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What is going on in Skagos?

Skagos Rickon canibals

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#1 palemarerider

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:39 PM

I am basing this theory on a couple of assumptions.

1. Rickon is on Skagos
2. Ned's mom was Skagosi

I am thinking that the Island of Skagos is the closest thing left in the world of what the north was like 8000 years ago. Due to being surrounded by water, hard to reach, not a lot of trade, etc. I dont believe a lot has changed there. It would not surprise me to learn that the entire continent practiced cannabalism back in the day. I also believe that the old blood is probably strongest on Skagos and so is the likelihood of Wargs/greendreamers etc.

So Rickon and Shaggydog get to Skagos and the Skagossi are waiting for him. He is the answer to many local dreams and visions. He goes to meet the local Shaman/Medicine Woman and it is his grandma (Or maybe grandmas sister). It could be grandma we never hear if she is dead or not??? So Rickon goes through all sorts of ancient first man magical rituals and trainings and gets turned into some super banshee warrior to battle the Others.

Next they (Rickon and 8,000 Skagosi Spearmen) go back to the mainland and put Rickon on the throne (Maybe it is their horns we hear outside of Winterfell).

Feel free to bash or offer your on ideas of what is going on in Skagos.

#2 OnionAhaiReborn

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:48 PM

Ned's mom was Skagosi? I had never heard that before, do you have a reference or is that total assumption? (Not trying to bash your theory, genuine curiosity).

#3 Dolorous Ed Tollet

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:54 PM

It is random for Osha to take Rickon to the skagos. No hints have been given at all in any of the books

#4 palemarerider

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:03 PM

Unicorn reference is the main Skagos hint. I dont have a book quote about Neds Mom and it very well could just have been something I read on here that just stuck with me as fact.

#5 The GreatRon

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:09 PM

Eddard is with Rickon waiting for Davos /drunk.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':drunk:' />

In seriousness, I personally do not know, such little is known of the place except its incredibly treacherous to sail around, its full of cannibals, and they rebelled against Winterfell long ago.

And Davos was not pleased about finding out where he was goin. Im with him. fuck that place.

#6 Winter's Lady

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:25 PM

I'm not sure if this whole cannibal argument isn't just some sailor's tale mulled over and over and obscured over the centuries. Maybe they are more like wildlings then westerosi, but someow I have a feeling they're not as bad as people think. They might have turned to cannibalism during an especially hard winter or something, but I don't think it's really a common thing.
Why eat humans if you have delicious tender unicorn, eh?

#7 The Last Direwolf

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

It is random for Osha to take Rickon to the skagos. No hints have been given at all in any of the books


Random or incredibly wise. The Boltons and the Freys couldn't hope to gain much from conquering Skagos, so why would they go there? The Skagosi are savages and primitives, so they would likely be met with fierce resistance. Therefore, if Osha could gain the cooperation of the Skagosi, Rickon could be safe there until he is old enough to lead an army to regain Winterfell or until someone (Sansa, Jon, Bran, etc) regain the North themselves.

#8 Fire_Kiss

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:45 PM

It is random for Osha to take Rickon to the skagos. No hints have been given at all in any of the books

Some hints have been dropped, though they completely blew over my head untill someone pointed them out to me.
1. Bran (or maybe jon) has a wolf dream where he sees his "brother", shaggy dog, fighting with a horse that has a long horn. This is a unicorn, and the only place they exist in Westeros is Skaggos.
2. When Theon's mute squire threw the dagger at the map in Manderly's hidey-hallway, Davos reflects that he'd rather be a prisoner than go to a place where they eat people. Cannabalism is rumored to exist on Skaggos.

And as a previous poster pointed out: OP, Ned's mom is Skaggosi?!? Since when/where/what/how? /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

Also, I agree that the Skaggosi are probably not full-time cannibals, I think they probably wouldn't be above eating their dead, or sacrificing some of their people for food in harsh winters.

#9 Darth Vader's Bastard

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:55 PM

There's a party on Skagos. Biggest rave Westeros has ever seen. That's why they are there!

#10 Apple Martini

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:10 PM

I think the cannibalism thing is getting way overblown. It wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't even true, given how things like that end up getting used in the series. Think about it — if you're an isolationist society who just wants to be left alone, how do you prevent people from messing with you? Spread the rumor that you're half-feral cannibals.

We know that Skagos has actual "houses" (i.e. families) and sea trade (Tyrion mentions a ship stopping there, it's mentioned in Sam's chapters). It can't be that bad. And in that case, it makes sense for Osha to take Rickon there.

#11 Fire_Kiss

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:17 PM

There's a party on Skagos. Biggest rave Westeros has ever seen. That's why they are there!

Well, obviously, or the unicorns wouldn't live there. I hear they're real party animals.


#12 Fire Eater

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:18 PM

I think the cannibalism thing is getting way overblown. It wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't even true, given how things like that end up getting used in the series. Think about it — if you're an isolationist society who just wants to be left alone, how do you prevent people from messing with you? Spread the rumor that you're half-feral cannibals.

We know that Skagos has actual "houses" (i.e. families) and sea trade (Tyrion mentions a ship stopping there, it's mentioned in Sam's chapters). It can't be that bad. And in that case, it makes sense for Osha to take Rickon there.


Also, the House of Magnar is mentioned in Jon's chapters in ASoS, and there are a few Skagossans at the Wall.

#13 Falrinn

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:49 PM

I think the cannibalism thing is getting way overblown. It wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't even true, given how things like that end up getting used in the series. Think about it — if you're an isolationist society who just wants to be left alone, how do you prevent people from messing with you? Spread the rumor that you're half-feral cannibals.

We know that Skagos has actual "houses" (i.e. families) and sea trade (Tyrion mentions a ship stopping there, it's mentioned in Sam's chapters). It can't be that bad. And in that case, it makes sense for Osha to take Rickon there.


Agreed. They might of resorted to cannibalism in a bad winter or during nasty conflict, but I doubt it's something they do all the time.

Also where are people getting the idea that Ned's mother is Skagosi? The only thing I could find on the subject was a SSM from 2002 where GRRM said it's either unimportant or too important to reveal, and another from 1999 that just said "Lady Stark. She died".

#14 jarl the climber

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:58 PM

I think part of the speculation is based on the short conversation Maester luwin had with Osha privately before she probaly gave him mercy, there has to be some reason she took him there but we wont know til George writes the next book. On a side note, we do know that Ned was going to try and repopulate the gift, Skagos would have probaly played an important role in this plan because of its proximity and the fact that Ned and Benjen were discussing this plan might or might not be a clue.

#15 Jadiecat

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:24 AM

Agreed. They might of resorted to cannibalism in a bad winter or during nasty conflict, but I doubt it's something they do all the time.

Also where are people getting the idea that Ned's mother is Skagosi? The only thing I could find on the subject was a SSM from 2002 where GRRM said it's either unimportant or too important to reveal, and another from 1999 that just said "Lady Stark. She died".


We know that Ned's mother's mother was a Flint of the mountains. We've heard from an impeccable source that Ned's mother's backstory may well be interesting, when it's revealed.

I agree that Skagos's dark reputation is probably greatly exaggereated and influenced by the usual xenophobia...except:

The Rickon/Shaggydog story is one of a child (and direwolf) not taken in hand, left too much to their own devices, without the appropriate nurturing, without explanations to make sense of their world, which was being torn apart, and their losses. This was not the fault of the Stark parents (well, maybe a little) and other family members, and Osha is certainly a good friend for Rickon to have.

But we get the sense of little Ricky and Shaggy becoming increasingly angry and impulsive, wild, almost feral.

I can see Skagos as a kind of Island of Wild Things, with Rickon, Shaggy and Osha heading right to Where the Wild Things are. But much less Sendakian and much, much more sinister and disturbing.

I had figured Osha would probably die, freeing Rickon and Shaggydog to become completely feral on Skagos, with Rickon perhaps becoming king of the wild things, whatever that might be.

But Osha's role in TWoW is apparently going to be expanded, based on the success of thew character in the TV series. So I guess she'll be around.

Anyway, because of the whole tenor of this storyline, I assumed Skagos might be as dark and off the charts as it is rumored to be in the realm.

#16 Anvilbreaker

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:21 AM

I don't think winter fell was on the best of terms with skagos. A hundred years before the series there was a rebellion on skagos and the Stark lord died in the fighting. I personally think he might be on Skane, the island near Skagos. it is close enough that it would probably have unicorns, and has a history of cannibals, so it fits both the hints, but it is unpopulated so it would be better to hide out. There might be some windings living there who know osha. Regardless davos won't see the mission through. Somehow he will end up at Hardhome to bring the windings south and come up the white knife to sack winterfell

#17 Ghost714

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:23 AM

I really don't buy into this whole "Rickon becoming the wild feral King of the Skagosi", crap. Why would they follow a boy, who is new to the island, in such troubled times as these? I am sure the people of Skagos have gotten word of the Others, from Wildlings on the run, like Osha was. Also winter has come for Skagos, just as much as it has for the rest of the North. So again why would they make Rickon their "King and or "Leader", in such troubled times? In the books he is what.... all of five? Six years old? Honestly it just sounds ridicules to me. Nobody wants a boy leader in such hard times, especially one that young as Rickon.
However, that's not to say the Skagosi won't get involved, in the Fight against the Others. Also despite there being a rebellion against the Starks a hundred years ago, if I am not mistaken, the people of Skagos are counted as Bannermen to the Starks? Or is that the people of Skane? Or both? Either way, I could see the Skagosi supporting Rickon as loyal men to the Starks. I just don't buy the whole Wild Wolf King of Skagos stuff. If the people of Skagos decide to be loyal to the Starks, they could support Rickon, without him being their Wild Wolf King. It would be like how Manderly wants to support Rickon, but that doesn't mean Rickon will be calling the shots for White Harbor, just like I don't see him calling the shots for Skagos.
We know Skagos has houses just like the rest of the North. When Jon gets back to Castle Black in ASoS, he is trying to tell Aemon and Donal Noye about Styr The Magnar of Thenn, and Noye assumes he was talking about house Magnar, on Skagos, but Aemon explains Jon meant the older use of the word Magnar.
Anyway, I could see the Skagosi taking a part in The Battle for Winterfell, similar to the Mountain Clans, I could see them fighting with Stannis to take out the Boltons. For all we know the Boltons and the Skagosi hate each other, now wouldn't that be nice?
Also something that I think should be considered, if you look at a map of the North, Skagos is actually bigger than the Iron Islands. Despite the Iron Islands being so small, and having harsh living conditions, they are pretty well populated. Could this be similar to Skagos? Could Skagos have a decent size population like the Iron Islands? One might argue that unicorns could be a sign that living conditions might even be better on Skagos. So I would not be surprised, or think it ridicules, if Skagos ended up being able to offer around 15,000-20,000 fighting men.
If you think about it, after how many Northmen GRRM has killed, he is going to need to come up with some from somewhere, when it comes time to Fight the Others, why not from Skagos? Also a good amount of Skagosi Northmen could really put Stannis back on the "map", as a real player. I think the Theon "gift" chapter shows that Stannis is not done fighting, just yet.
I believe Stannis will end up beating the Boltons, but after he does, how many Northmen will be left on both sides? That just isn't enough people to fight the Others. That's why I think a semi-large population of Skagosi might be possible.

I am sure that people will argue against there being so many people on Skagos, because "we would have surely heard more about them if there were that many". Or "we would have surely encountered some of them in the story if there were that many".
I guess my arguement to that would be, Skagos is a secluded island, so that helps a lot with the segregation from the main story. Also I dont believe Skagos is an island full of blood thirsty cannibals. I am one that believes cannibalism might have happened during a harsh winter, and the story just got inflated over time(kind of like how old Nan tells story's about Wildlings drinking blood from human skulls...or was that the giants in old Nan's story's?). Or i am one that believes that the Skagosi started the cannibal thing, to put fear in the minds of their enemies. Or it could be they let people think that they are cannibals, so people will leave them alone. Despite the truth, what ever it might be, people believe the people on Skagos to eat human flesh, and that is my main argument for why they haven't been in the story hardly at all, despite having a good size population.

Ok that's my two dwarf pennies on the topic.

#18 John Ball

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

The Ned's mother being from Skagos is an interesting idea, could fit in with the rebellion, marrying to join the houses and keep peace for the future, and explains why Osha would take Rickon there other than it just being a good place to hide out. Anyway it looks like we'll be going there with Davos in TWOW and all will be revealed. I also think the tales about Skagos are probably excaggerated but maybe they're more like Wildlings than kneelers, or a mix between wildling and iron men? Which would be something to be afraid of.

Edited by John Ball, 03 March 2012 - 10:58 AM.


#19 TheMazVolta

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:30 AM

There's a party on Skagos.


The Donner Party

#20 The Meeraculous Third Reed

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:37 PM

Ah. When I read ADWD for the first time, I had assumed that Manderly had sent Osha and Rickon to Skagos, but looking back this doesn't seem to be the case. Is there any indication of how they got there?

Re. the Skagosi, I am very intrigued by them and what they are going to bring. I do think Martin has done a very good job of keeping their mystery intact. We have so many strands, but almost nothing concrete.

What we know.

The Skagosi rebelled some one hundred years ago or so (meaning obviously that we have no direct witnesses to testament to why they did)
Robb did not (AFAIK) call the Skagosi when he called his banners. Why did he do this?


That leaves us guessing as to who is in control, and above all, where Skagosi loyalties lie. Did they come to collect Osha originally I wonder?

Edited by The Third Reed, 03 March 2012 - 12:48 PM.