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THE BASTARD'S LETTER


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#1 STANN1SBARATHEON

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:02 PM

Ramsay snow's letter to Jon at the Wall, the one that was simply labeled, "Bastard"

I've been browsing through the forums for a bit and have read some interesting theories concerning what happens in The Winds of Winter, and I got me thinking, how much of Ramsay's letter do we think is true and just how much do we think is B.S.?

while reading Dance, I just figured the entire letter was a lie with the exception of the Mance Rayder stuff, even Jon admitted in the book that, "there is truth here" in that letter. But i figured all the stuff about Stannis being dead and ramsay having his sword, i thought Ramsay was balking Jon Snow trying to get him to give up Stannis's wife and daughter and Melissandre, etc, and that the "army" he supposedly smashed before the gates of Winterfell were really just the green boys and old men that Crowsfood Umber had gathered together from the Last Hearth to march against Roose and his men.

But someone on the forum suggested that because it was the freys and manderlys sent out first that stannis and manderly actually got together and took down the frey host, and that manderly then took lightbringer back to winterfell to trick Roose and Ramsay, which prompted the letter to Jon,

Not exactly something that can be proven at the moment but I thought it was a solid theory, and not a possibility i had thought of before,

what does everyone else think of Ramsay's letter?

#2 Apple Martini

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:46 PM

I think it's probably at least partially true, namely where the spearwives are concerned (I think they're actually dead as the letter implies). But some people think that Mance is actually the one writing the letter, hoping to lure Jon into sending Val and his "son" away. This is sort of backed up by the oddity of Ramsay asking for Val and the baby in addition to Selyse and Shirren — why would he care about them? Mance could also use Stannis' wife and daughter as hostages of his own, but to Ramsay, Val and the baby hold no value at all.

Note that in the letter, Ramsay refers to the Night's Watch as "crows," which is a decidedly "wildling" name for them. They don't really refer to themselves that way, nor does anyone else in Westeros south of the Wall, to my knowledge. I'm also not sure what to make of the line, "You told the world you killed the King-Beyond-the-Wall." It makes it sound like Jon himself trumpeted "Mance's" execution, which I don't think he did.

So yeah, a healthy number of people think that Mance has actually "captured" Ramsay, not the other way around, and it's Mance's voice in the letter, and that the stuff about Stannis already losing is false.

Another idea, one I like in particular, is that something has happened to Roose (i.e. he's been killed or captured, leaving Ramsay in charge), but that Ramsay has actually written the letter and Mance is actually a prisoner. This idea hinges on Stannis somehow faking his own death. I believe that Bolton sent out the Freys and the Manderlys, and that the Manderlys turned on the Freys and joined forces with Stannis. Stannis gave one of the Manderly commanders his sword to take back to the Boltons as "proof" that he was dead. So the thing about the severed heads on the wall isn't true, it's just Ramsay embellishing, but he does believe Stannis is dead. Lulled into that complacency, he's bold enough to write the letter to Jon, while in the end, Stannis' forces, combined with the Manderlys, will finally flush the Boltons out of Winterfell.

Spoiler


#3 redriver

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

The beauty of the letter is that it leaves so many possibilities open.

Of course Lord Manderley did not ride out himself,so the ruse would have to be devised between Stannis and the leader of Wyman's troops.Stannis would then have to give up Lightbringer,which implies that Stannis does not hold the sword in much regard.

To make it plausible some Freys either alive or dead would have to be returned to Winterfell too.It would look strange if Stannis was defeated and no Freys survived.

You would also need real proof that Stannis is dead,such as his head or crown.

Then you would have to assume that Abel has been captured and yielded up all his secrets,including the mission and information about Mel,Selyse,Val and his baby.I know the Boltons can be persuasive but....

#4 Sword Of Mid Afternoon

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:24 PM

I believe the letter was written by Ramsay. It's contains far too many of his speech/linguistic mannerisms & patterns for any simple forgery.

It appears to be a letter written in frustration; full of boasts and threats, most of which are empty or baseless. We know Theon & Jeyne/Fake Arya made it out of Winterfell and were retrieved by the nearby Umbers. We know most if not all of the Spearwives are dead. If they're dead, Mance's cover was blown, and it stands to reason he may have been captured. Mance's resourcefulness is the only thing that may have enabled him to escape, but even that is a long shot, I'd say.

Knowing Ramsay, he does not strike me as the diplomatic type... nor the kind of man who would even try to solve his problems with a letter if he could do so with force of arms. From this, we must deduce that for whatever reason Ramsay is unable to make the two day ride to Castle Black for an easy victory. Everyone is aware that Castle Black is highly vulnerable from the South, especially in the North.

It is possible that the letter was written after Theon's sample chapter from TWoW (I don't think so), but even if so, I do not believe Stannis was killed, nor was his army defeated. As mentioned above, that Ramsay even wrote a letter tells me he is unable to take Theon/Arya by force. If he had defeated Stannis's army, his forces would be assembled North of Winterfell, full of momentum from their recent victory and in a perfect position to march on Castle Black.

#5 ThundergodCid

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:46 PM

The wilding princess remark seems
odd to me. How and why would Ramsay know about Va?l...and why would he care?

#6 Lord Damian

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:47 PM

I think the letter could be a combined effort by Mance and Ramsay. Mance is not exactly a fan of Stannis and Jon. Mance would be smart to ask for hostages. Ramsay has no patience for hostages. Remember, his father Roose had to calm him off of the idea of killing Lady Dunstin. Ramsay and Mance together wrote this letter. Mance probably hoping of taking the wall now that he is on the other side. An uneasy temporary alliance.

#7 kwvapor

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:41 PM

Mance has been snooping around Winterfell the whole time that Ramsay and company has been there. I'm sure he has learn a thing or two about the way he writes his letters that'd be easy. It's possible that Mance and Mel worked together! In Mel's POV, she was actively thinking, "how do I do this?" and we know later she was pondering how to use the image of the Karstark girl to pressure Jon into the Mance "mission" whatever it was.

Ramsay would have sealed it correctly, it only takes a second or two. The letter demands--this person, he wants that person. but he doesn't want the RED WHORE. Just "tell his red whore."

He also uses black crows,definitely Mance's handiwork.

Unless Stannis, Mance, and Mel are in on it together. With Mel's fire, she could have seen something but withheld it from Jon.

My guess---
Mance and Mel.
and possibly Stannis is in on it too

Edited by Censored Wolf, 10 May 2012 - 11:56 PM.


#8 Blue Sun

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:21 AM

He also uses black crows,definitely Mance's handiwork.


Why? Everyone knows the men of the NW are called crows. Also, is learning to read and write part of becoming a NW man? It seems unlikely that Mance would know how to do either. And he asked for his Reek back. If that's not proof that Ramsay wrote it, I don't know what is.

#9 Apple Martini

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:27 AM

Why? Everyone knows the men of the NW are called crows. Also, is learning to read and write part of becoming a NW man? It seems unlikely that Mance would know how to do either. And he asked for his Reek back. If that's not proof that Ramsay wrote it, I don't know what is.


Possibly evidence that Ramsay wrote it, but definitely not evidence that what it says is true. Unless ... something ... has befallen Theon, if Ramsay had defeated Stannis' forces, he should have gotten his "Reek" back by doing so.

#10 Sword Of Mid Afternoon

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:32 AM

My guess---
Mance and Mel.
and possibly Stannis is in on it too


Really? Despite the fact that this is a fantasy fiction series and at any moment something supernatural could alter the entire storyline, I would bet good money that Stannis and Mel had absolutely nothing to do with it. Mance could have had a hand in it, but not willingly.

Mel may have some hidden motives, but there is no escaping the fact that she legitimately seeks to help Jon. That cannot be denied. She sees him as a vital player in the conflict to come... as an aid to Stannis, or (as I believe) as an vital player in his own right. Say what you will about her, she is genuinely committed to fighting and defeating what lies North of the Wall - what she would refer to as the great Other and his minons - she needs the Night's Watch for that. She's also working hard to make Jon trust her. Sending a counterfeit letter like that would make Jon's skeptical distrust permanent.

Stannis would not do anything like that. Of that I am 100% certain. But if that is not enough for you, if he was planning to dupe Jon and the Watch (who have his Queen, daughter, Mel, and all of his wounded in their custody, by the way), why would he send fakeArya to Jon? Why would he send some of his own people with them? Why would he send Massey back to Castle Black, to go to Essos via EastWatch?

Mel trusts Mance... the watch is holding Val, his people, and are protecting his son. Mance may have been captured, and tormented into revealing information, but there is no reason for him to try and deceive Jon this manner.

That letter was either written by Ramsay, or someone who knows Ramsay well enough to convincingly imitate him.

Mance wouldn't do it on his own. Mel would not help him nor would she do it on her own, and Stannis would have nothing to do with such a ploy.

That letter was written by a very frustrated (and inching towards desperation) Ramsay Snow/Bolton his immaturity and petulant nature is in .

There aren't many things in ASOIAF which I'm certain of... but this is one of those things.

IMHO, the question is not who wrote the letter... Prime projection = Ramsay Bolton in extremis... The question is why do such a thing?

#11 cuendillar

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:11 AM

Unless the letter is just a goad, it would have been written long enough after Theon's escape for him to have made it to the Wall. It makes no sense for anyone to demand a hostage who isn't present to be yielded. With travel as slow as it is in winter, that makes plausibly enough time for the seven-day battle to take place. The question is why Jeyne's party never made it there, or at least became more delayed than even the harsh winter could allow for...

#12 Apple Martini

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:20 AM

Unless the letter is just a goad, it would have been written long enough after Theon's escape for him to have made it to the Wall. It makes no sense for anyone to demand a hostage who isn't present to be yielded. With travel as slow as it is in winter, that makes plausibly enough time for the seven-day battle to take place. The question is why Jeyne's party never made it there, or at least became more delayed than even the harsh winter could allow for...


Spoiler


#13 kwvapor

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:29 AM

Mel may have some hidden motives, but there is no escaping the fact that she legitimately seeks to help Jon. That cannot be denied. She sees him as a vital player in the conflict to come... as an aid to Stannis, or (as I believe) as an vital player in his own right. Say what you will about her, she is genuinely committed to fighting and defeating what lies North of the Wall - what she would refer to as the great Other and his minons - she needs the Night's Watch for that. She's also working hard to make Jon trust her. Sending a counterfeit letter like that would make Jon's skeptical distrust permanent.

Mel trusts Mance... the watch is holding Val, his people, and are protecting his son. Mance may have been captured, and tormented into revealing information, but there is no reason for him to try and deceive Jon this manner.

Mance wouldn't do it on his own. Mel would not help him nor would she do it on her own, and Stannis would have nothing to do with such a ploy.

There aren't many things in ASOIAF which I'm certain of... but this is one of those things.

IMHO, the question is not who wrote the letter... Prime projection = Ramsay Bolton in extremis... The question is why do such a thing?


Mel has been working hard to gain Jon's trust and it might be for this very "mission" that she needed it for. Without Jon's trust Mance would never have been able to go to Winterfell. Mel used a vision that she knew would come true without her interfering. Why wasn't Mance waiting outside the wall to pickup the girl instead she sent him to work on her hidden motive.

Mel trusts Mance because the NW holds Val and the his kid, yes. But the letter DEMANDS the kid and Val. So, that issue might be moot.

You may have answered your own question. Why? To help Jon and Stannis with the Night's Watch and fight the Others. Mel saw the vision that Jon was going to get stabbed, we all know this. Is it possible now Mel can work her mojo on Jon or do something to fulfill her mission?

The Wildings might go south and help Stannis defeat Bolton and join up with Mance.

I don't know the answers but I know there is something fishy here.

Mel is hiding something. "Arya" is nowhere near Winterfell, how can her visions mixup Winterfell and the area South of the Wall where the horse came running out.

Maybe I am overly suspicious but Martin wouldn't give us the text of the letter if there wasn't something fishy. Especially a cliffhanger--

Edited by Censored Wolf, 11 May 2012 - 01:33 AM.


#14 alienarea

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:44 AM

I have put some thoughts in it oven in the Theon I, version 4 thread in the TWoW forum and don't feel like repeating today.

Instead of analyzing again I think it makes sense to look at the outcome as well. The outcome is that the wildlings are supposed to go to Winterfell, lead by Jon. Jon's assassination is a by-product.

Who would want the wildlings to go to Winterfell?

Ramsay? No. He doesn't know anything about their fighting strength and it would mean an additional battle.
Roose? No, same as above.
Stannis? No, he send Massey to get sellswords. And the wildlings don't like him.
Melisandre? Maybe, if she fears for Stannis and possibly to get Jon away from 'daggers in the dark'.
Mance? Yes. If he hasn't been captured, he could sneak in the wildlings and have them take out all of the Boltons, Freys and if necessary Manderleys and Stannis' men as well. And he still has beef with Jon.

I'd bet on Mance.

#15 kwvapor

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:50 AM

I have put some thoughts in it oven in the Theon I, version 4 thread in the TWoW forum and don't feel like repeating today.


I'm going to go read that thread---

Thanks for the tip

#16 redriver

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:00 AM

Theon withheld the fact that Ramsay's bride was not Arya Stark from Abel but Mance knew this already,as he already knew all the factual information in the letter,and had real and rational motive for inventing the lies.

#17 kwvapor

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:27 AM

Theon withheld the fact that Ramsay's bride was not Arya Stark from Abel but Mance knew this already,as he already knew all the factual information in the letter,and had real and rational motive for inventing the lies.


How does Abel know?

The analysis in the Theon I thread mentioned above is pretty extensive and very long. I think I kind of see many more possibilities than before.

#18 redriver

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:56 AM

How does Abel know?

The analysis in the Theon I thread mentioned above is pretty extensive and very long. I think I kind of see many more possibilities than before.


In ASOS when Jon first meets Mance,he tells Jon about his two previous trips to Winterfell.The first was with LC Qorgyle,and the second was when King Robert visited.He says he made "passing note of Lord Eddard's children and the wolf pups that ran at their heels".

#19 Malpka

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:17 AM

Hmm, just recently read Theon WoW chapter, and I am surprised that no one mention Roose as author of this letter.
We know he stay at Winterfell while Ramsay went against Stannis (with Manderly and Freys - lol if I ever heard of more destined to lose army).
We can easily believe that Mance was caught - even more easily we can believe that Boltons are the guys which will be able to extract some information of him, maybe not all but some.
Roose is the one profiting from the letter in any case-
If Jon have a go at him then, one way or another, he is getting rid of last Stark (arguably Stark) in some power.
If Jon don't act at all he knows he is not going to challenge him in any way (due to oaths)
Now doesn't matter if Stannis won or lost - his wife and daughter are valuable in both cases.
As for Val and her son - if he get them Stannis doesn't have anyone he could put as lord of the North, as we know Stannis was planing to wed Val with lord of the north proclaimed by him.
Plus we can bet that Roose and Ramsey exchange few letters, during RW/ Ramsay taking the north time.

Edited by Malpka, 11 May 2012 - 03:18 AM.


#20 redriver

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:37 AM

Hmm, just recently read Theon WoW chapter, and I am surprised that no one mention Roose as author of this letter.
We know he stay at Winterfell while Ramsay went against Stannis (with Manderly and Freys - lol if I ever heard of more destined to lose army).
We can easily believe that Mance was caught - even more easily we can believe that Boltons are the guys which will be able to extract some information of him, maybe not all but some.
Roose is the one profiting from the letter in any case-
If Jon have a go at him then, one way or another, he is getting rid of last Stark (arguably Stark) in some power.
If Jon don't act at all he knows he is not going to challenge him in any way (due to oaths)
Now doesn't matter if Stannis won or lost - his wife and daughter are valuable in both cases.
As for Val and her son - if he get them Stannis doesn't have anyone he could put as lord of the North, as we know Stannis was planing to wed Val with lord of the north proclaimed by him.
Plus we can bet that Roose and Ramsey exchange few letters, during RW/ Ramsay taking the north time.


Why would Roose send a letter demanding various people be delivered to him,knowing Jon has no reason to deliver any of them?In fact he has the good news that his "sister" in not in Bolton custody.

And does Val have a son?I can't understand why Stannis can't proclaim anyone he wants Warden of the North,Val or not.