Rachel Paige
May 09, 2016 1:40 pm
HBO

Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! If you haven’t seen the latest episode of Game of Thrones, you should do that right away, because it’s a good episode. Not just because we get to see Jon Snow’s naked tush for a solid minute.

In “Oathbreaker,” we FINALLY saw the long-teased Tower of Joy. The Tower of Joy is important, because it’s where Lyanna Stark died. It’s where Lyanna Stark PROBABLY DIED giving birth to Jon Snow, which will confirm the long-teased theory that Jon is the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen. While the episode certainly teased that greatly, we never actually got to see inside the Tower of Joy, since Bran was ripped away from his vision by the Three-Eyed Raven before he could get inside.

But, we did see something else, or someone else, who has never been seen before on Game of Thrones: Howland Reed, one of Ned Stark’s BFFs and also the father of Meera and Jojen Reed, the former who is still traveling with Bran, the latter who just recently died. Throughout the last six seasons, we have heard abut Howland, but we’ve never actually seen him. Until now.

HBO

If you’re still like, “Who?” Then Howland Reed is the dude that stabbed that other dude through the neck to save Ned’s life during the battle. Him! You might also known him as the guy who made Cersei walk through King’s Landing buck-naked last season. Because yes, there’s a pretty convincing fan theory out there that suggests that Howland Reed is also the High Sparrow currently trying to keep everyone in check in King’s Landing.

HBO

The evidence to support this has been gently sprinkled throughout the series (and also the books). Basically, the long and the short of it is that Howland, instead of staying in the North and trying to keep it safe, decided to infiltrate King’s Landing by slowly rising to power in the main religion there, the Faith of the Seven. And think about it, the Faith of the Seven really only started emerging after everything started going to shit in King’s Landing. AND, the High Sparrow clearly DOES NOT LIKE THE LANNISTERS — maybe because they beheaded Ned?

In the books  — and in the show — little is known about the current High Sparrow. He basically just appeared one day, took power, and started imprisoning Queens. So honestly, he could be literally anyone. But the fact that we haven’t seen Howland EVER, whether in the show or the books, suggests there’s a good reason we haven’t seen him. In a saga full of hidden parentage, it makes sense for others to have hidden agendas, too.

YouTuber Alt Shift X  even goes so far as to break down the High Sparrow’s appearance, and how it matches up with how Howland Reed’s children have been described: short, thin, kinda like a “reed.”

In “Oathbreaker,” we saw both of these characters — not together though, duh. We saw Howland as one of the last remaining survives of the battle at the Tower of Joy, where Lyanna is ~probably~ about to give birth to a baby and make Ned swear to keep him safe. In the episode, we also saw the High Sparrow give a speech to Kin Tommen about what a mother will do for their children. Coincidence? Maybe not.

But in the end, why go through all this trouble to pretend to be someone else, when, you know, winter is coming in the North? That’s something Alt Shift X hasn’t been able to explain, and something we’re going to have to wait and find out. Stay Tuned.

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