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


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#41 GoldenVale

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 08:28 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.


While I can't be certain I recall that the spearwives are careful to refer to Mance as "Abel" and that Theon was not aware that he was Mance Rayder. As he and Jeyne Poole are the only ones to escape (or at least to our knowledge, it is certainly possible that Mance who has been sneaking into Winterfell for ages has escaped or is at least hiding somewhere within Winterfell) he would never have known and it is unlikely that he would come to the conclusion himself seeing as he has no knowledge of things beyond the wall.

While it is a good theory among many the mention of Mance and the fact that it would be out of character for Stannis pretty much still leans towards Ramsay (or perhaps the smarter Roose) for me.

#42 Catacombs

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:07 PM

Sorry in advance for the length of this comment, but I want to put forward a NW deadenders theory.

I do not think the Pink letter was written by Ramsey. There are details in it that he is very unlikely to know and pretty unlikely to mention even if he did. The letter serves him no tactical benefit. Ramsey is a character known for being underhanded, deferential to his Father, sneaky and not very bright when it comes to politics. The Pink Letter lets it all hang out and there’s no way Roose would approve a letter that announces to the world and the North that Ramsey has lost his bride. And if Roose is dead, then Ramsey would have other things on his plate than writing Jon Snow a letter demanding ‘the wildling babe’. Yes, Ramsey is filled with psychotic rage, but the letter is too carefully crafted for it to be a product of that rage.

Every line of the letter is crafted to test Jon Snow and move him to openly break his vows as a brother of the Night’s Watch. I think the letter was a test crafted by some co-conspirators at the NW—think of them as a group of NW deadenders who wanted to stop the rapid change being brought about by Jon Snow and King Stannis.

Bowen Marsh and Wick Wittlestick were clearly involved, but I suspect that there were others at Castle Black, Eastwatch and elsewhere, including Glendon Hewett, Septon Cellador, Clydas and Alliser Thorne. The focus of the NW had been fighting the Wildlings for a very long time. The idea of fighting The Others has been lost. The wildlings were the enemy. For the NW deadenders, the Others were seen as a the secondary threat. Even the recent events of ASoIaF would do little to change the viewpoint of NW members who never saw a wight or an Other—a trait most of the co-conspirators share. They are also a group who saw Stannis as a rebel and Tommen Baratheon as the rightful King.

The letter was like a detective playing his hunch in an old mystery novel—design to smoke out the ‘guilty’. It was written based on some facts they knew and some ideas that they only suspected to be true. Parts of the letter were guesses. If Jon took no action based on the letter, then I don’t think he would have been stabbed. But if Jon did act, then the letter was crafted to provide the conspirators a justification for their betrayal.

Everything about the letter benefitted the NW deadenders—even its timing. It arrived just before the mission to Hardhome is about to announced. Molly tell’s Jon that “Clydas don’t look his proper self … he’s more white than pink, if you get my meaning … and he’s shaking” when he arrives with the letter—a letter sealed with wax and only the word ‘Bastard’ on the outside. That would not explain Clydas, but delivering a letter that never traveled by a raven might.

So, let’s break down the letter:

Bastard


Yes, Ramsey might have written this, but it is also how all the NW deadenders think of John. As for the handwriting: Marsh and his stewards would have had access to the letter Ramsey sent announcing his marriage to Arya. Clydas saw it and there is not a mention of its destruction. If the letter was with Jon’s things, a steward would have had access to it—especially if Marsh asked for it.

Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.


The “smashed in seven days” may have come from Septon Cellador to honor The Seven—I doubt that it has any ring of truth. Clydas would have heard Maester Aemon’s concerns about the sword. While Ramsey might have said ‘False king’ and ‘red whore’, it would also be how the NW deadenders think of Stannis and Mel. The opening graph would give Jon pause, doubts and fears for his sister and the future.

Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.


The heads on the wall and the invitation to see them are crafted to feed Jon’s doubts and fears. I suspect that the section on Mance is a guess by the NW deadenders. They know that Mel does sorcery. They know that ‘Rattleshirt’ left. I suspect they know that he left with six spearwives from Molestown. This party would need provisions—provisions of the NW. I think Marsh would make note of that loss and ask questions. In the end the conspirators would learn enough to make an educated guess. [How? Somebody told. Somebody always tells.]

I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.


The “I want my bride back” line is designed to fill Jon with both hope and dread—hope that Arya somehow got away and dread that she is in mortal danger. Mance in a cage covered by the skins of the spearwives is crafted for a twofold purpose. One to make it sound like a Bolton and two, to confirm the guess that Jon kept Mance alive, sent him to save his sister and betrayed the NW. Everybody knows the Bolton legends concerning flaying folks alive, but more than that, the NW has had a guest who knows of (and may have met) Ramsey in the past. Cregan Karstark was in the ice cells. Wick Wittlestick and the stewards were his jailers. I suspect that Cregan would have told them anything he knew if it might harm Lord Snow.

I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want his wildling princess.


I can’t see Ramsey making any of these requests if Roose was still alive and only one of them if Roose was dead. The Queen, her daughter, her men, Mel, Val and all the wildlings are all folks that the NW deadenders want to encourage to leave The Wall. This line seems design to encourage them to get away before “Ramsey” comes for them. It also seems design to encourage Jon to act—and any action because of this letter would trigger his assassination.

I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it.


For me, this last graph confirms that Ramsey did not write the letter. The reference to “black crows” is a giveaway as is the bit about the ‘wildling babe’. As for the “I want my reek”, I think that as the elder son, Cregan Karstark would have been with his father at the Dreadfort when Ramsey showed off Theon/Reek to all those present. Cregan’s father was on the dais with Ramsey, but the Hall was filled. And if by some chance Cregan wasn’t there, his father would have told him about it. It is completely plausible that the NW deadenders would have known about Reek and included him in the letter. I think the reference to Reek being missing came from conversations with Cregan where they learned Reek is Theon. I think it was included in case Jon also knew that from Cregan or another source. If they thought Jon might know Reek is Theon it would have been another prod in the letter to get him to break his vows.

Ramsay Bolton,
Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.


The title is designed to kick Jon in the gut and it worked.

Now, I could be wrong. I stand to be corrected. And I will be when WoW comes out. Still, I don’t think the Pink Letter ever took a ride on raven’s wings.

Cheers

Edited by Catacombs, 21 July 2012 - 10:12 PM.


#43 Ser Q

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:27 PM

Knowing Jon fairly well could Mance have written the letter?

#44 Dyntia

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:21 AM

The letter appears ( because the handwriting isn't mentioned , or blood ) to have been dictated to a maester, whoever wrote it ... Roose might well think Ramsey dictated in haste , because he wanted to get after Arya and Reek ( plausible, and Roose would buy it, knowing what a fever Ramsey would be in to retrieve his favourite victims , and"Arya" is essential to the Bolton claim ) OTOH Roose would have no way of identifying Mance's hand , or Stannis' for that matter..and even if it was dictated to Tybalt and Roose knew his hand, that would be who Ramsay would have been able to dictate to... There was no need for anyone to try to copy Ramsay's hand even if they had an example of it in their pocket.



That is indeed a possibility.

Stannis planned to put Theon to death...as he planned to put Davos to death ..as he planned to put Edric to death ..as he planned to put Mance to death ( yes I think he knew about the glamour). As the saying around here goes , if you haven't seen the body... it's not safe to make assumptions.



That’s not the point. The question was: Given Ramsay defeated Stannis, why are “Arya” and Theon still missing? My answer was: “Arya” is on her way to the wall and Theon – who knows? Just because he was stuck with Stannis, doesn’t mean Ramsay have to find him. He could be hiding. He could be dead. He could be burned. There would be a lot of corpses around and Theon could be buried under ice or snow. There are enough reasons why Ramsay would be unable to find him.

Stannis obviously hopes Roose will make such an assumption. And it's a very good bet that his plan to fake his death always involved letting the Boltons have Lightbringer ( sending it back with some "victorious" Karstarks or Manderlys , as the case may be )... There may already have been a head or two on WF's walls before Ramsey left . But if not, why would we (or Roose ) not think Ramsey would lie in an effort to intimidate ?....He's both boastful and cruel.. Roose would probably just roll his eyes.



While I expect Ramsay to lie (a lot), I don’t expect Stannis to write assumptions in his fake letters he can’t prove. He has no insight in Winterfell (at least not at the moment). His information are at least three days old when he writes this letter, maybe older. He has no insight in any agreements between Ramsay and Roose. (Manderly would be able to provide some information about these agreements of course, but not about agreements done in secret.)
There are a lot of chances to give himself away and I doubt Stannis would risk this as long as his enemies believe him dead.


If it's Stannis ,I think it's well done under risky circumstances where you can't say everything you would like.



If it’s Stannis, I think he said already to much.
I don’t believe Stannis to risk so many plans, just to send a warning up to Jon, which isn’t even needed that badly. (Remember: There are some hundred leagues full of snow and ice between Winterfell and the wall which will slow down the Boltons a lot.) He risks that Jon don’t get the code and do something pretty foolish, so he risks the safety of the wall. He risks Aryas safety, too. (He sends her north, after all.) Given he wants Ramsay and Roose to believe him dead, he risks this plan just as well.


Oh, and of course: His ravens are destined for Winterfell. It’s the maester who claims that other ravens (not these two Stannis got) are able to learn more than one route. Stannis on the other side doesn’t seem to interested.
Bran could help, of course, if it is him wo commands these ravens. Still we have no clue about his intentions. We don’t know if he would warg one of these ravens to castle black. Given the fact that he would – why again send the letter that was send? As a precaution in case Bran loses control over his warging? That’s just another if on a long list.


I can’t rule him out completely, right. Still I believe he didn’t write this letter, but another one – aimed for Roose, faking his death.




Now, I could be wrong. I stand to be corrected. And I will be when WoW comes out. Still, I don’t think the Pink Letter ever took a ride on raven’s wings.



First: I like this theory - still I doubt it worked out as planned.


While I agree that Bowen Marsh and his followers could set up traps for Jon - why should they set up something like that and than, when the trap closes around Jon, stab him in the dark like treacherous turncloaks?
If they had written that letter - I guess they wouldn't have stabbed him. Maybe they would put him to trial and question his actions. Most NW-brothers and the queen would likely agree to these accusations. They could have waited, too. Jon would have taken the Wildlings south, into a freaking blizzard. They could have denied provisions to Jon, too. Chances to survive this trip: almost zero. So they still have to feed all these wildlings.
Stabbing him instead? Chances are high that this action will backfire. Stabbing your Lord Commander to death is high treason, even if you don't like him very much. Not every brother of the NW will agree with these methods, whether they liked Jon as a Lord Commander or not. They could come to the conclusion that they are better of without Jon - and better off without the traitors as well.
Plus: There are quite a few bloodthirsty and drunken wildlings arround. Enough bloodthirsty and drunken wildlings to outnumber the traitors (and their brothers), in fact.


Using such a good prepared trap and then turn the situation into highly explosive pot of wildfire? Unlikely. If Bowen Marsh was involved (in this letter), he should have known better, shouldn't he? For all we know he risks to get himself hanged by his brothers or his head split by an wildling-axe.

#45 VaramyrSixchins

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:29 AM

If the raven is intercepted, it allows Stannis to plant the false claim of his death for Roose's consumption ( which he appears to be planning anyway ).. If the bird goes to Jon , Stannis will be hoping Mel can ascertain he's still alive ( Tell his Red Witch ) and maybe other details , through her fires .. And it lets Jon know that Mance's plan was only partially successful , that "Arya " is on her way to him, and that Ramsay is in pursuit ( or will be ). Of course, if Ramsay caught the NW unawares , he would then demand every hostage he could lay hands on ..Mel, Selyse and Shireen to use against Stannis and Val and the baby against Mance , who very well may actually be at large within Winterfell. ***


From Stannis again, it would be a warning that Ramsay was on his way and that Arya's company only had a short lead and give Jon a chance to mount a counter offensive.


If this is Stan's plan, it seems unneccessarily convoluted. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're asserting that the letter was written by Stannis and designed to 1) feed Boltons a false death report and 2) warn Jon of Ramsay's coming.
If warning Jon was the goal, we know ALL of Stannis's ravens aren't compromised because he sent Jon an update after Deepwood. Why not send a letter to Jon straightforwardly warning him Ramsay's of coming?
And at this point, Stannis has rooted out the Karstark betrayal and has both Karstark and the Dreadfort maester captive. Why not just send a letter in the Dreadfort maester's hand, signed by Karstark, detailing all the misinformation Stannis wishes to plant?

My point is there seem to be more plausible ways for Stannis to accomplish both goals.

#46 Manfryd Lothston

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:34 AM

Bowen Marsh and other traitors had no way of knowing that Mance was alive. Period. They could NEVER have "guessed" it, it's just ridiculous.

For Stannis to demand from the NW to deliver his daughter, his wife, Mel, Val, and the "wilding prince" - all critically important to him and his plans - TO RAMSAY BOLTON makes absolutely not a bit of sense. WHAT IF THE NW WOULD COMPLY? Stannis would be really and thorougly fucked then!

So no. It's not Stannis or the NW traitors.

It COULD be Ramsay IN LEAGUE with some NW traitors, though.

#47 mikephoen

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:45 AM

Bowen Marsh and other traitors had no way of knowing that Mance was alive. Period. They could NEVER have "guessed" it, it's just ridiculous.

For Stannis to demand from the NW to deliver his daughter, his wife, Mel, Val, and the "wilding prince" - all critically important to him and his plans - TO RAMSAY BOLTON makes absolutely not a bit of sense. WHAT IF THE NW WOULD COMPLY? Stannis would be really and thorougly fucked then!

So no. It's not Stannis or the NW traitors.

It COULD be Ramsay IN LEAGUE with some NW traitors, though.


They could if Mel was feeding them information for some reason of her own. Or maybe Patchface told them.

#48 Magjee

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:19 AM

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.


Something like:

Her bed didnt have much use now that Stannis was away.

Confirmed on the show as well.

#49 FateLess

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:29 PM

Assumed the letter was written after the Theon-chapter: Stannis send "Arya" with Massey and this braavosi banker Tycho to Castle Black. He planned to put Theon to death, so as long as Theon couldn't escape said fate he probably is a corpse somewhere in the snow, swims with the last fish in this lake or was burned crispy.


So, following your assumption, the letter was written after the Battle of Winterfell which is still coming in The Winds of Winter (GRRM has been quoted saying he will open with Battle of Winterfell and Battle of Meereen, a kick ass beginning to another kick ass book) but was received 50 pages before the conclusion of A Dance with Dragons. When Stannis' and Jon's arcs diverged, I did notice quite a jump in Stannis' story arc of travelling to take Deepwood Motte. Implying, Stannis' story is a teeny bit ahead of Jon's. However, your above stated assumption puts Jon's story about 3 chapters ahead of Stannis' (The Theon chapter + An assumed minimum of 2 War of Winterfell chapters).

I like your theories, but the problem with this mysterious letter is that lots of people had motives to instigate Jon but no one had all the information that was presented in the letter. Hence, inconsistencies and assumptions crop up everywhere. I feel that this thread is ignoring Melisandre, she had most of the information - except for the Reek part - she had motive, she has magic, and the seal was quoted as "a smear of hard pink wax", the absence of the sigil/an engraved blood drop leads me to question the authenticity, again. Hence, nothing yet has convinced me that the letter was actually by Ramsey.

#50 alienarea

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:38 PM

It is either Ramsay, or Mance. Or Melisandre.

I think we have had enough arguments for Ramsay or Mance, both have the information that is necessary.

We don't know if Melisandre has all informations, but she seems to look into her flames all night so maybe.

I only include her as an option because she profits the most. If she sees Bloodraven and the boy with the wolf face as enemies, she most likely lumps in Jon as well. And whatever happens after the letter, Jon is compromised and she could take control of the wall with Selyse's men and parts of the Nightwatch. It's a gamble on the outcome, but without consequences to her.

What puzzles me about Ramsay or Mance are the ravens. If Bloodraven and Bran have any control, they were surely checking what gets delivered to the wall and/or what leaves Winterfell. And I don't think they would let this letter pass because the outcome for Jon is unpredictable.

Another possibility:

Mance wrote the letter initially (because Bastard is what Jon calls himself when they met the first time: "Where did they put the bastard?"), also his name is the only one except for Ramsay's in the signature. The content was true enough for Bloodraven and Bran to let it pass, then Melisandre had it intercepted and edited.

#51 bemused

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:21 PM

manfryd..Just for clarification re : What if the NW complied ? ... Stannis ( if he wrote it ) would not be writing to the NW at large ; the letter is clearly addressed to Jon..though in an insulting manner. LCs do not habitually read out their communications to the NW at large.They would pass on the gist of any news the NW needed to know, excluding personal or private observations of the sender. (we've seen a number of instances of this )

Stannis would have no way of knowing that the conspirators' resolve had stregthened beyond below-the-surface rumbling..Stannis knows first hand that Jon does not easily comply with requests , much less demands , put upon him if they go against Jon's principles or plans.

He knows Jon didn't , couldn't, act to save Arya when he received the engagement letter. At that time, it would have meant he would have to involve the NW in direct agression against the Boltons and the "crown" with whom they are allied ( But to defend against an agressor is a different kettle of fish. )

Through Tycho, he knows how Jon managed to scoop up Alys Karstark and give her protection , once she had fled to him . ( Jon couldn't have done anything for her if it meant attacking Karhold to save her). He knows that Tormund is bringing ( has brought ) more wildlings into the fold, so Stannis might correctly assume that Jon has enough men to move to meet Ramsay without leaving the wall completely undefended.

My bet is that if Stannis wrote the letter , we can assume that Ramsay is on his way, very possibly knows who Abel is, and believes Theon is in the party headed for the wall.

Jon has a much better chance of figuring out a way of not complying ( or defeating Ramsey ) if he doesn't have to do it with an attacking force on his doorstep , making demands right then and there.

I don't know why we should think that Stannis would not take a calculated risk when we've already seen him take a very big one in going to the wall.

But this is just one possibilty .. the case for Mance is also fascinating , and the conspirator's possible involvement ( though probably not full authorship ) I don't think can fully be ruled out, but there's maybe less to go on ...

I can't go into more detail now , but I'll be back..

#52 TheeMikeHoncho

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

Good theory to the OP. Has great crossover to the Davos=HM theory. Davos could be acting as a go between for Manderly and Stannis. The Onion Knight is particularly good and renown for sneaking into castles and upon return to Manderly, he would want to make contact with Stannis. especially if Stannis is so close. He would need to keep a low profile-hence the hood and operating outside the walls during a blizzard at night.

#53 Harle The Handsome

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:38 PM

Interesting ideas, but what if the letter was written by a maester under Ramsey's orders due to deliberate misinformation fed to him? What if the Freys came upon Stannis first, walked into a trap on the lake and the Manderly's came upon their rear driving them into the icy waters?

Many believe that Lord Manderly said those things to the Freys because he needed to provoke the Boltons to get rid of both the Freys and the Manderlys. Why? Because Davos came back with Rickon, and the Manderlys need to start the endgame. Winterfell would have quickly descended into civil war had the two factions stayed, so Bolton send both of them out to meet Stannis. Bolton assumed he was killing two birds with one stone.

However, what if, while Stannis was preparing to sacrifice theon, or immediately following Theon's sacrifice to the Old Gods, The Freys come upon them and charge the island. The Manderlys, diverted for some unknown reason to the Freys, are thought to be well behind. With the intense winds and snows, the Freys assume they cannot be tracked, but they are wrong. The initial charge by the Freys goes horribly wrong because the lead horses break their legs falling through the ice-fishing holes, forcing the Freys to dismount and fight on foot. Stannis' men fight bravely, but are hopelessly outnumbered. Just as things look most hopeless, the combatants hear the blodd-curdling howl of a direwolf. The dismounted horses stampede, causing mass chaos, allowing the Manderly forces to wipe out the Freys. As Stannis' forces look about in confusion, Davos Seaworth, a small boy and a direwolf ride to front.

From there a plan is hatched, Stannis gives the Manderlys his sword, some of his men and the Umbers are taken as captives, while he and the remainder of his men go in disguise as Frey footsoldiers and Karstark turncloaks. They return to Winterfell, tell the Boltons the story they concocted, and Ramsey dictates the letter to Jon before he rushes off to track down his two favorite toys. Two nights later, a child, a direwolf, and his guards are slipped into Winterfell. After the castle is awoken by a blood-curdling howl, the high pitched voice of a child cries out, "Your true Lord has returned! The Boltons and all who choose to follow them shall be fed to the heartrees!"

Edited by Harle The Handsome, 22 July 2012 - 04:38 PM.


#54 Every

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:57 PM

Is it possible that Stannis also received a letter, and somehow Theon got to read or hear about it? And that the Pink Letter and this letter to Stannis were written by the same third party?

#55 TheeMikeHoncho

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:25 PM

Interesting ideas, but what if the letter was written by a maester under Ramsey's orders due to deliberate misinformation fed to him? What if the Freys came upon Stannis first, walked into a trap on the lake and the Manderly's came upon their rear driving them into the icy waters?

Many believe that Lord Manderly said those things to the Freys because he needed to provoke the Boltons to get rid of both the Freys and the Manderlys. Why? Because Davos came back with Rickon, and the Manderlys need to start the endgame. Winterfell would have quickly descended into civil war had the two factions stayed, so Bolton send both of them out to meet Stannis. Bolton assumed he was killing two birds with one stone.

However, what if, while Stannis was preparing to sacrifice theon, or immediately following Theon's sacrifice to the Old Gods, The Freys come upon them and charge the island. The Manderlys, diverted for some unknown reason to the Freys, are thought to be well behind. With the intense winds and snows, the Freys assume they cannot be tracked, but they are wrong. The initial charge by the Freys goes horribly wrong because the lead horses break their legs falling through the ice-fishing holes, forcing the Freys to dismount and fight on foot. Stannis' men fight bravely, but are hopelessly outnumbered. Just as things look most hopeless, the combatants hear the blodd-curdling howl of a direwolf. The dismounted horses stampede, causing mass chaos, allowing the Manderly forces to wipe out the Freys. As Stannis' forces look about in confusion, Davos Seaworth, a small boy and a direwolf ride to front.

From there a plan is hatched, Stannis gives the Manderlys his sword, some of his men and the Umbers are taken as captives, while he and the remainder of his men go in disguise as Frey footsoldiers and Karstark turncloaks. They return to Winterfell, tell the Boltons the story they concocted, and Ramsey dictates the letter to Jon before he rushes off to track down his two favorite toys. Two nights later, a child, a direwolf, and his guards are slipped into Winterfell. After the castle is awoken by a blood-curdling howl, the high pitched voice of a child cries out, "Your true Lord has returned! The Boltons and all who choose to follow them shall be fed to the heartrees!"

That is really close to the scenes i had pictured when thinking about this theory. well put Harle.<edit> I think there will be a supernatural event occuring also, it could be the others, "magic" from the weirwoods, something to do with the crypts-a large number of possiblities here.

Edited by TheeMikeHoncho, 22 July 2012 - 05:28 PM.


#56 Dyntia

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:46 PM

So, following your assumption, the letter was written after the Battle of Winterfell which is still coming in The Winds of Winter (GRRM has been quoted saying he will open with Battle of Winterfell and Battle of Meereen, a kick ass beginning to another kick ass book) but was received 50 pages before the conclusion of A Dance with Dragons. When Stannis' and Jon's arcs diverged, I did notice quite a jump in Stannis' story arc of travelling to take Deepwood Motte. Implying, Stannis' story is a teeny bit ahead of Jon's. However, your above stated assumption puts Jon's story about 3 chapters ahead of Stannis' (The Theon chapter + An assumed minimum of 2 War of Winterfell chapters).


Yes, I expect that Jon is some chapters ahead of Stannis' for reasons of suspense. (Taking the letter in Jons last chapter build up a cliffhanger. Delaying the battle between Stannis and his enemies into WoW builds up a cliffhanger, too, and they work quite nicely together...)
Maybe something similar will happen to other chapters, too. Jaime/Brienne for example (Cersei already knows that Jaime has gone missing, while we don't know yet if the next Brienne/Jaime chapter will follow Jaimes last one or if it will skip some time.)

I like your theories, but the problem with this mysterious letter is that lots of people had motives to instigate Jon but no one had all the information that was presented in the letter. Hence, inconsistencies and assumptions crop up everywhere. I feel that this thread is ignoring Melisandre, she had most of the information - except for the Reek part - she had motive, she has magic, and the seal was quoted as "a smear of hard pink wax", the absence of the sigil/an engraved blood drop leads me to question the authenticity, again. Hence, nothing yet has convinced me that the letter was actually by Ramsey.


I agree - we can't know fore sure who send this letter. Some are more likely than others, though.
Ramsay as author is most likely (He got the reasons, he got the rage, he got the information needed, he got the wax), while Mance is quite a good opportunity (while I don't understand why he should write exactly this letter). IMO it doesn't fit for Roose and neither for Stannis.
Melisandre, though ... she would have to figure out that Stannis isn't AA. She can do that, though. She never sees Stannis when she is searching for AA, so yes - sooner or later she should realise the consequences. Still her visions are not straight, and they seem to be mute, too. So she would not only have to figure out who "Reek" is, but how valuable "Reek" is for Ramsay. While Karstark could provide the information about Reeks identity - does he understands the relationship between Ramsay and his Reek well enough to provide that, too?

#57 Tave

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:56 PM

I think Ramsay wrote the letter and the only mystery is which parts are true (if any) and which are lies (if any). The style is Ramsay's and he would know of or have access to all the details therein. There's also the question of motive, of which Stannis has none to write something like that. Not only is it completely out of his character to use deceit to get what he wants, it really serves no purpose whatsoever for him to trick Jon.

#58 bemused

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:22 PM

Tave..I don't understand how you can make some of those claims re: Stannis.

Stannis: Motive = saving from death and torture ... his heir , his wife , Melisandre and anybody else at the wall he might remotely care about. Keeping Val and the baby as his hostages , not Ramsay's ..to not leave the wall defenseless.

Why would anybody think it meant he was trying to " trick " Jon ? I don't think that idea has been put forth very seriously by anyone. His purpose is plain in his motive ( above)...if he wrote the letter.

Out of Character for Stannis : I think that's pretty obviously far from the truth. He's killed his brother and taken a castle by killing it's Lord..both via shadow baby. He knows "Lightbringer" has been faked by Mel , yet continues to make a show of it. ( if he thought it was real , he wouldn't be considering letting it be "captured')

In the Theon chapter , we see him beginning to formulate a plan to win the battle with the Boltons by deceit ...unless , by some stretch of the imagination ,you don't think faking your own death is deceitful.

After the Theon Chapter we can see it's possible he has the motive, the knowledge , and the means to send it. we can't say that his possibility is greater than ,say , Mance or Ramsay , but it would be foolish to discount it yet , because GRRM is the one who wrote the possibilities.

Edited by bemused, 22 July 2012 - 07:31 PM.


#59 Tave

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:19 PM

Tave..I don't understand how you can make some of those claims re: Stannis.

Stannis: Motive = saving from death and torture ... his heir , his wife , Melisandre and anybody else at the wall he might remotely care about. Keeping Val and the baby as his hostages , not Ramsay's ..to not leave the wall defenseless.


Tortured by whom? John?! Why would John torture them? Why would he refuse to let the Queen and the kid and Mel go to Stannis? That doesn't make any sense. All Stannis needs to do is write John a letter that says, "Yo, Snow, I killed the wacko and retook Winterfell. It's safe now, send my peeps down to meet me. Kisses."

Why would anybody think it meant he was trying to " trick " Jon ? I don't think that idea has been put forth very seriously by anyone. His purpose is plain in his motive ( above)...if he wrote the letter.


I'm having some serious trouble following you. He would be "tricking" Jon by writing the letter pretending to be Ramsay and making bizarre demands.

Out of Character for Stannis : I think that's pretty obviously far from the truth. He's killed his brother and taken a castle by killing it's Lord..both via shadow baby. He knows "Lightbringer" has been faked by Mel , yet continues to make a show of it. ( if he thought it was real , he wouldn't be considering letting it be "captured')

In the Theon chapter , we see him beginning to formulate a plan to win the battle with the Boltons by deceit ...unless , by some stretch of the imagination ,you don't think faking your own death is deceitful.


Generally he's pretty direct and honest. This would be a huge lie in order to manipulate one of his allies that has already provided him with extensive support. It's unnecessary, it doesn't make any sense, it doesn't fit with anything we know about Stannis (I don't think he's that clever/devious period, regardless of his natural inclinations), and there are much easier ways to accomplish his goals.

After the Theon Chapter we can see it's possible he has the motive, the knowledge , and the means to send it. we can't say that his possibility is greater than ,say , Mance or Ramsay , but it would be foolish to discount it yet , because GRRM is the one who wrote the possibilities.


I dunno, this seems like a huuuuuge reach.

Edited by Tave, 22 July 2012 - 08:20 PM.


#60 FateLess

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 01:06 AM

Yes, I expect that Jon is some chapters ahead of Stannis' for reasons of suspense. (Taking the letter in Jons last chapter build up a cliffhanger. Delaying the battle between Stannis and his enemies into WoW builds up a cliffhanger, too, and they work quite nicely together...)
Maybe something similar will happen to other chapters, too. Jaime/Brienne for example (Cersei already knows that Jaime has gone missing, while we don't know yet if the next Brienne/Jaime chapter will follow Jaimes last one or if it will skip some time.)


Hmm, sorry, but such incongruence in timelines seems too unrealistic for GRRM. Anyway, trying to speculate on this particular part seems pretty pointless to me. Although extremely interesting, it's like trying to solve 2 linear equations is 3 variables. So, I'm gonna quit speculating about the origins of this letter. Will still read though, you guys are awesome /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />