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Theon Sample Chapter; The Letter sent to Jon (Spoilers)


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#1 What is dead may never die

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 11:43 AM

Hello All,

I'm pretty new to the forum as far as posting goes, though I spend a lot of time reading the threads and taking great enjoyment in it.

I have seen discussion on the topic as well as the various theories that are around so I apologize if this has been discussed, thought of, already presented, etc.

I have just finished my first re-read of the books and after reading the last Jon chapter from ADwD a few times over, and the Theon sample chapter from TWoW, I believe fully that the letter sent to Jon, was written by Stannis.

Given the amount of discussion on the topic alrady, I am only want to discuss the possiblity of who wrote the letter to Jon and why. I will not be talking about why the NW did what they did or the status of Jon.

First why I think it was Stannis:

The sample chapter has Stannis say to Justin Massey that "It may be that we shall lose this battle," the king said grimly. "In Braavos you may hear that I am dead. It may even be true. You shall find my sellswords nonetheless."

Seems an odd thing to say. I don't think that Stannis would anticipate someone spreading rumors of his demise without them acutally knowing that he is dead. Unless, he is planning to do so himself in order to draw out his enemies. Should Maester Tybald send a raven to Winterfell informing the Boltons that Stannis is dead, there's no way they take that its word. They most likely send the Frey's and Manderly's to confirm the truth of this. Here is where I can see the Frey's falling into the covered fishing holes to die (what better revenge than the North itself consuming the orchestrators of the Red Wedding!)

The next part is something that Theon says to Stannis in the sample the chapter:

"The north remembers. The Red Wedding, Lady Hornwood's fingers, the sack of Winterfell, Deepwood Motte and Torrhen's Square, they remember all of it." Bran and Rickon. They were only miller's boys. "Frey and Manderly will never combine their strengths. They will come for you, but separately. Lord Ramsay will not be far behind them. He wants his bride back. He wants his Reek."

The underlined portion of the above quote is very similar to that of some of the language in the letter:

"I want my bride back. I want my Reek."

Not exactly the same, but pretty close. It would seem that the contents of this letter ( I did not want to quote the whole letter here) combine the knowledge of what Stannis knows of the the happenings at the Wall and what Theon knows is going on at Winterfell. Since Theon is Stannis' prisoner, it seems likely that he would inform Stannis of all he knows (after all, I don't he wants to go back to being Ramsay's prisoner).

Also, the mention of the word "crows" in the letter sticks out to me. As far as I can tell, the only people to call the Brothers of the NW "crows" are the Wildlings and how Ramsay would know that information and refer to it in the letter seems to be a bit of a stretch. However, Stannis has been at The Wall and has had direct contact with the NW and Wildlings both, and thus would know this.

Now, why would Stannis write this letter to Jon:

Seems pretty obvious to me, he is thoroughly outnumbered and needs help. At this point he does not know that Manderly and whatever force/army he has hiding is loyal to him and not the Boltons.

Stannis had intended on having the Wildlings settle The Gift and it is probably no secret to him that Jon intended to let them through the Wall to help man the abandoned castles. This letter was pure motivation to get Jon to rally the Wildlings around him to march South. And it worked until the NW decided to give Jon the Juluis Caesar treatment. Now had Jon made it down there I don't think it would have pleased him to know that he was lied to but at that point, he would have no choice but fight with Stannis against the Boltons.

Another reason is I feel that Stannis, at this point (he does not know that Davos is alive and looking for Rickon, also alive) is looking for something, anything to rally the North around him. Is there any other way to do so than to have the last surviving son of Lord Eddard Stark at his side? Although he is a bastard, it is in all likely hood that Robb named Jon his heir and any of the surviving Northmen who were in Robb's army would know this (and the Young Wolf's will is somewhere out there). I believe they would be content with a son of Eddard Stark as Lord of Winterfell, bastard and all as opposed to the Boltons.

That's all I've got for now, I'm sure there are things I am overlooking/not remebering/failing to mention and would love to see arguments for and against.

Thanks.

#2 Davos' fingertip

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:35 PM

thats a good theory, but i highly doubt it because Stannis isn't the type to do such underhanded work. I doubt Martin would plan such a tactic for someone like Stannis.

#3 JonTargaryenW/Viserion4WIN

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:23 PM

If Stannis wrote the letter, how did he know about Mance? Did Mance ever reveal his identity to Theon? If so that could explain it but as far as Stannis knew, Mel burned Mance for Rahloo.

#4 Jolene Brown

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:30 PM

I totally think Ramsay wrote the letter, but those very same 2 lines you single out definitely gave me pause when I read the sample chapter.

It just doesn't seem like Stannis's style though, to employ such a complicated plot. But we know he has a Maester from the Dreadfort and ravens with him as well, and presumably pink wax, although I think the implication was that the ravens would go to Winterfell. But then there's that whole discussion about whether they can go to multiple locations or not. It seems possible that one might be able to go to Winterfell and the wall.

However, I just don't see how Stannis could be sure that Jon would react to the letter in a way that would benefit him. And in fact, as far as we know now, there is chaos at the wall, and god knows how it will turn out. So it seems like a weird plan. I just don't know that Stannis would want to set off fireworks at the wall, knowing that his wife and daughter are there.

Edit: Also, there's something about Clydas's reaction and Jon's reaction that also suggests its Ramsay to me. They have such a gut-level disturbed response, even before reading the letter. It's like they feel the hatred and malevolence of Ramsay. I know that is not really a factual clue, but I feel like it signifies that we are meant to perceive the letter as genuinely creepy and bad. I don't think it would be written quite that way if it was part of some clever ploy by Stannis.

Edited by Jolene Brown, 19 July 2012 - 02:32 PM.


#5 alguien

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:31 PM

I think Ramsay wrote the letter, but I also think Stannis tricked him into thinking he was dead...

#6 Franz95

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:41 PM

Woah. I like it. If there's a way to settle the Mance question, you have convinced me.

#7 House_Scattergood

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:19 PM

I'm convinced

#8 Brewmaster

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:20 PM

No, the mention of Mance makes this a virtual impossibility.

It would pretty much kill Stannis' characterization. Not only would he resort to this underhanded trickery and lies in writing the letter to Jon, but it would also mean he was in on the Mance deception from the beginning (another tearing down of Stannis' characterization). And even if you can reconcile all of that with him, then he somehow needs to learn that Mance has been sent to Winterfell, a mission that he isn't dispatched on until well after Stannis is gone from the wall.

#9 thunder_chicken

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:24 PM

The similarity in the "I want my bride back, I want my reek" statement is really compelling. I'm almost convinced.

Theon would know about Mance from the spearwives.

However, I fail to see what Stannis gains from this. He must have one heck-of-a masterstroke to pull out of his hat (maybe something related to the Manderley fleet- this would somehow require him learning that Davos is not dead?). Stannis is running from skirmish to skirmish, but nothing he does is helping him in his broader goal to retake the iron throne. Right now he's an also-ran stuck in the North with a tiny army. Rumors of him dying would seem to kill any chance of other lords joining his cause. Given the info we have, I can't picture Stannis gaining much tactically, and the long-term downside to people thinking he is dead seems just too high.

Small point- I'm sure Ramsey would know the term "crow"

#10 SerGrahamando ofUttershill

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:54 PM

The wildlings aren't the only ones who refer to NW as crows. Isn't Yoren referred to as the wandering crow?

#11 WTFSalami

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:18 PM

thats a good theory, but i highly doubt it because Stannis isn't the type to do such underhanded work. I doubt Martin would plan such a tactic for someone like Stannis.

You mean the guy who had sex with a Red Priestess so she could make a shadow copy of him to murder his younger brother?

Yeah, I don't see that guy using any sort of underhandedness at all.

#12 John Reynolds

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:44 PM

You mean the guy who had sex with a Red Priestess so she could make a shadow copy of him to murder his younger brother?

Yeah, I don't see that guy using any sort of underhandedness at all.


Just because that scene was filmed for the HBO show doesn't make it canon. I've always been conflicted on that topic because it seems so out of character for Stannis (despite his obviously unhappy marriage).

#13 Jolene Brown

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:55 PM

I don't think Stannis did it, but the point about Mance is a good one - Theon probably knows about him and the whole plot with Mel from the spearwives. Didn't he even talk to him in ADWD? I got the impression they had brought him to "Abel," and that was when they all made the plan for how they would rescue "Arya." If Stannis did send the letter, Theon would definitely have to have been involved, and probably the one to write it.

But I still think it was Ramsay!

#14 Cliche Guevara

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:57 PM

Just because that scene was filmed for the HBO show doesn't make it canon. I've always been conflicted on that topic because it seems so out of character for Stannis (despite his obviously unhappy marriage).


Mel basically admits she slept with Stannis to produce the shadows, and brienne recognizes stannis's features in the one that killed renly. I don't see any reason to doubt either one of those accounts.

#15 aryagonnakill

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:36 PM

^ catlyn recognized him not brienne

#16 redriver

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:39 PM

Theon does not know about Mance and the spearwives would not have told him.

The only one who knows everything in the letter,assuming he hasn't been tortured,is Mance.

Edited by redriver, 19 July 2012 - 06:43 PM.


#17 mickeyfinn1974

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:49 PM

Could the letter have come from Theon? Not sure I have any logic to back this up just yet, but it does seem like you're pinning the letter's wording on Stannis who hears Theon say it. Theon has been having quite a number of identity crises lately...

#18 weaselontherun

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:59 PM

The letter Ramsey sent to Asha is descibed as a (my words here) scrawl of large letters written in blood.
The letter Jon has no description of the penmanship however the length of the letter seems to me would take up at least 2 pages if that scrawl was used. Not really raven mail material. GRRM was in fact less than descriptive of the letter eg no mention ink used. The use of "Trueborn" Asha's letter was signed Lord of Winterfell is somewhat anomoly.

Edited by weaselontherun, 19 July 2012 - 07:00 PM.


#19 John Reynolds

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 07:24 PM

Mel basically admits she slept with Stannis to produce the shadows, and brienne recognizes stannis's features in the one that killed renly. I don't see any reason to doubt either one of those accounts.


Got a page quote from that? The line from Mel's one POV chapter in Dance certainly doesn't prove it, could easily be interpreted that she's not sleeping since she's spending her time staring into the flames trying to keep informed on how Stannis is doing.

#20 Catacombs

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 07:42 PM

Interesting.

I think Stannis makes more sense than Ramsey. There are items in the letter (like the reference to the wildling princess and the wildling babe) that Ramsey could only know through the torture of Mance (was there enough time for that?) and even if that was true, why would Ramsey care. That made me think that the letter came from another source.

I thought the source of the letter was Bowen Marsh and other NW traditionalists who suspected the details, but wanted to test Jon. When he confirmed their worst fears--they attacked him. They had opportunities to know every detail in the letter, especially with a Karlstark in the ice cells. (And they may have been in an alliance of sorts with the Queen and some of her men).

I still lean towards my NW theory, but your theory about Stannis has some merit and has given me something to think about. Thanks