Friday, July 5, 2013

My stance on various ASOIAF conspiracy theories, part 36

Thursday is theory day. But this week, I fucked up. Again. Sooooo, friday.
This is the thirty-sixth 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 36. Spoilers for "A Song of Ice and Fire", obviously.

At the end of the series what will become of Winterfell, who will be the lord?
Currently, there isn't even a Winterfell. The castle is a ruin, and the current lord of said ruin is Ramsay Bolton (never Snow!). I guess it's safe to assume that Ramsay won't last that long. Before "A Dance with Dragons", I always assumed Bran would end the book in those ruins, laying the first stone to rebuild it and concluding an arc. But since he's now in the process of becoming a tree, that theory is out of the window, I guess. That leaves two likely candidates: Rickon Stark, who is the next in line, and Sansa Stark, who is a favorite of mine. As things stand, it can only be one of those two. The books made too much of a point of "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell" not to have one of them in their by the end of the series. The more probable solution in terms of the world is Rickon, since he's male and got a broad supporter base for it. But Rickon is not a character we know really well (although that could change in Davos' storyline in "The Winds of Winter", of course), so from a narrative standpoint, we are emotionally more invested in Sansa who is also already set up by Littlefinger for this. Personally, I would root for Sansa, since I love the whole "Queen in the North" aspect of it. Consider me a shipper. But it comes down to "The Winds of Winter" and "A Dream of Spring", because without knowing which direction the narrative will take, it's just poking in the dark with a very blunt stick.

What is a more significant event shrouded in mystery, the tourney at Harrenhal or Summerhall?
Technically, we know more about the tourney of Harrenhal than about Summerhall. The story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree tells us much about the events that transpired there, and there are some really good theories to fill out the blanks (especially the one that says that Lyanna is the Knight of the Laughin Tree and Raegar finds her on the search party, falling in love with her). So, the Tourney is mainly shrouded in the mystery of "Is it true what the fandom deciphered?" Summerhall, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. We know practically nothing about what happened there except that Aegon V, his son (Duncan, the Prince of Dragonflies) and Duncan the Tall die there in a great fire due to Aegon's attempt to hatch the Targaryen eggs. Did Aegon believe he was the Prince Who Was Promised? What did he do with the eggs? Were they recovered? So many questions, so many mysteries, so we have a winner. 

Is Jon really dead?
Yes, but he will come back. I think it's the universal consensus in the fandom that Jon warged into Ghost at his death, and that somehow he will come back. Melisandre saw it in a vision, after all (although she didn't understand it): the man becomes the wolf becomes the man again. So the question is how Jon will become a man again. Many suggest that Melisandre will somehow revive him, but I doubt it. This ability seemed reserved for Thoros and Beric, and it really wouldn't make that much sense for her to meddle with the powers of the North. But the most important thing is not how he will come back, but as what he will come back. I think it's safe to assume that the new Jon will be another person, and most likely harder than the one before. If you believe that he is one of the three heads of the dragon (which I do), his would be the last "revival" that leaves the character fundamentally changed. The other two heads of the dragon - Dany and Tyrion - both had their makeover in "A Dance with Dragons", while Jon's starts in his very last chapter of that book. All three of them seem to have grown harder and more estranged from the world they were previously attached to, which is not necessarily a good thing.

15 comments:

  1. created this while my tinfoil hat was half on, how credible do you think the idea of bran performing another landbreak (when the children of the forest created the stepstones and the neck) at the wall to stop the advancement of the whitewalkers. This has happened before and would provide the bittersweet ending that has been promised, with bran and any remaining wildlings trapped with the whitewalkers north of the wall providing the bitter, but westeros being saved providing the sweet. However, i do believe the ending will be formed of many different events.

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    1. Might be, but somehow I doubt that the Others will be stopped by somethind as mundane as a body of water.

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    2. That's a brilliant idea, but isn't the Neck the more logical (and bittersweet) site for another broken landbridge?

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    3. while the neck is certainly as (if not more) plausible a location as the wall, i think the abandonment of hodor, bran and the reeds (jojen may already be dead) is bittersweet enough, even for G.R.R.M

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    4. I wonder if the gorge by the Shadow Tower is the remains of an earlier, failed attempt to do just that.

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    5. No, no, no, oh oh oh

      Man eater, man rider, man hater, man biter
      Bran will not give the wall a moat,
      Bran will will bring the wall down!

      I know, I know, oh oh oh

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  2. Here is my question to you:

    Why did Benjen join the Night's Watch after Robert's Rebellion? Given that the Stark mainline at that time was in disarray at that time, saying "the Starks have always been friends to the Night's Watch" is not enough, as I guess that Eddard would have been glad to have his younger brother help him in his rule of the North after the Rebellion.

    The theory to which I subscribe is that Benjen either helped or did not interfere with Lyanna's flight with Rhaegar, and thus joined the Wall out of guilt for having indirectly triggered the deaths of his close family, and of many other people.

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    1. Yep, I think that's likely, too, but I take the question on my list for later answering.

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    2. Wasn't Benjen the Stark in Winterfell during Robert's Rebellion? First trusting him with Winterfell, then sending him to the Wall? Seems strage to me.

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    3. I don't think he was so much sent as that he went.

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  3. Stefan, I just sent you a mail. Have you seen it?

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    1. I don't know, did I? If yes, I answered. ^^

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  4. I'm glad someone else likes Sansa besides me. I've always her character and reading her POVs.

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