Theon Sample Chapter; The Letter sent to Jon (Spoilers)
Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:02 PM
Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:13 PM
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
It really cannot be Bowen Marsh.He certainly knows nothing about Reek and almost certainly knows nothing about Mance/Abel/spearwives and most likely,damn all else in the letter.
In reality,it could only be-
1-Mance,he knows everythingand has very good motives.
2-Ramsay or Roose,they could have captured Mance/spearwives just after Theon escapes with "Arya" and tortured the info out of him/them.Motives also.
3-Mel/Bloodraven,may have obtained the info via fires/weirnet.Motives less clear.
Stannis does not have the info,nor does Bowen Marsh or any of the Wall NW.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:19 AM
The reception is way to unclear from Stannis perspective, unless he turns a blind eye on all these quarrels up in the north. There are way to many possible outcomes. Jon would come to rescue - maybe. The NW takes no part, so chances are, that Jon stays where he is.
The letter could end up in other hands, too - the queen, for example. Great chances, the informations wreak havoc between Queens men, NW and wildlings, if not treated very carefully.
And why even mention Reek? No one knows about Reek/Theon up there. No one knows about the Reek-Ramsay-relationship either. So why even mention Theon (as Reek)?
No, I doubt it was Stannis.
Ramsay, Roose or Mance are more likely.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:46 AM
The real question is, how much of it is true?
Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:53 AM
The real question is, how much of it is true?
Exactly.....It doesn't fit any other character. Maybe Stannis tricked him, maybe Ramsay was defeated and survived and was just trying to gain leverage, maybe Roose is long dead, idk
Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:02 AM
Indicates a plan to plant intelligence to his enemies indicating that he is dead. At this point, he knows about the Karstark betrayal, he will confirm this shortly after with the Dreadfort maester. Because of the weather conditions, the morale of his forces, and the difficulties inherent in storming WF, he recognizes the need for subterfuge, and discovering a spy in his camp he can plant misinformation with is just what the doctor ordered. Warning Massey tells us he is committed to this plan and needs Massey to know that info about his death will surface. He also recognizes the possibility that the ploy won't work and he may actually die. This being said, it does not behoove him for JON to think he is dead. So why pass the information to him?
Stannis didn't write the letter. Ramsay did, in an attempt to silence Jon about Arya's I.D. The letter tells Jon 1) Stannis is dead, you have no allies. 2) We know the truth about Mance and we will use this to undermine your credibility if you sing about your "sister".
Edited by VaramyrSixchins, 20 July 2012 - 09:10 AM.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:26 PM
"Answer me. If we were to loose these birds, would they return to the Dreadfort?" The king leaned forward. "Or might they fly for Winterfell instead?"
Perhaps Stannis sent some misinformation to Winterfell with Karstark's ravens which is why Ramsey knew about Mance and had all the lies about victory and having Lightbringer etc.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 03:32 PM
Posted 20 July 2012 - 06:23 PM
Posted 20 July 2012 - 07:00 PM
1) Stannis sent fake information to Winterfell using Karstark's ravens. Ramsey then uses that info as proof that he has won the North and to get Jon off the wall to reclaim his Reek and bride.
2) The Freys and Boltons defeat Stannis' army, killing him in the process. Taken at face value, the letter is proof that this happened. This is my least favorite option since I've really grown to like Stannis. It would be criminal if the Freys and Boltons get this advantage, IMO.
3) Ramsey tortures Mance for the details after Theon escapes with Jeyne. Ramsey then sends that letter to try to regain some sort of control in the situation.
4) The Hooded Man joins forces with Mance and his spear wives who then join forces with remaining Manderly men to reclaim Winterfell. Then Mance sends the letter. I'm not quite sure how this would benefit anyone though.
I'm hoping for option #1. If Stannis can join up with Manderly's forces and crush the Freys, they could go back to Winterfell disguised as Northmen loyal to the Bolton's, only to slaughter them once inside the castle's gates. Stannis would eventually gain full support from the North in time for Davos to return with a male Stark to rule from Winterfell. That's probably way too much justice to be served for this particular series.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 07:20 PM
*** Since the Theon WoW chapter , I've been re-thinking how Stannis could relate to the letter ..If Stannis actually makes the trip to the weirwood with Theon ( and depending on what happens there ) , that may leave the door wide open for a possible Stannis authorship. Before reading that chapter , I didn't think Stannis could possibly be the author. Now ? ...
About Stannis -
We don't know that Stannis believes Mance to be dead.. He may have known all along about the glamour. With Mance secretly alive and posing as Rattleshirt , Mance's ties with the wildlings would be broken, but Stannis would still have access to Mance's knowledge and advice ( surely more valuable than Rattleshirt's )..When Jon stresses to him how valuable M's knowledge is , Stannis crankily brushes him off as if he's already considered this ( but he wouldn't necessarily reveal his plans to Jon).
He may know that Mance has formerly travelled south of the wall posing as a singer .. many people do. Mance doesn't hide the fact , and reveals it early in his conversations with Jon. Has Mance used the same name before ? Probably. (People might well remember him from the last time he was there...best keep the same persona .) So Stannis might well know who Abel is. Stannis could easily find out from Theon or Jeyne that Abel was accompanied by six "washerwomen ".
With the arrival of Tycho Nestoris and Jon's letter, Stannis is in a position to know that Tormund and his people have come south of the wall ( Tycho was there when Val arrived ), he knows of the Karstark/Thenn marriage , and maybe of the proposed rescue of Hardhome.( The only thing he's not likely to know about is Jon's loan from the Iron Bank.)
If Whoresbane's men ( and others ) are just waiting for the propitious moment to turn on the Boltons, Mors may have sent word of that to Stannis with Tycho's guide(s).
Even before the idea of a trip to the weirwood was raised , Stannis was thinking about putting out false reports of his own death .
He has a terrified Dreadfort maester in custody and at his disposal ( who might possibly have a scrap of pink wax about him ) .He's aware that the two ravens he has are almost certainly Winterfell ravens...but with all the chatter spouting from those ravens , the readers strongly suspect they are being controlled by Bran and BR. If that's true , we know they could fly to the wall, no problem. The question is , will something happen at the weirwood to make that possibility occur to Stannis ?... Theon could become much more coherent and convincing in the presence of the Old Gods ,either on his own, or with input from Bran /BR.
Now , is Theon right about Ramsay riding out from Winterfell ? ... I think he can predict Ramsay pretty well by this time.. Ramsay could actually believe Stannis to be dead and both "Arya " and Theon have been sent on to the wall. He might actually be on his way after them..yes, I think he's crazy enough to go after them before returning to WF.... Roose is still inside , Stannis still outside . He may think he can catch the escapees...that they only have a small lead. It would be like one of his hunts. I doubt he could resist.
So I could see Stannis taking a gamble on one of those Ravens. In case it goes to Winterfell .. he has to make it sound like Ramsay , so Roose will just think the bird's gone astray ( the most damage it could do would be to identify Mance , which may already have been done by spearwife) .
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. ***
On one of the previous threads, someone laid out a very plausible case for Mance's authorship, showing how many ,many of the phrases and words that stand out had been used by Mance in his previous conversations with Jon....And many posters have made a good case for Ramsay.
One problem is that each one would not only have different information ,and view of what occured in battle , but would have different motives and purposes for sending the letter. From Ramsay , it would clearly be intimidation ,and maybe to lure Jon out ( though tactically , surprise might be better ) ... From Mance it would be a request for help ( though he couldn't know how many wildlings had passed the wall ) and passing on information ... 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.
Edited by bemused, 20 July 2012 - 08:04 PM.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:48 PM
My problem with mance sending the letter and this being the way ramsey/roose find out about mance is that i just see a much simpler way. Abel showed up in winterfell with his 6 washer women, he didn't hide he was in the open. So when a few if not all of the washerwomen die getting theon and jeyne out it seems perfectly reasonable to me that mance would be the first person grabbed and tortured into talking. And while Mance gave jon and mel his words, if ramsey took the ruby thing of mance's neck according to mel he would not be bound to her anymore. I just see the most likely outcome being that ramsey tortured mance to hell and got the info he needed.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 11:12 PM
Edit: Also, the thoughts Jon has imply that he truly thinks Stannis is dead, so if it's a plan he's not in on it. He clearly feels bad about not notifying Selyse before reading the letter to the crowd in the shield hall - he realizes maybe he should have told her first, so she wouldn't hear it by word of mouth. It all feels very sincere. His anger feels very sincere too - he's pissed. He has all those thoughts about his brothers and sisters before deciding to go to Winterfell. He's angry about what he reads! He believes that at least some of it is true, enough to make him want to attack Ramsay directly. It doesn't seem like some kind of "code" between him and anyone.
Edited by Jolene Brown, 20 July 2012 - 11:15 PM.
Posted 21 July 2012 - 04:33 AM
Re: Mance....At Winterfell ,he's not wearing the ruby that was on his wrist at CB . That simply helped to create the glamour that made him look like Rattleshirt. In WF, he has his own appearance... No one noticed a ruby on Mance/Rattleshirt's wrist .. it was only visible when the glamour was dissolved... As Mance/ Abel ( just a charade , not a glamour ... a shabby singer would be pretty suspicious if he was sporting a ruby.
Mel never controlled his actions with the ruby. She couldn't prevent him from taking off the bones, or arguing with Marsh , or taking the stuffing out of Jon...all of which were risky. His ruby was bound to her ruby which helped her maintain the glamour. He was supposed to do his part by wearing the bones to help her. It never turned him into an automoton.
The real Rattleshirt must have worn one to his execution too. Everything was fine until he started trying to deny he was Mance ( Obviously he could act on his own free will ).The effort for Mel to maintain the glamour was almost too much. She was afraid her flesh around her ruby would begin to smoke...
Of course , Mance could still be tortured ,if caught. ..So that's still a possibility. But if Mance managed to elude them, he might find some allies among the Northmen .. even if they knew he was a wildling ..on the strength of his being part of the plot to spring "Arya" and deny the Boltons their claim on WF...So he still could be the author.
Re: The penmanship.. It's been repeated at least twice , each time the point being reinforced that Ramsey likes to write in blood, and that it tends to flake when dried. If he had recently dead or tortured victims to hand ,I doubt he would have suddenly changed his habit.... Jon shows Tormund the letter, and though Tormund appears to be unable to read, I'm sure he's seen enough blood to know what dried blood looks like. But he says ( paraphrase) "If I had me a pot o' maester's ink , I could write.." , and so on..Apparently, he also knows what maester's ink looks like...That doesn't change the fact that the letter sounds like Ramsay , so he still could be the author.
Re; Stannis....It's clear from his conversation with Massey that he plans to fake his death, so he expects that the news may reach the wall...it probably doesn't occur to him that Mel will not be able to see him in her fires , since she always has. He knows Selyse would believe Mel over some letter..and maybe Jon would too.
All the same ,the point is to warn Jon. Not to ask for help. It could take Jon weeks to get there. Stannis knows that whatever happens with the battle , Jon would be too late... If Stannis was convinced that Ramsay would go after "Arya's" party ( or that he already had )..his wife , his heir and Mel were at the wall, which is unprotected from the south . Even if he didn't care personally about any of the other people at the wall , Stannis is aware of the threat from the Others and that Ramsay could fatally deplete their defenses.
It goes without saying that there are no guarantees ,whatsoever, what Jon would do , no matter who wrote the letter. None of them could be sure Jon would react as they wished. There is no time to seek guarantees.
Jon tells the assembly in the sheildhall that he plans to march to WF. That would be the farthest they would have to go. But with a wildling force , he wouldn't be planning to besiege the castle , but to lie in wait for Ramsay , and ambush him on the way. That's why he thinks he has to go to Mel and see if she can locate Ramsay for him.
He very well may believe Stannis to be dead. He would still have to defend against Ramsay. He would still be against turning over to Ramsay those to whom he's given guest right . But mainly, it's protecting the wall and the chance to survive he's trying to build there. Of course he wants to rescue Arya. She's within reach , now. He doesn't have to drag the NW with him. Whether he believes Ramsay wrote the letter,or someone else.. he must feel he can't let someone that crazy get Arya, and he needs to confront Ramsay before he gets to the wall, anyway... Of course he's angry. Who wouldn't be?
All Jon says about the letter is that "There is truth in there." He never says he thinks it's all true. We can't really know his thought since we weren't privy to his long conversation with Tormund.
All things considered,it doesn't matter if he thinks Stannis is dead, or if he thinks Ramsay , Roose ,Stannis , Mance or whoever wrote the letter. Obviously the big truths he picks up on , are that Ramsay is coming , and someone got Arya free.
He may even have his doubts about Stannis..all he has is the letter .. purportedly, from a dangerous ,devious piece of scum . He may have doubts , but no proof..and this might be why he didn't think to go to Selyse first. We don't know what he would have said.."I'm sorry , Stannis is dead ." ?... " This letter says Stannis is dead, but I don't know if we can trust the report ."?
I think the door is still open for any one of the suspects to have written the letter..until we get the next book.
Of course Jon may not have got it all right. He's been doing pretty well with all the problems thrown at him , but he's not infallible , and even small or unavoidable mistakes can cost him.
Edited by bemused, 21 July 2012 - 05:10 AM.
Posted 21 July 2012 - 07:11 AM
So it would be totally pointless for either Stan or Mance to write it, unless the Boltons were already dealt with, in which case again there is no need to send such a letter in the first place.
Nah, it's not Stan or Mance. And the letter has the evil aura characteristic to Ramsay's letters - it's as good a sign as spiky hand or blood as ink.
Posted 21 July 2012 - 12:37 PM
If Stannis wrote it ,he'd write it to sound like it was from Ramsay , in case Roose should get his hands on it..
If he wrote it , those are not Stannis' demands ( of course)... they are the demands Stannis knows Ramsay would make of Jon.
If Mance wrote it, a lot of the same reasoning would apply as for Stannis.
Ramsay could have written the letter. Any one of them could have... But if it was Ramsay, it would be foolish to give Jon that much advance warning. And he might expect "Arya" and "Reek" to slit their wrists before being given back to him. They've already thrown themselves off an 80 foot wall in their desperation to get away.
Mind you , I agree with Roose..Ramsay is not the brain he thinks he is . Therefore , I wouldn't rule out that he could make a tactical mistake..
Edited by bemused, 21 July 2012 - 01:17 PM.
Posted 21 July 2012 - 12:43 PM
The real question is, how much of it is true?
One question, If Ramsey wrote the letter and the letter is true enough to assume that he's defeated Stannis, how come no one captured Theon, "Arya" back? After all Ramsey (the assumed writer of the letter) seems to want them back badly enough.
One the other hand, if Ramsey hasn't defeated Stannis, pretty much all the claims - except for Mance's part - are invalidated.
If we re-read the beginning of the Jon chapter, Mel seems to want to block Jon's march to Hardhome. However, there are inconsistencies again if we propose that Mel had a part in writing the letter.
Posted 21 July 2012 - 02:05 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.
Still I don't see why Stannis should write this letter. Warning Jon and so on, yes, but with all this stuff about Mance and Reek? Just in case Roose gets his fingers on the letter? Roose knows his bastard - he would know the letter was fake. He should be able to identify his sons handwriting - there is now way for Stannis to copy it good enough to fool Roose. Plus: The writer of the letter claims, that he got Stannis sword. He claims that there are particular heads on the walls Winterfell, too. While we can figure out that one Bolton might leave Winterfell (and this one being Ramsay) - I doubt that both would do so. So Roose would know about the existence (or the non-existence) of said heads on said walls when he reads the letter.
Stannis can be ruled out. He is not the author of the letter. Perhaps he send an other letter, though. Not to the wall, but where his ravens would fly to - Winterfell.
I believe it was Ramsay. Yes, he most definitively used ink instead of blood and there is no skin attached to the paper, but we don't know from where he send that letter. Maybe he had no time to get someone skinned and bleeding - and maybe not the company to do so.
I can't rule out Mance and Roose completely, though. Still I guess Mance would use another coding (he already is at Winterfell, but fooling Roose would be just as hard as it would be for Stannis, given he didn't know the outcome of Ramseys adventure when he wrote the letter), something with lesser chances to wreak havoc at Castle Black. Perhaps he would address Melisande instead of Jon, too.
As for Roose - why should he write this letter? Perhaps to freak the NW out, yes. But why warn the Crows? Castle Black has no defences. With no preparations it would be easily overrun. So why even bother to give them an opportunity to build up some defence and organise the troops?
If this was a try to warn Castle Black, it was poorly done. Neither Mance nor Stannis are stupid. Instead both are leaders with quite some skills at tactical planning. That applies to Roose, too.
So my bets are on Ramsay.
I guess most of it is true, too. Ramsay thinks he has won. Perhaps he has some heads on pikes. Perhaps he even got a head believing it to be Stannis' and a certain singer in a cage. Perhaps he got Lightbringer. And - perhaps he fell for a trick from Stannis. I guess Stannis will fake his death, maybe with Manderlys help and his Winterfell-destined ravens, and march for Winterfell as soon as he got the chance to win. Smashing the Freys and lure Ramsay out to get himself butchered or lost in all that freaking snow would be quite some nice first steps.
Edited by Dyntia, 21 July 2012 - 02:12 PM.
Posted 21 July 2012 - 04:51 PM
Just it wasn't stannis (it'd be too out-of-the-character), but queen selyse or one of her creatures
Posted 21 July 2012 - 04:51 PM
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.
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.
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.
I agree that Roose would not write such a letter , and if he recieved it from Ramsay in the field , he wouldn't forward it to CB. If Ramsay wrote it before leaving WF, Roose wouldn't allow it to be sent ( assuming he's alive ).
If Stannis wrote it , mention of Mance lets Jon and Mel know he's aware of Mance's ploy and where he is .... And "Reek" tells Jon that there's someone else of interest in the party. If Stannis is impersonating Ramsay , he can't say "Theon" , since Ramsay never would. Of course, Stannis can't know that Jon would read the letter out publicly before consulting with Mel , or that he would have any reason to do so.
If it's Stannis ,I think it's well done under risky circumstances where you can't say everything you would like.
No, he shouldn't be ruled out.
Edited by bemused, 21 July 2012 - 06:43 PM.