This post? Ah, well, Bloodraven and Shiera using glamours isn’t confirmed yet, it’s a theory of mine… so let me explain.
We learned in ADWD that Melisandre used a ruby bracelet to cast a glamour, to make Mance Rayder appear to be Rattleshirt. In her POV, she seems to also suggest that her own ruby choker makes her appear younger or different than she actually looks. (Many have speculated her red hair and red eyes are magical in nature.) So, gems seem to be a used as a focus for appearance magic, for these glamours.
In The Mystery Knight (which was written between AFFC and ADWD), Dunk encounters a hedge knight, Ser Maynard Plumm, who (spoilers!) is eventually revealed to be a spy for Bloodraven. But there’s evidence he may be much more than that:
"We’d all be bastard sons of old King Aegon if half these tales were true."
"And who’s to say we’re not?" Ser Maynard quipped.
Through the rain, all he could make out was a hooded shape and a single pale white eye. It was only when the man came forward that the shadowed face beneath the cowl took on the familiar features of Ser Maynard Plumm, the pale eye no more than the moonstone brooch that pinned his cloak at the shoulder.
This close, there was something queer about the cast of Ser Maynard’s features. The longer Dunk looked, the less he seemed to see.
"…started wondering if he had chosen the wrong side and how much Bloodraven knows of this conspiracy. The answer to that last is ‘quite a lot.’” Plumm chuckled.
I believe Maynard Plumm was actually Bloodraven himself, using his moonstone brooch to disguise himself with a glamour. Magical disguise skills could be quite useful in keeping his reputation of having “a thousand eyes and one”.
Shiera Seastar was Bloodraven’s half-sister and lover, another one of the Great Bastards, the daughter of Aegon IV and his last mistress Serenei of Lys. There were rumors that Serenei was much older than the king, and preserved her youth and beauty through dark magic. As Shiera grew older, these same rumors became attached to her — she was also accused of being a sorceress, and reputedly she bathed in blood to keep her beauty.
Now, Shiera had heterochromia, one blue eye and one green, and famously wore a matching necklace of alternating sapphires and emeralds. There’s no proof for this, but perhaps she used this necklace also to cast glamours? No need to bathe in blood, just use magic to make everyone think you look younger and more beautiful than you actually are.
So, what were they glamouring? Themselves, I think. :)
So, if you recall Davos’s chapters in ADWD, Wyman Manderly had certain visitors: Symond, Jared, and Rhaegar Frey. They were there to return the bones of Wyman’s son Wendel, who had been killed at the Red Wedding, and to make sure House Manderly bent the knee to the Iron Throne.
While the three Freys are guests in White Harbor, Wyman treats them with every honor, promising to betroth his granddaughter Wynafryd to Rhaegar and his other granddaughter Wylla to Little Walder. When Davos presents Stannis’s case to Wyman, the Freys mock him, and give their cover story for the Red Wedding (that Robb had turned into a monstrous werewolf and was slaughtering everyone and they put him down). Wyman pretends to execute Davos on Cersei’s orders (thus proving his loyalty and getting his son Wylis back from being held hostage in Harrenhal), but actually hides him away safe. He then meets with Davos secretly and gives this fantastic speech.
So, after that… the three Freys leave for Winterfell, to meet up with their relatives coming for the wedding of Ramsay Bolton and “Arya Stark”. Wyman supposedly gives them three palfreys as guest gifts when they leave (note a guest gift is the official sign that you are no longer guest and host, and that guest right no longer applies). But despite those fine horses, the Freys never arrive, simply vanishing into the air. Ramsay hunts for them for sixteen days, but there’s no sign of them whatsoever. And Big Walder tells Theon, “I never thought we would [find them]. They’re dead. Lord Wyman had them killed. That’s what I would have done if I was him.”
Then at the wedding feast, Wyman, who had provided the food, presents:
three great wedding pies, as wide across as wagon wheels, their flaky crusts stuffed to bursting with carrots, onions, turnips, parsnips, mushrooms, and chunks of seasoned pork swimming in a savory brown gravy. Ramsay hacked off slices with his falchion and Wyman Manderly himself served, presenting the first steaming portions to Roose Bolton and his fat Frey wife, the next to Ser Hosteen and Ser Aenys, the sons of Walder Frey. “The best pie you have ever tasted, my lords,” the fat lord declared. “Wash it down with Arbor gold and savor every bite. I know I shall.”
True to his word, Manderly devoured six portions, two from each of the three pies, smacking his lips and slapping his belly and stuffing himself until the front of his tunic was half-brown with gravy stains and his beard was flecked with crumbs of crust.
And the pies continue to be mentioned:
“No taste for pork pie, my lord? The best pork pie we ever tasted, our fat friend would have us believe.” She gestured toward Lord Manderly with her wine cup. “Have you ever seen a fat man so happy? He is almost dancing. Serving with his own hands.” It was true. The Lord of White Harbor was the very picture of the jolly fat man, laughing and smiling, japing with the other lords and slapping them on the back, calling out to the musicians for this tune or that tune.
And as the feast winds down,
Lord Manderly was so drunk he required four strong men to help him from the hall. “We should have a song about the Rat Cook,” he was muttering, as he staggered past Theon, leaning on his knights. “Singer, give us a song about the Rat Cook.”
Now, you may remember the story of the Rat Cook that Bran relates back in ASOS:
The Rat Cook had cooked the son of the Andal king in a big pie with onions, carrots, mushrooms, lots of pepper and salt, a rasher of bacon, and a dark red Dornish wine. Then he served him to his father, who praised the taste and had a second slice. Afterward the gods transformed the cook into a monstrous white rat who could only eat his own young. He had roamed the Nightfort ever since, devouring his children, but still his hunger was not sated. “It was not for murder that the gods cursed him,” Old Nan said, “nor for serving the Andal king his son in a pie. A man has a right to vengeance. But he slew a guest beneath his roof, and that the gods cannot forgive.”
Not exactly a pleasant song for a wedding celebration, is it? But as a story of vengeance… a story of the gods punishing those who betray guest right… a story of, well, cooking someone in a big pie and feeding them to their relatives… it’s very appropriate indeed.
Oh, I’m sure Arya’s role in Braavos is going to be important. Certainly more than just the Faceless Men… especially because I’m sure she won’t stay with them forever, as her hiding of Needle — her “true self” — suggests. I mean, I’ve said before that Arya’s plot could go anywhere, and that includes within Braavos as well as outside of it.
And yes, Braavos is very well established within the plot, far more than the other Free Cities, at least until ADWD gave us so many details about Volantis. Which is probably because the cities as foils to each other, Volantis as the claimed heir of Valyria and Braavos as the bastard child who ran away and hid. (The fact that Braavos is anti-slavery and Volantis may be facing a slave rebellion soon is another way they might be at odds.)
Back to Arya and the Iron Bank plot: she definitely could find out about Jon Snow’s debt. Possibly she might somehow encounter Stannis’s emissary, Justin Massey, when he’s hiring sellswords. (And will Tycho Nestoris and Massey bring certain unpleasant news from the Wall as well? Anyone’s guess right now.)
But if I had to bet how Arya would get involved with Iron Bank storylines… well, in ADWD’s epilogue, we learned Ronnet Connington brought the remainder of Gregor’s men to King’s Landing. (Possibly including Dunsen and Raff the Sweetling, unless they were the ones Randyll Tarly gelded/hanged.) Kevan Lannister told Harys Swyft that since he feared assassins, he should hire them as guards. And he also commanded Swyft to go to Braavos and deal with the Iron Bank.
So, assuming that Kevan’s assassination isn’t changing any of those plans (and actually it almost makes it a certainty that Swyft will hire guards)… that could be two of the five remaining names on Arya’s kill list, heading to Braavos where Arya is. If she encounters them, the repercussions (whatever they may be, whatever she chooses to do) could certainly have an effect on the Iron Bank plotline… and her.
But truly, Arya’s storyline could go anywhere. All we know is that she’s to go to Izembaro to begin her apprenticeship, and that could be a person — a Faceless Man or someone who works for them — or a place, or who knows. All kinds of possibilities and potential for her, really.
(I very much doubt she’ll take the role of a courtesan, though. Arya is still just 11 and has not yet hit puberty, and so far we’ve just seen the Faceless Men change her face, not her body. (I don’t think we’ve seen FM change bodies at all, for that matter, so who knows if they even can?) Unless GRRM wants to echo a certain unpleasant plot point of V for Vendetta, I imagine he’d avoid that kind of “seduction” role for Arya for now.)
“Brother!” The shout cut through the night, through the shrieks of a thousand ravens. Beneath the trees, a man muffled head to heels in mottled blacks and greys sat astride an elk. “Here,” the rider called. A hood shadowed his face.
He’s wearing blacks. Sam urged Gilly toward him. The elk was huge, a great elk, ten feet tall at the shoulder, with a rack of antlers near as wide. The creature sank to his knees to let them mount. “Here,” the rider said, reaching down with a gloved hand to pull Gilly up behind him. Then it was Sam’s turn. “My thanks,” he puffed. Only when he grasped the offered hand did he realize that the rider wore no glove. His hand was black and cold, with fingers hard as stone.
Very appreciated! We owe it all to our contributors, so check out their blogs and you’ll probably find even more theories. :)
Much appreciated! Yes, waiting can be very hard, but at least we can distract ourselves in the meanwhile. :)
This is very much a dangling plot right now. There’s no evidence of any kind as to where Tyrek disappeared to after the Riot of King’s Landing. But, as you say, it wouldn’t still keep being mentioned that he was missing if he were actually dead, and if it weren’t somehow important that he was missing.
Unfortunately, because of the lack of evidence, there’s not much to theorize with. General speculation is that one of the major game players — Varys or Littlefinger, most likely Varys — has him hidden away as a House heir in case everyone else dies. But we really can’t know.
So it’s likely Tyrek will appear before the end, in some role, but until we get more information, we can only spin guesses out of thin air. Sorry!
Sure. There’s two points that help identify where Rickon is:
- In Jon’s first ADWD chapter, he has a wolf dream, in which Ghost sees: “A wild rain lashed down upon his black brother as he tore at the flesh of an enormous goat, washing the blood from his side where the goat’s long horn had raked him.” The “enormous goat” with one long horn that Shaggydog is devouring is a unicorn of Skagos.
- In Davos’s last ADWD chapter, Wex points out the place on the map where he knows Osha and Rickon went — it’s a dangerous land only reachable by ship, and a place “where men were known to break their fast on human flesh.” And that place is Skagos.
It has not been confirmed. But the biggest and most popular theory is called “R+L=J”: Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark = Jon Snow. If you read the books, especially paying attention to Ned’s POV chapters in AGOT, most of the evidence leads to this conclusion. (See here for a good summary.)
And, y’know, that theory has been popularized by the internet, it’s true, but I track a lot of ASOIAF tags on tumblr, and every couple of days there’s somebody posting “oh my gosh, do you know what I just figured out?!?” It amuses the heck out of me.
Alternate possibilities for Jon’s mom include Ashara Dayne, Wylla (a wetnurse serving House Dayne), some fisherman’s daughter from the Three Sisters, and various random theories that don’t have Ned Stark as his father or Lyanna as his mother, but I don’t believe in any of them. They’re either red herrings or the product of people thinking way too hard, IMO.
As for me, I generally treat R+L=J as not a theory, but a fact. Pretty much everything I say about Jon keeps it firmly in mind.