Thursday is Theory Day!
This is the fourty-seventh 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 47. Spoilers for "A Song of Ice and Fire", obviously.
And do you think Taena Merryweather is spying for Doran Martell?
I honestly never asked myself that. I don't even know where the connection is supposed to come from. For the sake of the argument, let's weigh the pros and cons. The biggest con is her marriage: she's alligned with Merryweather, which is a house of the Reach, the traditional enemies of Dorne. The next thing is that she allied with the Lannister cause by testifying against Tyrion. Of course, this could have been just a ruse to make her game less obvious. Doran has someone at court (he speaks of "friends"), and it might well be. However, Taena would be too good a source. During "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons", Doran doesn't display any level of insight that hints at Taena. He only suddenly gains big information (about the attack plan on Trystane) when Cersei is removed from power, which strongly hints at someone in Kevan's entourage. It might even be a Tyrell ally, although that seems less likely, due to the enmity. But Taena has no information at all after Cersei is imprisoned and, if I remember correctly, even fled the city. No spy of Doran would do that. Plus, I don't see where the connection is coming from. Taena is from Myr, and Doran has connections to Norvos, which is half a world away from Myr. So, no, I don't think Taena spies for Doran. That's someone else, someone I highly doubt we ever met.
What's Euron's endgame?
Why, conquering the world, of course. Euron is mad. He wants to really do this. Control dragons and such. We don't know much about him, but he has been to Asshai and drinks the blue stuff regularily. Most likely, that gave him a healthy sense of self-worth, something he didn't really lack before. The guy has some magic aces up his sleeve, including the magic horn he puts on Victarion, and he probably thinks that these gadgets, combined with the superior amateur's wisdom he has on some magical stuff and the connections to sorcerer guys he built will be enough to actually go through with his plan. I'm sure that he doesn't have any interest in the Ironborn themselves. They are means to an end, and he will happily give the islands to whoever cares about them when he gains what he wants. If he gains it, to be precise, because I can't see him really win this thing. Even if he'd conquer the Iron Chair, he would be the proverbial dog that caught the car and now doesn't know what to do with it. Euron is a force of malice and chaos, much like Littlefinger, who is interested in the thrive for the sake of the thrive. The two have much in common, although they obviously differ greatly in their experiences and background.
What had happened if Arya and Sansa escaped KL?
Boy, that would send a chain reaction through the storyline. They would have been brought to Winterfell and stayed there, prompting Catelyn to stay there as well. The Lannisters have no hostages left after executing Ned, which will greatly diminish the prospects of Jaime Lannister of survival. No one capable will treat with Renly, which doesn't matter anyway, so that's a dead end. But more importantly, Robb might never agree to Frey's demands, dooming his campaign then and there. So many ifs. The most important factor is Catelyn staying in the North and not advising Robb, for better or worse. Most likely Theon wouldn't have been able to conquer Winterfell, neither. But like always with counterfactual history, it's very, very hard to predict. You can guess at some initial consequences, but those breed consequences of their own, and the farther you go down the road, the more the story deviates from what we know. I'd say the North is safer, but Robb's war goes more badly as the general result. Maybe they even get a peace out of it, who knows.