While I think Stannis will prevail in the North, Roose now seems quite well-positioned in one of the strongest castles in the realm - the northern equivalent of Littlefinger's rule in the Vale - not quite stable, not quite legitimate but not facing any real threats so far. That's why it's very interesting to me how exactly Stannis' victory will play out - he may destroy the Freys and ally with the Manderlys, but I too think that Roose never meant to open the gates again after sending them out. He has food, he has shelter and the attacking army lacks those things. Yes, Stannis may send a raven now that he has gotten hold of them, he may offer a sword or a story of his demise through Manderlys or imposters dressed as Karstarks, but I don't really think that at this point Roose will open the gates for anyone and anything before winter destroys all those around Winterfell regardless of their agenda. This leaves either the dead Starks from the crypts revolting or the tunnels maester Luwing talked about in the last episode of the TV show, although that would be rather Deus Ex Machinesque and probably only a plot device for the TV show.
Tharvot, on 11 June 2012 - 10:10 AM, said:
So, you can have the Others taking the Wall, dead Freys turning into wights, and Stannis, Jon, Mel, & co retreating south as the undead march south to destroy Winterfell.
As cunning as Roose is, there is no way he is prepared for an undead army marching upon him.
That's an interesting point, but how exactly would it happen? Normally, castles are taken by either siege, or an assault. Let's assume that the Others have somehow successfully bypassed the Wall through some faulty gate or whatever - that may be possible since the Night's Watch is in disarray and without it the Wall means nothing. What will the Others do at Winterfell, though? They are afraid of fire and cannot torch it once again, they don't possess any siege equipment like trebuchets and so on - it is a castle, so they can't charge on giant spiders and dead bears - how will they take it? The only option seems to be to wait outside until the people inside starve - but since it is winter, they essentially have no choice but to stay inside. Roose and the northern lords also seem to have a final ace up their sleeve - seeing how well Winterfell burns
, they might torch it once again if push comes to shove with Others bypassing the walls and retreat to the underground crypts. This will certainly repell the attack and anyone lucky enough to survive the fire may have a chance at escaping.
Edited by gendarme, 17 June 2012 - 08:08 AM.