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HotU showed the Red Wedding ... or did it?

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Tze, who's one of the smartest, most thoughtful posters on here and to whom you should all pay attention, made an incredible observation about the vision of the Red Wedding that Dany sees in the House of the Undying. Namely, that it wasn't the Red Wedding that Dany saw.

I've written about it elsewhere, but to recap, the vision Dany sees in the House of the Undying encompasses a number of very specific details---the iron crown, hacked-off limbs, a silent wolf-headed King whose eyes follow Dany despite the fact that he's dead (and who's holding a leg of lamb like a scepter), the feast of roast fowl and bread on wooden dishes----that don't really line up with what happened at the Red Wedding. The feasters Dany sees are eating roast fowl and bread---Cat makes a big deal out of the crappy food that Walder Frey serves, and "roast fowl" and "heels of bread" were not served at the Red Wedding. (And since Cat was fixating on the food, you'd think she'd have mentioned if the food was served on wooden dishes, like Dany sees, yet Catelyn never makes any such mention.) There are no hallmarks of a wedding in the scene Dany sees---no wedding pie, no musical instruments, no bridal cloak (basically, nothing that indicates this was a wedding feast at all). Dany specifically mentions seeing a number of hacked-off hands---but there's no mention of hands being targeted during the Red Wedding, and in fact (given that the wedding guests had no weapons), there was no reason for the Freys to target people's hands; Cat had her throat slit, Robb was stabbed, etc. The wolf king is presiding over this feast, but a big deal was made at the Red Wedding of the fact that Robb was not presiding over it.

Robb's crown has been described on multiple occasions as a bronze crown with iron swords surmounting it, covered in runes---Dany sees the wolf-headed king wearing simply "an iron crown", and given that Robb's crown was so distinctive, that makes no sense if this was meant as a vision of the Red Wedding. Moreover, we saw a completely different Stark warg, Bran, described as having the head of a wolf in a vision in ADWD, so Robb is hardly the only person who can be described as a man with a wolf's head. (Not to mention, the image of a man seated on a throne, silent, "his eyes follow[ing] Dany with mute appeal", conjures up an image more similar to that of the greenseers entombed beneath Bloodraven's hollow hill than of Robb at, or after, the Red Wedding.)

Basically, I think this vision describes some unknown future event, not the Red Wedding. Too many of the details just don't sync up.

Even if this isn't about the Red Wedding, the event was still foretold in other places, namely in Jinglebell's song ("Blood on the fool, blood on the king, blood on the maiden's thigh. But chains for the guests and chains for the bridegroom, aye, aye, aye") and by the Ghost of High Heart (Catelyn's death and resurrection and Grey Wind left outside to howl).

To make my own contribution ... in Judeo-Christian mythos, lambs are a symbol of purity and innocence. If this vision does indeed pertain to Bran, might the lamb-leg "scepter" be a symbol of him losing his innocence on his path to being a greenseer? I know several posters subscribe to the idea that Bloodraven's/the Children's motives aren't 100% pure.

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I kind of wish there was a "Tze's compendium to ASOIAF."

I definitely think that Bran's heading toward the dark side of greenseeing/ warging, and I can potentially get on board with this scene's being something other than the RW.

If it's not about the RW, I could see it also applying to Jon. There's been a lot of speculation that he'll pull a Varymyr and survive the assault by warging Ghost, which might fit into the wolf's head image as well. I just skimmed his last chapter to see if there was any reference to wooden plates or the food served in the Shield Hall, and didn't see any...but maybe something in the future?

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If it's not about the RW, I could see it also applying to Jon. There's been a lot of speculation that he'll pull a Varymyr and survive the assault by warging Ghost, which might fit into the wolf's head image as well. I just skimmed his last chapter to see if there was any reference to wooden plates or the food served in the Shield Hall, and didn't see any...but maybe something in the future?

That's possible, too. The food and dinnerware in the scene seems "simple" and without frills. That could easily point to the Watch, where delicacies and fine china aren't really on the menu. Only thing is ... Jon already shows up in her visions, doesn't he? Not sure he'd repeat. The "big picture" nature of most of the visions makes me think too that the Red Wedding is, forgive me, not "important enough" to show up — it's mostly a political development that doesn't seem to have much if anything to do with the grand scale fight that's supposed to come up. One person of clear importance with no obvious link to any of Dany's visions (if you accept the Red Wedding solution here) is, actually, Bran.

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Its a plausible theory.

Got to point out though that Cats description with the crap food but abundant drink is a prime indication that something dodgy is going on. But who knows.

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Got to point out though that Cats description with the crap food but abundant drink is a prime indication that something dodgy is going on. But who knows.

Well yeah, but how does that relate to this idea? Her point was that Catelyn makes a note of the menu and it doesn't contain roast fowl or bread.

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I am glad that a thread was made because I find tse's view really interesting.

Ultimately I still think that it was the red wedding because it fits so well (Wolf King, guests eating, etc, etc) and I can't imagine another event happening that is so similar to the prophecy as the red wedding. So similar despite differences. Maybe another Stark gets killed in a feast while eating under guest right while having a crown, but I doubt it.

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I don't see the difference in the two scenes as being that great, presonally. Some difference in what is mentioned can be accounted for by differences in the narrators. Things Cat fixates on are going to be different then what Dany does. Both are going to be somewhat unreliable, Cat in particular given she is in the mist of the action and does not ‘live’ to see the end results. Dany as she somewhat freaks out & wants to rush past the room; additionally she has ingested the Shade of the Evening prior to entering the HotUD.

The feasters Dany sees are eating roast fowl and bread---Cat makes a big deal out of the crappy food that Walder Frey serves, and "roast fowl" and "heels of bread" were not served at the Red Wedding. (And since Cat was fixating on the food, you'd think she'd have mentioned if the food was served on wooden dishes, like Dany sees, yet Catelyn never makes any such mention.)

The only mention Cat makes of the dishes was the serving platters:

The servers were bringing out huge silver platters piled high with cuts of juicy pink lamb, the most appetizing dish they’d seen all evening.”

The only thing Danny mentioned is the “wooden spoons”, nothing else. I see this as both of them noting something different, not proof of different scenes.

Heals of bread may not have been specifically served, but bread was as Bolton was described as tearing bread at one point by Cat. Crappy food for the most part was described by Cat, but only major difference I see is the roast fowl. Not that big of deal to me.

There are no hallmarks of a wedding in the scene Dany sees---no wedding pie, no musical instruments, no bridal cloak (basically, nothing that indicates this was a wedding feast at all).

But would the bridal cloak & such still be there, as Rosland & Edmure had left the feast hall for the bedding? The ‘musicians’ had abandoned their instruments for their weapons. No mention was ever made of the wedding pie by Cat, so the lack of it doesn’t support the feast scene being anything else.

Dany specifically mentions seeing a number of hacked-off hands---but there's no mention of hands being targeted during the Red Wedding, and in fact (given that the wedding guests had no weapons), there was no reason for the Freys to target people's hands; Cat had her throat slit, Robb was stabbed, etc. The wolf king is presiding over this feast, but a big deal was made at the Red Wedding of the fact that Robb was not presiding over it.

There was steel present, sword belts hanging on the wall, many of the Frey & company who come in to attack are well armed. Cat’s viewpoint narrowed down to just Robb for the most part, then Walder Frey, Jinglebell & finally herself.

"Ser Ryman buried the head of his axe in Dacey’s stomach. By then men were pouring in the other doors as well, mailed men in shaggy fur cloaks with steel in their hands. Northmen! She took them for rescue for half a heartbeat, till one of them struck the Smalljon’s head off with two huge blows of his axe."

Guest may not have had swords, but did likely have daggers, as evidenced by Cat being able to pick one up off the floor. Daggers were used for everything, including as an eating utensil for many of the guest...or for defence when being attacked.

Robb's crown has been described on multiple occasions as a bronze crown with iron swords surmounting it, covered in runes---Dany sees the wolf-headed king wearing simply "an iron crown", and given that Robb's crown was so distinctive, that makes no sense if this was meant as a vision of the Red Wedding.

From an earlier chapter, Robb’s crown description:

“Robb reached down with both hands, lifted the heavy bronze-and-iron crown, and set it back atop his head, and suddenly he was a king again. “Lord Rickard dies.”

Is it that much to imagine Dany, in her brief glimpse of the scene only saw the iron portion of the crown? It is not as if she described a completely different type of metal, say a silver or gold crown.

Moreover, we saw a completely different Stark warg, Bran, described as having the head of a wolf in a vision in ADWD, so Robb is hardly the only person who can be described as a man with a wolf's head. (Not to mention, the image of a man seated on a throne, silent, "his eyes follow[ing] Dany with mute appeal", conjures up an image more similar to that of the greenseers entombed beneath Bloodraven's hollow hill than of Robb at, or after, the Red Wedding.)

From HotUD: In a throne above them sat a dead man with the head of a wolf. He wore an iron crown and held a leg of lamb in one hand as a king might hold a scepter, and his eyes followed Dany with mute appeal.”

Robb may not have been sitting on a throne during the feast, but we know there is a throne in the room:

In the midst of slaughter, the Lord of the Crossing sat on his carved oaken throne, watching greedily.

Considering what else they did to Robb & GreyWind, it is very possible he was moved to Walder Frey’s own throne, and that they put the leg of lamb into to his hand, as there was lamb served. In fact, both Wendel Manderly & Smalljon were had leg of lamb/mutton in their hand prior to being killed.

“The Smalljon bludgeoned Ser Raymund Frey across the face with a leg of mutton.”

“Ser Wendel Manderly rose ponderously to his feet, holding his leg of lamb. A quarrel went in his open mouth and came out the back of his neck.”

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If its about Bran maybe all the chopped off hands are in reference to the leaves on the heart tree. Definitely a stretch but just popped into my head.

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Honestly, I think tze's theory is simply missing the forest for the trees. The vision of the bloody feast does not have to be a literal depiction of the Red Wedding (certainly there are several other visions that are not entirely literal), and therefore the details do not have to be identical. All the essential broadstroaks are there, however: a king with the head of a wolf eating at a feast where he and his guests are slaughtered. The fact that some tiny details may differ does not negate the fact that the vision and the Red Wedding are remarkably similar.

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That's intersting. I read through both scenes again just now and there's no mention of any fowl that was served. I found lamb mentioned a lot at the end of the feast. It was served right before Edmure and Roslin went upstairs. A leg of lamb was in Wendel Manderlys hand when he turned to Caitlyn and asked her what was wrong- that was the moment when Cairlyn knew it was a mutiny.

I found 1 mention of bread and it was Roose who tore a piece off the loaf so he might have had the heel.

I think the hands might be symbolic, but bear with me because I have trouble recognizing a symbol LOL! The hands in Dany's vision are all holding things: spoons, cups, bread. I think maybe it symbolizes people being killed without provacation and being killed while they ate peacefully. An ambush.

But the roast fowl is weird. There was 2 feasts that night, one inside and one outside. I wonder if they were eating poultry out there?

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I think all the mention of lamb may be alluding to "lambs to the slaughter."

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Someone on my thread commented about it foreshadowing perhaps a RW sequel a the Lannister/Frey wedding coming up. I completely agree with that, especially with the way the man with the wolf's head (presumably Robb) was described.

He was in the high seat with a crown, calmly following Dany around with his eyes while everyone around him was dead. At the red wedding, Walder Frey was in the high seat. Robb was completely helpless, degraded, and treated like next to nothing. Could Robb being in a position of power in the vision, unlike the RW, symbolize his "presence" presiding over the next wedding? in terms of it being revenge in his name, and completely in the hands of the Starks this time around.

also if you think about the crown they nailed to his head to mock the "young wolf," it would be quite a nice twist to actually have him be powerful and fulfill the king role, even if its just because of the revenge exacted in his name.

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I just did a kindle search on wooden utensils/ serving ware. As it happens, the Night's Watch is the only mention of wooden platters, but everyone in Westeros it seems uses wooden spoons, so that's probably not a distinguishing feature as the quote only mentions spoons.

I agree with the above that the hands clutching foodstuffs and cups symbolize a violation of guest right.

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The RW was such a pivitol twist in the story arc against the fortunes of the North that I would not be surprised to see the story arc reversed in an equally provocative way. Since almost all of the characters in ASOIAF have commented on the omen of violating guest rights that I suspect that the ghost of the RW must come to haunt Frey and Bolton.

<edit for grammar>

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I must say, I'm amazed at the assumption here that a vision Dany saw in the HOTU back in Book 2 must inevitably be fulfilled already. Could the Undying just not see very far into the future? :) There are some similarities to the Red Wedding, but saying that this must be a vision of the Red Wedding, just because nothing else has happened as of Book 5 that more closely fits the vision, makes no sense to me. A group of feasters are slaughtered, and a dead wolf-headed king looks on---but we have several potential wolf-headed kings, at least one of whom is in line to be dead yet alive, and the idea of feasters getting killed doesn't strike me as the sort of thing that can only happen on a single occasion. Patchface's prophecy clearly depicts the Red Wedding, because its specific elements align perfectly with what happened in the Red Wedding. But Dany's vision encompasses a number of elements that weren't present at the Red Wedding (an iron crown, the wolf-headed king on a throne who's dead but somehow still alive and watching, the placement of specific foods, etc.), yet ignores many of the defining features that were present at the Red Wedding---the musicians, the dead fool, the crossbow bolts, etc.

From an earlier chapter, Robb’s crown description:

“Robb reached down with both hands, lifted the heavy bronze-and-iron crown, and set it back atop his head, and suddenly he was a king again. “Lord Rickard dies.”

Is it that much to imagine Dany, in her brief glimpse of the scene only saw the iron portion of the crown? It is not as if she described a completely different type of metal, say a silver or gold crown.

Robb's crown is described as being very distinctive, and GRRM makes sure readers know exactly what it looks like. Catelyn describes it as "an open circlet of hammered bronze incised with the runes of the First Men, surmounted by nine black iron spikes wrought in the shape of longswords." Jaime sees Ryman Frey's "queen of whores" wearing "a circlet of hammered bronze . . . graven with runes and ringed with small black swords." (Whether this is Robb's crown or Jeyne's, the description is too similar to discount.) Brienne later sees Lady Stoneheart holding "a bronze circlet ringed by iron swords." None of these crowns is ever described as "an iron crown", and we are given multiple descriptions that attest to that.

Dany saw enough of this scene to take in the carnage, discern exact food items still clutched in severed hands . . . the idea that she got a "brief glimpse" of the crown isn't supported by the level of detail she goes into. Robb's crown wasn't an "iron" crown, any more than a blue shirt with white trim would be described by anyone as a white shirt. Matching the two crowns requires us to ignore the very distinctive descriptions of Robb's crown, and GRRM tends to give distinctive descriptions to things for good reasons.

From HotUD: In a throne above them sat a dead man with the head of a wolf. He wore an iron crown and held a leg of lamb in one hand as a king might hold a scepter, and his eyes followed Dany with mute appeal.”

Robb may not have been sitting on a throne during the feast, but we know there is a throne in the room:

In the midst of slaughter, the Lord of the Crossing sat on his carved oaken throne, watching greedily.

Considering what else they did to Robb & GreyWind, it is very possible he was moved to Walder Frey’s own throne, and that they put the leg of lamb into to his hand, as there was lamb served. In fact, both Wendel Manderly & Smalljon were had leg of lamb/mutton in their hand prior to being killed.

“The Smalljon bludgeoned Ser Raymund Frey across the face with a leg of mutton.”

“Ser Wendel Manderly rose ponderously to his feet, holding his leg of lamb. A quarrel went in his open mouth and came out the back of his neck.”

First, I can't see Walder Frey letting anybody, even a corpse, sit on his throne while he's still breathing. :)

Second, this is actually part of my point. Walder Frey very explicitly presided (literally and metaphorically) over the Red Wedding, not Robb Stark. Presuming that he must have had Robb's corpse dragged onto his own throne sometime afterward is presuming information that 1) we're never given, and 2) goes against everything we know about Walder Frey (his whole schtick is his refusal to let anyone onto his seat of power). Wendell Manderly and the Smalljon had a leg of lamb----never Robb. Yet in Dany's vision, the slaughtered feasters are holding roast fowl, not lamb, and it's the dead king that's holding a leg of lamb.

The wolf-headed king in Dany's vision is dead----yet he's also in some way alive. Though she describes him as dead (she never specifies why she thinks he's dead), she also says his eyes follow her. She runs away, not from the carnage, but from him.

Dany's vision only encompasses a few sentences, so presumably everything she notices is important. Saying that this "must" be a vision of the Red Wedding requires us to twist what actually happened at the Red Wedding into a form that fits everything in the vision, and invent off-screen possibilities that allow the entire vision to fit the Red Wedding, which is exactly where all the characters who try to interpret prophecies in this series get into trouble. We'd have to assume that Robb's body must have been stuck on Walder Frey's throne sometime after the slaughter (or that Robb was metaphorically presiding over the slaughter, which just isn't the case), we'd have to assume that the two crowns must be the same even though they're described very differently, we'd have to assume that the presence and placement of food can only be metaphorical (yet the dead king who's also still alive holds the lamb, not the purely "dead" feasters). We'd also have to assume that the lack of the RW's many defining characteristics---musicians, for example.---is irrelevant. I'm wary of making these kinds of assumptions about a vision, because that's exactly what GRRM seems to be telling us (via the example of Melisandre) not to do.

Perhaps we'll get to the end of Book 7 and we'll never again have seen a group of feasters slaughtered in juxtaposition with a crowned Stark warg. But we have at least two books left, and I see no reason to assume that everything Dany saw in the hallway leading to the chamber of the Undying must already have been seen by Book 3.

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Red Wedding Part 2 will definitely be happening. Tom O' Sevens isn't at Riverrun because he has renounced violence. He's the Brotherhood's eyes and ears inside Riverrun

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@tze

I just want you to know how much I enjoy reading your analysis of events. I am really trying to improve my own analysis to meet the great standard you set.

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I still think it was the Red Wedding, mainly because Wolf headed king was holding a leg of lamb as a sceptre. Wendel Manderly was eating a leg of lamb when he was killed, and his death became very important in the future.

Just because these things weren't mentioned at the RW doesn't mean they didn't happen.

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Red Wedding Part 2 will definitely be happening. Tom O' Sevens isn't at Riverrun because he has renounced violence. He's the Brotherhood's eyes and ears inside Riverrun

I think this is a done deal, too. Whether or not it has anything to do with the vision.

I still think it was the Red Wedding, mainly because Wolf headed king was holding a leg of lamb as a sceptre. Wendel Manderly was eating a leg of lamb when he was killed, and his death became very important in the future.

Wendel Manderly is not symbolized by a wolf and is not a king. The KING in the vision is waving the leg of lamb, not any of the guests. A point that has already been made.

Like Tze said, if nothing like the Red Wedding happens again, then yeah this vision probably was the Red Wedding. But in the meantime, saying that it must be the Red Wedding because Wendel Manderly also ate lamb is reaching.

Just because these things weren't mentioned at the RW doesn't mean they didn't happen.

Near as I can tell, the only thing that adds up is a dead(ish) king with a wolf's head. The food doesn't match, the crown doesn't match, the supporting details (like the musicians) don't match. And Robb isn't the only Stark to be described in visions as having a wolf's head (Bran has, too) and really he's not even the only Stark who's a king (could be either Jon, Bran or Rickon, depending on the will).

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