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[TWoW Spoilers] Stannis, Winterfell & comparisons to Summer Hall


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#21 Patrick Tully

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

Firstly, I think the letter is a lie. I could be wrong, so please correct me if I am, but surely simple chronology is enough to say that? If the letter was sent before the end of ADwD, then a battle that hasn't been fought by a Theon chapter in TWoW can't have been lost. Unless GRRM is screwing around with chronology, which I think is unlikely...


There is no hard chronological line between the end of one book and the start of the next in several places in the series. Events have overlapped before. There are events before the letter we have not seen yet, but that does not mean the letter is a true account of them by any means.

#22 Nic.

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:16 AM

yeah the Freys will be fodder for Stannis and Manderly will just switch sides leaving Ramsay to retreat. I don't see Roose losing to Stanis though.

Edited by Nic., 26 February 2013 - 11:19 AM.


#23 Suzanna Stormborn

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

lets not forget that the Theon chapter was supposed to be in ADWD...so it's quite possible that it happend before the chapter with Jon being stabbed...It's also possible that the trjan horse theory is correct...perhaps stannis let himself be captured only to reek havoc once inside winterfell....also...Stannis doesn't know Davos is alive...perhaps we'll get a chapter from Davos before the battle of winterfell and find out whats going on with Rickon and or Howland Reed.

OMG i hope so! If it all plays out like this I will be so happy, I have been waiting sooooo long for one conversation with Howland F%$king Reed!!! He is like the missing link who can tell the whole flippin story!!

#24 Tony of House Stark

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

If Stannis destroys the Frey army and the Manderlys don't come back as well I find it really hard to believe the Boltons would ride out of WF when the most logical thing to do is stay and keep waiting for Stannis...

#25 Suzanna Stormborn

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

If Stannis destroys the Frey army and the Manderlys don't come back as well I find it really hard to believe the Boltons would ride out of WF when the most logical thing to do is stay and keep waiting for Stannis...


Love your name Tony of House Stark /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> /devil.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':devil:' />

#26 flidderman

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:49 PM

My guess is that Roose sent out the 3 armies and has already left for the Dreadfort. Why would he stay at Winterfell at this point? If his army wins, Ramsay stays to rule Winterfell with fake Arya. If his army loses or something goes bad, well he is out of the heat and back home in his seat of power where no one is in any position to besiege him. It would most likely take years to starve him out of the Dreadfort since it should be fully stocked for a long winter (plus bonus pillaging of Stark/Hornwood land). Roose is cunning, not stupid and everyone can see on the face value that this move of sending the armies out is stupid (as per Stannis). We have seen Roose make similar moves before, bleeding his own apparent forces, he is very sly in how he uses his armies in ways that would look innocent on the surface but fulfills his actual hidden plan. My guess is right now his actual plan is just to get himself, his leeches, and his fate wife home.

I think what happens is that Freys arrive first, fight, try to retreat or think the Manderly has come to help, only to have him turn and completely destroy the Freys. Ramsay enters the battle but to late to prevent his men from the trap, but soon enough to avoid capture. He runs back to Winterfell to find Roose gone. In anger & panic he writes the letter (or is held captive by Mance who then makes him write the letter).


I agree. I think Roose constitutes a far bigger threat than Ramsay and is bound to outlive him.

#27 Cnoufesd

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 05:02 PM

Pretty sure the letter was written by Ramsey. The the way it is signed, "Trueborn Lord of Winterfell" , and the way Jon is addressed as a "Bastard" both point to the conclusion letter is written by the Bastard, owing to his obsession with identity.
This therefore poses the question not of who the letter is written by the hand of, but what parts of the letter are true. We know for certain a portion of it is correct, the paragraph pertaining to Mance. I'm inclined to believe Ramsey indeed captured The King Beyond the Wall, bearing in mind the purpose of Mance's party would have been revealed after the escape. The dispute in terms of factual content is subsequently over the more crucial portion of the letter, the section about Stannis' defeat. The evidence for which is less than ideal. I'm inclined to believe this is false. Firstly, GRRM would mix known fact with lies in order to make the lies more convincing. Secondly, because of Stannis' confidence in the Theon chapter, and thirdly because I think Stannis has come too far to be beaten by a few Freys in the snow. If we accept the section concerning Stannis is a lie, then we must reason why Bolton makes the request he does; most likely as a trap to gain bargaining tools over Stannis because he has not defeated him, the assumptions support each other.



Jon's actions after reading the letter do in terms of plot provide at a motive for somebody other than Ramsey sending the letter. His initial reaction was to leave the wall - perhaps in order to improve the chances of an assault by the others - though this seems unlikely given that it's unlikely Jon would make much difference given a full scale attack. This leaves the second consequence - the assassination - a more likely cause. If this is the case Mel could have written the letter, though I still suggest the above evidence as a more logical conclusion.

#28 Montey14

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:47 PM

Lets assume that everything is taking place in chronological order, and the Theon chapter happens after Jon gets the letter.....it has to be a fake..... the Bravossi banker left to find Stannis the chapter before Jon got the letter......and he arrives at Stannis' camp with Theon and Umber. It has to be a rousse to get Jon off the wall....maybe Jon and the nights watch were in on the sham with mellissadre.....theres no way Ramsay would know who Mance Ryder is and why would he admit to who he was if he even did get caught....how is that Jon got the letter claiming 7 days of battle before the battle even begins.....again this is assuming everything is kept in the proper time line....Martin is masterful in leaving everyting to such rampant speculation.....I'm assuming he will open the book with the battle of Winterfell being one of the first chapters....should make from some captivating reading....I certainly don't think he offs Jon Snow in such an undramatic way.....he has to come back ...

#29 Mulled Wino

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:59 PM

Inb4 someone comes up with a ridiculously hopeless argument that Stannis isn't a good battle commander. xD

Now let's see whats going down at the Battle. Manderlys and Freys outside in the snow. After what went down in the dining hall I doubt Manderly, concealed from the Boltons' sight, will even wait before butchering the Freys.


Stannis can finally get rid of the stigma that he's never won a pitched battle. Which makes him slightly above average.

#30 VaramyrSixchins

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:10 PM

Lets assume that everything is taking place in chronological order, and the Theon chapter happens after Jon gets the letter.....it has to be a fake..... the Bravossi banker left to find Stannis the chapter before Jon got the letter......and he arrives at Stannis' camp with Theon and Umber. It has to be a rousse to get Jon off the wall....maybe Jon and the nights watch were in on the sham with mellissadre.....theres no way Ramsay would know who Mance Ryder is and why would he admit to who he was if he even did get caught....how is that Jon got the letter claiming 7 days of battle before the battle even begins.....again this is assuming everything is kept in the proper time line....Martin is masterful in leaving everyting to such rampant speculation.....I'm assuming he will open the book with the battle of Winterfell being one of the first chapters....should make from some captivating reading....I certainly don't think he offs Jon Snow in such an undramatic way.....he has to come back ...


Nah, the Gift chapter happens well before the last Jon chapter.
Theon and Co show up in Asha's last chapter. By her count, it's been 30-35 days since the March from Deepwood. The Gift chapter takes place that very night that Theon is brought into Stannis's camp. In other words, at nightfall of the same day as The Sacrifice chapter.
So, if Stannis taking Deepwood is our marker, if this Gift chapter happens AFTER Jon's last chapter, that means that Val's expedition, the Queen's arrival at CB, Tormund's host coming through the Wall, and Tycho traveling from the Wall to Deepwood to Stannis would all have to happen inside of a month, which is pretty unlikely....

#31 VaramyrSixchins

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:14 PM

While looking over various chapters putting the above post together, it occurred to me that Deepwood was taken while the Bolton's were still at Barrowtown. Since they sent out Manderly/Frey forces the same day as Theon escaped, this means they have occupied WF for less than a month. Idk why that blew my mind, but it did....

#32 aryagonnakill

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:42 PM

While looking over various chapters putting the above post together, it occurred to me that Deepwood was taken while the Bolton's were still at Barrowtown. Since they sent out Manderly/Frey forces the same day as Theon escaped, this means they have occupied WF for less than a month. Idk why that blew my mind, but it did....

Ya didn't someone mention that Robert would have force marched his troops to Winterfell and gotten there before the Boltons giving them the better position? I also use Sam's departure from Eastwatch to know that Arya's chapter from ADWD have to be pretty far ahead of some others, because she was blind for a year starting about the time Sam left Bravos, which has to be roughly a month or two max after leaving Castle Black. Sams arrival in Oldtown would then only be roughly another month later.

#33 VaramyrSixchins

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:10 PM

Ya didn't someone mention that Robert would have force marched his troops to Winterfell and gotten there before the Boltons giving them the better position? I also use Sam's departure from Eastwatch to know that Arya's chapter from ADWD have to be pretty far ahead of some others, because she was blind for a year starting about the time Sam left Bravos, which has to be roughly a month or two max after leaving Castle Black. Sams arrival in Oldtown would then only be roughly another month later.


Good catch! Sometimes trying to use certain events as markers to figure out chronology is the only thing available method to us, and even then, it's usually only enough to narrow it down to approximations, lol.

But, yeah, Jon thinks that King Bob would force a rapid march, and actually supports it as the best course, IIRC. One of the mountain clansmen urges the same thing.

All told, events move pretty rapidly for Stannis. He goes after the mountain clans just before Moat Cailin falls, has retrieved them and taken Deepwood by the time the Bolton's move to Barrowtown, and a month later, apparently, is on the verge of having a battle w the Frey's...

#34 Lord Spark of House Spark

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:33 PM

A lot has been made of Stannis' battle prowess, but also in his favour is that the majority of the Freys have no battle experience at all, because they are always turning up late, or butchering unarmed or helpless opponents.
Having said that, the freys could be the second army to turn up, watch manderley and his troops fall through the ice and double back round to attack from another angle with a rabid ramsey at the fore, Stannis beats the loonies and the cowards back, but still doesn't know that Rickon is alive. Ramsey escapes and runs back to winterfell to send the letter to Jon. If he had won the battle he wouldn't be asking for his reek back.

#35 JLE

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:53 PM

Except, Manderly won't fight Stannis at all. I'm not quite certain of his sympathies, but we know at least of his enmities: the Freys (over the Red Wedding) and the Bastard of Bolton (in the dispute over Lady Hornwood's treatment, and her land.) While he turned to support Roose because of the lack of any credible alternative power in the North, now there *is* a credible alternative power (Stannis)... and Manderly believes that Stannis now has a free Arya Stark who could be put up as *a* Stark in Winterfell. Stannis knows of Arnolf Karstark's treachery, and has him under arrest. The Freys are doomed, everybody hates them now, with the Boltons (and the now-fragile Lannisters in the south, who have lost Tywin, Kevan *and* Tyrion) being the only people who don't actively want them dead, and even the Boltons and Lannisters probably despise the Freys as tools even while they use them. Manderly, outside of Roose's control, may turn on them even before either side meets Stannis.

Of course, Ramsay the Bastard, who isn't stupid, probably guesses all this about Manderly and the Freys. (So, in all probability, does Roose.) If so, the plan may be for Ramsay's host and the Freys to expect Manderly to change sides already, and be ready to turn on them, which may in turn force Stannis to come to Manderly's rescue and commit to battle earlier than he would have liked, and possibly not in the position he hoped. In which, of course, the treachery of Arnolf Karstark would play a crucial part in defeating and scattering Stannis's host... But, importantly, the Boltons do NOT know that Arnolf Karstark is under arrest, so when the Karstark men will turn up on the field obeying the orders of their new commanders (as soldiers do), it will be under Stannis's leadership, and it's the Bolton army that will be routed.

As for the letter... The fact that Ramsay signs it "The True Lord of Winterfell" means that it must be a tactical lie: any letter sent north should have been signed by his father (Ramsay himself cannot be a lord while his father lives, nor should be sending any communications without his father's name attached unless there is some deception intended.) I guess the Boltons are either expecting a crashing defeat or have just had one.

Edited by JLE, 15 March 2013 - 05:07 PM.


#36 Knight errant

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:15 AM

that letter was from the bastard all right. i think he wrote it just to get a raise out of jon plus, he's the last stark that can mess with his claim to winterfell. all of the north know jon to be robb's heir.


This is a bit off topic but...No they don't...No one knows that but for the like two or three people with the wills. In any case he is nights watch and do the Northmen still want to follow the king in the North? I am doubtful. Especially after Stan the Man wins big in this next battle and consolidates south and takes the riverlands, with the vale Joining him next. (The vale, led by Harry & Sansa will join with Stannis as he is backing the Starks, what with making Rickon the new LP of the North) That gives him three kingdoms, two weak ones and a fresh one. Still with the Tyrells fighting on two fronts and the Dornish yet to move it's a strong position. The Lannisters and Stormlands are equally depleted as said by some of the Lannisters.


If the Others invade though my beautiful plan goes out the window :/

Also really crackpot if Tyrell senses a sinking ship/Margaery gets the chop that only leaves him with marriable sons to get into a kingly line. What's the age gap between shireen and the now scarred Loras? After all his dad doesn't know he's gaayyy....All depends when Dany shows up.

Edited by Knight errant, 16 March 2013 - 09:19 AM.


#37 Daemon Bainax

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:38 AM

As for the letter... The fact that Ramsay signs it "The True Lord of Winterfell" means that it must be a tactical lie: any letter sent north should have been signed by his father (Ramsay himself cannot be a lord while his father lives, nor should be sending any communications without his father's name attached unless there is some deception intended.) I guess the Boltons are either expecting a crashing defeat or have just had one.


Ramsay is 'Lord of Winterfell' by marriage to fArya, not by the blood of his father.


Manderly smacks the Freys about, goes and gets Stannis, then 'flees' back to the safety of Winterfell with some of Stannis's forces. They open the gates and the Boltons get dead.