Regarding Melisandre's power over Mance, the red priestess certainly believes to be in control. But we know she can be seriously mistaken at times. If Mance is unknowingly charmed, it might be also that Melisandre herself is controlled by a higher power (through her own ruby). In the Melisandre chapter, the Red Lady wonders whether she was right to save Mance, as if she wasn't sure why she did it, maybe the power she serves knows.
I take good note of Brashcandy's suggestion that the daughter, mother and grandmother could be the same person, if they are alike Melisandre.
I take good note of Black Crow reference to the Scottish clans and the importance of the notion of milk brother (Craster's son and Mance's son are milk brother). We know that the Wall was largely inspired by Hadrian's Wall, hence it wouldn't be surprising if Scottish clans were an inspiration as well. The notion of milk sibling has appeared a few times in the book.
Like the King of Worms, I suspect there is something behing Tormund's stories, and that Tormund might have fathered some of the Mormont girls.
Here are a few questions and remarks, that I didn't put in the original posts:
-- As King-beyond-the-Wall, Mance wore a helm of iron and bronze with raven wings. Any idea about its significance, beyond the familiar iron=andals, bronze=first men?
-- The washerwomen show a curious deference to the Starks:
I hardly see a wildling saying "Lord Eddard". I wondered if they aren't from the clans as well. (I suppose a clanswoman would have said "The Ned"). If this is the case, it seems that they were already in Mance's host beyond the Wall.
-- Concerning the plans of Mance, it's hard to say. But here is a conversation between Theon and the spearwife Rowan
“As a betrayer. As Theon Turncloak.”
“Why not Theon the Clever? It was a daring feat, the way we heard it. How many men did you have? A hundred? Fifty?”
Fewer. “It was madness.”
“Glorious madness. Stannis has five thousand, they say, but Abel claims ten times as many still
could not breach these walls. So how did you get in, m’lord? Did you have some secret way?”
Theon assumes Abel wants to know a way to escape Winterfell. But, it's possible that Mance is preparing a to play the trojan horse for the clans.
-- We have not seen any direct evidence of Mance's interest in the crypts, but given Mance's passion for the story of Bael, it is to be expected.
-- Bael the bard is surprisingly described as a mediocre singer and musician by Theon.
-- Another little detail gave me pause, this time in ACoK. Mance
Isn't it the only time anybody besides a Bolton, practices flaying?
-- At a point, Jon stress how ancient the clans are.
Edited by Bran Vras, 18 March 2012 - 03:03 PM.