Here are links to the first two threads:
The Northmen inside and outside Winterfell. Conspiration?
The Great Northern Conspiracy, Reexamined
Yeade also wrote a wonderful essay which summarizes all the theories. The Grand Northern Conspiracy
So, we know that the Umbers are in on the conspiracy because they have been working with Manderly since the harvest feast back in book 2.
When Theon and Ramsay are in Barrowtown, the Stouts host for them. They don't seem to like them, and Lord Stout doesn't even seem to want them there. Then later when they are all in Winterfell, Theon notices that
"Elsewhere one-armed Harwood Stout talked quietly with the cadaverous Whoresbane Umber." ( p. 536)
The Stouts are also sworn to Lady Dustin. Later in that same chapter, Lady Dustin and Theon go to the crypts. What's interesting is Lady Dustin specifically notes that there are missing swords.
“That king is missing his sword,” Lady Dustin observed.
Only a little farther on, three tombs were closely grouped together. That was where they halted. “Lord Rickard,” Lady Dustin observed, studying the central figure. The statue loomed above them— long-faced, bearded, solemn. He had the same stone eyes as the rest, but his looked sad. “He lacks a sword as well.”
It was true. “Someone has been down here stealing swords. Brandon’s is gone as well.”
I'm pretty sure Umber and Stout were talking about Bran/Rickon, and Stout passed along that info to Lady Dustin. Which is why she wanted to go to the crypts: to confirm if there were missing swords.
Not only that, but here's another quote that could hint or foreshadow a conspiracy going on between Manderly, Stout, Lady Dustin, and Umber:
More snowmen had risen in the yard by the time Theon Greyjoy made his way back. To command the snowy sentinels on the walls, the squires had erected a dozen snowy lords. One was plainly meant to be Lord Manderly; it was the fattest snowman that Theon had ever seen. The one-armed lord could only be Harwood Stout, the snow lady Barbrey Dustin. And the one closest to the door with the beard made of icicles had to be old Whoresbane Umber.
What an interesting choice of snowmen. And lady.
Roger Ryswell and Harwood Stout also seem to be friendly with each other, and the Ryswell's lost men in the Red Wedding. Hell, even Lady Dustin seems angry about it (not to mention she's a Ryswell as well).
“Night work is not knight’s work,” Lady Dustin said. “And Lord Wyman is not the only man who lost kin at your Red Wedding, Frey. Do you imagine Whoresbane loves you any better? If you did not hold the Greatjon, he would pull out your entrails and make you eat them, as Lady Hornwood ate her fingers. Flints, Cerwyns, Tallharts, Slates … they all had men with the Young Wolf.”
“House Ryswell too,” said Roger Ryswell.
“Even Dustins out of Barrowton.” Lady Dustin parted her lips in a thin, feral smile. “The north remembers, Frey.”
There's no way Lady Dustin hates Ned Stark more than the Boltons/Freys. How can she hate him more than Ramsay, who killed her nephew and the Freys for the Red Wedding? All because Ned didn't bring back Lord Dustin's bones? Yeah, ok.
Another thing, does anyone know that Roose sent all those people to Duskendale into a trap? I'm not sure if that's known or not. Robett Glover was one of those that was captured, and he was last seen in White Harbor with Manderly. If he knows or suspects it was a trap, then surely word has spread about it by now.
Edited by nenya~, 16 June 2013 - 06:55 PM.