Thursday, January 3, 2013

My stance on various ASOIAF conspiracy theories, Part 12

Thursday is theory day now. 
This is the twelth article of the series. Since there are a lot of theories floating out there and I'm asked often enough what I think of them, I thought I write it down. You can then laugh about me when I am totally proven wrong by "The Winds of Winter" or something like that. Rules are as follows: you put a question about any theory or plot element (really, let's stress "theory" a bit for the sake of interesting questions) either in the comments of any theory post or by mail ( and I will answer them in an upcoming post. And if you now ask "Stefan, isn't this a shameless rip-off of Sean T. Collin's "Ask me anything"?", I would tell you to shut up, because you are right.
Prepare for part 12. Spoilers for "A Song of Ice and Fire", obviously. 

What's the fate of Edric Storm?
In "A Storm with Swords", Davos' main plot revolves around Melisandre's attempt to burn Edric Storm as an offering to R'hollor, since he has king's blood in his veins that supposedly will wake the stone dragons. Davos allies with some stounch supporters of Stannis' that are also followers of the Faith, abducts Edric Storm and ships him off to the Free Cities, out of Melisandre's grasp. He doesn't even know where Edric is brought so he can't give it up. Now, one could argue that Edric, as an acknowledged bastard of Robert Baratheon, has something in stock. I think he doesn't. In my opinion, Edric is in the Free Cities and won't return. Perhaps we'll see him as a cameo by some other character in the Free Cities, or an agent of Stannis (Justin Massey comes to mind) finds him and tries to get him back, ultimately failing, but he won't have any impact on the events. All ideas about him and the line of succession are worthless, by the way - he is a bastard, and the example of Aegon the Unworthy has been invoked so often that it would be really out-of-character for anyone, Stannis especially (who is the only one with the slightest reason to do so) to legitimize him.

What's it with Patchface?
The fool that Shireen Baratheon drags around everywhere she goes is constantly babbling strange stuff that occasionally takes the form of prophecy, but for the most time seems to be the fool he looks. There are some arguments of him being an agent of the Drowned God since he babbles about what goes on under the sea all the time, but I for one think that's very unlikely. The same is true for any other entity: there's a whole load of prophets and other quasi magical figures by now, and Patchface isn`t needed as one. But the Drowned God-theory can be discarded for yet another reason: as I have pointed out in an essay, the religion of the Drowned God seems to be a religion that is not founded on a misunderstood magical power, like the faith of the Old Gods or R'hollor seem to be. In that, the faith of the Drowned God is similar to the Faith of the Seven. And this rules out the existence of agents, especially such as Patchface, who wouldn't fit the Drowned God's religion in the slightest.

How much does Stannis know about the Shadow Babies? How much did Melisandre tell him?
Stannis is aware that he worked magic together with Melisandre to kill Renly and Penrose. Whether he knows exactly how the shadow babies work is not really a relevant question: for him, they could be shadow dragons with three heads for all he cared for these things. They are a tool, one that he deliberately decided to use. The details of this are ugly, and he doesn't really want to know it, since he takes no real joy in death and suffering anyway. So, Melisandre will likely have told him not that much. The important thing for Stannis was the decision to kill these man in the first place. That was the real conflict. How they died is, in the end, not important.


  1. Interesting conclusion about Stannis Stefan. How much of a concession do you think Stannis made when he ordered Melisandre to kill his brother and Penrose. Stannis being all about justice no matter how hard it's ramifications may be.
    Do you think Stannis may harbor the thought that he will, at some point, pay a "price" for his actions? Beyond accelerated aging that is.

    1. Stannis wanted to see the job done. Melisandre offered to do it.
      I don't think he does. For him, magic is like using an assassin. Ugly, yes, but necessary.

  2. Hi Stefan, so i have this "theory". Is someone trying to poison Tommen?, in the epilogue of ADWD Ser Kevan Lannister notes that Ser Boros looks unhealthy and seems to have problem standing, he is being assigned with the task of of tasting Tommen's food, but Tommen seems healthy, so i was thinking that maybe the real target is Ser Boros, maybe someone is trying to eliminate the knights of the kingsguard, perhaps this has something to do with the trial of Cersei and Margery, do you have any thoughts on this??

    1. It may be...never looked to sharp at it. Have to see for myself when I return to the epilogue on my reread.

    2. Coming to this late, but Qyburn could want to create more Ser Robert Strongs, and Kingsguard vacancies to house them. That said, if Qyburn wanted Ser Boros dead he'd be dead.