thinking that if it were true, Bran will turn against Bloodraven. My thoughts on this are that Bran truly has a dark soul. I believe he will turn out to be the bad guy. I think he is selfish enough to shrug off the Jojen paste when he realizes it was for his own advancement. I think Bran is an asshole. He uses Hodor like an animal. He spys on his friends. He seems to have an utter lack of compassion. To me, he seems consumed by self pity and bitterness. I see him on a fast track to corruption and I believe that finding out about Jojen paste will only serve to corrupt him further as he will have to justify it to himself. Rationalizing it to himself will take him further down the path he's already been on since he was thrown off the tower. Bran sucks.

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I don't think GRRM would kill Jojen Reed offscreen. He's a secondary character, yes, but I don't think he'd be so damned vague about it (he'd just let us know that this was Jojen's "day to die" etc.).

GRRM definitely WANTS the reader to notice these gloomy undertones he adds to Bran's chapter, notice the repetition regarding the moon phases. The "sickle" is used in other chapters prior and after Bran's as well.

I think he meant to establish an uneasy tone in Bran's chapter because we're supposed to question who BR (really) is, who the CoTF (really) are, what is greenseeing?, and then, back to Bran and his visions, and the others with him (Hodor, Jojen and Meera are basically stuck there, because of the wights).

All we know is that Jojen is moody, and grim, and says "You are not the one who has to be afraid!". Jojen also says "This is not the day I die". I think there's been a lot of buildup to not have Jojen say the counter, "This is the day I die" if GRRM is going to kill off Howland Reed's only son (that we know of). Plus, that's such a BAMF line!

We get the sense that the weirwood paste acts similarly to what Dany experienced when she drank the shade-of-the-evening (first tasting bad/bitter, then neutral/sweeter, then tasting good/very sweet). I think it's just a magic thing and not a "We needed human blood" thing.

I think GRRM is setting Jojen up to be killed with a sickle, perhaps even near a Weirwood tree, but that it hasn't happened yet. There's more to the story of Jojen and Meera than merely being tourguides for Bran and Hodor from Winterfell to BR's Cave. At least I hope we didn't get all this character buildup, bonding, and creation for nothing.

It's another "sorta" cliffhanger in ADWD that GRRM had. I think it was just the fact there was so much Jon and Dany materiel, that others got kinda cut. I barely felt like Arya, Davos, Bran, Cersei, Jaime and Brienne were even there. Some of The Wall stuff could've been cut (like the chapter that is exclusively a trip to the weirwood grove north of the wall for them to pick up MORE wildlings, Wun Wun, and corpses....plus GRRM could've cut smaller parts out of other Wall chapters. Selyse's stuff was boring and seemed kinda unnecessary - does Jon really have to care what the secondary "Queen" says about his ongoing activities? It's none of her business! Stannis wasn't there, Jon could've taken more control of the situation than he did.

(I don't say this as antifeminist or anything, I just didn't find anything interesting about Jon's interactions with Selyse, Shireen, Patchface to be entertaining or adding anything to the story other than "Aw poor Shireen. Creepy and sad Patchface. Selyse is a bitch!")

And obviously, and this is a popular opinion, a lot of Mereen stuff should've come out. I won't even go there because this thread will turn into another Dany debate and I'm NOT trying to derail. I just wish GRRM had edited his two main stories down a bit more and added more to non-Jon/Dany POV characters' stories.

I agree with almost everything here. I don't know about the Jojen theories going around (and I agree 100% about Selyse, Shireen and Patchface--these characters overall are unnecessary to the entire series imo).

But what I really wanted to say was that I am just now realizing (thanks to your post) that the weirwood paste experience is exactly like the shade-of-the-evening. (How on earth did I not notice that earlier? lol).

Point being, I think it lends credence to the idea that Jojen need not be um... food for Bran. Lol. Personally, I don't care if they all turn cannibal -- as long as it serves the story well, and there is a reason for it.

Now (more than before), I don't think there is a reason -- the paste did just what the shade-of-the-evening did. And no one thinks there was Drogo ground up in it ;-)

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Come to think of it though, those undead warlocks were a mighty creepy bunch. I wouldn't be surprised if they were grinding folks up to make their shade of the evening. In fact, if I had to lay odds on who is more likely to turn out to be eating people, the CoTF or the undead warlocks, my money's on the warlocks.

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don't know about the Jojen theories going around (and I agree 100% about Selyse, Shireen and Patchface--these characters overall are unnecessary to the entire series imo).

I think that because they have so far not served any purpose, but are noticebly around, that they are being set up for tragedy. All the foreshadowing such as Shireen's bad dreams, Patchface's creepiness, Mel wanting to burn King's blood, Selyse's fanaticism, Val's reaction to Shireen and Mel's visions of Patchface with skulls point to death and disaster on a grand scale.

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Also, a lot of people are dismissing the Jojen paste theory based on the thinking that if it were true, Bran will turn against Bloodraven. My thoughts on this are that Bran truly has a dark soul. I believe he will turn out to be the bad guy. I think he is selfish enough to shrug off the Jojen paste when he realizes it was for his own advancement. I think Bran is an asshole. He uses Hodor like an animal. He spys on his friends. He seems to have an utter lack of compassion. To me, he seems consumed by self pity and bitterness. I see him on a fast track to corruption and I believe that finding out about Jojen paste will only serve to corrupt him further as he will have to justify it to himself. Rationalizing it to himself will take him further down the path he's already been on since he was thrown off the tower. Bran Sucks.

:crying: :crying:

but really i gotta disagree, Bran has shown compassion plenty of times in this series. He lost the ability to walk at age 8 so it doesn't surprise me he is consumed with self pity and is bitter at times. idk what to think about the COTF and Bloodraven, i think Bran is definitely corrupt-able but i don't think he is evil yet, he has been a likeable character in this series so far from my perspective.

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I don't think you're inventing things here. I had the same thoughts when I first read it.

However, as others have said it could be misdirection. George does have previous. Plus we didn't get enough Bran chapters to really figure it out either way.

I really like the Reeds and hope HBO give them enough screen time in the show and that GRRM gives at least one of them a relatively happy ending.

On the other hand, if this theory is true it would be seriously dark, creepy and kind of awesome for it.

Or does thinking that make me weird?!

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I think that because they have so far not served any purpose, but are noticebly around, that they are being set up for tragedy. All the foreshadowing such as Shireen's bad dreams, Patchface's creepiness, Mel wanting to burn King's blood, Selyse's fanaticism, Val's reaction to Shireen and Mel's visions of Patchface with skulls point to death and disaster on a grand scale.

That is what I've always assumed. But after all this time, I guess I personally just don't care at all about them, so whatever tragedy/disaster befalls them, I don't think I'll care at all. I simply have never "bonded" with them as characters. Not just because they are secondary (after all, so are many of the ones I LOVE), but moreso because they are not necessary to anything really.

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The scene in an earlier book (ASoS?) where Bran sits on the throne and gets to partake in lordship... I thought was a nice warming of his character. It could be that he is being set up to become evil (I'm ready for most anything now that I've been reading GRRM's books), but I want to believe that Bran's a noble leader some day. He certainly has his histories in the Stark crypts and with the weirwoods and wolves. I'm leaning toward he's truly learning what it means to KNOW that winter is coming.

Jojen... *shrugs*... I don't really care if he's dead or not. I have a hard time imagining that his sister would sit be and let it happen, but I further find it hard to believe that Bran would let HER die or be sacrificed. The symbolism is certainly there and frightful, but I'm just not convinced.

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I think too many are assuming that if Bran eats Jojen to become a greenseer and then continues to side with the CotF, along with the fact that the CotF might not side with humanity in the coming battle that there is automatic evil upon Bran's part. Knowing how "grey" Martin writes this series, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion so fast. Bran is somewhat selfish in ways, and is a bit of a warging "addict." At times he wargs so much he forgets to eat. I wouldn't quite put it past him to eventually not care that he ate Jojen. He might be angry initially, then just lose himself over a time to his new found abilities.

Going back to the CotF, they may very well not side with humanity, there are a few possibilities. One, they may be on our side completely(Northern and Southern humans) and they just seem creepy to us now. Two, they may be on the of everyone north of The Neck i.e. the "North." Three, they are aligned with The Others. Four, they are one their own side. On top of that, we really don't know which side is actually evil.

I mean it's not like the CotF slaughtered the Andals to the point of near extinction, did they? No it was the other way around. The CotF may be against the Others, but that doesn't make them automatically on the side of humanity. They are on their own side, their own side may be the one we want, or it may not be. Does it make them evil in their point of view to take back the lands they were slaughtered for? Does it make them evil in their point of view to get revenge? Are the Others evil? They appear to be at the few glimpses we have, but maybe their means to an end just seems evil in brief glimpses. Who really knows?

Bran evil? Not sure about that, but him eating Jojen just might end up as an afterthought to him eventually.

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Exactly my thought. And weirwoods are said to keep growing forever, as long as they are not cut down. It's worth considering that they feed on the dead in some manner -- human dead or the dead of the CotF. Or perhaps they actually have blood coursing through them.

And they are sustained by blood and need to be fed? Creepy thought. The weirwoods are described having very red leaves and branches white as bone ... I wonder: will they shed their bloodred leaves as winter comes? They seem to shed tears of blood ... like some people believe statues of the Mother Mary shed bloody tears.

And another thought ... wasn't there a weirwood which was described with a large opening where the mouth was? Suitable for placing offerings? Brrr ...

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I really don't understand why Jojen being in the paste automatically makes Bran/BR evil. If it is the case that Jojen is now inside Bran, he more or less offers himself up for that sacrifice - he knows that is his fate and that it is necessary to awake Bran's powers and win the war.

We simply cannot be so lazy as to assume if Bran is a cannibal he must be evil - that's not how GRRM writes. All magic involves sacrifice, and the magic of Northern Westeros is some of the darkest and most ancient of all. It is not beyond the pail to suggest that a magic powerful enough to counter the Others is in some sense drawn from the same pool as that of the Others. Melisandre's fear of BR in her visions is not because she is able to objectively see 'real' evil, but because her Lord of Light/Great Other vision of the world is a ridiculously oversimplistic binary. The Red Priests perform deeds just as morally offensive as anything we've seen the Others do.

Bran's Old God magic may well be dark and even involve blood sacrifice/cannibalism, but I maintain that does not make him 'evil' but rather is a necessary step toward wielding the power that is prerequisite to a successful stand against the old enemy of the CotF, the Others.

Furthermore, Skagos is assumed to be some vile, evil place because 'cannibalism' is reported there. Well, if Osha is from Skagos as is implied by taking Rickon there, we can assume that the 'cannibalism' that takes place is not purely repugnant but probably deeply spiritual and aimed at fostering the power of the Old Gods as a ward against the Others.

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I really like the Reeds and hope HBO give them enough screen time in the show and that GRRM gives at least one of them a relatively happy ending.

Unless something has changed recently the Reeds were never cast for Season 2. So there is a good chance they have been written out.

Some believe that Osha will be the one to take Bran North of the Wall, although, if that happens I don't know what they plan on doing with Rickon.

They might have Maester Luwin survive, and take Rickon away.

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There is no concrete evidence to say Jojen is in the paste; however, I think it's odd how so many people dismiss the theory as not possible.

There are enough clues pointing to Jojen dying off screen to make it something worth considering:

We know he's going to die soon.

The day Bran eats paste is the only day Jojen doesn't say "this is not the day I die."

Meera knows Jojen's death is going to happen soon, and wants to take him home, because she knows he'll be safe at home.

I think he must have seen that he's going to die North of the Wall, which is why he wants to go home, but won't even try it.

"The moon was thin and sharp as a knife."

Jojen wouldn't eat acorn paste earlier on, saying it would only make him sicker, even though he was literally starving his body to death.

"the gift is in the blood"

the paste looks like it has blood in it

Bran "could taste the blood" after viewing the Northman's execution/sacrifice

Meera ran off when the Children came to get Bran

Jojen went to the front of the cave to sit a stare out mournfully - last we saw him.

Jojen has served his purpose, and there is nothing further he can offer to the story arc.

Jojen believes he made a mistake and should never have come.

Jojen and Meera were looking for a way out of the cave when they explored the river.

Cannibalism is a reoccurring theme in the book

Bran wakes and Jojen and Meera are nowhere to be found.

Theon hears crying through the weirwood after the last Bran Chapter.

A weirwood dripped a wet warm salty tear on Bran and company as they are heading North

We have no reason to trust that Bloodraven is doing anything for the good of Jojen, Meera, or even Bran.

When Varamyr dies his soul passes children riding on an elk, right before coming on the Wights with the blue eyes that look at him. (they could be the reeds, or they could be children of the forest controlling the Wights)

One of the Children carries around a black knife - perfect for Jojen Stabbing.

This wouldn't be the first time GRRM would have killed a character off screen, and there isn't anything to say we won't see what happened in the next book.

Hodor is armed and ready to smack down some children and allow Bran and Meera to get out, we have NO reason to believe that either of them are dying anytime soon.

The Children may be against the Others, or for them, but one thing we know is that they are very alien, and we should assume they look at sacrifice and cannibalism the same way as humans.

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