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Slayer of Lies

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

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Again, Slayer, you've put a very good OP together. I'm always impressed with your eye for detail and your argument is very convincing. Septon Chayle has gone from a character I barely remember to one of only three, imo at least, plausible suspects for the HM. I agree that Robett Glover is a live candidate but my own leaning is towards Hallis Mollen.

Please clarify the swords from the crypt issue for me because I'm a little confused. I thought Bran and co. took three swords with them, and then Theon and Lady Dustin observed that there were three swords missing?

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Again, Slayer, you've put a very good OP together. I'm always impressed with your eye for detail and your argument is very convincing. Septon Chayle has gone from a character I barely remember to one of only three, imo at least, plausible suspects for the HM. I agree that Robett Glover is a live candidate but my own leaning is towards Hallis Mollen.

Please clarify the swords from the crypt issue for me because I'm a little confused. I thought Bran and co. took three swords with them, and then Theon and Lady Dustin observed that there were three swords missing?

I'm also confused about those 3 swords. I thought Hodor Bran and etc. took those swords??

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Yes, Bran and co. took three swords.

Osha carried her long oaken spear in one hand and the torch in the other. A naked sword hung down her back, one of the last to bear Mikken's mark. He had forged it for Lord Eddard's tomb, to keep his ghost at rest. But with Mikken slain and the ironmen guarding the armory, good steel had been hard to resist, even if it meant grave-robbing. Meera had claimed Lord Rickard's blade, though she complained that it was too heavy. Brandon took his namesake's, the sword made for the uncle he had never known. He knew he would not be much use in a fight, but even so the blade felt good in his hand.

COK

So we know which three blades are missing as well.

Now here is where it gets interesting, from ADWD:

"That king is missing his sword," Lady Dustin observed.

It was true. Theon did not recall which king it was, but the longsword he should have held was gone. Streaks of rust remained to show where it had been. The sight disquieted him. He had always heard that the iron in the sword kept the spirits of the dead locked within their tomb. If a sword was missing...

...

Only a little farther on, three tombs were closely grouped together. That was where they halted. "Lord Rickard," Lady Dustin observed, studying the central figure. The statue loomed above them - long-faced, bearded, solemn. He had the same stone eyes as the rest, but his looked sad. "He lacks a sword as well."

It was true. "Someone has been down here stealing swords. Brandon's is gone as well."

From ACOK, we know that swords were taken from Rickard, Brandon, and Ned.

From ADWD, we know that swords are missing from Rickard, Brandon, and a king whose name Theon can't remember.

(Since they only reach Ned's tomb at the end of the chapter and the focus is on the discussion they are having at that point, Theon doesn't point out the missing sword from Ned's tomb, but I think it pretty clear that that sword is missing as well.)

This means that someone has been down there, and has taken a sword that was closer to the entrance, since the sword is missing from one of the first statues they come across. We only have one sword unaccounted for, but it is possible others are missing that aren't mentioned in ADWD.

Hopefully this helps.

I was wondering myself, since we know that Bran and co. took swords, but then I thought that it might be useful to see if they were the same three swords that Theon notes are missing.

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We only have one sword unaccounted for, but it is possible others are missing that aren't mentioned in ADWD.

Hopefully this helps.

I was wondering myself, since we know that Bran and co. took swords, but then I thought that it might be useful to see if they were the same three swords that Theon notes are missing.

Nice work! Yeah, I thought I remembered a quote where Theon was trying to remember whether there were, "four ... or was it five?" but I've found nothing so far. It had certainly stuck in my head that there was at least one sword unaccounted for.

And whether it's one or more, I suppose the range of suspects possibly spans from the HM to Roose, Ramsay, Lady Dustin, Mance and many more...

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I've just thought of a silly theory. The Drowned God must be the patron of fools. :P

After all, he did bring Patchface back. And Benfred was clearly a fool as well, considering how he blundered his way into that ambush. Aeron isn't much better either.

Someone should tell them they're doing it wrong. Even Robert Baratheon was smart enough to drown himself in alcohol. :cheers:

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Hopefully this helps.

I was wondering myself, since we know that Bran and co. took swords, but then I thought that it might be useful to see if they were the same three swords that Theon notes are missing.

Very helpful. Good work Giver.

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Fantastic theory; Septon Chayle is definitely a plausible candidate. Well done!

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The more I think about this, the more plausible it becomes.

The HM used the term "kinslayer" to describe Theon. There is a theory, voice hereand elsewhere, that at least one of the two sons of the miller's wife was fathered by Theon--especially the younger boy who was the stand-in for Rickon.

From the Brienne chapters in AFFC we know that one of the duties of a Septon is to hear the sins of the faithful, somewhat like a Priest IRL. Winterfell and the surrounding area were Septon Chayle's territory. If the miller's wife felt the need to confess her sin after her time with Theon led to pregnancy, it would have been before a Heart Tree or Septon Chayle or both--depending upon how she felt about the gods old and new.

So Chayle could have known that Theon fathered one or both of the boys and that he was a kinslayer, but how would he know that the murdered boys were not Bran and Rickon? To make that connection, he would have needed to see the bodies before Theon burned them. Chayle would have known Bran well enough post-fall to know that the legs on the Bran stand-in were all wrong (the same reasons that led Maester Luwin to know that the dead weren't Bran and Rickon).

Chayle was thrown down the well sometime before the escape. If the notion that he swam to safety and hid is true, then he would have been around Winterfell when the bodies and heads were brought back. Perhaps he even had a hand in the deaths of Gelmarr the Grim, Aggar and Gynir Rednose (who all had deaths that seemed to be repeated when the Boltons occupied WF). These deaths happened after Theon brought back the bodies and heads of the miller's boys. But could Chayle had seen them? Yes, because before he burned the bodies the text says that Theon wanted everybody to get a look at them (emphasis added):

Theon could feel the blood rushing to his face. He took no joy from those heads, no more than he had in displaying the headless bodies of the children before the castle. Old Nan stood with her soft toothless mouth opening and closing soundlessly, and Farlen threw himself at Theon, snarling like one of his hounds. Urzen and Cadwyl had to beat him senseless with the butts of their spears. How did I come to this? he remembered thinking as he stood over the fly-speckled bodies.

Only Maester Luwin had the stomach to come near. Stone-faced, the small grey man had begged leave to sew the boys' heads back onto their shoulders, so they might be laid in the crypts below with the other Stark dead.

"No," Theon had told him. "Not the crypts."

"But why, my lord? Surely they cannot harm you now. It is where they belong. All the bones of the Starks—"

"I said no." He needed the heads for the wall, but he had burned the headless bodies that very day, in all their finery. Afterward he had knelt amongst the bones and ashes to retrieve a slag of melted silver and cracked jet, all that remained of the wolf's-head brooch that had once been Bran's. He had it still.

If he was hiding around Winterfell, Chayle would have been able to see the bodies before they were burned.

I still think the HM could end up being any number of people, but the term "kinslayer" has a very specific meaning in Westeros. Most folks wouldn't use it when meeting Theon, You make a good case for Chayle as the HM, perhaps there are more hints that point to this in the text.

If nothing else, I think Chayle should be included in any HM speculation thread.

Cheers

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Very interesting, and certainly as plausible as the other explanations I've seen for the spate of murders at Winterfell.

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Dragon Roast - Those are good points. I'm a member of the 'miller's kids were mostly likely Theon's' club myself, and I think it's a good reason for the specific contrapasso of his missing manhood, since he's already killed his own seed, i.e. now he can't 'sow'. For someone to be aware of the fact, and know the burned bodies weren't Bran's or Rickon's, would posit a character believed dead at Winterfell during its invasion. Are there any other candidates, though, apart from Septon Chayle? I can't think of any. Is there any point in the first two novels where we hear of Chayle's physical likelihood of having murdered the Bolton men, because that would make him easier to pin down?

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More on calling Theon a "kinslayer". Only three characters do that. In ADWD, it is the HM and later Rowan, one of Mance's washer women:

“And Little Walder was a piglet. Killing him brought the Freys and Manderlys to dagger points, that was cunning, you—”

“Not us.” Rowan grabbed him by the throat and shoved him back against the barracks wall, her face an inch from his. “Say it again and I will rip your lying tongue out, kinslayer.”

He smiled through his broken teeth. “You won’t. You need my tongue to get you past the guards. You need my lies.”

In the Theon sample chapter for TWOW we get to add Mors "Crowfood" Umber to the short list:

Crowfood. Theon remembered. An old man, huge and powerful, with a ruddy face and a shaggy white beard. He had been seated on a garron, clad in the pelt of a gigantic snow bear, its head his hood. Under it he wore a stained white leather eye patch that reminded Theon of his uncle Euron. He'd wanted to rip it off Umber's face, to make certain that underneath was only an empty socket, not a black eye shining with malice. Instead he had whimpered through his broken teeth and said, "I am — "

" — a turncloak and a kinslayer," Crowfood had finished. "You will hold that lying tongue, or lose it."

This tells us that quite a few folks know that Bran and Rickon are alive and that at least one of the boys Theon had murdered was his son. Septon Chayle would be on this list (if he is alive and the HM), but it seems that TGNC knows as does Team Mance.

Now Wex and/or somebody else could have told anti-Frey/Bolton conspirators in the North. Mance could have learned it from them and/or Theon. If Chayle is alive, It is likely he is part of this.

Another data point that may point to Chaye is Maester Luwin. In the last Theon chapter of ACOK, Theon is struck down by Ramsey and comes to his senses in time to see (emphasis added):

There was a ringing in his ears, and horror all around him. Black Lorren had his sword out, but there were already four of them pressing in on him. He saw Ulf go down with a crossbow bolt through the belly as he ran for the Great Hall. Maester Luwin was trying to reach him when a knight on a warhorse planted a spear between his shoulders, then swung back to ride over him. Another man whipped a torch round and round his head and then lofted it toward the thatched roof of the stables. "Save me the Freys," the Bastard was shouting as the flames roared upward, "and burn the rest. Burn it, burn it all."

The last thing Theon Greyjoy saw was Smiler, kicking free of the burning stables with his mane ablaze, screaming, rearing . . .

It is suggested that Luwin crawled to the pool in the godswood and perhaps he did. Or he may have had some assistance. Perhaps from the Septon who was unwilling to give him the gift of mercy. I always thought it was kind of unrealistic that Luwin could be stabbed between his shoulders and road over by a horse... and somehow be the only survivor of the sack of Winterfell and able to get to the relative safety of the godswood. OTOH, somebody dressed as a Bolton soldier might have gotten him out of harms way so that he could later make it to the pool. If Luwin had help, it might be another sign that Chayle survived the well...

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Maybe I've watched too much "Dexter" over the years but it's my theory that Big Walder killed Little Walder.

"His chest and arms and cloak were splattered with blood." Splattered from when he stabbed his cousin. "The

boy's gloves were caked with his cousin's blood." That's a lot of blood to get on you just from discovering the

body. A body "armored in pink frost'. I think Little Walder was well on his way to being the next Ramsay Snow

(He seemed to enjoy being Ramsay's squire a little too much!) and said or did something to his smaller cousin

that pushed him too far. Big Walder, while still a Frey, is somewhat more likeable. He talks to Theon in the stable

as if he's still a real person. Anyway, that would be one less murder to pin on the Hooded Man.

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Maybe I've watched too much "Dexter" over the years but it's my theory that Big Walder killed Little Walder.

"His chest and arms and cloak were splattered with blood." Splattered from when he stabbed his cousin. "The

boy's gloves were caked with his cousin's blood." That's a lot of blood to get on you just from discovering the

body. A body "armored in pink frost'. I think Little Walder was well on his way to being the next Ramsay Snow

(He seemed to enjoy being Ramsay's squire a little too much!) and said or did something to his smaller cousin

that pushed him too far. Big Walder, while still a Frey, is somewhat more likeable. He talks to Theon in the stable

as if he's still a real person. Anyway, that would be one less murder to pin on the Hooded Man.

That's an interesting point. It would certainly be a cool twist.

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Maybe I've watched too much "Dexter" over the years but it's my theory that Big Walder killed Little Walder.

"His chest and arms and cloak were splattered with blood." Splattered from when he stabbed his cousin. "The

boy's gloves were caked with his cousin's blood." That's a lot of blood to get on you just from discovering the

body. A body "armored in pink frost'. I think Little Walder was well on his way to being the next Ramsay Snow

(He seemed to enjoy being Ramsay's squire a little too much!) and said or did something to his smaller cousin

that pushed him too far. Big Walder, while still a Frey, is somewhat more likeable. He talks to Theon in the stable

as if he's still a real person. Anyway, that would be one less murder to pin on the Hooded Man.

I also thought this while reading it. Earlier in the chapter i believe Little Walder also expreses to Theon about how much Big Walder seems to look up to Ramsey.

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I don't see the point of the Hooded Man, but if it is Chayle, how would it fit into the story is my only objection. All this evidence is great, but Chayle doesn't seem to be part of anything. Also, I do like the theory of Big Walder killing Little Walder.

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I don't see the point of the Hooded Man, but if it is Chayle, how would it fit into the story is my only objection. All this evidence is great, but Chayle doesn't seem to be part of anything. Also, I do like the theory of Big Walder killing Little Walder.

Another point that has been brought up before is that if Big Walder didn't kill Little Walder and only found his body, the blood would probably have been frozen and wouldn't have gotten on Big Walder the way it was described. So he either killed Little Walder or came upon his body almost immediately afterwards.

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Aha. You're right. That always annoyed me, actually, and made it hard to pin down the exact point of the Walder boy's murder. If Theon actually had killed Little Walder, it must have been done at a very close proximity to the body being found. I'd always assumed he slipped under people's noses because of the fact his condition would render him an unfit suspect for anything, then washed himself off in the snow, but it stretches credence, now it's pointed out.

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I'd like to clarify something here, people don't die immediately, even if your bleeding everywhere your going to be alive for like 2 minutes. Then, It would still take several minutes for that blood to freeze. The blood would come out at 98 degrees, and it has a much higher specific heat then air. That being said, I am and was immediately upon reading it under the impression that Big Walder killed Little Walder.

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