I would love for this to happen Eira:) Squash the Freys and Boltons and bring honor back to the North.
Me too, big time!
I really think there is something going on, I can't see Manderly sitting silent with the information that it was Ramsay who burned Winterfell.
At the Harvest Festival at Winterfell, way back in ACOK, Wyman Manderly was instructed to work together with Whoresbane and Crowfood Umber to build ships to defend the Bay of Seals against raiders. Communication channels should exist between Manderly and the Umbers. It's not inconceivable that Crowfood and Whoresbane, whom even Roose admits have "a certain low cunning", may be in on any Manderly plans.
I was thinking about the communications also, I think they have had plenty opportunity to send messages to the rest of the north too. I thought it especially interesting that the message to Bolton we assume came from Arnolf Karstark came so soon before Theon heard the horn outside Winterfell. And that Wyman Manderly dropped his pretence completely when he taunted the Freys after Little Walders death, so that Bolton felt they could no longer wait, they had to go out or the hall would go in to chaos. So it seemed to me like Manderly had some strategy he was playing all along and now it was time to move.
The Cerwyns live closest to Winterfell, and that proximity meant that they visited the most. Not just the lords and ladies, but the men who served them. The Cerwyn men may have been able to already confirm to the lords inside Winterfell that Jeyne isn't Arya, since those men might have seen both Jeyne AND Arya with their own eyes, much more often than any non-Winterfell staff.
Ah, I had forgotten that about the Cerwyns! It would be strange is there was no one who recognized Jeyne, Theon was constantly thinking about her eye-colour so I think some of them knew but was holding back for the sake of the plot. Lulling Bolton in to a false security.
Well, we know those scouts didn't head to Stannis. It makes sense that they're heading to give info to a second Northern army. And Roose Bolton has named the man who everybody knows murdered the Ryswells' grandson/cousin/nephew, Domeric, so I can see Ryswell betrayal very easily. Roose even tells Ramsay that, if the truth about the Boltons' burning of Winterfell were known, everybody would abandon them except (so he thinks) Lady Dustin, so that means Roose doesn't think the Ryswells are Bolton loyalists.
Right, I think they would go with the other northmen if they knew about the burning of Winterfell too, and they are not loving Bolton. The reason I think some of them may be left out of the plot is their internal strife, it's risky to judge who of them would betray the other for lordship from Bolton, there is the Hornwood lands waiting for taking besides the Rills, and Lady Cerwyns lands who has no heirs. So I think they could have been left out of the conspiracy even if they are not Bolton loyalists.
I wonder if the Northmen are plotting, not just against the Boltons/Freys/Lannisters, but against STANNIS as well. Melisandre loves burning weirwoods, and we know how much that pissed Jon off. The Northern lords know Stannis let the wildlings through, they would logically have asked what Stannis made them do to allow them through. Melisandre's little "Burn the weirwood and rejoice in R'hllor!" won't just have pissed off the wildlings---the Northmen will be equally pissed. And they might already know what happened to the godswood at Storm's End, and I can't see them letting R'hllor-followers anywhere near the godswood of Winterfell. The Northmen want a Stark, not a Baratheon, leading them; somehow I doubt Stannis actually got Mors Umber or any of the hill clans to swear allegiance before a weirwood tree. And the clansmen are relatively okay with letting Stannis's southern army get snowed in, when the clansmen were perfectly capable of just heading on ahead to join Crowfood Umber. It's possible that the clansmen want Stannis's southern knights' strength depleted, so they can get rid of Stannis AND the Boltons (with the aid of whatever Northern army you just know is hiding elsewhere in the snow).
Yup I think Stannis is a target too, the clansmen (the howling wolves as Asha portrays them) are loyal to Starks, none other. So there has to be something going on in his camp too, I think they will leave Stannis behind and head on to Winterfell too. I am curious about what they will do with the newcomers though, Theon, Jeyne, the Ironmen and the Tycho Nestoris, if they will be left behind or what. The clansmen may believe Jeyne is Arya, they were not so frequent visitors to Winterfell I think, Ned used to go to them according to Bran.
Bran and his party met one of the Liddles, and it was obvious to that Liddle who Bran was. The Liddles are with Stannis, yet nobody's mentioned to him that Brandon Stark is alive.
This points to that something is going on in Stannis camp as well, though it's confusing that the Liddles has made no attempts to find Bran or make him stay with them. They don't know he is alive any longer, just that he was alive when they met him some time back. They may be satisfied just knowing he is probably alive but that is strange to me, so I think they must have knowledge of Robbs decree and/or Rickon too. Since Alysane Mormont is with Stannis they could have been informed, she has probably been in contact with her mother so it's likely she knows about Robbs decree.
I think it's very interesting that Alys Karstark, upon fleeing Karhold, headed straight for the Wall and "the last son of Eddard Stark". There were other places a lot closer she could have gone to, but instead, she chose to head for someone who is 1) Lord Commander of the Watch, and ostensibly supposed to not interfere in matters such as what uncle is hunting what niece, and 2) the brother of the guy who killed her father. That she did this means, to me, that the North is VERY aware of Jon Snow, much more aware than they've indicated to Stannis, and they VERY much see him as a son of Eddard Stark, not just a bastard.
Ah good thinking!
I don't think the other Karstarks are in on the plot though, Cregan definitely is not, and Arnolf would not risk Harrion getting killed if he cared about him. But the other clansmen in Stannis camp is probably leaving him behind when they take off. I really hope Alysane have not blown their conspiracy to Arnolf. I don't think so however, it is suspicious enough that he joined Stannis when Harrion still was a hostage.
Moreover, during the conversation with Davos, Robett Glover started going on about how Snows can't be trusted. But we know Galbart Glover was fostering Laurence Snow, Lord Hornwood's bastard son; during the Harvest Festival, Ser Rodrik mentions that naming Laurence Snow as the new Lord of the Hornwood would make the Glovers happy. Why was Robett Glover so eager to make sure Davos, Stannis's Hand, "knew" how much the Glovers and the Northmen "hate" bastards? And Manderly tells Davos to make sure and get the direwolf so they can prove the kid's identity, but never mentions the obvious (that the Lord Commander of the Watch, Ned Stark's bastard son, who was raised with the trueborn Starks at Winterfell, could just as easily confirm the kid's identity). The Northmen seem to be dancing around talking about Jon, and there's no logical reason for them to be doing that. He's Lord Commander of the Watch, and everybody in the North knows he exists----Ned wasn't exactly hiding him.
Really good catch on the Snows! And that they don't talk about Jon too. You are making me feel much more confident about the conspiracy theory now
I remember the Glovers having Larence but never did the connection to how Robett talked about the Snows...
I wonder if it's possible that the North has already decided to throw in with Jon, due to Robb's will, and Manderly wants Rickon just to save a Stark, not to put him in charge of Winterfell. Manderly told Davos he'd swear for Stannis if Davos brought him "his liege lord". But if Stannis dies, or if Rickon isn't really Manderly's liege lord . . . well, we've seen Manderly pull a fast one before.
I was thinking about this too, there must be some hidden agenda that the north has united around. Could it be that they sent Davos to get Rickon as a back-up plan? I can't imagine Rickon and Osha never turning up, that they are dead, and we know Shaggydog was at Skagos fighting a unicorn.
Ah, but is Roose technically their host? Roose doesn't own Winterfell. Roose is an intruder there. And GRRM goes to great pains to point out that Manderly, not Roose, provided the food and drink.
Actually I now think they know that Jeyne is not Arya in fact. No one spent any time with her, no one comforted her, exept Lady Dustin, which makes me suspicious, they others seemed to hardly notice her even. I can't imagine they would let the real Arya go through the ordeal of marriage to Ramsay, and the bedding and the crying... just no. As horrible as it may sound I think they let all this happen because it was "just" Jeyne. Unless it was completely necessary for the plot to work. So they probably know that Ramsay is not lord of Winterfell and then guest rights do not apply!
Roose would not be the host if Arya was real, it would be Ramsay.
Another thought, the Liddles know Bran was alive some time ago as we know, and maybe GRRM put it there to draw focus until we were told Manderly knows about Rickon through Wex, which then kept our focus. I this a big red herring throwing us from the idea of a conspiracy to make Jon King in the North?