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GreenHand

Warrior's Sons: Crystals, Knight-Assassins and a Trial by Magic

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Just wanted to add on the subject of crystals and the Faith....didn't the High Septon have a crown made of crystal? And if I recall correctly, I think it was stated in AFFC that it was sold....(?)

You are quite right, the new unhigh septon tells Cersei the replacement crystal crown was sold, as noted in the last full paragraph in the post above. An airy confection of gold and crystals. We don't know if it was sold outright, or just the gold.

Maybe the crystals will be part of the amour for Faith's challenger to Robert Strong (doesn't a person have to remove their helm when they are knighted? Maybe not in Martinworld) and the pureness of the crystals will burn away the foul alchemy of Qyburn's Gregorstein.

Or something.

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Since this thread is devoted to the resurgence of the armed branch of the Church of the Seven, and the powers that can be behind it, I'd like to mention a little detail that has intrigued me. In Stannis army, there is a particularly devout lord, Lord Sunglass, with the seven pointed star on the shield. Lord Sunglass deserted Stannis' camp after Melisandre has burnt his brother, and sailed to Volantis (Davos, ASoS).

It's a remarkable sign of devotion to put the sign of the Seven on a shield. Why would such a strong believer sail to Volantis, where the Faith of the Seven is unknown? Could it be a hint that some power in Volantis has concluded has an alliance with the Church and is encouraging its resurgence?

There are other possible interpretations, I just wanted to share this one in case someone can make another connection.

The relationship between the Faith of the Seven and Essos bears some examination. Let us not forget that the Faith of the Seven began in Essos (Andalos). Whatever drove the Andal adventurers out of Andalos (to Westeros) may also drove them East, even if their faith did not flourish in the face of locally stronger religions.

While considering the history and status of Andal Faith in Southern Essos, consider a new consideration in Volantis. Like many Essos City-States the status quo is built on slaves, which in Volantis currently outnumber the free citizens by a large proportion. It is a dangerous situation that has some of the old nobility nervous. The Cult R'hllor is extremely powerful in Volantis but is particularly popular with the lower ranks society, including the slaves, and is completely inclusive in its membership. With the Red Religion now stirring up the masses behind Dany as Azor Ahai reborn is precarious powder keg in an already dangerous situation for the Volantis Oligarchy (Elephant or Tiger). This can not go unnoticed.

With their interests and legacy (And pride as the jewel & de facto new Capital of the old Valyrian Empire) in jeopardy, I cannot imagine that the established powers and agents in Volantis are pro-R'hllor. Under these circumstances the Volantis nobles are desperately looking around for a life line are no doubt very receptive to the influence of other religions.

Is it possible Ser Robert Strong is the Warrior re-born? I know it sounds crazy but what's with the piety?

When Cersei meets with the High Sparrow and suggests restoring the Faith Militant he declares:

And when Qyburn introduces Robert Strong he informs Cersei of his holy vow:

Earlier Qyburn suggests a new champion for the Kingsgaurd, should anything happen to Loras, he describes a champion that is most devout:

When we last saw the Mountain he was donning a 7 pointed star as his sigil:

Perhaps the shield hints at the reappearance/re-birth when Ser Robert Strong is presented in numerous symbols of the faith:

There is also this little exchange between Jamie and Lancel (as Jamie sees his Father’s bones out the God’s Gate):

If Robert Strong is the Warrior re-born...that would be some serious magic...we're talking jesus grade power.

A very interesting theory. I like it.

Like Tyrion, I dismissed Gregor's last change in heraldry as pandering by Cersei. But maybe it was entirely an initiative of Gregor's. Gregor presents as brutish dolt, but we know that this is also driven by chronic blinding migraines all his life. To the larger world Sandor Clegane appears to be a similar character and only a handful of people have seen his other side. Perhaps there is more to Gregor Clegane and he had made a conversion of sorts towards the end of his life(?). (The last action he saw before the duel with Oberyn was the slaughter and pillage at Duskendale and Harrenhal, including the punishment of Vargo Hoat - Justice?).

Though dim and aggressive, The Mountain was also known to be shrewd in battle. Perhaps he chose not to underestimate Oberyn got help from some religious consultant. (i.e. he donned the seven-pointed star merely for utility to get an edge in battle which he typically never needed).

If there was some such true and deep and sincere conversion near the end or he partook in some rite of the Faith involving his seven-pointed star, then perhaps it effected how he died and how he was reborn. His dying was unusually long, so there would be little precedent for it in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. Maybe this adjusted Qyburns resurrection allowing a great spirit (such as one of the Seven) to inhabit the body. Qyburn could not have predicted this even as he was powering the process forth.

Perhaps such slow dying (and loss of blood, or replacement of blood with poison), allows for another being to take up residence in the body.

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The relationship between the Faith of the Seven and Essos bears some examination. Let us not forget that the Faith of the Seven began in Essos (Andalos). Whatever drove the Andal adventurers out of Andalos (to Westeros) may also drove them East, even if their faith did not flourish in the face of locally stronger religions.

While considering the history and status of Andal Faith in Southern Essos, consider a new consideration in Volantis. Like many Essos City-States the status quo is built on slaves, which in Volantis currently outnumber the free citizens by a large proportion. It is a dangerous situation that has some of the old nobility nervous. The Cult R'hllor is extremely powerful in Volantis but is particularly popular with the lower ranks society, including the slaves, and is completely inclusive in its membership. With the Red Religion now stirring up the masses behind Dany as Azor Ahai reborn is precarious powder keg in an already dangerous situation for the Volantis Oligarchy (Elephant or Tiger). This can not go unnoticed.

With their interests and legacy (And pride as the jewel & de facto new Capital of the old Valyrian Empire) in jeopardy, I cannot imagine that the established powers and agents in Volantis are pro-R'hllor. Under these circumstances the Volantis nobles are desperately looking around for a life line are no doubt very receptive to the influence of other religions.

A very interesting theory. I like it.

Like Tyrion, I dismissed Gregor's last change in heraldry as pandering by Cersei. But maybe it was entirely an initiative of Gregor's. Gregor presents as brutish dolt, but we know that this is also driven by chronic blinding migraines all his life. To the larger world Sandor Clegane appears to be a similar character and only a handful of people have seen his other side. Perhaps there is more to Gregor Clegane and he had made a conversion of sorts towards the end of his life(?). (The last action he saw before the duel with Oberyn was the slaughter and pillage at Duskendale and Harrenhal, including the punishment of Vargo Hoat - Justice?).

Though dim and aggressive, The Mountain was also known to be shrewd in battle. Perhaps he chose not to underestimate Oberyn got help from some religious consultant. (i.e. he donned the seven-pointed star merely for utility to get an edge in battle which he typically never needed).

If there was some such true and deep and sincere conversion near the end or he partook in some rite of the Faith involving his seven-pointed star, then perhaps it effected how he died and how he was reborn. His dying was unusually long, so there would be little precedent for it in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. Maybe this adjusted Qyburns resurrection allowing a great spirit (such as one of the Seven) to inhabit the body. Qyburn could not have predicted this even as he was powering the process forth.

Perhaps such slow dying (and loss of blood, or replacement of blood with poison), allows for another being to take up residence in the body.

thanks, your praise means a lot. I've always enjoyed reading your posts and have found them to be very insightful.

One more thing to note is the Name- Strong.

House Strong is an old extinct house that once ruled Harrenhal. Perhaps Qyburn picked the name by chance perhaps it was because of something he learned while at Herrenhal. The Mnt. also came to Kl form Harrenhal. Herrenhal is currently garrisoned by the holy hundred, having been sent their by Cersie's small council, jamie suspects Orton Merryweather, mayhaps there's some Faith driven conspiracy involving Harrenhal.

In AFfC we learn the story of Lucamore Strong who was gelded and sent to the wall by his kingsguard brothers for having forsaken his vows and sired 16 kids w/ 3 different women. Robert Strong presumably won't be fathering any bastards, but he's still concealing the truth and could well find himself at odds w/ his brothers. The story of lucamore the lusty is also linked w/ the story of Terrence Toyne who's love for one of Aegon IV's lovers caused the the KG to split apart and the downfall of house Toyne. Both instances involve betrayal and destruction as a result of forbidden love....will Robert actually defend Cersei or will his existence tear the KG apart resulting in the downfall of a sinful court?

House Strong also seem intimately connected to Targaryen infighting:

In ADwD there are two men claiming to be Strongs in the Golden Company (Black Dragons).

And House Strong also figured prominently in the Dance of Dragons (Green vs. Black) presumably as Black Dragons

there was Larys Strong who was master of whisperers in the lead up to the Dance of Dragons

http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/07/dangerous-women-george-r-r-martin-excerpt%C2'>

according the wiki Lyonel Strong was Rhaenyra's consort and for a time he was the hand to Viserys I.

sorry if that was rambling/off topic...but it seems that House Strong has some significant back story w/ regard to the Targ-wars...and that Harrenhal could factor prominently in the conflagration between the faith and what they consider the evil of the realm.

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n AFfC we learn the story of Lucamore Strong who was gelded and sent to the wall by his kingsguard brothers for having forsaken his vows and sired 16 kids w/ 3 different women. Robert Strong presumably won't be fathering any bastards, but he's still concealing the truth and could well find himself at odds w/ his brothers.


Wait, 16 kids? Isn't that the exact number of Robert's bastards!?



If there was some such true and deep and sincere conversion near the end or he partook in some rite of the Faith involving his seven-pointed star, then perhaps it effected how he died and how he was reborn. His dying was unusually long, so there would be little precedent for it in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. Maybe this adjusted Qyburns resurrection allowing a great spirit (such as one of the Seven) to inhabit the body. Qyburn could not have predicted this even as he was powering the process forth.


The Seven-Who-Are-One is the only faith in Westeros that does not have some version of reincarnation/resurrection as far as I remember. The red wizards can breathe fire/life into others, the Drowned God has his drowned men, even the old gods have the 'second life' of skinchangers and greenseers who can intertwine their lives with trees and live for a long time. It would be neat if it turned out that the Faith has its own method.


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I too think that the maesters and the faith have a common anti magic agenda, and that it is possible that the warrior's sons use some special powers to combat foes. reminds me of the templars in dragon age.

I agree with the agendas of the faith of the 7 and The Citadel having anti- magic agendas. Add the fact that much of the history of Westeros is written by either Septons or Maesters and you have a natural alliance.

The return of the Faith Militant is interesting in that with an anti- magic military they will go after most likely Melisandre and the BwB. By going after Mel they will have to go through Stannis. It could get interesting to say the least.

I wonder if GRRM is using as an influence the Spanish Inquisition? It sure seems like it what with the High Sparrow trying both Cersci and Maergery and putting all witnesses to the " question".

The problem the faith of the 7 has in regard to militarization is lack of Knights and lack of someone to organize the "Sparrows" into a fighting force. If they try to convict Maergary of any crimes, the Tyrells will slaughter them. They need time to organize and the High Sparrow knows it. He does seem at least a little politically astute, so maybe he will drop all charges against Maergary and go after Cersci.

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The High Sparrow is a Flagellant, he says as much when he's telling Cercei how he got the real confessions from Kettleblack. That could account for any presumed need for blood.


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The High Sparrow is a Flagellant, he says as much when he's telling Cercei how he got the real confessions from Kettleblack. That could account for any presumed need for blood.

Interesting I must have missed that. He does come off as an extremely pious SOB. Time to reread Cersci. Could you point me to that particular chapter Nathan?

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And House Strong also figured prominently in the Dance of Dragons (Green vs. Black) presumably as Black Dragons there was Larys Strong who was master of whisperers in the lead up to the Dance of Dragons

according the wiki Lyonel Strong was Rhaenyra's consort and for a time he was the hand to Viserys I.

sorry if that was rambling/off topic...but it seems that House Strong has some significant back story w/ regard to the Targ-wars...and that Harrenhal could factor prominently in the conflagration between the faith and what they consider the evil of the realm.

Lyonel Strong was the Hand, Harwin Strong was Rhaenyra's champion and, perhaps, other things. Both died in fire at Harrenhal. Lyonel also brought a few daughters that served as handmaidens to the Targs to court with him.

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“Aye. He did that. I have heard many men confess, Your Grace, but seldom have I heard a man so pleased to be so guilty.”

“You whipped him!”

“There can be no penance without pain. No man should spare himself the scourge, as I told Ser Osney. I seldom feel so close to god as when I am being whipped for mine own wickedness, though my darkest sins are no wise near as black as his.”

[AFFC:Cercei X]

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One thing I feel I want to point out. It has little to do with this topic, but it is about the Faith of the Seven. This will seem crazy at first, but hear me out:


The Faith of the Seven started out in Essos, in the Western Hills of Andalos (an area around Braavos, Pentos and Myr). The religion came into existence at least six thousand years ago. It is near to impossible that all of the Andals moved over to Westeros. In real life, some people always stay behind. (The Saxons who invaded England, and are the equivalent of the Andals, still have relatives in Germany.) Therefore, there should be huge communities that worship the Seven in Western Essos. But there aren't. Instead, there are a bunch of little pagan enclaves. Around five to four thousand years ago, the Valyrian Freehold probably entered Andalos, an area where theoretically the Seven would hold the loyalty of a large number of people.



But, the Valyrians have two very good reasons to clash with the Faith of the Seven: slavery and incest. Both are reviled by the Faith, and both are integral parts of Valyrian culture. It is very likely that the Valyrians wiped out the Faith of the Seven in Essos, but couldn't come to Westeros because the Faith was more powerful across the sea. (I don't buy the idea that the Valyrian Freehold would pass up Westeros. It was rich, fertile and contains huge amounts of resources. If it was truly as primitive as the Targaryens claimed, that would actually mean it would be easier for the Valyrians to take control, as no one would be organized enough to stop them. Empires tend to conquer disunited areas all the time.) It is more likely that the Andal rulers of the Seven Kingdoms, listening to the Faith of the Seven, presented a formidable challenge to the Valyrian Lords. (Note that at the time before Aegon's Conquest, the Stormkings were interfering in the wars of the Free Cities. They were apparently more advanced than the Targaryens wanted to admit.)



My theory is the Faith accepted Aegon, because they assumed he would abandon his Valyrian ways, and they wanted a united, peaceful Seven Kingdoms. And he did, somewhat. (Note that he must have freed his slaves, and Daenerys seems to believe that she has a duty to end slavery where she finds it. It never occurs to her that slavery is as Valyrian as dragon pie, to paraphrase the saying.) However, the Targaryens would not get rid of the incest. So the faith revolted, only being defeated by a mix of Maegor's cruelty and Jaeherys' shrewd negotiation. (I also believe the Starks and Ironborn played a role. They are not loyal to the Faith. It is possible that the Targaryens tolerated the Ironborn's religion because if a Septon got uppity, they could sic the Ironborn on his people.) Possibly, Robert's Rebellion was part of a long-term plan by the Faith to get rid of the Targaryen kings of Westeros, and create a new order such as that under the High Sparrow, where the Faith will regain influence, bolstering faithful, non-incestuous houses, like the Tyrells. Note that Margaery apparently trusts the Faith to let her off, and the High Sparrow make Cersei's plan to discredit the Tyrells backfire. He did not say he did this out of loyalty to the Tyrells. But, the Tyrells do have a big connection to Oldtown (The current Mrs. Tyrell is a Hightower.) And Oldtown was the Center of the Faith before the Targaryen takeover. (The move to King's Landing was clearly to control the High Septon.) Perhaps the Septons in Oldtown want to run the show again, and are helping the nearby house rise up in exchange for independence. (They already have an army, and the last Tyrell-backed king, Renly, explicitly tied himself to the Faith with his Rainbow Guard.)



In other words, the Tyrells are allies of the High Sparrow and, more importantly, a faction in the Faith that wants to be independent from the Crown. Who else thinks it is at least possible?


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Damn, I always thought that the Faith was just that-faith, with no supernatural powers whatsoever, inspired by Christianity (no offense to any Christians).

And I suspected that the High Sparrow was either Varys, in league with Varys, or Howland Reed, and had nothing to do with magic (or in Reed's case, had something to do with Old God magic).

But I'm actually liking this theory a lot more now.

Great read.

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Greetings All


I have returned. :)



I am alway glad to hear that some have enjoyed my posts. Thank you.




Davos and the Religious Conflict


It is interesting that you mention Davos who has a unique insight and stake in the conflict between the Red Religion and the Faith of the Seven. Should Stannis fall Davos may feel loyalty-bound to avenge him (possibly with an extracted dying vow from Stannis). It is clear that Davos blames Melisandre and her ways and faith for much that has gone wrong. And he feels strongly about the descration of the Seven and is more than merely uneasy about the unnatural horrors he has witnessed. He is itching for a chance to dispatch the Red Priestess. Davos has relinquished/deferred his dream of an Essos voyage to and personal freedom to buy a better life for his children in a better world. Melisandre and her growing influence melitates against all of that for Davos. She is the heart of the rot for him.


I can see him approaching the Faith Milatant of his own accord seeking allies against Melisandre and the Red Faith. He is a fair man who has bitten his tongue and tied his hands on to much related to Melisandre. He is both a knight and a man of the commoners. Perhaps he coordinates the two branches of the Faith Militant in some fashion.



I would not discount his hearing of 'The Mother' out of hand. Martin sometimes introduces us to a reveal in small increments.



Davos is a man to watch in this conflict.


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