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.
concerning patchface,the drowned god, shireen, melisandre, the others, azor ahai reborn, etc.
LET’S TALK ABOUT PATCHFACE.
history: patchface was a jester slave in volantis, apparently very clever. steffon baratheon bought his freedom, and meant to bring him back to storm’s end after his trip to the free cities to find a wife for rhaegar. in steffon’s words: "perhaps in time he will even teach stannis how to laugh." this is where robert and stannis see their father’s ship, windproud, get wrecked, killing both steffon and his wife. there were no survivors — but, three days later, patchface was found with clammy cold skin, taken for dead until he coughed up water. the wreck had given him amnesia and ruined his mind. the smallfolk nearby have been known to say "a mermaid had taught him to breathe water in return for his seed." he was no longer known as a witty fool, but a twitchy, unstable man.
patchface literally drowned and was reborn as a new person. sound familiar? this is what aeron damphair claims to do to those willing to pledge their life to the drowned god. after the accident, much of what patchface says has to do with being under the sea. and then there are his prophecies:
- wherein patchface predicts renly’s death (wearing an outfit eerily similar to renly’s armor): “the shadows came to dance, my lord, dance my lord, dance my lord,” he sang, hopping from one foot to the other and back again. “the shadows came to stay, my lord, stay my lord, stay my lord.” he jerked his head with each word, the bells in his antlers ringing up a clangor.
- wherein patchface predicts the red wedding:“fool’s blood, king’s blood, blood on the maiden’s thigh, but chains for the guests and chains for the bridegroom, aye aye aye.”
in a lot of his little jingles, patchface talks about being "under the sea", like he was for the three days where he was dead. some examples:
- "it is always summer under the sea."
- "under the sea, you fall up."
- "here we eat fish, under the sea, the fish eat us."
- "under the sea no one wears [crowns]."
- "under the sea the crows are white as snow."
- "away, away, come with me beneath the sea, away, away, away."
there seems to be a direct correlation between the sea and death; especially since this is where patchface died and, we can assume, was given back his life, or a shell of it, by the drowned god. and since he has such accurate predictions, i think it’s safe to say that, following this line of reasoning, patchface has become a prophet of the drowned god.
so i guess we have reason to get freaked out by this:
"i will lead it. we will march into the sea and out again. under the waves we will ride seahorses, and mermaids will blow seashells to announce our coming."
following the relationship between death and the sea, it seems to be that what patchface is saying is that he will lead people to their deaths, only to have them brought back to life. i know it can’t only be me who immediately thought of the others — especially when the “mermaids will blow seashells to announce our coming,” which could either a) reflect the ten blasts signalling white walkers for the night’s watch, or b) be an allusion to the horn of joramun. either way, patchface, the prophet of the drowned god, has a clear association with the others.
which brings us to another question: how does patchface mean to bring an army to their death, in order to lead them as white walkers? well, let’s talk about greyscale:
greyscale is born in a cold, damp climate; somewhere by the sea, or perhaps in the sea itself. the wildlings in particular fear it; they say that those who survive it are “unclean” and that it is never dormant, and could become active again years after it stopped spreading the first time. shireen baratheon is the most prominent character, but others have had it too — jon connington is dying of it, and harlon greyjoy, brother to balon, crow’s eye, victarion, and aeron damphair, died of it as a child.
so what does this mean? it means shireen is literally like a biological weapon or something. patchface, who most likely brought the illness upon shireen in the first place, being of the sea and such, would have control over the greyscale, being a prophet of the drowned god. he can use this control to make the greyscale become active again, spreading to any group of people he chooses in order to lead them as a risen-again army.
so what does this mean for shireen? when you have a weed, you need to pull it up by the root. when you have a problem, you need to get to the source of it in order to fix it. in this case, the source of the greyscale would be shireen. "i had bad dreams," shireen told him. "about the dragons. they were coming to eat me." shireen is 1/8 targaryen, so even if she doesn’t have important prophetic dreams, they are still something to take into account. it may be that the stone dragons she knows from dragonstone have come back to “eat” her in the flames, her death being a direct result of patchface’s “stone” (greyscaled) army. it would also explain mel’s vision of patchface surrounded by skulls, lips red with blood.
so what does this mean for all of team dragonstone? if we are to go ahead and accept the possibility of a sacrifice of shireen, this could mean many things for team dragonstone.
- shireen’s greyscale really is the root of the problem, and with her sacrifice patchface’s army of others falls
- shireen’s sacrifice is the king’s blood mel has needed all this time, and it will give stannis the power he needs to overpower the others
- shireen is stannis’ nyssa nyssa; she is the personal sacrifice he needs to make to temper the sword lightbringer and defeat the others
so, conclusion: patchface is a deranged general of the others, the drowned god has some majorly dark objectives with unknown motives, and shireen is basically by far the most important pawn in the entire game of thrones, and as soon as people realize that, some major shit is going to down.
As the weirwood visions pass before Bran’s eyes, each one goes further back in time. Thus the white-haired woman cannot possibly be Stoneheart. (Bran surely would have noticed her resemblance to his mother and her damaged face, besides.) Here’s a list of who they most likely are: