These are all great, Flayed Potatoes!
For #2, I just this week rewatched all of the behind-the-scenes videos for Season 6 from here, http://gameofthrones.com/game-of-throne ... /episode-1
, and the five docuseries videos (for Episodes 1 and 2; 3 and 4; 5 and 6; 7 and 8; and 9 and 10) that I found on YouTube. In one of those many videos, either D or D (can't recall which) said that there were like 10 Valyrian steel swords in all of Westeros or Planetos. I nearly died! Although there are 14 here, http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Va ... eel_blades
. I hope they come into play this season, in preparation for the war to come! Alas, that may be next season.
I'll mention one for now. This is one I've come up with by reading but I'm certain I'm not alone, and yet it is a fairly obscure sort of theory. I've talked about it and given a good deal of evidence before, a couple of years ago, and so I'll just copy that here.
I have a theory that something is rotten in the state of the Winterfell crypts, and it isn’t the dead dudes. Well, it is, but the rottenness isn’t coming from the fact that they are dead but rather the opposite. Are they only mostly dead? Can they come back from that? What is the significance of their direwolves, with whom they were buried and not their wives? Are they buried with swords to keep them in their crypts or so they’ll be ready to fight when called? Are the dead kings tied to the fact that there must always be a (living) Stark at Winterfell? Is that because only a Stark in name and blood can raise and command the stone kings the same way that the Others raise and command the wights?
Here are quotes that point to the animation of the Kings (and Lords) of the North, mostly from GoT (Kindle Edition):
The Lords of Winterfell watched them pass. … In long rows they sat, blind eyes staring out into eternal darkness, while great stone dire wolves curled round their feet. The shifting shadows made the stone figures seem to stir as the living passed by. By ancient custom an iron longsword had been laid across the lap of each who had been Lord of Winterfell, to keep the vengeful spirits in their crypts. –p. 39.
Blind stone eyes seemed to follow them as they passed. –p. 42
He could feel the eyes of the dead. They were all listening, he knew. –p. 45
Robb and Jon lure Arya, Bran, and Sansa into the crypts to scare the piss out of them, and Robb says:
“There are worse things than spiders and rats,” he whispered. “This is where the dead walk.” –p. 522
But is this reference to the walking dead a prophetic one given what happens north of the Wall?
Bran and Rickon share a portentous dream of their father in the Winterfell crypts just before news of Ned’s death reaches Winterfell.
“[The crow and I] went down to the crypts. Father was there, and we talked. He was sad.” –Bran, after Ned’s death, p. 706
“Rickon,” Bran said softly. “Father’s not here.”
“Yes he is. I saw him.” Tears glistened on Rickon’s face. “I saw him last night.”
“In your dream …?”
Rickon nodded. “You leave him. You leave him be. He’s coming home now, like he promised. He’s coming home.” –p. 710
Ned describes a crypts dream, as well.
The Kings of Winter watched him pass with eyes of ice, and the direwolves at their feet turned their great stone heads and snarled. Last of all, he came to the tomb where his father slept, with Brandon and Lyanna beside him. “Promise me, Ned,” Lyanna’s statue whispered. She wore a garland of pale blue roses, and her eyes wept blood. –from Ned’s dream, p. 484
Half a dozen or so times, George mentions a recurring dream of Jon’s: He’s running through Winterfell, desperately searching for someone but finding no one, not even the ravens. Heading to the crypts, then, he becomes deathly afraid.
In the dark he’d heard the scrape of stone on stone. When he turned he saw that the vaults were opening, one after the other. As the dead kings came stumbling from their cold black graves, Jon had woken in pitch-dark, his heart hammering. –p. 534
He dreamt he was back in Winterfell, limping past the stone kings on their thrones. Their grey granite eyes turned to follow him as he passed, and their grey granite fingers tightened on the hilts of the rusted swords upon their laps. –ASoS, p. 868
All my dreams are of the crypts, of the stone kings on their thrones. Sometimes I hear Robb’s voice, and my father’s, as if they were at a feast. –Jon, ASoS, p. 1047
The Barrowlands where the First Men are buried (and barrows everywhere in the north) seem portentous, as well, but they might be fodder for the Others.