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Slayer of Lies

Septon Chayle is the Hooded Man in WF (Theon I Spoilers)

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The pool in the godswood is cool, as pointed out in the AGOT quote in the OP (and elsewhere in this thread). The well is likely also cool, because it's a well.

That Chayle spoke of his ability to swim, then happened to be thrown down the well, and that the pool in the godswood is "bottomless" brings us to the premise of this theory - that Chayle is alive and well within the walls of WF, having resurfaced in the godswood sometime after his fall.

Note too that a different body was fished from the well, but Chayle's was never found.

Sure, he's a minor character (at current), but that does not preclude the possibility that he lived.

The bigger gotcha that I don't think anyone has mentioned is that Jojen foresees Chayle's death, so his greensight would have to be fallible for Chayle to be alive.

There are multiple pools in the godswood and I'm pretty sure we are told that some are hot. The other poster was right about Catlyns comments and there are also Jons about the glass gardens, they were kept warm, I believe with the water. However damn dude I can't believe no one else posted about Jojen seeing him die.

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There are multiple pools in the godswood and I'm pretty sure we are told that some are hot. The other poster was right about Catlyns comments and there are also Jons about the glass gardens, they were kept warm, I believe with the water. However damn dude I can't believe no one else posted about Jojen seeing him die.

Yep, there are several warm pools, and at least one cool pool. The glass gardens and parts of WF are warmed, presumably, by a separate water system than the well/cool godswood pool possible interconnection, with not a ton of "logistical" information to go on.

In any case, the godswood quote from the OP is a follows, which is where the “cool” and “bottomless” notions stem from, and hence the potential connection to the well system:

[quote name=“How can you swim in there?” he asked Osha. “Isn’t it cold?”

As a babe I suckled on icicles' date=' boy. I like the cold.” Osha swam to the rocks and rose dripping. She was naked, her skin bumpy with gooseprickles. Summer crept close and sniffed at her. “I wanted to touch the bottom.”

I never knew there was a bottom.”

Might be there isn’t.” She grinned.

Also, FWIW, Jojen’s vision is that “drowned men were floating in the yard,” and he recognizes that Chayle (who we later learn to be a “strong swimmer”) is one of them.

Nonetheless, it’s also possible (though not proven out yet) that the Greyjoy notion that “what is dead may not die, but rises again harder and stronger” is in play as well, as mentioned in the OP. After all, it’s Theon that throws Chayle down the well, telling him that his gods have no place here, and it’s Theon’s “ghosts” that have come back to haunt him.

I suppose this goes to say that it’s also possible that Chayle actually drowned/died for a moment, and resurfaced, coughing up water, to start his “new life.” Or that "drowned" does not necessarily equal "dead."

In any case, I’m in the same camp as a lot of people, not really yet seeing the point of Chayle being left alive, if it’s him. Having the HM be any number of other players (Robett, Harwin, etc.) seems like a more interesting/meaningful play to the overall story. But the text clues that point to Chayle’s possible survival and resurfacing make it an interesting possibility, and worthy of consideration in a world where GRRM manages to continually surprise his readers, even though the clues were right in front of you all along.

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I agree with Jslay427 and everyone else who says Chayle isn't the HM. The most obvious reason is that an alive Septon Chayle would have elicited more of a response from Theon one way or the other.



There are two basic explanations as to why the HM is not named - either GRRM wants to keep his identity a secret and/or that Theon simply doesn't know who he is.



I think everyone wants to assume that the HM is important. I agree that he is important, but I think who he is is irrelevant.



The point of having the encounter is not to create some mysterious spy in Winterfell (though GRRM may think of it as a bonus). It's to give a little more explicit reason why Theon himself should want to go on breathing instead of just getting someone to kill him quickly to put him out of his misery.



Theon now believes he has a purpose (the gods have a job for him) and is even willing to reveal the damage done to him to a complete stranger to stay alive for that purpose.

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Two thoughts on this:



1) There is a typo for Septon Cellador at the wall (mentioned already above but not acknowledged in this feed as a mistake by Martin or the press. I always took it as "one of those things", no big deal, easy to mistake one C-named septon for another. End of story. But what if Martin wrote Chayle as a Freudian slip? The chapter with the misnamed Septon Cellador is only 4-5 chapters AFTER the chapter with the hooded man. Maybe it is EASIER to make that mistake than I assumed?



2) Having played with that one, I'm not persuaded that the Hooded Man is Septon Chayle. I have respect for the Robett Glover theory, but think the familiarity that HM and Theon have for each other indicates Harwin. Doesn't seem like that is very popular among the people contributing to this feed, but I think it makes great sense that Lady Stoneheart sent up to Winterfell to check out the story of Arya's wedding and "save" her. Harwin was the one who begged Thoros to revive Lady Stark at the riverbank, weeping and with great emotional investment. Makes sense that he would become her most trusted agent, a sort of right-hand-man. Surely he was close to her, so why don't we see him at all at the attempted hanging of Brienne, Podrick and Ser Hyle? He's already heading up north, chasing the Arya rumor.



Ugh. Just noticed that Theon lists Harwin among the dead-and-gone a few chapters later. Probably everyone has noticed that before me. Why would he think of him as dead if he'd seen him in the flesh a just a bit earlier? Jory, Rodrik, Harwin, Hullen, Cayn, Desmond, Alyn, Tomard, Mikken, and Nan were in his list just then...who's missing from that list?



Well, I guess we'll all see, eventually!


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Been checking out the asoiaf timeline (not made by me) and Jaime and the Blackfish met on the 9th of May and the muders at Winterfell start on the 26 of June. That roughly a month and half for him to get from Riverrun to Winterfell, which is possible.

However, does Brynden know Winterfell? And how did he enter it? Though it's certainly possible, i think its more likely that he is heading to the Vale.

Kind of a stretch, date-wise - and there is the example of Desmond Grell and Robin Ryger, both of whom left Riverrun for the Wall with Raff the Sweetling within a few days of Brynden's escape. The wall is farther than Winterfell, granted, but seems like if they haven't arrived yet, Brynden's unlikely to have arrived.

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Kind of a stretch, date-wise - and there is the example of Desmond Grell and Robin Ryger, both of whom left Riverrun for the Wall with Raff the Sweetling within a few days of Brynden's escape. The wall is farther than Winterfell, granted, but seems like if they haven't arrived yet, Brynden's unlikely to have arrived.

I kind of doubt that Raff the Sweetling and the rest of the Mountains men will ever make it to the wall.

Theres just too many people who want them dead and not enough important people would care if they did die.

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Ugh. Just noticed that Theon lists Harwin among the dead-and-gone a few chapters later. Probably everyone has noticed that before me. Why would he think of him as dead if he'd seen him in the flesh a just a bit earlier? Jory, Rodrik, Harwin, Hullen, Cayn, Desmond, Alyn, Tomard, Mikken, and Nan were in his list just then...who's missing from that list?

Well, I guess we'll all see, eventually!

I hadn't remembered this! Thanks for reminding me! :thumbsup:

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Ugh. Just noticed that Theon lists Harwin among the dead-and-gone a few chapters later. Probably everyone has noticed that before me. Why would he think of him as dead if he'd seen him in the flesh a just a bit earlier? Jory, Rodrik, Harwin, Hullen, Cayn, Desmond, Alyn, Tomard, Mikken, and Nan were in his list just then...who's missing from that list?

Interestingly, Harwin appears as alive in the appendix of AFFC (and is mentioned as being present during Cat's resurrection), though does not appear at all in the appendix of ADWD, despite his (singular) mention in Theon's chapter.

One thing Chayle has going for him, at least, is being mentioned before Theon's HM encounter, and then being "left out" of Theon's musings after the HM encounter.

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Interestingly, Harwin appears as alive in the appendix of AFFC (and is mentioned as being present during Cat's resurrection), though does not appear at all in the appendix of ADWD, despite his (singular) mention in Theon's chapter.

One thing Chayle has going for him, at least, is being mentioned before Theon's HM encounter, and then being "left out" of Theon's musings after the HM encounter.

Harwin was with Stoneheart when she questioned Breinne in her last chapter in AFFC, he was her translator.

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Harwin was with Stoneheart when she questioned Breinne in her last chapter in AFFC, he was her translator.

Right, and then his final two "virtual appearances" are in the AFFC appendix, listed as living, and then Theon thinking he's dead, which isn't necessarily conclusively "dead." Bran (in ACOK) thinks Harwin is dead too, for that matter, and then we encounter him multiple times thereafter.

So it seems Harwin should have been "continued into" the ADWD appendix, for the fact that he's in AFFC, but the problem there is that the entire BwB is missing from the ADWD appendix, at least in my version. If the BwB were/are listed in the appendix of a publication variant of ADWD that I don't have, Harwin might still listing as living.

However, the point as pertains to this thread, I believe, is that Theon thinks of Harwin as dead (in Theon I, chapter 51) shortly after he has the HM encounter (in A Ghost in Winterfell, chapter 46), which seems to basically eliminate Harwin from the running, despite the fact that he may very well still be alive.

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Harwin was with Stoneheart when she questioned Breinne in her last chapter in AFFC, he was her translator.

You mean the outlaw in the sheepskin jerkin who presented Oathkeeper? That guy is described as a northman, true enough. Thoros seemed to speak of Harwin as though he is not there when he describes Lady Stoneheart's resurrection, but I guess it could be read as though Harwin were there. Are there descriptions of Harwin's clothing from SoS that clinch it?

Hmm, did not catch that one on any of my many reads (nor my elaborate character indexing project). Wow. Chayle is looking better and better as an HM candidate...

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Well I think the problem here is that you need to consider it from the point of view that Theon does think it's someone who's dead.. or someone he assumes is dead.. just not Septon Chayle, who is given very few mentions in the book, and who is not connected to any other events apart from the taking of WF. Septon Chayle only shows us the symbolic nature of greendreams.



But there are two or three characters who Theon would reasonably believe to be dead among the main candidates for HM. Hal Mollen , Harwin and Benjen. I think it's Benjen, myself.. but I think you can make a pretty good case for Harwin and maybe a slightly lesser one for Hal.


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However, the point as pertains to this thread, I believe, is that Theon thinks of Harwin as dead (in Theon I, chapter 51) shortly after he has the HM encounter (in A Ghost in Winterfell, chapter 46), which seems to basically eliminate Harwin from the running, despite the fact that he may very well still be alive.

I do not think this disqualifies Harwin as HM. A couple of points:

* the chapter is called A Ghost in Winterfell

* Theon thinks "there are ghosts in Winterfell and I am one of them"

* Theon is strangely comfortable displaying his maimed hands to HM

Consider if Theon sees Harwin in this mental state, he could believe him a ghost (thus possibly explaining his comfort in showing his maimed hand). He would still then later consider Harwin dead despite seeing him as the HM because he thinks Harwin is just one of the Ghosts in Winterfell.

Personally I think it is more likely that the HM is Robett Glover. But there are strong arguments to be made for Harwin & I don't think Theon thinking of him as dead after encountering the HM is a dis-qualifier.

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Personally I think it is more likely that the HM is Robett Glover. But there are strong arguments to be made for Harwin & I don't think Theon thinking of him as dead after encountering the HM is a dis-qualifier.

Maybe not, but if Harwin is with Lady Stoneheart when she apprehends Brienne, that would surely disqualify him - Jaime was reacting to snowfall in the Riverlands not long before Brienne came to get him...the timeline surely wouldn't allow for Harwin to make it all the way up to Winterfell - given that Martin compared Westeros to the continent of S. America in scale, that would mean he walked from Peru to Columbia, or something. I thought he'd disappeared long before that when I favored the Harwin theory.

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Maybe not, but if Harwin is with Lady Stoneheart when she apprehends Brienne, that would surely disqualify him

This is probably true, but from Brienne's POV we can't know for sure if this is Harwin. Also, even if it is Harwin, GRRM is not always consistent with travel times. As I said though my money is on Robett.

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Why would Robett Glover skulk inside Winterfell? Open the gates for Stannis? Alone he would not be able to do that. And he would risk a lot just being there, considering that Deepwood Motte went for Stannis.


Robett either went with Davos, or he is outside Winterfell, hidden, in command of a larger force of Manderly troops. The guy does have command experience.



I think the HM is either Howland Reed, or some random northman still loyal to the Starks and possibly sworn to one of the houses that suffered because of the Boltons: Hornwood, Cerwyn, or Tallhart.


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Why would Robett Glover skulk inside Winterfell? Open the gates for Stannis? Alone he would not be able to do that. And he would risk a lot just being there, considering that Deepwood Motte went for Stannis.

Robett either went with Davos, or he is outside Winterfell, hidden, in command of a larger force of Manderly troops. The guy does have command experience.

I think the HM is either Howland Reed, or some random northman still loyal to the Starks and possibly sworn to one of the houses that suffered because of the Boltons: Hornwood, Cerwyn, or Tallhart.

My favorite explanation is that Robett is coming to tell Manderly that Rickon has been found. This information would not be trusted to just anyone and the only people we know for sure who are aware of Davos' mission are Wyman, Robett, Davos and Wex (and Wex can't talk).

If not Robett, I think good cases can be made for Hal Mollin and Harwin. The Septon Chayle theory is intriguing, but I'm not convinced. I hope that the HM is not just some random northerner, that would make the whole mystery a lot less interesting.

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My favorite explanation is that Robett is coming to tell Manderly that Rickon has been found. This information would not be trusted to just anyone and the only people we know for sure who are aware of Davos' mission are Wyman, Robett, Davos and Wex (and Wex can't talk).

If not Robett, I think good cases can be made for Hal Mollin and Harwin. The Septon Chayle theory is intriguing, but I'm not convinced. I hope that the HM is not just some random northerner, that would make the whole mystery a lot less interesting.

Even if you grant that Theon listing Harwin as dead after seeing the HM does not disqualify Harwin as an HM candidate, one of Harwin’s other gotchas is that there’s no indication – no foreshadowing – in any of his “recent” appearances that he’s on his way back to Winterfell, or even interested in leaving the BwB. One must insert “additional” speculation to get to Harwin as a viable candidate, I think.

Meanwhile, while Robett seems like the most obvious candidate through his motives, his alignment with Wyman, his documented ownership of a dagger, and more, I think his biggest gotcha is his awareness that Bran and Rickon are alive.

Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense for Robett to say, “Theon Turncloak. Theon Kinslayer.”

Whether or not the timeline works, and whether or not Robett could potentially have awareness of Rickon’s return from Skagos, his mention of kinslayer would strike me as odd, possibly even “bad editing,” if it's him.

It seems to me that the HM must be someone who believes that Theon is a kinslayer, or else simply stop at “Turncloak.”

Hallis, being the bearer of Ned’s bones, may be a better candidate for the fact that he was last documented as on his way to WF and, like Chayle, “went off screen” in ACOK. Cat even wonders in ASOS whether he’s made it prior to the capture of Moat Cailin and WF, showing GRRM’s continued awareness that Hal is in play. So, arguably a “less minor” character, and a loose end, the case for Hallis would at least seem “on par” with the case for Chayle.

The Blackfish may also be in play, going off screen with no place to go. But, again, no real foreshadowing that WF would be his destination, and he swam “downriver” besides.

Raynald Westerling has a similar “didn’t find the body” disappearance, and has a loyalty to Robb Stark, so call that WF foreshadowing if you will. But has Raynald ever even seen Theon? I think not…

And it’s also argued that the HM is “unimportant.” And then there’s the Theon Durden theory. And more besides.

Unfortunately, with the HM, I think we can all agree that there are no “homeruns.” Only a list of suspects.

I think my goal in starting this thread was simply to put Chayle on that list, as Theon “ghost-maker” being the one to push him down the well, that well being bottomless, Chayle being a “strong swimmer,” etc. Until I started this thread, no one had mentioned Chayle, so I wanted to circulate the notion.

Meanwhile, there are many suspects, and very little info to go on, so I don’t think the HM debate is one where it’s worth ruling out anyone plausible, or one where we can close the case before TWOW is published, but I think it’s good to be aware of the various characters’ strengths and weaknesses as pertains to their HM candidacy.

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