But I agree, the show got it way wrong.
Found one theory today and created another.
Robert Strong has a head... it's Robbs. Here is the theory.
I was pondering ASOIAF (naturally) when a strange, yet probably completely irrelevant thought occurred to me.
Ser Robert Strong…what a strange choice in name. Something was nagging me about the name from the first moment I heard it. Today I finally realized what it was: the german translation for Strong is Stark.
Robert Strong == Robert Stark =? Robb Stark
Like I said, this is probably a coincidence, Robert Strong sounds like he’s pretty god damn strong. But on the other hand it’s been a while since I came across good tin fodder…so fuck it…Robert Strong is definitely an unholy combination of Gregor’s body and Robb Stark’s head (cut off at the twins and sent down to KL).
And the GRTESST 1 UV AL
ROBB IS LIVE
Robb acted unusually cocky and dickish at the Twins with Catelyn, and we know Robb was impulsive and in love with Jeyne. We also know the Jeyne that Jamie saw was a fake.
Robb sent a fake to the Twins and ran off with Jeyne, IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW.
So like. Was it just a normal vault, or was his entire wealth tied to the valyerian steel used in the making of it?
Just read the asoiaf forums and discovered a possible theory, my god.
Feast for Crow spoilers ahoy. What if it's Jaime who kills Cersei and not Tyrion? We're made to think it's Tyrion who will do it because she was told a younger brother will kill her, but isn't Jaime younger by a minute or so? His hate towards her is growing slowly from seeing her for what she truly is.
While Jon's chapters are my favorite, Tyrion and Jaime are tied for second. Jaime is probably one of the more tragic characters along side Theon and Tyrion. Most of his decisions when he was younger has been to keep the realm safe but ended up making people curse him(Slaying Aerys) and now he seems to be dedicated to keeping Tommen and the Realm safe no matter what.
He is really is one of the more tragic characters.
Theon as the most tragic character. I swear to the Maiden, I almost cried when I saw what he had become. He's just a spurned son who wants to please his father, and ended up betraying his best, and only, friend, then being torn apart on every level of his being and turned into a pitiful excuse for a man.
But yeah, Jaime's bad too.
that fortune teller lady that said her brother would kill her kids then her. also predicted her marriage to robert, her incest with jaime, how her downfall is played out, etc etc
also robert strong (adwd speculation spoilers) is just a beheaded Mountain in armor. the best and simplest explanation because: the mountain's head supposedly toured dorne, qyburn messed with the dying mountain, bran has a green dream about a giant suit of armor with no head inside
Pretty sure some characters in the book assume that as well, such as Kevan in the epilogue.
Davos has to be my favorite character so far. Tyrion's starting to grow stale and I haven't had a good Jaime chapter in a while, and who can't love the ole Davos/Stannis interactions? I'm getting a tickle that Stannis is going to become the new Lord of the Dreadfort by the end of the series.
Tweet from today
“@OonaCC: Today was a day I will never forget. You will never forget. #GameOfThrones”.
Yeah I don't really care at this point, HBO's show seems to be getting farther and farther away from the books. Maybe if we actually knew what Martin has in mind for Queen Jeyne, I would be more upset, but as it is, it's just part of the show's plot.
Just consider this mind fuck to be spoilers all, just in case.
Having begun my reread of AFFC, a few things stood out to me, regarding maesters, which haven't had as much light on them shed as many other topics. I'll divide this into four sections:
1. The Maester's Conspiracy, which will focus on the proof for such a conspiracy, and the generally agreed-upon theories which are believed by many fans on this reddit and other sites.
2. Maester Marwyn the Mage Last we saw him, he was off to become Dany's maester. But where is he now? What will he do? This leads into the last topic...
3. Faceless Men How do our favorite assassins (okay, second-favorite...who can beat the Sorrowful Men?) play into the maester's role, and what does Jaqen H'gar have to do with it?
4. Where Do We Go From Here? What will happen now that Jaqen (if that is his real name), Sarella Sand, and Sam the Slayer are all in the Citadel? Will dragons become a full species once more, or will the maesters succeed in extinguishing the last flames of magic?
1. The Maester's Conspiracy/Faceless Men
I'm sure most of you have a pretty good understanding of this theory, and it is one of the generally accepted theories (up there with R+L=J and Frey pies). Basically, the theory states that the Maesters have been working since their inception to rid the world of magic.
We will first start off with the cause of magic in the universe of ASOIAF. From the ASOIAF wiki, "Dragons are believed to be intrinsically tied to magic and the seasons of the world. Since dragons became extinct from Westeros, the power of magic dwindled and winters grew colder." Even if they aren't directly caused, there is a correlation between dragons and magic.
So eliminating dragons might eliminate magic, right?
Well, we know that the largest dragon known to man was Balerion the Black Dread, Aegon I Targaryen's black dragon who burnt Harrenhal to a crisp (ASOS Chapter 8, Daenerys I). Since then, dragons grew smaller and smaller. After the Dance of Dragons, the species became somewhat endangered. Many people believe(d) this to be the confinement of dragons in pits.
Here's the proof that that is wrong. After killing the Meereenese girl Hazzea, Viserion and Rhaegal are confined and chained in the Great Pyramid, which is a makeshift Dragon Pit (ADWD Chapter 11, Daenerys II). It should have the same effect, right? Wrong. Later, when she first visits the dragon pit, she realizes that Viserion has grown larger despite confinement.
So we know that there was another reason for the dragons becoming weaker and stronger. The theory that dragons were supposed to live free in the skies instead of chains, however, was created by the maesters. For being very knowledgeable, they were pretty far from the mark.
Now that we have a little bit of suspicion, let's cast a deeper look at the maesters. The following is a conversation between Lady Dustin and Theon (as Reek) in ADWD (Chapter 37, stylistically titled 'The Prince of Winterfell'):
As Maester Medrick went to one knee to whisper in Bolton's ear, Lady Dustin's mouth twisted in distate. "If I were queen, the first thing I would do would be to kill all those grey rats. They scurry everywhere, living on the leavings of the lords, chittering to one another, whispering in the ears of their masters. But who are the masters and who are the servants, truly?
"Every great lord has his maester, ever lesser lord aspires to one. If you do not have a maester, it is taken to mean that you are of little consequence. The grey rats read and write our letters, even for such lords as cannot read themselves, and who can say for a certainty that they are not twisting the words for their own ends? What good are they, I ask you?"
"They heal," said Theon. It seemed to be expected of him.
"They heal, yes. I never said they were not subtle. They tend to us when we are sick and injured, or distraught over the illness of a parent or child. Whenever we are weakest and most vulnerable, there they are.
"Sometimes they heal us, and we are duly grateful. When they fail, they console us in our grief, and we are grateful for that as well. Out of gratitude we give them a place beneath our roof and make them privy to all our shames and secrets, a part of every council. And before too long, the ruler has become the ruled.
Here's where it gets important
"That was how it was with Lord Rickard Stark. Maester Walys was his grey rat's name. And isn't it clever how the maesters only go by one name, even those who had two when they first arrived at the Citadel? That way we cannot know who they truly are or where they come from...but if you are dogged enough, you can still find out.
"Before he had forged his chain, Maester Walys had been known as Walyn Flowers. Flowers, Hill, Rivers, Snow...we give such names to baseborn children to mark them for what they are, but they are always quick to shed them. Walys Flowers had a Hightower girl for a mother...and an archmaester of the Cidatel for a father, it was rumored. The grey rats are not as chaste as they would have us believe. Oldtown maesters are the worst of all.
"Once he forged his chain, his secret father and his friends wasted no time dispatching him to Winterfell to fill Lord Rickard's ears with poisoned words as sweet as honey. The Tully marriage was his notion, never doubt it, he -" She broke off as Roose Bolton rose to his feet, pale eyes shining in the torchlight.
I believe there is another, more damning, scene between Theon and Dustin, but I'm not going to waste so much space copying it. Basically the jist of her story is that the maesters were responsible for setting Robert's Rebellion into motion, even if Rhaegar was the spark that lit the kindling they were building.
So what's the point of destabilizing the realm and possibly unseating the Targaryens? I don't think we know that yet. But it still fits in with the idea of the maesters being more than they seem.
I think the final piece of evidence leads into the next topic easily. The fact that the archmaesters of the Citadel are conspiring, to the point where prospective maesters who cannot be used as pawns sufficiently are excluded from this conspiracy.
From AFFC's prologue:
Armen pursed his lips in disapproval. "Marwyn is unsound. Archmaester Perestan would be the first to tell you that."
"Archmaester Ryam says too," said Roone.
Leo yawned. "The sea is wet, the sun is warm, and the menagerie hates the mastiff."
Moments later, Pate has a thought about Marwyn.
The Mage was not like other maesters. People said that he kept company with whores and hedge wizards, talked with hairy Ibbenese and pitch-black Summer Islanders in their own tongues, and sacrificed to queer gods at the little sailors' temples down by the wharves. Men spoke of seeing him in the undercity, in rat pits and black brothels, consorting with mummers, singers, sellswords, even beggars. Some even whispered that he once killed a man with his fists.
When Marwyn had returned to Oldtown after spending eight years to the east mapping distant lands (aside: not sure if this is significant at all, but this reminds me of a certain Crow's Eye being MIA for a while in the east. It doesn't contribute to the theory, but I just want to point it out) searching for lost books, and studying with warlocks and shadowbinders, Vinegar Vaellyn had dubbed him "Marwyn the Mage." The name was soon over Oldtown, to Vaellyn's vast annoyance. "Leave spells and prayers to priests and septons and bend you wits to learning truths a man can trust in," Archmaester Ryam had once counseled Pete, but Ryam's ring and rod and mask were yellow gold, and his maester's chai had no link of Valyrian Steel.
The Valyrian steel link alludes to higher mysteries - prophecy, magic, etc. So far, we see Marwyn, who has traveled far and wide, possibly even to Asshai and Valyria and other magical places, who believes in magic, versus the archmaesters who deny any truth. We've already seen magic, so we know whose right, but this sets up an important dynamic, where the correct person is thought of as somewhat of a conspiracy theorist.
Later, in Sam's last chapter, he is talking to Alleras (suspected to be Sarella Sand), Marwyn, and Pate (suspected to be Jaqen H'gar, but I'll get to that later):
"Aemon would have gone to [Daenerys] if he had the strength. He wanted us to send a maester to her, to counsel her and protect her and fetch her safely home."
"Did he?" Archmaester Marwyn shrugged. "Perhapes it's good that he died before he got to Oldtown. Elsewise, the [archmaesters] might have had to kill him, and that would have made the poor old dears wring their wrinkled hands."
"Kill him?" Sam said, shocked. "Why?"
"If I tell you, they may need to kill you too." Marwyn smiled a ghastly smile, the juice of fthe sourleaf running red between his teeth. "Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords?" He spat. "The world of the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons. Ask yourself why Aemon Targaryen was allowed to waste his life upon the Wall, when by rights, he should have been raised to archmaester. His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can."
"What will you do?" asked Alleras, the Sphinx.
"Get myself to Slaver's Bay, in Aemon's place. The grey sheep will send their man on a galley, I don't doubt. With fair winds I should reach her first." Marwyn glanced at Sam again and frowned. "You...you should stay and forge your chain. If I were you, I would do it quickly. A time will come when you'll be needed on the Wall." He turned to [Pate].
A few paragraphs later, he strictly tells Sam to "say nothing of prophecies or dragons, unless you fancy poison in your porridge." This is the crux of the maester conspiracy. Marywn has admitted that the maesters killed the dragons for their magical connotations, and admitting that they are "building" their own world. This could, perhaps, also connect to the beginnings of Robert's Rebellion. They needed someone to overthrow the Targaryens, the most prolific reminder of the magic of Old Valyria. Instead they replace him with Andals and First Men.
This leads into my second point.
2. Maester Marywn the Mage. Say that five times fast.**
Okay, so here's what we know of Marwyn. According to Sam's chapter, he has a thick neck and a strong jaw. He is short and squat with enormous hands, a thick chest and a hard ale-belly. He has white hair coming out of his nose and ears. His nose has been broken more than once and his teeth are stained red.
He spent eight years in the east. During this time, according to Mirri Maz Durr, he encountered her and taught her the secrets of the human body and the Common Tongue (AGOT Chapter 61, Daenerys VII). We know he knows some magic by this and the Valyrian steel tokens he carries (AFFC Appendix).
Marwyn is also held in high esteem by Qyburn, a former maester, who told Jaime that of all the archmaesters, only Marwyn gave the idea of ghosts a thought (ASOS Chapter 44, Jaime VI). So far, we see him connected to Qyburn and Mirri Maz Durr, two people who know a form of necromancy/life-sustenance (Qyburn/Robert Strong and MMD/Drogo). Qyburn is thought of akin to a mad scientist, while MMD is just a crazy magic bitch. So far, he doesn't have very good associations.
Now, something interesting from the Ice and Fire wiki. Cinnamon Wind, the ship which left Oldtown with Marwyn for Meereen, had already sailed to Qarth, met Dany, and then went off to the Jade Sea. I don't really know if it's significant, but I think it might mean something that he took a ship already mentioned. Or maybe it doesn't. Who knows?
As stated in the first section, Marwyn claims that the archmaesters have no more reason to trust him than Aemon Targaryen, giving the impression that his family makes him untrustworthy. As Lady Dustin said, Marwyn might be a bastard who wanted to shed the last name Hills or Flowers or Sand. Or maybe he's a son of a highborn lord. We aren't exactly sure. But how do family relationship have anything to do with the story?
Dustin mentioned that many maesters value family over duty in many situations, such as Maester Medrick or the acolyte Leo Tyrell. Marwyn has proven no hesitation towards helping Daenerys, which means he likely doesn't have a direct "beef" with the Targs. So he's not a Baratheon bastard or a Lannister guy. He is also unhappy with the status quo, of the Lannisters and Tyrells in power. A Lannister or Tyrell bastard wouldn't want to overthrow this regime if he is loyal to his family.
He may be Dornish, but we don't really get a description of his skin. We can't say if he is or isn't for sure, but I would say it's likely a no. Dornish have distinguishing characteristics, and having encountered a few people who have seen him, he's never mentioned as looking Dornish.
I would say he is likely either a northman or a man of the Vale, possibly a Riverlands man. While they all fought against the Targs, they didn't have many reasons to vehemently hate them (well, maybe the northmen, but I feel like since Ned wasn't so pissed about it, his subjects might not be either). Is it a coincidence that these three lands are the most unloving of Lannisters and may welcome a Targaryen to fuck them up?
Either way, it's likely a House or region which places much faith in magic. One could look to the North, where the Children of the Forrest practiced magic most recently. It's where direwolves find their way past the Wall, where unicorns exist (Skagos) and where the mysterious bogs are in the Neck. I feel like the magical connotations in the north are stronger than in any other place.
I don't exactly know where this is going, because there are many possibilities. I've already gotten slightly tinfoily with these last few dissections, and I don't want to make broad shots in the dark. But it's pretty clear that he isn't trusted, and may be from "magical" lineage (please, no one say secret Targ. Jon, Tyrion, Jamie, Cersei, Varys, Daario, Benjen...it's enough already).
So far, it seems like Marwyn is the only person high up in the maester's organization that believes in magic. He has three people who are on his side at the citadel: Sam, Alleras, and Jaqen H'gar (masquerading as Pate...I'll get to that in the next section). That gives me a segue into the next section.
3. Faceless Men
Alright, let's start with Jaqen H'gar. From ACOK Chapter 47, Arya IX:
"A god has his due. And now a man must die." A strange smile touched the lips of Jaqen H'gar.
"Die?" she said, confused. What did he mean? "But I unsaid the name. You don't need to die now."
I do. My time is done." Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His cheeks grew fuller, his eyes closer; his nose hooked, a scar appeared on his right cheek where no scar had been before. And when he shook his head, his long straight hair, half red and half white, dissolved away to reveal a cap of tight black curls.
Now, let's look at the AFFC prologue and see how Pate, the guy who hates being called the pig boy, describes the Alchemist, the man who offered a gold dragon (to be used to buy the virginity of the prettiest girl at the pub) in exchange for the set of archmaester's keys that unlocked every door in the Citadel:
He was just a man, and his face was just a face. A young man's face, ordinary, with full cheeks and the shadow of a beard. A scar showed faintly on his right cheek. He had a hooked nose, and a mat of dense black hair that curled tightly around his ears. It was not a face Pate recognized.
Of course, Pate's "death" at the end of the chapter is ambiguous, but when we see Pate again, he introduces him to Sam in the final words of the book:
"I'm Pate," the other said, "like the pig boy."
Now, what does this mean? Jaqen H'gar - if that is his real name - left the House of Black and White for a reason. He was in the black cells, which means that he was purposefully captured. There are two theories that I know of which speculate further on this.
The first, which I'm not sure if I believe, but I like, would be that Jaqen is Syrio. After he fought Meryn, he was captured and changed his face in the dungeon by the time Yoren picked the prisoners. I don't think it likely, just because taking time to train the Hand's daughter in needlework during a time of peace seems like a distraction from whatever mission he might have had.
The second, which I don't believe at all and is incredibly tin-foily is that Jaqen H'gar is really Ned Stark. As a Faceless Man, he took Ned's face while Varys helped him escape. Jaqen was really killed, while Varys had used his skill in changing appearance to help Ned look like Jaqen. It doesn't explain the face change at Harrenhal, nor why the Alchemist had the same description as Jaqen.
Here's the odd part, though. Jaqen's mission wasn't originally to make it to Oldtown. He got captured and was on his way to the Wall. When that fell through due to war, he went down to the Citadel instead. What might the Citadel and the Wall have in common?
I'll get to that in the next comment.
From Sam's first AFFC Chapter, in which he notes how many books he brought from the Wall to the Citadel:
I should not have brought so many, he told himself as he brushed the dirt off Colloquo Votar's Jade Compendium, a thick volume of tales and legends from the east that Maester Aemon had commanded him to find. The book appeared undamaged. Maester Thomax's Dragonkin, Being a History of House Targaryen from Exile to Apotheosis, with a consideration of the Life and Death of Dragons had not been so fortunate. It had come open as it fell, and a few pages had gotten muddy, including one with a rather nice picture of Balerion the Black Dread done in colored inks.
As noted often, the Citadel has the most extensive library in the world, including copies of every book. A book written by a maester would no doubt be in that library, no matter how rare it is. But why would the Faceless Men want to know about the Lives and Deaths of Dragons?
"I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on the bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings."
ASOS, a prophecy from the Ghost of the High Heart in an Arya chapter, in which she also saw Catelyn being pulled from the river and MelisSTANdra killing Renly. Don't have the exact pages.
A man without a face
Well, there's the connection to the Faceless Men. Dissecting this further, it is easy to make the connection to Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy being responsible for hiring a Faceless Man to kill someone on a bridge. Hm... Do we know someone who died on a bridge via mysterious circumstances?
But what wealth did Euron have to pay for a Faceless Man? Well, we know he came across a dragon egg in his travels in the east. He claims to have thrown it away in a foul fit. Of course, I'm sure he'd throw out a valuable dragon egg just as any respectable pirate would throw a barrel of precious diamonds overboard when he's pissed. Yeah, I don't buy it. I think Euron paid with his dragon egg.
Now, as an aside, when MelisSTANdra are trying to hatch a dragon egg on Dragonstone, a big deal is made that king's blood is necessary. Balon might count as king's blood for hatching the egg, or it might not. All we can assume is that the FM have an egg, and Euron got it for them.
So the FM have an egg and are looking for a book on the life of dragons. Interesting, but what does this have to do with the Maesters? Well, the maesters are anti-dragon and anti-magic, building a world in which dragons have no place. Not only are the Faceless Men hatching dragon eggs, but they have an agent, Jaqen/Pate/Syrio/Ned/Daario (jokes jokes) inside the Citadel. These two organizations are at fundamental odds with each other. So, can we bet on Arya assassinating Sam the Slayer? Not yet, but we can assume there will be some problems between the FM and the Maesters.
Now, what do the FM want with dragons? Well, there are theories. I'm not too well versed in them, but I think the best one is about them being former slaves from Valyrian freehold. They may hold grudges against Daenerys, being that she's of the blood of Old Valyria, and their dragon is the way to counteract her three. Maybe they just want to fuck shit up in their own right. I don't know, and I don't want to don my tinfoil hat, so I won't go into deep speculation into this.
4. Where Do We Go From Here?
We have a metric shitfuck of stories conglomerating in the Citadel with different threads. Sam is becoming a novice for the Wall. Jaqen has infiltrated the Citadel with a key that unlocks all rooms, looking for a book that will help the FM raise a dragon. Sarella Sand is there under the alias Arellas, training to become a maester as well. We don't know what she's up to, but as a Martell fan, I'm sure it'll be great.
The Maesters are trying to eliminate dragons and magic. The FM are trying to hatch a dragon egg. Marwyn is going against the Citadel to help Danaerys (who is being approached by a Red Priest named Moqorro, Victarion, Tyrion, Ser Jorah, and at war with Volantis, Yunkai, Qarth, and every other city in Essos, it seems). The Wall is maesterless for now, which might become significant as well.
So what happens?
Well, in the first five books, the game of thrones has been focused mainly in King's Landing. Now, we will see a different sort of game played in Oldtown - the game of dragons. When you play the game of dragons, you win or you get scorched a la Quentyn. So, who wins and who gets scorched?
Will the maesters, having control over most affairs in Westeros, be able to prevail over the Faceless Men, who can be anyone and kill anyone? Will Jaqen, Sarella, and Sam pose a problem towards the Citadel and the Archmaesters as they continue their own individual agendas? Will we learn more about what the maesters are up to?
Personally, I'm hoping for Harry Potter and the Winds of Winter. Watch as Samwell Tarly, a boy attending Hogwarts School of NO Witchcraft and Wizardry, as he embarks with his friends Sarella Sand and Pate "Pigboy" as they uncover the truths behind the Citadel. What's behind that door that Fluffy's guarding? Where is the Chamber of Secrets?
Okay, I'm now making references to Harry Potter, which means my really long post is at an end. Personally, I think that the FM will hatch a dragon, but it will be killed by Drogon in Westeros. By the end, the Maesters will be nullified, and magic will run rampant once more. Oh, and Drogon and Viserion will have many many dragon babies together, because who else will they mate with? Rhaegal? Nah, he's such a bed hog.
ADWD hasn't arrived yet so it takes all my willpower not to read that
unless the theory is widely accepted then it is pretty fucking retarded it seems
jaqen is ned stark how dumb can you be
That part was obviously a joke, how daft can you be.
did you write it?
My OCD for having all of the books of a series in one format is driving me insane, as the fifth book has yet to be released as a small form paperback... unlike my other four books.
should i read the books or wait for the next season???
you have time to read the first three books between now and march. i would do it.
just remember the show has changed stuff especially in robb, arya, sansa and jon's story
This what I imagine Daenerys Targaryen's dragon when it's fully grown up:
could've just quoted carne but maybe. we've seen other people with masks on who might be unsullied
If I was to buy A Storm of Swords, is my knowledge from the TV series enough to jump straight into reading it not having read the first 2 books?
either way as pointed out you have 5 months, read all 3. plenty of time
not to mention the tv show has left out many characters and subplots. also the books are much much clearer. as a for instance SEASON 2 / ACOK SPOILERS it is much clearer as to why jon kills the halfhand