Thursday is theory day now.
This is the thirteenth 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 13. Spoilers for "A Song of Ice and Fire", obviously.
What's wrong with the lords of the Vale? They can't read a simple genealogy chart and figure out whom Harry is heir to? Mya Stone, KING Robert's bastard, wasn't good enough for Mychael Redfort, but Littlefinger can betroth his bastard daughter to the heir apparent to the lordship of the Vale. Or is GRRM palming an ace and slipping something past us?
As far as I know, the lords of the Vale know very well who Harry the Heir is. This isn't a nickname that Littlefinger coined. But seriously, what do you expect them to do? They already try to control the guy. He's kept as far from Littlefinger als possible, who in turn does everything to get his grasping little fingers on the boy. Nobody can openly declare "Hey, let's band together and save Harry", because if they did that, they would officially declare the Arryns over. And that would be seen as disloyal, to put it mildly. The heir of the Vale is Robert Arryn. To say otherwise would be treason. Regarding the marriage with Sansa, we have it from Littlefinger's own lips that he doesn't intend to marry his daughter to Harry. He intends to marry Sansa Stark. He wants to get his hands on Harry, so he can control him. Most likely, he'll tell him that he's going to marry the daughter of a high lord or something so the boy is calm. Then invite the nobility of the Vale on some pretext, perhaps even with the mystery wedding, and then present - Sansa Stark, heir to the North, marrying Harry, heir to the Vale (I'd guess poor Robert will be dead by then), perhaps even declared "Arryn" by royal decree or something. So, nothing out of the ordinary happening here.
How do you see the Freys ending up? Will they survive the series? Or will the North act on their promise to punish them?
Everyone with the surname "Frey" has a rough time in for them, that's for certain. But I'm not willing to buy the premise. First off, who is "the Freys"? They're a large family, and a good part of it didn't want to take part in the Red Wedding and didn't take part, too. It's imaginable that they make their own side branche of the Frey house, like the Fossoways did. Second, who is "The North"? There are many houses there, and at least some of them really hate the Starks and have no reason to loathe the Freys for anything else than being not them. The Boltons or Dustins for example never promised to punish them. Will they all care for the topic? Should Arnolf Karstark prevail, for instance, he certainly won't go after the Freys. And even in "the North" did want to kill every Frey - will they leave to North to actively hunt them down, disturbing the king's peace in the process? They might take a shot at killing one or two when the opportunity presents itself, like it happened several times now, but I don't see anyone invading the Twins and Riverrun anytime soon. Most likely, the Freys will stop visiting the North. But the likes of Black Walder will prevail. On a narrative note, I think Walder Frey will see the downfall of his house and die only then.
Is Margaery innocent?
There are two types of innocence to consider here. First her virginity, second her non-involvement in the intrigues of King's Landing, especially the murder of Joffrey. As to her innocence, I'd guess she really is innocent. She seems too much like Sansa in this, preserving her honor and the honor of her house until the wedding and restraining herself before, revelling in stories and romanticism and perhaps even some lesbian experiments. The second part, the murder of Joffrey, is trickier. I'd say she had no direct part in it and that it was the Queen of Thorns who acted here, but this is just political prudence. You wouldn't want her directly involved, like Tywin wasn't directly involved in the Red Wedding. Did she know? I guess she just knew not to ask and wasn't terribly surprised or sorry about what happened.