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Sansa, The Hound, Brienne and The Valonquar (crackpot theory time)

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OK so I've been playing with this theory and plastering it around the forums a bit, but it tends to be in relation to more specific topics, so I thought I'd share it in full and see what people think of it.

I was thinking about what was going to happen next with Jaime and Brienne's story arc, and at the same time stumbled upon the theory that Sandor is in fact alive and is a gravedigger on the Quiet Isle - a theory I fully support, partly because the evidence seems well presented but mainly because I really felt his story was incomplete at the time of his "death".

Basically I think that there's going to be a massive fight, probably somewhere between The Vale and Harrenhall. In fact looking at the map, potentially Saltpans, slap bang between the Bloody Gate and Harrenhal itself. And I think this fight is going to be sparked when either Sansa is revealed by Littlefinger or Cercei finds out Baelish's plan ahead of time. I suspect the wedding between Harry the Heir and Sansa will be supposed to take place at Harrenhal, and that on the way there their retinue will be ambushed by a force led by none other than Ser Robert Strong.

I also think that The Brotherhood Without Banners will come to Sansa's rescue, including Jaime and Brienne, who by saving Sansa can prove to unCat once and for all that their oaths were true. They are most definitely somewhere in that area. I'm not sure how the BwB finds out about this, although since they have Tom Sevenstrings filling as some form of spy against the Freys he could be a likely candidate, should a raven arrive at Riverrun asking for Frey/Lannister support in killing Sansa. They're the nearest Lannister-controlled stronghold to Harrenhall so this would be likely.

I think when the retinue is ambushed by Ser Robert Strong a huge fight kicks off and the BwB turn up as the cavalry. I think firstly that Brienne will at this point have inherited the Hound helmet from Lem, in order to cover up her disfiguring scars. Secondly I think in the coming fight Robert Strong kills Thoros of Myr, who drops his flaming sword to the ground. I think after this Brienne and Jaime are left facing off against him, a battle in which Brienne's helmet is knocked off, she is mortally wounded/killed and Jaime is knocked to the ground.

At this point a mysterious character will pick up the helm and put it on, as well as take up the still-flaming sword dropped by Thoros. No prizes for guessing who this is. Sandor Clegane, who has been sitting on the quiet isle, and has broken his silence to come to his little bird's aid. He fights what is left of his brother, driving the flaming sword into his stupid big undead face, which causes the abomination to burst into flames. Sandor is mortally wounded in this effort and has a final moment with Sansa before he passes away, finally at peace with himself.

In a rage at the death of Brienne, Jaime then leaves for King's Landing to make Cersei account for her crimes. He will strangle her with the aid of his golden hand, not only making him the "valonquar" prophesised to Cercei but giving a nice parallel to Tyrion strangling Shay with the necklace of golden hands. I feel that the Lannister brothers' stories have been very much related in terms of content - Tyrion had to become a warrior/Jaime had to learn to use guile, Tyrion was born deformed/Jaime became deformed, Jaime is a kingslayer/Tyrion is (considered) a kingslayer - by also becoming a kinslayer Jaime has completed the circle and the two characters become equals. I think Brienne unfortunately has to die - it's the only thing that I believe would truly drive Jaime over the edge.

A couple of side-theories to this - I think that Sansa's husband-to-be will be killed in this fight, and I think she will be escorted by none other than Gendry, who she falls in love with. Yup, Sansa and Gendry, that's my theory. He may be a bastard, but he's a royal bastard, and I suspect after all this Sansa will be sick to death of noblemen anyway. There's also a bit of a telling joke Jaime makes about her having probably run off with "some blacksmith", which I think was a bit of a hint towards that. In the aftermath of this battle Sansa also finds out about Arya's story. I think the fact that Gendry protected Arya will act as a catalyst, also the fact he's clearly respectful to the ladies would go down well with her, too. Thinking about it if this goes down there's also a chance that he will inherit oathkeeper - then one remnant of Ice will be once again protecting the Stark line.

Another little theory I have is that Littlefinger will flee the scene and run into none other than unCat, whose final act will be dispatching him for being a generally horrible bastard. This would be pretty cool if he fled to Harrenhall, where Cat was waiting for him - "the ghost in harrenhal" so to speak :devil: . No real evidence for that one, I just think it'd be cool.

Oh, also, check out the geography of it all - if Sandor is alive he's on the Quiet Isle, right near Saltpans. The last place I remember the Brotherhood being holed up was right near the Crossroads Inn, also very close to Saltpans. This area is literally right between the Eyrie, where Sansa is now, and Harrenhal, whose lord is of course Petyr Baelish. Since Sansa is officially Petyr's bastard for the time being, it makes sense that any wedding planned would go down at Harrenhal, which is now his seat. It all looks set up perfectly to me..

http://awoiaf.wester..._Riverlands.png

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I absolutely love this theory. I find it plausible which might be bias at this point but I like it a lot. I guess it's dependent on whether the Quiet Isle/Sandor theory is true but hey, there have been crackpots based on less. I would like to see this happen :drunk:

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Well there's also Bran's dream in AGoT which kinda implies it -

He saw Sansa crying herself to sleep at night, and he saw Arya watching in silence and holding her secrets hard in her heart. There were shadows all around them. One shadow was as dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood.

This kind of implies that their fates depend upon those 3 shadows, two of which are obviously The Hound and Jaime, the third almost certainly being Robert Strong. It's a strange vision I'll admit because it shows Ned, Sansa and Arya in the present (at the time), but the shadows could represent something in the future. I believe this implies a conflict in which Jaime and Sandor battle Robert Strong over the fate of Sansa.

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Robert Strong is tied up in KL with Cersei's defense. Whatever has happened, has alreadt happened because Jaime has been missing for weeks, while Cersei has yet to stand trial.

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Oh this is all well after that - I believe Robert Strong will utterly crush whoever the faith put up against him in a trial by combat for Cersei's life. How long is Cersei left to stand trial anyway? I'm pretty sure she sends Jaime the letter while imprisoned, which he burns. Accounting for the time it'd take to send a raven across Westeros I'd say his dissapearance with Brienne and Cercei's trial aren't that far apart anyway. Additionally we're not accounting for whatever travelling time it may take Brienne and Jaime to reach unCat - this could be quite some time considering that the last known location of the brotherhood was near the Crossroads Inn and Jaime last met Brienne somewhere North of Riverrrun. You're probably talking a good 100 miles.

On top of that there's always the chance he survives for a while with the BwB because of some other factor, for example succeeding at a trial by combat, which unCat would have to honour.

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I just don't think Arya/Gendry romance was ever on the cards for some reason. They always had more of a friendship, and I think Arya's character progression has significantly moved away from the concept of romance altogether, not to mention physically away from Gendry's character. I always thought Aegon was heading towards an alliance with Dorne, I'm almost certain he'll be married off to Arianne Martell as after all those POVs it would seem silly if she played no significance in the greater story.

Gendry I think is suited to Sansa, she seems to represent the gentler side of the Starks whereas he seems to embody the nobler side of the Baratheons. Also his entire storyline with Arya is entirely important information to Sansa (I don't think she will ever actually see unCat, not "alive" at any rate). Currently Gendry's story is totally unfulfilled, but should unCat's final act be to put him in charge of the BwB and for them to be legitimised from outlaws to Sansa's official protectors, the game changes. UnCat would almost certainly do this since she undoubtedly knows that he spent several months protecting her daughter Arya. To me I also see Gendry as rising at some point. I can't help feel that Stannis is ultimately doomed and that Gendry is the hidden hope of the Baratheon line.

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Yup, Sansa and Gendry, that's my theory. He may be a bastard, but he's a royal bastard, and I suspect after all this Sansa will be sick to death of noblemen anyway. There's also a bit of a telling joke Jaime makes about her having probably run off with "some blacksmith", which I think was a bit of a hint towards that.

i've always wondered about jaime telling her to run off with some blacksmith. at this point, gendry and edric are the only heirs of robert's still alive so it might be interesting to see how that plays out.

amazing theory.

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I'll be honest it's not the bit I feel most strongly about, Sansa/Gendry's kind of a side-theory, just a possibility that could happen as a result. The one I really believe is that Brienne has to die at the hands of Robert Strong so that Jaime will become the Valonquar. Especially after analysing Tyrion's story in comparison to Jaime's I feel there's no doubt whatsoever that Jaime will kill Cersei as becoming a kinslayer completes the juxtaposition of the two characters. As it stands Jaime and Cersei have obviously fallen out, but currently Jaime seems to simply not care about her as opposed to genuinely hating her. It would take an extremely crappy move on Cersei's part to push Jaime that far over the edge, and since Brienne appears to be the one thing that has redeemed him thus far, Cersei being responsible for her death would most definitely fit the bill.

Even if Sandor doesn't resurface (although let's face it that would be completely epic), there's a very, very good chance Brienne will inherit his helm from Lem - I really don't think Martin disfigured her face just for the hell of it - so either way Bran's vision would come true. I definitely believe Sansa is the key to all this, she's such a strong motivation for all the characters involved - Brienne, Jaime, Catelyn, Cersei and Sandor's fates are all inextricably linked to hers in some way or another. Littlefinger is another character for whom Sansa is obviously a key player, and his link to Cat is referred to so much that I believe those two are also destined to be reunited - although possibly not in the way Littlefinger had hoped.

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Great theories! I always thought Arya and Gendry would end up together, but you have a good argument for Sansa and Gendry. I hope we get to see the Stoneheart/LF scene... She will destroy him.

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I...don't think this is a crackpot theory. Like...at all. This sounds not only plausible, but highly likely.

I think at some point one of the Baratheon bastards, either Gendry or Edric Storm, will marry one of the Stark girls, completing Robert's dream of joining Stark and Baratheon together. I'd love it if it turned out to be Arya and Gendry, but Sansa is possible too. It should be noted that Brienne knows who Gendry is, or who his father is. At some stage, I'm expecting Gendry to become legitimized. I don't have any real evidence to back that up, it's just a gut feeling. They've introduced the concept of bastards becoming heirs, but haven't explored it much (well, beyond Ramsey Bolton). It should also be noted that Jon has been legitimized by Robb, and almost certainly won't be in the Night's Watch moving forward. Just a whole bunch of stuff to think about if Jon becomes King in the North.

I like your idea about a big, giant battle a lot. I fully support the Sandor/Gravedigger theory, and that his story isn't really complete yet. And Jaime turning out to be the brother who kills Cersei seems likely too, or at least, very possible. When you factor in Bran's vision from AGOT, which seems to really neatly fit your theory, it makes it seem even more likely.

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I don't care if it's crackpot - I love everything about it! I hope some of it goes down like that.

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I do think this is a pretty good theory.

I've been searching my thoughts and come to the conclusion that one way or another Brienne is doomed to die. She's one of my favourite characters and I want her to live and have babies! But... If it's a toss up between her and Jaime, he has more left to do and we suspect he loves her, in fact, those feelings are the only positive ones he has left since Tyrion lied to him about Joff... So that has to be the trigger.

As for Sandor... In my version the faith puts up Lancel to go against Ser Rob in Cersi's trial, but at the very last moment this large and clearly irate silent brother arrives on fierce black destrier and breaks his vow to demand to be allowed to take the field instead. Quietly relieved, Lancel gives way.

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I like this theory. I love the idea of UnCat confronting LF, I feel that her story isn't completed until 1) she sees at least one of her children again (but this is GRRM so it's unlikely to happen, or if it those it would be terribly tragic) 2) she kills the man responsible for the death of her husband, LF.

Sandor's story isn't complete either as long as he hasn't faced his brother. It could be in the Faith's trial, but it would be much more epic during a giant battle :)

I never considered Harrenhal as the place for Sansa and Harry the Heir's wedding (was it said in the book? I don't remember), but it would make sense and open up so many great possibilities. I like Harrenhal and i think we're not done with it and its ghosts. I also like the Gendry/Sansa theory, because the "some blacksmith" and also because she was betrothed to Robert's son, instead she got Joffrey as her fiance, but it would be nice if the man she married/ended up with turned out to really be Robert's son.

I don't Brienne to die though. And I don't think Jaime will be the valonqar. I think it will be something less obvious.

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I like this theory.

I also like the Gendry/Sansa theory, because the "some blacksmith" and also because she was betrothed to Robert's son, instead she got Joffrey as her fiance, but it would be nice if the man she married/ended up with turned out to really be Robert's son.

I don't Brienne to die though. And I don't think Jaime will be the valonqar. I think it will be something less obvious.

Good to be in agreement.

Can you imagine Brienne telling stories to her grandchildren about this large ungainly mystery knight? Given her interactions with Pod I think she'd make an excellent mother.

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As a general rule, the longer and more detailed a theory the less likely it is to come true. Not much of a stretch to say this one fits that criteria and seems to be lots of supposition mostly based upon what Bran saw back in GOT.

1. Brienne putting on the Hound's Helm would be a bad thing. It's a symbol of the Hound persona and all the negativity and evil that goes with it. Sandor Clegane not only had to shed it., but it was the marker for his "grave". It pops up again when Brienne kills Rorge and Biter, two nasty pieces of work. Then, later we see Lem Lemoncloak wear it and he's become increasingly Hound like as well.

2. The vision we saw of Bran most likely already took place as everything else he saw was in the present. I believe it's more likely to do with the events of Lady's death and shortly thereafter. The Hound killed Mycah and Jaime, as we learn in Feast, was on the hunt for Arya. No reason why this one image of his would not be in the present and none offered by this theory.

3. This theory assumes that Sansa will meekly go along with her marriage to HtH and the death of her cousin Robert which is contrary to what we saw in her final chapter in Feast.

4. There is no compelling reason for the marriage, if it were to happen, to take place at Harrenhal. It's a ruin and winter has arrived. Why would the noble houses of the Vale relocate to have the marriage take place at LF's supposed place of power? If this marriage were to move forward for some reason, it'll happen in the Vale, not Harrenhal.

5. With Harrenhal, LF used the castle as a means to an end. It was a way for him to advance his status enough to marry Lysa and gain control of the Vale. LF has also flat out said he had no intention of ever occupying Harrenhal and in this case he was likely telling the truth, especially given the wider context of the conversation he was having with Sansa.

6. As for Jaime and his prediction, the first part of what he said is that it's best if she forgets that she was ever a Stark and that ain't gonna happen. In her last chapter, we saw Sansa constantly peeking out behind the Alayne persona. Not only that, but the imagery and symbolism around Sansa have become increasingly aligned with the North and WF for quite some time. She may very well decide to marry some day but this scenario isn't going to happen.

7. Sansa's final chapter in Feast ended before many of the big events we saw that book and Dance. However, in Dance, information on the Vale was not available. It seems that particular kingdom has been quite silent which is a big hint that something is happening in those mountains. If the big event was a wedding between the heir to the Vale and LF's bastard (or Sansa), news would have leaked out. Whatever important event is happening in Sansa's storyline right now, it's in the Vale - not Harrenhal.

8. Who is going to legitimize Gendry? Tommen won't do it and why would Aegon care? Stannis all the way up in the North and would have no desire to do so either as Gendry, as a bastard, could be rival claimant for his daughter. He's a bastard blacksmith who works for a group of outlaws.

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I am reminded of WWE storyline predictions for Wrestlemania. All make sense until Vince MacMahon/George RR Martin step in and do what they want to.

What did Clausewitz say about a plan surviving first contact with the enemy?

If this is true, half of Martin's work is done for him. :bowdown:

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I also have to agree with those who think that Harrenhall is a bit too run down for a nice wedding reception. BUT... Considering how well other receptions have fared in the past, what have they got to lose?

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Yes I support this theory, it looks plausible. And well, I also made a thread about the Sansa/Gendry pairing a couple days ago.

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