Friday, June 21, 2013

My stance on various ASOIAF conspiracy theories, Part 34

Thursday is theory day, but Friday's the charm this week. Again.
This is the thirty-fourth 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 (stefan_sasse@gmx.de) 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 34. Spoilers for "A Song of Ice and Fire", obviously. 

Will Tyrion take the Vale, he mentions he has an idea of how to do it several times?
I don't think so, simply because I don't see how he could "take the Vale". I think the more interesting question is whether Tyrion should take the Vale. From his perspective, it's of course a sweet piece of revenge, destroying everything the Arryns hold dear. On the other hand, the prospect is terrifying. Tyrion unleashing the mountain clans on the smallfolk of the Vale, letting them burn, rape and pillage while he himself sits atop of the ashes laughing - that's Tyrion taking the Vale, and proving once and for all that he really is a Targaryen and secret bastard of Aerys, creating his own kingdom of ash and charred bones. What has the Vale done to Tyrion? Several of its nobles didn't exactly treat him nicely, but he was practically an enemy. The only ones he has a beef with are the two Arryns, and one of them is already dead, and the other will be soon (but then, of course, Tyrion does also have a beef with Littlefinger). So, I don't exactly look forward to Tyrion making good on a promise he made when in anger and full of spite, but he doesn't have big chances to do what he intended, lacking the army necessary for it.
Is Jon Snow's mother "Tansy"?
No. The most comprehensive and, as I understand it, universally acknowledged explanation for "tansy", the word Hoster Tully murmurs on his death bed, is that he means the plant, which is used as an abortive. Since we know for sure that Littlefinger slept with Lysa (or better, the other way around) when he was suffering from his wounds from the duel with Brandon, and we also know that Lysa got pregnant from him and was forced to abort the child, this explanation is satisfactory. There is no connection between Eddard Stark and a presumed riverlands girl called Tansy, and there is no reason at all why Hoster Tully of all people would cry out her name on his deathbed. His last waking hours were filled with the desperate question of whether Lysa came or wrote, practically begging her forgiveness for ruining her life, never getting it. It's only appropriate that his last words would echo that thorn in his soul and not the answer to a meta-question the fandom obsesses over. 
What is up with Ser Garlan Tyrell's obsession with Tyrion? Almost every time we see him he is praising Tyrion.
Yeah, well, we see him once. The only time Garlan Tyrell talks on-screen is when he praises Tyrion, and that was intended only as the start to a conversation that is rudely interrupted by Joffrey and then completely fucked up by Tyrion himself. So, there might be nothing to it. The question got me thinking, however. Given what we know about the Tyrell political strategy from "A Feast for Crows", it might very well be that Garlan Tyrell tried what Margaery did with Sansa - getting a play at something the Lannisters thought theirs. Seriously, wouldn't it be nice to cultivate Tyrion as a mole, with no other price than simply being nice to him for a change? After all, that's what he wants most in the world, and the Tyrells have already proven that they are really good at that particular game.

13 comments:

  1. I haven't ever really thought about Tyrion taking the vale, but I'm going to shoot from the hip for a second. What if him taking the Vale is not by force or military might, but politically? Specifically, if Sansa Stark reveals herself, she technically is still Tyrion's wife. I don't have anything more concrete to add, but an intelligent political power player like Tyrion might be able to find a way to use that to his advantage. Of course this would involve a 180 degree change in where Tyrion is going right now (both geographically and as a character), but that's the most likely route IF it were to happen, IMO.

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    1. And it could give Tyrion a chance to get back at Littlefinger, and while Sansa has no love for Tyrion, I'm sure she'd understand that he has her interests more in mind than Lord Baelish does.

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    2. Two problems: Sansa only gets the Vale when she marries Harry, and second, his marriage was never consumated.

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  2. So this isn't a whole theory as much as it is a ramble, really, but...why do the Daynes keep coming up if, as Sean T. Collins is fond of saying, they're not a Chekhov's gun? We've got all these characters reminiscing about Arthur and Ashara and now we've got THE DARKSTAR as "the most dangerous man in Dorne" somewhere out there being hunted down by a POV character. Why? Why put all these Daynes into play if they don't come together somehow?

    And look - doesn't Ashara's demise resemble the fable of Bael the Bard, like, a lot? Like, too much? Like, not actually true too much? And we have to think Brandon Stark made some Branstards somewhere, and Ashara "looked...to Stark" who "dishonored her at Harrenhal" and who she was "mad with grief" for...couldn't be Ned, right? And even if Edric Dayne was telling the truth and Ned was in love with Ashara it seems a lot like what we've heard of Brandon to swoop in and snatch her up. And if we're sure R+L=J and therefore we can also conclude that Ned Stark was just way too uptight to actually father any bastards we've got to wonder why there are all these references to Ashara Dayne's bastard child with Brandon Stark if it really was stillborn and she really is dead.

    It could be that GRRM is just telling us a lot of sad stories about purple-eyed House Dayne because, I dunno, he hates them. But maybe there's something a little more to it than that. And I'm not even saying I know what it is! It just seems like too much to simply just be left hanging.

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    1. I'd just recommend to wait. I guess we will learn much more about this stuff in the next novel, because yes, Martin wouldn't tell us about them in such depth if he didn't intend to do something with them.

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    2. Heartsbane of HornhillJune 22, 2013 at 3:43 AM

      Just like Torgon the Late Comer part 2 is going to be revisited with Theon and Asha

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  3. Like I'm the first one to think of this...sigh...

    http://boiledleather.com/post/8382549603/video-all-sorts-of-weird-stuff-news-discussing-a

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  4. Garlan is a cool character. His niceness to Tyrion, just like his military training fighting 1 v 3, shows that he is able to think outside the box. He is both intelligent and a good fighter.

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    1. I agree, although we do not know him intimately. He does not seem like most of the Tyrell men we know.

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  5. We see Garlan a few times, actually. He speaks to Sansa at her wedding when he mentions Loras probably wouldn't have been the best husband for her.

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  6. Dayne attacked Myrcella as a revenge to the deaths of Ashara and Ned ?

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    1. Why would he? He's the infant terrible of the Dayne clan, and obviously a psychopath. He attacked Myrcella to start a war.

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