Be sure to check out the end of the article for links to other interesting theories, such as the grand faceless men theory! But remember there are tons of spoilers so don’t read this if you haven’t read all the books or don’t like being exposed to possible plot points.
From the information given so far from the books, it seems to me that Howland Reed was learning how to use magic through the old gods. The First Men and the children of the forest made a pact to end their war. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pact that they made was a marriage pact to insure peace. Its already been stated that the children of the forest lived in crannogs.
When Meera tells Bran about the little crannogman it ‘s probably Howland that she speaks of. He learned all the magic of her people could run on leaves, make castles appear and disappear, breathe mud, etc. It makes sense to me, for his people to be descended from the children of the forest. We have heard of no other men being capable of this. And remember after the war between the First Men and the children of the forest they “formed” the green men to guard the isle of faces.
Howland Reed wanted to become an even stronger magic user so after he learned all the magic of his people he went to the isle of faces seeking the first green men who were charged with watching over the isle. Howland found them and he stayed there for a time, probably years. When spring came he went to the tournament at Harrenhal and met the wolves who may be his first cousins Eddard,Brandon,Benjen(he may have already met Lyanna since she knew that he was her father’s bannerman.)
The reason I say they may have all been first cousins is because it’s very curious to me that Eddard’s father Rickard is the only parent of his ever mentioned. Who Eddard’s mother is/was and where she comes from has never been mentioned(as far as I know). Only that his grandmother was a flint. When I looked at the Reed House line I found it curious that Howland’s wife is named Jyana. Could Eddard Stark’s mother and the mother of Howland Reed’s wife be sisters. And did they decide to give their daughters similar names, Lyanna(Eddard’s Sister) and Jyana(Howland’s wife)? I know that’s stretching it a bit based on the information that is available. But it’s entirely possible, and would explain a few things. Then again it could also be entirely wrong.
Not only would this explain similar sounding names but it would also explain why Bran has powers similar to Jojen and the Children of the forest’s greenseers. It would also explain why most of the Stark children have wolf dreams and can feel their wolves etc. And why Howland and Eddard grew so close.
Anyways, the young pup(Benjen) offers the little crannogman(Howland) weapons to enter the tourney and defend his honor but he says nothing. The crannogman looks at the isle of faces and prays to the old gods before he goes to sleep in Eddard’s tent.
The next day a mystery knight defeats the knights of the squires that attacked the little crannogmen. I think there are two possibilities. The green men heard Howland’s request and sent a champion to defeat the knights or Howland used magic and took some of Eddard’s strength to fight(he slept in Eddard’s tent that night) and used it to beat the three knights of the squires that wronged him. Either way some kind of magic was definitely involved.
Then later during Roberts Rebellion Howland goes to war with Eddard. In this battle I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Eddard received a mortal wound and would have died if it weren’t for Howland Reed who saved him using some magic from the old gods he learned.
Eddard tells Bran “The finest knight I ever saw was Ser Arthur Dayne, who would have killed me but for Howland Reed.” His father had become sad then and would not speak any further. Click Here For Source
The reason I think Eddard becomes sad after telling Bran the story is that after defeating the sword of morning Eddard probably died briefly suffering from his wounds or he felt his soul slipping away from his body before Howland intervened. If this is true it’s entirely plausible to me that Howland Reed finally leaves greywater watch and comes to save Jon.
Jon’s soul or ghost will be hiding away inside his direwolf named ghost(appropriately named like all the direwolves by their caretakers) but he will slowly be slipping away. Meanwhile his body lies frozen in a cell(right in line with Bran’s dream) for the Bolton’s inspection. The traitors need proof for Bolton so the Night’s Watch won’t be attacked. During this time I expect Jon to somehow merge with Ghost. There are hints throughout dance of dragons that Jon and ghost are becoming one. Howland Reed will come along heal his body and he will be reborn Azor Ahai, probably with a few interesting abilities as well somewhat related to Bran’s but very different.
When the Starks find the direwolves in the very beginning of the book, remember that Jon says something to the affect of “five pups for each of Eddard’s children.” And then as they are leaving Jon hears something and goes back to discover a sixth cub, white with red eyes, which he takes for himself. Click Here for Source
So from this scene we learn that Jon has a certain quiet wisdom and is set apart from the other children. His direwolf is white with red eyes and is not laying with the other pups. It is set apart from the others. In the same way Jon is most likely a Stark though not Eddard’s child. The fact that the direfwolf has red eyes is very interesting.
Another part of the story that emphasizes Ghost’s red eyes is when Jon is observing Melisandre. The book says “Her eyes were two red stars, shining in the dark. At her throat, her ruby gleamed, a third eye glowing brighter than the others. Jon had seen Ghost’s eyes blazing red the same way, when they caught the light just right.”
When the three eyed crow talks to Bran he says “but once in a great while one is born amongst them with eyes as red as blood, or green as the moss on a tree in the heart of a forest. By these signs do the gods mark those they have chosen to receive the gift.”(p.452,Bran,a dance with dragons)
If the direwolf does represent Jon as all the other wolves represent their caretakers. That would mean that Jon is very special as well. Probably marked by the gods. Don’t forget Jojen has deep green eyes and we know he has green dreams.(which is in line with what the three eyed crow says) There is another quote from Melisandre that drives this home even more. She says to Jon”Your wall is a queer place, but there is power here, if you will use it. Power in you, and in this beast. You resist it, and that is your mistake. Embrace it. Use it”(p.380,Jon, A Dance With Dragons)
All of this seems to point to Jon being the chosen one(remember the three eyed crow says red or green eyes chosen by the gods?) Azor Ahai. And lets not forget the three eyed crow also says that “the chosen ones are not robust and their quick years upon the earth are few for every song must have its balance.”(Bran,A Dance With Dragons)
The three eyed crow is comparing life to a song. The series is called a song of ice and fire. It seems to me that the character whose life most represents this is Jon Snow as it seems that his life is very likely born from the union of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Starks representing ice and the Targaryens representing fire. His life is a song of ice and fire.
This is kind of sad seeing how this could mean Jon dies at the end of the series. If he is the chosen one he may not live that long. We hear the story of Azor Ahai but never hear of House Ahai or the hero being known by a different name. Surely someone of his caliber would be fit to be king or at least some kind of influential house like the lannisters,starks etc. Makes you wonder what happened to him.
I also suspect Catelyn will eventually run into Jon and give him at least one half of ice. Which I suspect will be widow’s wail. Which seems to make the most sense given the name and all the things that have happened to Catelyn. It will be combined with his last sword longclaw to form the new lightbringer. Catelyn will reconcile with Jon and stick the new lightbringer into herself to make it burn and glow. Remember Gendry? Well he had an apprenticeship with Tobho Mott one of the few armorers who know how to work with valyrian steel. Plus he is the one who broke down ice into two swords widow’s wail and oathkeeper. It wouldn’t surprise me if Gendry is the one who combines longclaw and widow’s wail. Based on what he learned from his apprenticeship with Tobho Mott.
Also at some point it seems that Jon will end up with Val. And since he has in a way actually died he will be free of his vows to the nights watch.
- Stark Direwolves And Futures
- Grand Faceless Men Conspiracy Theory
- Howland Reed is Jojen Reed
- The Nights Watch is Lightbringer
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