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A black crow and a pink letter


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#1 Rooseman

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:20 PM

Have a look at this.

 

Here is every single instance, when someone used the term "black crow" in all the books, including the person who said it. Try noticing a pattern. (Solution below in the spoiler)

 

AGoT

 

I broke no oaths. Stiv and Wallen flew down off the Wall, not me. The black crows got no place for women.

 

- Osha

 

He can call himself King-beyond-the-Wall all he likes, but he’s still just another old black crow who flew down from the Shadow Tower.

 

- Osha

 

 

ACoK

 

Black crows, oft as not. Killed me one too,” she said, shaking out her hair.

 

- Osha

 

I’ve meat and beer for twenty, no more. The rest o’ your black crows can peck after their own corn.

 

- Craster

 

“Brave black crow,” she mocked. “Well, long before he was king over the free folk, Bael was a great raider.”

 

- Ygritte

 

Lord Brandon had no other children. At his behest, the black crows flew forth from their castles in the hundreds, but nowhere could they find any sign o’ Bael or this maid.

 

- Ygritte

 

“Let him die,” insisted the Lord of Bones. “The black crow is a tricksy bird. I trust him not.”

 

- Rattleshirt

 

 

ASoS

 

“The black crow is a tricksy bird, that’s so... but I was a crow when you were no bigger than the babe in Dalla’s belly, Jon Snow. So take care not to play tricksy with me.”

 

- Mance Rayder

 

Harma snorted, her disdain frosting from her nostrils. “What fools these black crows be.”

“The next time you answer me with a question, I will give you to my Lord of Bones,” Mance Rayder promised Jon.

 

- Harma

 

 

AFfC

 

-

 

ADwD

 

You left your homes and came south in your hundreds and your thousands … why, but to escape them? To be safe. Well, it’s the Wall that keeps you safe. It’s us that keeps you safe, the black crows you despise.”

 

- Jon Snow to the wildlings

 

“You wanted warriors, didn’t you? Well, there they are. Every one worth six o’ your black crows.”

 

- Tormund

 

Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.

 

Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.
 
I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.
 
I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want his wildling princess.
 
I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it.
 
It was signed,
 
Ramsay Bolton,
 
Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.
 
- Ramsay Bolton (?)
 
(Click the spoiler for the pattern)
 
Spoiler
 
For other hints, let me quote myself from an older topic.
 
Spoiler

Edited by Rooseman, 18 January 2014 - 02:50 PM.


#2 yolkboy

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:29 PM

Well. Every time it's said, it's by a north of the wall person. Is that the pattern you were pointing out?

 

If so - how very interesting! :drunk:

 

I like this a lot.

 

Good work Rooseman!

 

ETA - i recommend spelling out the pattern in the OP, as it's not that clear what one is supposed to be looking for, and might be missed.


Edited by yolkboy, 18 January 2014 - 02:34 PM.


#3 Rooseman

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:34 PM

Well. Every time it's said, it's by a north of the wall person. Is that the pattern you were pointing out?

 

Yeah. Apart from Jon Snow, when he adresses all the wildlings, there is not a single instance where a south-of-the-wall-person (how politically correct :)) uses this term. Well, Ramsay supposedly does... or does he?

 

I've pointed this out before, and other people before me, but I found it very revealing to actually see all the quotes back to back.


Edited by Rooseman, 18 January 2014 - 02:36 PM.


#4 Kienn

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:39 PM

One more bolt in an ironclad theory IMO

#5 yolkboy

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:40 PM

 

Yeah. Apart from Jon Snow, when he adresses all the wildlings, there is not a single instance where a south-of-the-wall-person (how politically correct :)) uses this term. Well, Ramsay supposedly does... or does he?

 

I've pointed this out before, and other people before me, but I found it very revealing to actually see all the quotes back to back.

Yeah the Jon Snow exception is obviously passable having 'been' a wildling for a while. 'Black crows' seems to be a wildling phrase by this evidence.

 

This gives serious weight to the notion Mance wrote it in my opinion.

 

You've laid it out well, and i just ETA'd my post to say you should spell out the pattern in the Op, make it clear. People will miss it otherwise. I began to analyse the actual quotes looking for it.



#6 sifth

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:43 PM

I'm rather shocked just how much sense this theory is making



#7 Boxman

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:50 PM

I didn't notice that at all, myself.  Nice find

 

I wasn't sure what to make of the Mance = pink letter author before, but this is very interesting



#8 Mithras Stoneborn

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:51 PM

How could he send the raven? Why was the seal missing? Why did not he speak plainly? What does he want from Jon?

 

ETA: Why did not Tormund recognize familiar wildling phrases?


Edited by Lamprey, 18 January 2014 - 02:53 PM.


#9 Petyr Patter

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:11 PM

Still not buying it.  Yes, wildlings call the men of the Night's Watch "crows." 

 

Why does Mance Rayder care about "Reek" in the slightest?  For that matter, why say "Reek" and not Theon Greyjoy.

 

The letter was written by Ramsay.  The question is, what parts of it are lies, and who is doing the lying?  Does Ramsay actually believe Stannis is dead? 

 

Pretty much every fact in that letter can be explained by interrogating a captured spearwife or Mance himself.  Heck, this also explains the use of the word "crow" to describe the Night's Watch. 



#10 Rooseman

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:12 PM

You've laid it out well, and i just ETA'd my post to say you should spell out the pattern in the Op, make it clear. People will miss it otherwise. I began to analyse the actual quotes looking for it.

 

Good point, done. I left it out because I thought the impact is stronger if you notice it yourself. But I don't want people getting frustrated either, so... :D

 

How could he send the raven? Why was the seal missing? Why did not he speak plainly? What does he want from Jon?

 

Ah, these are definitely interesting questions to expand on. :) Didn't want the OP to be too overwhelming though, so I just focused on the textual evidence that it was in fact him who wrote the letter.

 

How could he send the raven?

 

Well, sneak in where the ravens are kept and loosen one I suppose.

 

Why was the seal missing?

 

That fits quite nicely with Ramsay not being the author, doesn't it? Perhaps it was easier for Mance to get his hands on some pink wax than on the original Bolton seal

 

What does he want from Jon? 

 

Probably to gather all the swords he can get and march on Winterfell, I think. Imo, it's possible that Mance made common cause with some of the Bolton enemies inside Winterfell. Their original plan was to turn their cloaks and fuck the Boltons, as soon as Stannis attacks. But then a letter from the Karstarks arrived, telling them that Stannis is dead. So who do they turn to now? Why not Jon Snow?

 

Why did he not speak plainly?

 

Well, if they had written "Look, we have a little... situation here. Stannis is dead and now we're stuck with the Bastard of Bolton... Would you kindly break your oath and come get us?" Jon probably wouldn't have done it.


Edited by Rooseman, 18 January 2014 - 03:13 PM.


#11 ghosts in winterfell

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:14 PM

Do we know for certain if Mance can even read or write?



#12 yolkboy

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:20 PM

Still not buying it.  Yes, wildlings call the men of the Night's Watch "crows." 

 

Yes and ONLY wildlings call NW black crows. It's actually a huge (and smart) clue.

 

 

Why does Mance Rayder care about "Reek" in the slightest?  For that matter, why say "Reek" and not Theon Greyjoy.

He doesn't care about reek. He's pretending to be Ramsay.

 

He says "Reek" because he's pretending to be Ramsay.



#13 FerociousVeldtRoarer

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:24 PM

How could he send the raven? Why was the seal missing? Why did not he speak plainly? What does he want from Jon?
 
ETA: Why did not Tormund recognize familiar wildling phrases?


They're only "wildling phrases" if you've spent enough time among the kneelers to recognize they don't speak this way. Otherwise it's just talking.

#14 Minstral

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:33 PM

How could he send the raven? Why was the seal missing? Why did not he speak plainly? What does he want from Jon?

 

ETA: Why did not Tormund recognize familiar wildling phrases?

 

.... If I mention an idea then it may come of as too much speculation. Hothor Umber was supposedly sent to become a Maester but never became one. Why he did not continue with the practice we don't know but it may be possible he learned a thing or two on how to handle Ravens. Its an idea that was proposed by the GNC, where its speculated that there is a bigger conspiracy afoot from those that want to cast down the Boltons and that Mance may have found himself as an agent of theirs (he was in the right position).

 

Also Jon had to read the letter to him, its possible he didn't read word for word and gave him a summary.



#15 sarah.jenice

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:39 PM

I've never quite subscribed to the ____ other than Ramsay is the author of the pink letter theories. I just don't think all of the facts in the letter are correct, but I think Ramsay is the author.

 

As for the use of "wildling phrases," I think this could be explained with the fact that it probably isn't a secret that the wildlings refer to the Night's Watch as black crows. Plenty of them are captured south of the wall - see Osha - and might say it in front of the captors who would be northerners. It could easily be known they say that. What if Ramsay really did capture the spearwives, and when he was torturing them they said something about the "black crows" on the Wall and Ramsay liked the insult. It's not a stretch to think he would have heard/know the phrase before and since most of the letter uses languages aimed at insulting Jon, he used it.


Edited by sarah.jenice, 18 January 2014 - 03:40 PM.


#16 Hodor?

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:42 PM

Yeah the Jon Snow exception is obviously passable having 'been' a wildling for a while. 'Black crows' seems to be a wildling phrase by this evidence.

 

I thought Jon used the term because he was addressing a large group of Wildlings and was simply trying to appeal to them by using their own terminology.  Small difference, I know.



#17 yolkboy

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:43 PM

 

I thought Jon used the term because he was addressing a large group of Wildlings and was simply trying to appeal to them by using their own terminology.  Small difference, I know.

yes and that as well!

 

But my point was that Jon knew the wildling lingo, whereas your average south of the wall guy (ramsay) might not.



#18 Old Ida

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:44 PM

I am in the group who think Mance wrote the letter,  and good find OP :)

I also could believe that Jon,  observing as he is had some inkling about it  "there is some truth in this"



#19 Buckthorn

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:47 PM

Great post Rooseman, I guess its safe to say the "Who wrote the Pink Letter" debacle has been resolved. If Mance is the author then he must be hiding somewhere in Winterfell.

#20 Mithras Stoneborn

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:52 PM

I've never quite subscribed to the ____ other than Ramsay is the author of the pink letter theories. I just don't think all of the facts in the letter are correct, but I think Ramsay is the author.

 

As for the use of "wildling phrases," I think this could be explained with the fact that it probably isn't a secret that the wildlings refer to the Night's Watch as black crows. Plenty of them are captured south of the wall - see Osha - and might say it in front of the captors who would be northerners. It could easily be known they say that. What if Ramsay really did capture the spearwives, and when he was torturing them they said something about the "black crows" on the Wall and Ramsay liked the insult. It's not a stretch to think he would have heard/know the phrase before and since most of the letter uses languages aimed at insulting Jon, he used it.

 

Ramsay will not learn anything from the spearwives.

 

“It’s the captive supposed to tell things, remember?” The ranger thrust a long branch into the fire. “Not that she will. I’ve known wildlings to bite off their own tongues before they’d answer a question.”