King Broken-Smile: Theon’s Path to the Seastone Chair – Part 2: Landlubbers

In this long, LONG essay, I’m going to break down how I think Theon will end up sitting on the Seastone Chair by the end of ASOIAF (even if he doesn’t stay there for long!) In part 1, we looked at the conspiracies and revolts brewing on the Iron Islands, particularly on Great Wyk. In part 2, we’ll swing over to the mainland to look at the various parties potentially invested in a King Broken-Smile. Originally, I planned on a potential part 3 on the thematic importance and relevance of these plots. Because I am both lazy and economical, I’ve rolled part 3 into the end of this hefty-sized essay, making part 2 THE FINAL PART.

Onward!

Part 2 – Landlubbers

In the first part of King Broken-Smile, I looked at the brewing storm on the Iron Islands, and the homegrown rebellion that Euron might be eventually facing. Here I’m going to move east by a few hundred miles and look at the various landlubbers involved in a Theon-crowning scheme – including Asha, Stannis, and even the North. We’ll wrap it up with a character analysis of Theon himself, a section that the New York Times calls “a bold attempt.”

Asha Kingmaker – The Queen of Pinecones

By now, it almost feels like cheating to bring up the Torgon Latecomer plan in an Ironborn writeup. In ADWD, Tris “Punkass” Botley reminds Asha of Torgon Latecomer, whose absence from a Kingsmoot invalidated the whole thing. She kisses him and is then interrupted when Stannis and the Mountain Men (my new The Band cover band) storm Deepwood Motte.

The_Band_(1969)

Not pictured: Stannis “The Banjo” Baratheon

The Torgon Latecomer precedent establishes that a Kingsmoot can be invalidated by the omission of a valid candidate or heir. Or, more simply: because Theon wasn’t at the kingsmoot, it wasn’t a real Kingsmoot.

Now, there’s a lot made in the fandom of the “power lies where men believe it resides” realpolitik ideas in ASOIAF. People love to smarmily inform each other that all this law stuff doesn’t really matter, it’s just whoever has the bigger army and the better steel. And granted, there are plenty of plotlines in ASOIAF that give that attitude plenty of credence. This realpolitik attitude makes the Torgon Latecomer precedent seem pointless – it doesn’t matter if there’s a legal precedent to overturn the Kingsmoot, all that matters is who has the biggest army. The Torgon Latecomer story is just that – a story. Words are wind, right? It doesn’t matter!

Except it does matter.

Many in the fandom are Renlys – convinced that the king is the king just because he has the biggest army and the baddest dudes. But that way anarchy lies – and people in Westeros know that. Robert became king because he had the biggest army (and some Targaryen droplets in his virile blood), but his rebellion was 100% above-board because Aerys II disrupted the legal order. He started killing people – Lords Paramount, nonetheless – willy-nilly. When Aerys II burned Rickard Stark, feudal law burned too.

For a more recent example, let’s look at Stannis Baratheon. Stannis’ entire claim on the Iron Throne is based on the law – not who has the bigger army or the stronger spears, but the law. And thousands of men follow Stannis to their deaths for this law. Turning back the clock a hundred-and-eighty years, the first Dance of the Dragons was the same way: it was a question of succession laws. Kings might be built by armies, but kingdoms are built by laws.

All this is to say – yes, realpolitik is a thing. But symbols and legal precedents are also vitally important to maintaining any pretense of social order. And Asha isn’t an anarchist. Note that she’s not just openly rebelling against Euron – why would she? He’s the legal king. Yes, he’s a monster and a lunatic, but he’s the legal king and hasn’t done nothin to violate that status as king. Not like Aerys II’s blatant disregard for The Way Things Work, at least.

But with the Torgon Latecomer precedent, Asha has a legal, peaceful grounds to challenge Euron’s kingship. And that italicized word is a key one. One of the greatest things about Asha’s character is that she is not a mindless Ironborn killing machine. At the kingsmoot, she brought pinecones and promises of peace. She doesn’t react with blind violence; in fact, a large part of her character arc has been to seek greater peaces. She takes joy in battle and killing, but not the point where she wants that above all else.

So that’s what Asha wants. But let’s shift gears and talk about someone who wants Asha. Namely: Tristifer Botley.

In my last essay, I talked a little bit about Glooberglomp Botley, whose “real” name is Germund. Germundglomp has inherited Lordsport ahead of Tristifer Botley. Here’s how that happened.

Tristifer is the son of Sawane Botley (hereafter the SwanBot). Germundglomp is SwanBot’s brother and Tristifer’s uncle. Now, under the normal ol succession laws, titles pass to the son before the uncle. Euron, canny madman that he is, has stolen the Seastone Chair out from under the rightful heir, Balon’s son Theon. He then killed SwanBot (for reasons, I guess) and gave Lordsport to the uncle over the son. CLEVER FUCKER, EURON. He’s consistent in this succssion matter.

If Asha goes to promote Theon as a reason to overturn Euron’s kingship, Tristifer stands to get Lordsport from the re-establishing of the standard succession laws. The only problem is that Tristifer is basically a slug. He has no passion or care for the inheritance of Lordsport; in Feast, he says of the matter that “It is nought to me.”

What he does have a passion for, however, is Asha. In a single chapter in ADWD, he has the following bleatings:

“I would have you live. I love you.”

“You will always rule my heart. No amount of fools shouting at a kingsmoot can change that.”

“It’s not food I want, my lady. You know that.”

“You and I were meant to be, Asha. I have always known you would be my wife, and the mother of my sons.”

Look, the point is – Tris wants dat Ash. And Asha is fully aware of that. House Botley would be a valuable addition to her coalition, particularly if Tris can bring the strength of Lordsport to bear. But she might just have to use Cersei’s favorite weapon to spur him to action.

I think Asha will promise herself to Tristifer in return for his help in an Ironborn restoration. But I think Tristifer will die. Tragically. I think he’ll die believing that he finally had Asha to himself.  And Asha will’ve used him (Arianne-style) to get a political gain. The innocents and romantics are dropping off like flies; Tris is literally a virgin

“All I dream about is you. Asha, I swear upon the bones of Nagga, I have never touched another woman.”

and a romantic (see previous quote). Is he destined to go the way of the Quentyn?

I hope so. Creepy git.

Stannis and Wyman – Oniontended Conseqeuences

Look, all this Asha and Tris talk is lovely, but let’s get down to bronze tacks: currently, Asha, Theon, and Tristifer Botley are all prisoners of Stannis “the night lamp” Baratheon.

Do yourself a favor and read that linked theory (by the wonderful Cantuse), as I’m basically taking the general gist of the plan as canon – Stannis will use a fake fire to win the battle at the crofter’s village.

I agree with Cantuse here – Theon and Asha have too much value to Stannis, especially if Asha tells him about the Latecomer precedent. He won’t burn either of them. Of course, Bran “I’m Literally a Tree Now” Stark won’t be too happy about that. He’s the one having the ravens scream “TREE TREE” at Theon, basically begging Stannis to just fucking burn the guy already.

But Stannis will not.

Let’s talk Wyman Manderly for a second. Wyman has currently sent good ol Davos Seaworth off to Skagos to nab himself a Starkling. I’ll be drawing from the most accurate asoiaf timeline in existence, so you might want to click that link and verify that I’m not just pulling all this straight out of my Nightfort. Davos is sent to get Rickon around 4/17/300 (the months and dates are arbitrary, really). Theon I, the TWOW preview chapter in which Stanley is still preparing for battle, takes place on the equivalent of 7/22/300. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a solid three months for Davos to go to Skagos and back. Here’s my bold assertion: if Manderly doesn’t already have Rickon, he’s certainly about to have him. Why would GRRM leave that large of a time gap? Is it because Davos’ chapters in TWOW feature several months of puttering around on Skagos? DOUBTFUL. I think it’s because GRRM wants to time the Rickoning to line up real damn close to the Battle for Winterfell.

Why would he do that? Well, because the Rickoning is going to have some…oniontended consquences.

onyon

This seems appropriate.

There’s a big coverup in ACOK: Theon, Ramsay, Bran, Rickon, Wex, Hodor, Osha, and the Reeds are the only people who are privy to the fake-out plan. For several books, these people have been kept separate from one another, or in positions where they can’t or won’t tell the truth. But for the first time, we’re seeing some careful GRRM maneuvering that might actually exonerate Theon.

Whaaaaat? You heard me. Let me break it down.

Manderly and Stannis meet after the Crofter’s Village battle. Manderly tells Stannis that he has Rickon and Davos hidden away somewhere. Theon offers to tell the truth about the deaths and villify Ramsay. Remember, he has no weapons left to him but his wits. He’s crippled and broken; he can’t even rely on his good looks anymore. But he has the truth, and that’s a powerful weapon indeed.

Wyman Manderly never intended to exonerate Theon. He had Wex, he was pretty sure where Rickon was; why would he need Theon? But Theon’s convenient presence (plus the fact that Asha needs Theon alive to overturn Euron’s kingship) will make a compelling argument to the wily Wyman: exonerate Theon, clear him of these kinslaying charges, slap the plan on Ramsay instead, and watch the North and the Iron Islands bow, you shits.

This is entirely in Stannis’ interests as well. He has every reason to want to install loyal Lords Paramount in the other kingdoms; he’s changed from the man he was when he coldly refused Cat’s offer for Robb’s kingly peace back in ACOK. Wyman’s plan will line up with Stannis’ very quickly and very easily – especially with a burgeoning rebellion on the Iron Islands. It’s been seven months since the last Aeron chapter and the kingsmoot by the end of ADWD, more than en0ugh time for the rebellion to begin brewing offscreen. I think the thrall rebellion I proposed last time will coincide nicely with the post-victory Winterfell Righteousness Brigade.

I know this all sounds rosy for Stannis and Wyman, so before you go thinking I’m a hopeless romantic, chew on this bitter herb. I think Bran will do his best to take revenge on Stannis for not killing Theon. Bran is still a child, and has more reason to hate Theon than most living people. Moreover, I think Rickon will prove to be a feral child, essentially uncontrollable. His arrival will, as is GRRM fashion, be perfectly-timed – he arrives long enough to give the north a reason to unite, but then does something horribly savage (kills a Manderly, maybe) that makes the North waver. In what I think will be a very dark twist, Wyman will have Rickon quietly killed. Of course, this opens the path for a new Stark at the Wall, a Stark with Targaryen blood…

But this essay isn’t about Jon Snow. The point is just that the landlubbers in the North will have plenty of reason to support not only keeping Theon alive but also using him to control the Iron Islands. They don’t even need him as a puppet, though – not with Asha. They just need Theon to overturn the Kingsmoot. I believe that all factions will be gunning for a Queen of Pinecones to rule the Iron Islands – all factions except Aeron’s.

Theon Himself – Prince Broken-Smile

At last, at last. Rejoice! In this 10,000 word essay about Theon Greyjoy, I haven’t talked about Theon Greyjoy at all. Until now.

Theon-by-Brittmartin-theon-greyjoy-35931371-375-500

Theon, by brittmartin

Let’s face facts: Theon has been broken. He has been metaphorically killed; everything that made Theon Theon was destroyed by Ramsay Bolton Snow. Theon was once a great archer. His fingers have been flayed and cut off. He used to smile all the time, as if at some secret joke. Ramsay knocked his teeth out. He used to fuck all the time. Ramsay (probably) castrated him. More than that, his very identity was taken from him, twisted by Ramsay Ramsay Ramsay.

But you know what Theon was doing in the TWOW preview chapter?

Laughing.

He giggles a lot in that chapter. It’s a little creepy and sad (the mental image, that is) but when you think about it, it’s almost…electrifying. Theon is laughing again. He’s been broken, he’s been destroyed…but what does he say to Asha at the end of ADWD? “THEON.” He claims himelf again. He is Theon. Theon is a broken thing, but he is beginning to own that brokenness, to create a new Theon from the ashes of the old Theon.

You probably see where I’m going with this –

“WHAT IS DEAD MAY NEVER DIE, BUT RISES AGAIN, HARDER AND STRONGER.”

The irony in those words is that Theon won’t be harder and stronger. He’ll still have a broken smile, no weiner, and the countless horrors buried deep in his psyche. Theon is dead, and now he cannot die. He is too useful to the world around him; too many people want him alive. But what does Theon want?

That’s the hardest question to answer, given that we’ve seen exactly one chapter of Theon post-captivity, and he hardly does anything. In fact, he seems like he’s almost nihilistic. He doesn’t particularly care that Stannis is about to kill him; instead, he’s more tickled by the fact that the ravens remember his name.

And Stannis isn’t about to kill him, as I said above. Yes, it would please the northmen. But I think Theon will live long enough for Stannis to get in on Wyman’s plans and see even more value to keeping Theon alive. Moreover, I think we can turn to meta reasons to see why GRRM wants Theon alive. The Torgon Latecomer story – and this is important! – is never explicitly linked to Theon. Never. Asha just hears the story, kisses Tris because she had a good idea related to the story, and then BAM we never hear about it again.

This is GRRM laying tracks in the background. If the Torgon Latecomer plot was explicit – that is, if Asha was walking around ADWD going “boy, I need Theon to overturn Euron’s kingsmoot” – then the plan would never work. That’s how writing and tension works. When a character lays out their plan in front of the reader, the plan should never go exactly as the character predicts. At least, not on-screen. Look to the LEGO movie for an oddly good example – when the LEGOs are planning on infiltrating the dark tower thing, they go through the plan montage AND the actual infiltration at the same time. It avoids redundancy. For another good example that’s actually from ASOIAF, look at the plan to escape Winterfell in ADWD. Mance, the spearwives, and Theon all cook up this plan off-screen. Then it plays out in front of the reader. The tension comes from not knowing the plan.

All this is to say – the Torgon Latecomer plan hasn’t yet been explicit. I think that’s because GRRM is saving that explicit mention for later in the plot. Ironically, it’s the fact that Asha isn’t talking about how much she needs Theon that should tell us GRRM won’t kill Theon. If GRRM kills Theon at the start of TWOW, that Torgon Latecomer plot hook becomes a dangling implication, an awkward moment in an otherwise-tight narrative. We know GRRM is a perfectionist when it comes to timing, even for things that might not seem important (he wrote three different versions of the chapter where Quentyn arrives in Meereen, for example). It would shock and dismay me on a meta-level if the Torgon Latecomer plot is just left to dangle.

Anne Groell, GRRM’s editor, has talked before about his “three-fold revelation” strategy – one very subtle clue, one more overt clue, then the big reveal. We can see this with the reveal that Robb broke his marriage vow, actually. Late in ACOK, in one of Arya’s chapters, a Frey boy laments to her that his house has been dishonored, and he’ll have to marry someone new. She doesn’t give it much thought, and then she ends up escaping and forgets about that. But it’s that first subtle clue, the opening gambit of a longer plot game.

Thus it is with Torgon Latecomer. GRRM shows us his hand but veiled, then whisks us around and points us in a different direction to make us forget we ever saw it. It’s his strategy with almost every plot point in the series, and this will be no exception.

So as much as it looks like Stannis is going to kill Theon at the end of the released TWOW chapter, I really, really doubt that Theon will die.

By the way, Theon even bears some resemblance to the literal forebear of the Ironborn, the Grey King. “Old Greybutt,” as he’s often called, is described thusly:

The Grey King is so named because his hair, beard, and eyes were grey as the winter sea, and at the end of his life even his skin had turned grey.

— The World of Ice and Fire, “Driftwood Crowns”

Theon Greyjoy, post-reeking, is described:

Theon has lost three stone in weight, his skin has turned pasty, and his hair is white and brittle. He can no longer use a bow due to the loss of some fingers and he hobbles like an old man due to the loss of several toes.

— The Wiki of Ice and Fire

Theon has literally become the Grey King. All he needs is some seawed robes…and what Ironborn fashionisto do you think could supply him with those?

His dear old Nuncle, Aeron Greyjoy.

I doubt that Aeron will miss the significance of Theon’s return to the Islands. He was literally considered dead, but has risen again, looking for all the world like the legendary founder of the Ironborn way of life. Theon Greyjoy is the perfect religious figurehead for the Drowned Men.

GRRM likes writing about stories within stories. In ADWD, as the WONDERFUL tumblr blog “Poor Quentyn” recently pointed out, GRRM actually uses Tyrion’s despondent cynicism as a way to critique the too-perfect story of young Aegon VI. GRRM is not afraid to have genre-savvy characters, people who recognize and use powerful narratives. And what better person to recgonize and use a religious rebirth narrative than AERON GREYJOY HIMSELF.

All this is to say: Stannis, Wyman, Asha (and even Theon!) will go into the SecondMoot with full intent to crown Asha. But Aeron’s recognition of the active religious narrative at play will change the SecondMoot dramatically, as he (and the Drowned Men who follow him) unilaterally vouch for a godly man.

But what does Theon want? What will drive him, moving forward?

I think Theon wants to laugh. He’s amused by mistakes and ironies, and life is full of those. There’s a potent irony even in his last name – all his joys will be grey, since his smile is forever broken. And he won’t just be “fixed.” GRRM knows better than to write a story of mental destruction like that. People don’t just get better magically. Theon has been killed, yes, but as GRRM is demonstrating with certain other storylines, death is a transformative process, a distillation and a disinhibition. What hampered Theon, back in ACOK? What was his great weakness? His pride. His self-image. Now he has no delusions, no pretensions. He simply cannot be the scared, indecisive young man he was when he was Prince in Winterfell. Not anymore. Theon was dead, but has risen again, freer.. Note that this doesn’t make him magically fixed. Disinhibition cuts both ways. A Theon who isn’t afraid of being mocked might also no longer be afraid of, you know, moral qualms and consciences and little things like that.

Pulling it All Together

As with my last post, I’ve been talking about a lot of generalities and broad topics. So let’s hammer out what I think will happen exactly:

I think Theon and Asha will survive the Battle of the Crofter’s Village, and I think Wyman and Stannis will conspire to infiltrate Winterfell. I think we’ll see at least part of the battle from Bran’s bird’s-eye perspective, which will also inform us on Bran’s feelings towards the still-living Theon. I think after infiltrating Winterfell, Stannis and Wyman will take down the Boltons and raise up Rickon, who is being kept safe nearby by Davos Seaworth. This timing will allow for Ramsay to be convinced that he’s won the battle (I’m a sucker for the “Stannis will fake his death” story) and send the Pink Letter.

After the Boltons are kicked out, word will arrive that the Iron Islands are rising in popular rebellion. Asha will’ve convinced Stannis of Theon’s utility; Rickon’s survival and Theon’s exoneration will let Asha and Theon head home to hold a second kingsmoot, with Tristifer Botley in tow. All parties on the mainland (the landlubbers) will be convinced that Asha will win the Kingsmoot, becoming a Queen of Pinecones. But Aeron will lionize Theon as a religious symbol, and Theon will be sat upon the Seastone Chair. He is, after all, a pretty godly man.

Theon needs an heir, however, and he’s not capable of producing one himself. Asha will become his heir, as his sister. I wager Theon does not survive the series. At the end of the story, we might actually see Asha become a peaceful queen, in keeping with her growing thematic importance as a peacemaker and a warrior.

In the North, Stannis will be hounded by Bran’s magic as the winged wolf takes out his frustration on the beleaguered king. Rickon will disrupt the northern alliance by doing something stupid with Shaggydog…just as rumors arrive from the far North about Jon Snow, who has risen from the dead as Azor Ahai reborn. Stannis’ allies will melt away as Wyman quietly sets Rickon aside in favor of Robb’s true heir, and Stannis will refuse to recognize Jon as Azor Ahai given what he believes about himself.

But on the Iron Islands…who knows? Really, I wish I had more to say about that. If we look at who has wronged Theon, the list starts and ends with the Boltons. What will he want as king? Will he be a tool for Asha? Will he turn north to seek forgiveness from Jon Snow? Will he turn south? Will he, too, migrate to the dragon queen as all squids seem to do?

Hell if I know.

Themes and Big Ideas in TWOW – How This Fits

That’s about it in terms of concrete plot predictions, really. But I am going to talk about how these plotlines fit into the larger themes of TWOW.

In Part 1, I wrote about the religious revolt that I think is brewing on the Iron Islands. GRRM has, in Feast and Dance in particlar, been emphasizing the role of the smallfolk, the peasant, the slave, in determining the course of empires. We have Dany’s army and Mhysa-role, of course, which will come to its dark utilitarian head in TWOW as she becomes the true Mother of Dragons, turning her devoted legions of supplicants against Westeros – and, I believe, against young Aegon VI.

In King’s Landing, we saw the slow building of public discord, starting with Joffrey’s beheading of Ned Stark. In that act, Joffrey defiled the steps of the Sept of Baelor – and that has consequences, as we saw in Feast. The smallfolk became the Sparrows, and a religious uprising has now grabbed the capital by its throat. The rise of the Sparrows is a direct result of the actions of the monarchy; united under a populist zealot, the people of King’s Landing (and, soon, Westeros) are looking for justice against the institutions that wronged them.

In the Riverlands, nightfires are burning. Lady Stoneheart has returned from the dead by the graces of the Red God, and the smallfolk know this. Lord Beric laid the tracks for a huge popular revolt in the Riverlands by being a symbol of justice for the downtrodden, and now Lady Stoneheart stands in a position to weaponize the downtrodden, especially since she was, you know, literally killed and brought back to life. Such a drastic act of magic tends to have that effect.

Come we then to the Iron Islands, the location of the only other active and prosletyzing religion in Westeros. Given the importance in the backstory of the Drowned Priests in motivating smallfolk rebellions and the fact that we literally have the greatest living Drowned Priest as a POV, I think that we are absolutely being led to the next religious popular uprising. TWOW will be a book where the masses are rising, a tide to engulf the people who would withhold food, water, homes, and life from them (LOOKING AT YOU, LITTLEFINGER. FUCK YOU AND YOUR GULLTOWN SCHEMES).

The unexpected wonder of books 4 and 5 has been that GRRM addresses questions you didn’t even realize he raised. I’ll give my favorite example. In book 3, Dany reacts to all the Ghiscari people the same way: ew, slavers, what despicable people. It’s somewhat justified given that, you know, they’re all slavers and despicable people. At first. But then GRRM takes away that moral certitude by planting Dany in Meereen and making her (and us) meet the people she (and we) thought of so callously.

The same, I think, is happening with the smallfolk. Through ASOIAF, it’s been almost a given that the peasants have shit luck and the lords are the ones who get to play with the lives of the little people. It’s a given – but it’s a terrible given. And GRRM has shown this trend of wanting to investigate the terrible givens. Like Dunk in The Sworn Sword, he cannot help but flip over the rock to see what’s under there. The smallfolk are rising, from Meereen to the Wall. The Iron Islands will not be left out.

yeah i used a shitty stock photo deal w/it

Pictured: George R R Martin’s writing technique

The second Big Theme to look at here is Revengurrection. Many many many moons ago, I had the idea to compare Catelyn’s story to the old rape/revenge genre of movies – movies that start with a brutal act done to the protagonist, and then climax with the protagonist getting extremely brutal revenge. I Spit On Your Grave is the ur-example in the modern era, but folks are probably more familiar with the Kill Bill movies, in which The Bride is literally killed (okay, mostly killed) and then brought back to life (okay, wakes up from her coma) to enact bloody revenge.

We have a whole host of characters in TWOW who have died and are returning for revenge. Some of them were literally dead – Lady Stoneheart, Jon Snow. Others were only thought dead – Jon Connington, Aegon VI. As I said above  – GRRM is entering a phase of the story in which death is a transformative process. This isn’t a new idea in ASOIAF – the prologue itself dealt with the idea that death isn’t a certainty, and death transforms.

All this is to say – Theon, like Jon Connington, was thought dead by most of the world (or at least as good as dead). But Theon lives. Again, given the Ironborn creed (say it with me – WHAT IS DEAD etc etc), I’d be absolutely floored if our main Ironborn POV doesn’t have something to do with that creed. Death transforms, in ASOIAF. Death disinhibits – both literal death and metaphorical death. Catelyn Stark became Lady Stoneheart, the expression of her darkest desires for revenge. Jon Connington will become Tywin Lannister, ruthless and brutal to a fault. Jon Snow will become the Wild Wolf, heedless of counsel, answering only to his own whims. Even Dany will become the Mother of Dragons, seeking what she considers justice over the far-too-difficult mercy. What about Theon?

Theon will start laughing. As he once did. Theon sought many things, but all his other joys have been denied to him – fyou know, stuff like banging and shooting. He can hardly even eat solid food anymore. All that is left to him is mad laughter and secret jokes. Put a guy like that in charge of a populist revolt, and I don’t see how anything could go wrong.

Conclusion

If there’s a bullet point version of everything I wrote, it’s this –

  • Theon isn’t going to die
  • There will be a second Kingsmoot, at which Theon will be crowned
  • It is in the interests of Wyman and Stannis to do this
  • The Kingsmoot will be part of a general rebellion being led by Aeron
  • This is thematically and structurally sound as part of the plot for TWOW

You might notice I’ve left the show out. This is for two reasons –

1 – The differences are too exhausting, and we know too little about the Iron Islands in the show.

2 – Who cares? We’ll see the show in ~5 months for sure. TWOW…well, that’s another story. Literally.

That about does it for the chronicles of King Broken-Smile. Originally, I anticipated 3 parts to the series, with the third focusing on the question of Theon’s heir. So I’ll mention that right here, briefly – I think Theon’s heir will be Asha. I think there’s about a 30/70 chance that Theon had a baby with the daughter of the captain of the Myraham, and that that baby will show up again in the story. It’s possible, and it would be one way to give Theon an heir, but I think it’s more interesting if he and Asha are forced to work together.

Thanks very, VERY much for reading (and for waiting. Believe me, I know how slowly I write). There’s always more to say about ASOIAF, so I’ll keep on posting as the weeks go by – especially with Season 6 just around the corner!

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10 comments

  1. I disagree with one point, and that is Rickon’s death. Wyman Manderly is dead loyal to the Starks, which is why I see it as completely out of character that he would ever harm Rickon. Other than that, an enjoyable read and solid write-up!

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    1. I thought about that, but if the Manderly host is going out to battle, wouldn’t Wyman be in more danger staying at Winterfell? I think he’s got a lot of pieces already in place outside the walls of Winterfell and will be carried out along with his army and lead from way way way in the back, only meeting with Stannis after the Night’s Lamp strategy has had its way with Los Frey.

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  2. This was a tremendous essay – right up there with the best of asoiaf punditry. I had never read your stuff, having misjudged you, perceiving you as a show apologist (I hate the show more than words can ever express), but I was wrong. This is great stuff – I’d love to see a third installment taking The Forsaken into account, although it may not change much as you presciently predicted Aeron imprisonment in the first essay.

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