Jon is stabbed at the end of ADwD and his fate is uncertain - but there might be clues to help explain what happened to him. Here, the possibility that Jon’s mind has entered Ghost to begin his ‘second life’, whilst his body is preserved in an ice cell - will be examined.
JON & GHOST
After being stabbed, Jon’s last word was “Ghost” as he succumbed, unable to draw his sword. The chapter ends with:
"He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold…"
Not feeling the fourth knife is mysterious, as Jon goes on to feel cold. This indicates his pain receptors were not working, so how does he feel cold? Perhaps Jon didn’t feel the fourth knife because he was no longer in his body. Given his final word was “Ghost”, Jon might have been trying to warg his direwolf. It’s interesting, then, the description we get about entering ‘second life’.
In his prologue, we learn that when Varamyr dies, the sensation is very cold as he enters his wolf for second life:
"True death came suddenly; he felt a shock of cold, as if he had been plunged into the icy waters of a frozen lake.”
This not only takes us back to the cold that Jon was feeling, but also to Mel’s foretelling of Jon being stabbed. There’s a similar emphasis on ice, frozen and cold in a single sentence:
Hi buffyofwinterfell! I feel like I should be at least mildly surprised that there’s actually a theory as ridiculous as Rhaegar+Lyanna = Dany, but somehow I’m not. (I don’t see how this crack is “compelling” but to each their own.)
That was when they lived in Braavos, in the big house with the red door. Dany had her own room there, with a lemon tree outside her window. After Ser Willem had died, the servants had stolen what little money they had left, and soon after they had been put out of the big house. Dany had cried when the red door closed behind them forever.
“There’s no more wood.” Dareon had paid the innkeep double for a room with a hearth, but none of them had realized that wood would be so costly here. Trees did not grow on Braavos, save in the courts and gardens of the mighty.
Dany remembered it just fine. (Preston Jacobs, on the other hand…) There is no mystery here. The luxurious house that Daenerys lived in as a child likely had an inner courtyard or a garden that sheltered the lemon tree that Daenerys saw from her window. A princess would have a room off a courtyard (as opposed to a room overlooking the street) because it would offer protection and because that’s probably a nicer room.
I’m guessing Preston Jacobs is just using the wiki, which makes the erroneous statement that there are no trees whatsoever in Braavos (“There are no trees to be found within the city, making Braavos a city of stone architecture and granite monuments.”), to spew crack theories that people get excited about because we’ve all been talking about the same things for so long without a new book that some people start to see the literary equivalent of mirages in the desert.
People are seeing things that aren’t there. Daenerys Stormborn is the daughter of Rhaella and Aerys Targaryen.
I should warn you: since I’m not invested in the “political/KL” storylines as I am invested in the “magical/Northern” ones, there’s every chance that my predictions are way off. (I could write pages about how the War for the Dawn is going to go down and I’m fairly confident in most of my predictions, but ask me anything political and I’m lost.)
I actually think Margaery has a good chance of surviving the trial. Perhaps not as much as Cersei, whose champion ‘Robert Strong’ will surely tear his opponent to pieces and Cersei will wreak some more havoc before she goes out with a bang. But I still reckon Margaery will survive her trial.
The case against Margaery and her cousins is weak. Even the frighteningly-misogynistic High Sparrow seems to agree, since he released Margaery and her cousins to Randyll Tarly’s custody.
I have a really really out there theory. Like I would never try to convince people that I’m definitely right (mostly because I myself doubt it,) but I do have a weird theory on the Doom.
What we do know about the Doom is that the Fourteen Flames (the chain of volcanoes) went off and turned Valyria into an uninhabitable wasteland. There is some measure of irony that the dragonlords were (mostly) burned away.
And admittedly I can’t help but wonder about the mines. We know that the slaves of Old Valyria often perished because they were forced to dig deep in the mines. Well, that makes me think of The Lord of the Rings and how when the dwarves dug too deep, got too greedy, in the Mines of Moria they disturbed Durin’s Bane/the Balrog, which helped bring about their doom (see what I did there?)
Now, that’s probably nothing but GRRM does take some aspects from Tolkien- and he’ll poke fun as well (i.e. Tyrion’s comment on how not to kill a dragon.) And the idea that the dragonlords were greedy and brought about their own demise seems pretty canon to me.
Could be a freak accident. The Fourteen Flames could have been magically ignited (they did have enemies.) Or, conversely, the dragonlords stopped being able to keep them from exploding.
But as for my out there theory, basically, I wonder if the Faceless Men had anything to do with it.
Everything we know of the Doom of Valyria (admittedly not much) seems to indicate it was a natural disaster of some sort involving the Fourteen Flames all going off. I mean it sounds much more similar to Pompeii than it does to anything we’ve seen of the FM:
On the day the Doom came to Valyria, it was said, a wall of water three hundred feet high had descended on the island, drowning hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children, leaving none to tell the tale but some fisherfolk who had been at sea and a handful of Velosi spearmen posted in a stout stone tower on the island’s highest hill, who had seen the hills and valleys beneath them turn into a raging sea. Victarian, ADWD
It was written that on the day of Doom every hill for five hundred miles had split asunder to fill the air with ash and smoke and fire, blazes so hot and hungry that even the dragons in the sky were engulfed and consumed. Great rents had opened in the earth, swallowing palaces, temples, entire towns. Lakes boiled or turned to acid, mountains burst, fiery fountains spewed molten rock a thousand feet into the air, red clouds rained down dragonglass and the black blood of demons, and to the north the ground splintered and collapsed and fell in on itself and an angry sea came rushing in. The proudest city in all the world was gone in an instant, its fabled empire vanished in a day, the Lands of the Long Summer scorched and drowned and blighted.
An empire built on blood and fire. The Valyrians reaped the seed they had sown. Tyrion, ADWD
Having said that, there are some things worth mentioning.
There is this when the Kindly Man is telling Arya of the origins of the FM:
(on the dragonlord’s slaves) “Didn’t the slaves rise up and fight?”
“Some did,” he said. “Revolts were common in the mines, but few accomplished much. The dragonlords of the old Freehold were strong in sorcery, and lesser men defied them at their peril. The first Faceless Man was one who did.”
We know that the FM have their origins in Old Valyria, that they have a grudge against slaves and dragons/dragonlords, that they have a long mysterious future. And then KM continues and says this:
"That very night he chose the most wretched of the slaves, the one who had prayed most earnestly for release, and freed him from his bondage. The first gift had been given.”
Arya drew back from him. “He killed the slave?” That did not sound right. “He should have killed the masters!”
“He would bring the gift to them as well… but that is a tale for another day, one best shared with no one.”
So we find out that the FM (or the original one at least) brought death to the dragonlords of Old Valyria. We also find out that while the KM has no issues sharing the story of the origins of the FM with Arya, he doesn’t trust her to hear that story.
"That is a tale for another day," if Arya is actually a member of the FM rather than just an acolyte not trusted with secrets??? ”one best shared with no one” a big deal, something top top secret??? Involving the deaths of the dragonlords of the Valyrian Freehold??? The Doom of which brought deaths of most of them and is as of yet unexplained but referenced to multiple times???
I’m not saying anything for certain, there’s certainly not enough to go on and the KM is hardly trustworthy, but I believe the FM definitely know something. They have proven to know a lot in the way of secrets. They are in some ways just as much spymasters/information gatherers as they are assassins.
Then we know that Jaqen (or Pate or the Alchemist whatever) found a way into the Citadel’s deepest darkest areas for something (that I and some others expect is the The Death of Dragons book that holds many secrets involving dragons, supposedly including how to kill them/why they died out.)
I think the FM may have played a part. Why? We’ve already been told. How? Not sure. What I do know is that there used to be more magic in the world of ASoIaF, the FM know much more than they let on, they have some manner of sorcery, they had motive for sure, they definitely seemed to be anti-dragons now again, and that something had to have happened to cause an entire empire to disappear in a day.
I remember Arya thinks Jaqen is a demon from hell in ACoK because he made Weese’s loyal dog maul/eat him to death. We figure out how later, but with all we know (or more accurately don’t know) of the FM, I noted that remark by the KM and am thinking on theories.
Maybe we’ll finally get the “tale for another day” that’s “best shared with no one”.
Regardless, I do think we’ll find out. It’s been hinted at so much already without any confirmation on what precievely happened.
Yeah, I’ve talked about this before, but not recently. Re the hooded man, I occasionally subscribe to the “Fight Club” theory that says he’s actually Theon’s projection of his subconscious self, but I admit that theory has more than a few holes and is probably more ~interesting~ than correct. I am certain he’s not Harwin, though. (For one, Harwin was still with the BwB for Brienne’s trial, and the murders at Winterfell started around that same time — the distance from the Riverlands to Winterfell is far too long to get there that fast especially considering the weather. Also the Northern Conspiracy premise that LS sent him there to support Jon is ridiculous.)
But re the killings in general… people often focus on Theon (because “Reek” was the mysterious killer the first time around when Theon held Winterfell) or the hooded man and theorize about them, but it’s almost certain the killers were Abel and his washerwomen (Mance and the spearwives).
The dead man was found at the base of the inner wall, with his neck broken and only his left leg showing above the snow that had buried him during the night. […] “A drunk,” Ryswell declared. “Pissing off the wall, I’ll wager. He slipped and fell.” No one disagreed. But Theon Greyjoy found himself wondering why any man would climb the snow-slick steps to the battlements in the black of night just to take a piss.
The next morning Ser Aenys Frey’s grizzled squire was found naked and dead of exposure in the old castle lichyard, his face so obscured by hoarfrost that he appeared to be wearing a mask. Ser Aenys put it forth that the man had drunk too much and gotten lost in the storm, though no one could explain why he had taken off his clothes to go outside.
The dead man was one of Ramsay’s favorites, the squat, scrofulous, ill-favored man-at-arms called Yellow Dick. Whether his dick had actually been yellow was hard to determine, as someone had sliced it off and stuffed it into his mouth so forcefully they had broken three of his teeth.
“Go on. Do me, the way you did the others. Yellow Dick and the rest. It was you.”
Holly laughed. “How could it be us? We’re women. Teats and cunnies. Here to be fucked, not feared.”
Why would a drunk man climb the battlements? Why would a man take his clothes off outside? Who would mutilate someone in that way? Once you realize who you’re dealing with, it’s obvious. (Consider how Osha distracted and killed the guards for Bran and Rickon’s escape.)
The only murder that definitely wasn’t by Mance or the spearwives was Little Walder…
Little Walder, thought Theon. The big one. He glanced at Rowan. There are six of them, he remembered. Any of them could have done this. But the washerwoman felt his eyes. “This was no work of ours,” she said.
“Be quiet,” Abel warned her.
…but that wasn’t Theon or the hooded man either, it was Big Walder.
I know that most of you are already formulating snarky responses to the title, but hear me out.
We know that in The Winds of Winter, Davos will arrive in Skagos to retrieve Rickon Stark and return him to Winterfell. That was the cliffhanger during A Dance with Dragons, and as there is still a considerable amount of the book left after Davos’ last chapter, it’s easy to assume that his TWOW storyline…
"Cersei’s fears make her act wildly, irrationally, attacking everyone she suspects of working against her, making enemies of potential allies and alienating the allies she has. In the end, Dany (who Cersei will never see coming) will just walk in and have to ‘take’ very little at all." [x]
"(And the irony in the valonqar prophecy is that Cersei is sure it’s Tyrion but it’s actually Jaime. No, it’s not Sandor/Arya/Tommen/Rickon. Irony, not randomness.)
"(And please don’t go “but Dany and Jaime are so obvious!” Yeah well so’s R+L=J.)" [x]
To the people who don’t know what “Cleganebowl” theory is: It’s basically the theory that suggests that Sandor will be the champion of the Faith and defeat Robert Strong (zombified!Gregor Clegane) at Cersei’s trial. Some even suggest that Sandor is “the valonqar” (the little brother) who will bring Cersei’s end by killing Ser Robert.
It’s such a weak theory and so ridiculously popular that I can’t…
First of all, no, I don’t think Sandor Clegane is dead. I’m 99.9% sure that he’s the gravedigger that Brienne saw at the Quiet Isle. But just because he’s alive and is associated with the people of the Faith at the moment doesn’t mean he’s going to take up arms, gallop to King’s Landing and become the shining champion of the Faith.
Most people are conveniently forgetting that he physically can’t.
I was reading donewithwoodenteeth 's meta about how Arya is not going to become a faceless man and it got me thinking about one of my favourite characters, Bran, and the cringe worthy perception that he is going to become a ‘tree’. Not going to rule, not going to champion the humans against the others, he’s going to be a tree. Despite him, being you know, the first character ever created in ASOIAF and as each book goes along, we see him advance his skills and knowledge in magic and history.
An interpretation myself and many others share is that ASOIAF is blowing up the status quo. In the first chapter of AGOT, Bran gets a direwolf and in the last chapter, Dany’s dragons hatch and come to life. Magic is coming back into the world. The state of which Bloodraven is in represents the status quo. Even at the start of ASOIAF, he still has lived ‘past his mortal span’ and ‘most of him has gone into the tree’. Bran can’t be Bloodraven 2.0 because he is around 9-10 years old, he is not dying. Bryndyn Rivers did live a full life: Hand Of The King, and lord commander of the Night’s Watch. Who is to say that Bran won’t? Cause he is a cripple? Well, Doran Martell comes to mind. Bran clearly doesn’t want to be in the cave, and him taking over Bloodraven’s role doesn’t change a single thing in the overall narrative of ASOIAF. It makes no sense for Bran to just disappear from the narrative.
Bran can get away from the cave, he can return south. Does him being a cripple mean that it’s more difficult? Yes. That doesn’t mean it’s not impossible. The cave could be attacked.
Onto Melisandre’s vision in ADWD
A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? She thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolfs face threw back his head and howled.
We can discuss the reliability of Mel’s visions, yet both Bran and Bloodraven appeared. It’s not the current / future replacement, they are together side by side, presumably, working together in a role regarding the Others. Whether or not they are the champions, well, it’s really hard to say because there is still alot we do not know about them and beyond. It also begs the question: Why does Bloodraven need Bran? Why does he need to teach someone greendreams and other skills regarding magic? I mean, what’s the point of having all of this power, if you don’t use it for change?
I do strongly believe that Bran can advance his powers outside the cave- between AGOT and before he reached the cave, he managed to have sharp skills regarding warging and a strong connection with Summer. His sibling, Arya, also proves this- she wargs into Nymeria, whether she’s sleeping on dirt or in the House Of Black And White, she still has dreams. Powers are not limited to location.
Bran, like his siblings, wants to see his family again. I don’t think he’ll settle for mere visions. There is also the incredibly high possibility that the cave will be annihilated and destroyed, with the upcoming war going on.
I’d also like to mention how ableist the ‘bran is becoming a tree hurr hurr’ comments are. Alot of Bran’s insecurites regarding him being the cave do regard him being a cripple. There are countless metas and writings that rule out Bran’s possibility of being a ruler because he is a cripple and can’t go into war. It may seem funny, yet it is quite offensive and dismissive.
Bran’s important, he will have a massive impact that like all other POVs- his endgame will be different to what we expected. The status quo is dying out and the tradition of residing in a cave is definately one of them
I’m so, so, so curious about Asshai and the Shadow Lands. It’s a pity that GRRM said we would be seeing Asshai ‘only in flashbacks, if at all' and I assume it's the same for the Shadow Lands Beyond Asshai.
However, I don’t think there’s necessarily a ‘correlation’ between the Shadow Lands and the Others/Long Night. I reckon the Others truly do come from the lands Beyond the Wall, and perhaps the people of Asshai were perhaps simply cleverer than Southron Westerosi to preserve such legends.
When Magister Illyrio gifts Daenerys with three dragon eggs, Daenerys recalls that first dragons came from the East, from the Shadow Lands Beyond Asshai. However, the Valyrians (the first civilisation to tame dragons that we know of) found them in their own continent, nesting in their volcanos. If dragons truly came from the Shadow Lands (which is far from certain, given the ASOIAF world’s love of legends and tales) they must have migrated West a long time ago.
I can make no certain claims about the origin of dragons, except that they came to Westeros from the East. It may have been Valyria, or Shadow Lands, or somewhere in between, I cannot say… we do not have enough textual evidence to state any information as facts.
However, I am convinced that anything about the Others/the Long Night comes from Westeros. This is my belief unless GRRM tells me otherwise. Bran’s comatose-dream-vision tells us as much.
Finally he looked north. He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard brother Jon sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him. And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.
I’m pretty sure the Others come from the unmapped Lands of Always Winter, perhaps from behind ‘the curtain of light.’
As I said before, I think that the people of Asshai were just more diligent about recording these legends of the Long Night, given how deity is of fire and the Others are of ice.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Shadow Lands and Asshai aren’t fascinating. And I truly hope that GRRM reveals more about them outside the series. (Perhaps in AWOIAF? One can only hope.) I just reckon that when we’re talking about the Others/the Long Night, the origins belong to the North.