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[TWoW Spoilers] Theon I


Ran

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It's far more likely that Bran has something else in mind for Theon than execution in front of a hearttree. Obviously we can speculate that Theon's execution ast such a place would have benefits for Bran, tapping into the Greenseer/Old Gods power, and certainly the theory that Theon's death might effect Jon's resurrection has a nice ring to it, assuming of course that is required at all, since Jon may not be dead. But this doesn't really jive with Bran trying to get Theon back on his feet in ADWD. The scenes in the Winterfell Godswood, Bran trying to get Theon to remember his name, shake out of it. It implies that Bran has something else in mind for Theon, but we lack the information to analyze what that will be.

Of course, it is confusing why Asha would make this suggestion. Perhaps she thinks that by having Theon led to that island, Theon might have at least some chance of escape. Or perhaps she's been getting messages from a raven. I think Bran warging her is out of the question btw, that's crackpot.

Otherwise, agreed that Stannis comes across very well here. It's impossible to see from this chapter what will happen to him in that battle, but I imagine that Stannis himself at least will surivive it, and continue further into the story. I don't see GRRM being wholly done with the Baratheons, plus there is that Undying prophecy. I think the conflict will see either Roose or Ramsay die, but probably not both. Somehow I expect the Boltons to lose this Battle of Winterfell.

Justin Massey is on a road to nowhere where the sellsword companies are concerned. He could drag the Braavosi into this war I guess, but he might also find his storyline stalled at The Wall.

As for Jeyne, there is a clear parallel with her maintaining the ruse of Arya's identity, and Arya's further severing of that identity in the Temple of the Many-Faced God. The fact that even now GRRM is not stopping with this Jeyne storyline leads me to believe she may continue to represent Arya until the end of the series, or close to it. He did say that identities were a major theme in ADWD, what makes someone who they are.

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I don't think it's choosing whatever name is to his best interest, I think it shows a descent into madness and a contrast with the Theon we meet in AGOT. He's no longer the brash, careless young lord's son we meet in the first book. His spirit has been completely crushed and broken. Even hanging on the wall in Stannis' tower, he's still more afraid of what Ramsay might do to him than he is of anything Stannis could do, including taking his head or burning him as a sacrifice. I can see him going one of 2 ways. Either he'll reclaim enough of his old self to kill Ramsay himself (possibly at an inopportune moment....if Stannis captures him and plans to trade him, for example) or his fear will make him help Ramsay in some way...stabbing someone, freeing him, etc....something like a twisted version of Stockholm Syndrome.

I think Theon is on his way back up. He's finding things funny again and displays a stubborn pride for helping Jeyne. With regards to Ramsay, he still has the desperate fear, but it seems to be less psychological terror, and more rational realisation that Ramsay is a madman, and people should fear him if they're smart.

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A trap on Asha's part does seem very plausible with her picking the location and all. But this still has to lead up in someway to Theon deposing their uncle -- too much has been setup in that regard. I suppose, if they were to escape, they could meet up with Dagmer Cleftjaw in Torrhen's Square and then debark to the Iron Islands -- having received word that Aeron has a plan. I really wish we had gotten his chapter instead of Arianne's. That would have helped in giving us ideas about where Theon and Asha are headed.

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It seems pretty likely that both Bloodraven and Bran are controlling those ravens, as they're each yelling different things and it seems unnecessary for one person to be using two ravens to spy on events in a single room. One is yelling "tree", the other is yelling "Theon". Bran never liked Theon, and Theon killed a bunch of people he grew up with. I can definitely see a conversation going on in the hollow hill between Bran and Bloodraven about using Theon as a sacrifice, and we're seeing bits of that conversation coming out of the ravens' mouths.

She wants to get out of dodge, take her brother and go somewhere else . . probably Summer Isles as she refuses go to back to her nuncle's authority in the Iron Islands.

But logistically, how would she escape? She has no horses, no food, no weapons, no gold, and they're smack in the middle of a blizzard. Literally everyone around her, with the possible exception of the half dozen Ironborn, wants Theon dead very, very badly. Even if she got Theon away from Stannis, her ships were burned by Alysanne Mormont, she has no supplies to keep her and Theon from freezing/starving to death, and enemy territory (covered in several feet of snow) stretches for hundreds of miles in every direction.

Unless Stannis changes his mind and decides to send Asha to the Wall, I think this is the end of Theon. Two POV characters in the same location is an easy way for GRRM to kill one of them off without breaking the "POV character never "fully" dies in his/her own POV unless it's a Prologue/Epilogue" rule, and Theon has been so thoroughly broken---physically and mentally---that there is literally no way the Ironborn will ever select him as their King, even if Asha could successfully challenge the Kingsmoot.

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But logistically, how would she escape?

As mentioned before, Dagmer Cleftjaw still occupies Torrhen's Square and remains untouched by events, so long as Stannis and the Boltons continue to focus on one another. I don't think it's a stretch to think that the Ironborn can slip out during the confusion of battle, steal some horses, and make a successful escape to Torrhen's Square where they receive word of what's being going on back at the Iron Islands (which, not incidentally, are somewhat abandoned at this point, with most of the fleet either attacking the Reach or camped out in Meereen).

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I think Theon is on his way back up. He's finding things funny again and displays a stubborn pride for helping Jeyne. With regards to Ramsay, he still has the desperate fear, but it seems to be less psychological terror, and more rational realisation that Ramsay is a madman, and people should fear him if they're smart.

the only rational part of Theon's brain at the moment is very much set on self-preservation above all else! Looks like stubborn pride, but is purely for his own benefit and not Jeyne's

"Death did not frighten Theon Greyjoy. Death would mean an end to pain" is an absolutely awesome line, but if death was such a pleasant escape, why hasn't he slit his own throat back at Winterfell? He had plenty of time to himself and a sharp blade in his possession...

Pain or not, my fav kraken likes living. And to remain alive, Jeyne rhymes with pain must remain Arya in everyone else's eyes. He coulda did her a kindness in Winterfell with the same blade, but Arya means shiny new chew-toy for bastardBolton and relative rest for Theon. No Arya would have meant no spearwives' help to escape, and no Arya now would mean anything from "return to sender-Ramsey" to "just burn him, he takes up space and valuable food reserves"

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As for Jeyne, there is a clear parallel with her maintaining the ruse of Arya's identity, and Arya's further severing of that identity in the Temple of the Many-Faced God. The fact that even now GRRM is not stopping with this Jeyne storyline leads me to believe she may continue to represent Arya until the end of the series, or close to it. He did say that identities were a major theme in ADWD, what makes someone who they are.

Sadly, I think you are right. however in the Riverlands there are a lot of people that know Arya is fake. And one very dangerous is in the Vale.

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For what it's worth, the only irrational part of Theon's mind continues to be Ramsay. Once the latter is killed, Theon should be unconstrained, at least mentally speaking. Obviously, his physical limitations are permanent.

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I do not think Bran warged Asha. I don't think he could she is too headstrong. I think she just wants a quick death for what is left of her brother and for Stannis to hurry up and win and support her claim to the Seastone Chair. (Her plan at the Kingsmoot was to join with Stannis - and receive lands in Westeros for it. )

I do find it incredibly interesting that now that Stannis doesn't have The Queen and Mel to tell him what to do, he has Asha filling that roll.

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Has Stannis had a POV chapter? I don't think so...

None of the kings had POVs. Robert, Joffrey, Tommen, Robb, Balon Greyjoy, Euron, Renley...and I don't think Stannis had either.

Right. We got Queen Cersei's p.o.v. and Queen Dany's :frown5:

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What a great christmas present. Thank you Mr. Martin!

It sure looks from this chapter that all the speculation about Aegon and the Blackfyre line was dead on. STannis'es mention of Bittersteel and Daemon Blackfyre is just foreshadowing for those readers who haven't been lucky enough to read the specualtion on this board.

Also a nice introduction into the "are the Maesters following their own agenda theme", which I now believe will be expanded on.

I have always that that Stan is the man- this chapter only confirms it. I love his total lack of tolerance for bullshit, his decisiveness- no ink? I;ll use my blood- and his unexpected reference to Maester Cressen as almost his father. That one got me a little teary-eyed.

Manderly has some 'splaining to do, but once Stannis finds out Davos is NOT dead at too-fat-to-ride's hands, they will be awesome together. And Manderly can provide ships to bring back the sellswords Stannis will hire with the Iron Bank's gold.

I enjoyed reading about Essos, unlike many posters here. Sending for sellswords in Braavos will tie together the Westeros and Essos storylines at last. We might get to hear more from the Sealord of Braavos who signed Dorne's marriage contract, Arya of course, the courtesans with the Targaryen ancestors, and the faceless men, all of whom will figure into the negotiations for sellsword companies. I believe that the Tattered Prince in Pentos will figure into this as well.

If MArtin releases one new chapter every few months, I think I will be able to survive until the next book comes out.

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One of the most important parts of this chapter is the meeting that doesn't happen (or that we don't see)- between Stannis and the Northmen. Stannis thinks he has to execute Theon to satisfy the Northmen, but at least one Liddle already knows Bran is still alive. By now, whoever the head Liddle is with Stannis probably knows, also. Maybe the Norreys, Wulls, etc. But Stannis doesn't know. He thinks Bran and Rickon are dead. Conclusion- the Northmen are using Stannis to rescue "Arya", and are perfectly willing to withhold information from Stannis if that will help them. ("Arya" is much less valuable to Stannis if he knows Bran is still alive. And the Northmen want "Arya" rescued, because they're still loyal to the Starks.)

When the time comes to chop off Theon's head at the weirwood, and a raven swoops down and squawks, "Bran! Alive!", Wull and Norrey and Liddle will just look around and say, "Duh. We already knew that. Now cut his head off."

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I want some ravens screaming Jeyne Poole. That would scare some lying people. They know her name too, ha!

But it seems that ravens screams only the words they already heard.

Asha in ADwD speculated if provoking Stannis' men would lead to them killing her before burning, so she may try to do it as a kindness to her brother.

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I'd also like to add how great I thought this chapter was, but i've always been a huge Stannis fan (i'm currently playing as him in SW:ToR lol).

But i'm not so certain this is positive evidence for Ramsay's letter being fake. Ramsay is behind the Manderlay's and Freys, so lets just suppose that the Manderylays turn-cloak, smash the Freys and bring Lightbringer to Ramsay before he arrives as a ruse saying they killed Stannis. Didn't Ramsay also say he had Stannis' head on a spike? (I don't remember and don't have my book). This also shows that Jeyne will be gone (people didn't understand why he said I want Arya back), and theoretically Asha could sneak Theon away during the fighting (people didn't understand the I want my reek back either).

I'm obviously not certain, but i'm just incredibly scared that GRRM is building up our hopes that Stannis will win, only to disappoint us shortly after.

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Asha made it clear in ADWD that she feels burning is a hideous way to die, to the point where she was wondering if she could trick someone into slitting her throat if Stannis decided to send her to the pyre. They're surrounded by literally thousands of people who want Theon dead. I think Asha has just decided that, if she can't save Theon's life, at least she can mitigate some of his suffering.

Exactly. The best Asha can do for Theon now is appeal for a merciful and quick death, and perhaps she thinks that if they give a sacrifice to the old gods things will improve the situation for everyone there. She's a good strategist and her rationale may be just the thing to convince Stannis. After all, he can kill two birds with one stone: execute a turncloak and alleged murderer and placate the Northmen's quest for justice in a way that directly appeals to Northron sensibilities.

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I don't understand why many think Asha could possibly want to escape.

She needs Stannis's help to get the Iron Islands. Even she manages to get Dagmer her side at Torren's Square, no way she could retake Pyke with its small garrison. And it's even less likely that she succeeds escaping.

But I do agree that she wants Theon alive. She needs him to invalidate the kingsmoot.

Maybe she had an agreement with Bran...

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As to the Essos storyline:

We will have the Pentoshi on Aegon's side. Illyrio is not going to join them in Westeros without some token force at least.

And the new Volantene regime after the slaves join Daenerys will support her, I guess.

Leaving the Braavosi and the Faceless Men for Stannis. And I strongly expect now that Tycho's masters are in the House of Black and White. That's how Arya is going to join the main story.

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I don't understand why many think Asha could possibly want to escape.

She needs Stannis's help to get the Iron Islands. Even she manages to get Dagmer her side at Torren's Square, no way she could retake Pyke with its small garrison. And it's even less likely that she succeeds escaping.

But I do agree that she wants Theon alive. She needs him to invalidate the kingsmoot.

Maybe she had an agreement with Bran...

I don't think she plans on taking Pyke by force. All she needs to do is show up with Theon and claim the previous Kingsmoot invalid.

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1.Maybe the sellswords from braavos will help Massey and the greyjoy siblings retake pyke, but not now. White Harbour and its huge fleet will probably be the ones to finish off the Crows Eye.

2.The only sellswords I can see helping out Massey and Stannis(besides the facelessmen or other braavosi sellswords) are the Second Sons. Mainly because they are the only ones not fighting or dying.

3. Manderlys turnclocking in the field, during battle is not going to happen, because it will lead to utter chaos and confusion. No one will know who is the enemy and who is the ally, espcially not Stannis' men. They are also traveling separately. I somewhat see it playing out as one of these.

1. Manderly's are formerly from the Reach, where the Crow's Eye is pillaging...

2. Stannis is a Second Son... (the name for his sellswords then becoming apt :P)

3. And yet, chaos and confusion can sometimes win a battle. Hello, the taking of Winterfell.

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