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The Great Northern Conspiracy, part 3


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#1 nenya~

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:45 AM

The last thread was closed, but I found some more info that could further support that the Dustins/Ryswells are in on the conspiracy with Manderly.

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.
(p. 546).


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.
(p. 542)


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.
(p. 614)


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.


#2 Mr Hodor

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:10 PM

Might be..but why tell Reek all that story about her past?

And i thought that she hates both freys and starks

#3 Hughthehand

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

I would expect that Lady Dustin expects Reek to tell the Boltons everything that transpired in the Crypts, so she needs a decent backstory to explain why she is down there to hide the true purpose of her visit.

#4 nenya~

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

Might be..but why tell Reek all that story about her past?

And i thought that she hates both freys and starks


Yes, when did I say she didn't hate them? What I'm talking about is if her hatred for the Starks is strong enough for her to actually ally with the Freys/Boltons. She may hate the Starks, but she probably hates the Freys and Ramsay more.

I would expect that Lady Dustin expects Reek to tell the Boltons everything that transpired in the Crypts, so she needs a decent backstory to explain why she is down there to hide the true purpose of her visit.


Yes, this. It wouldn't be great for her if Ramsay or Roose was suspicious of her.

#5 Mr Hodor

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

and whats her reason to hate the Boltons? She dosent know who burned winterfell and does she care abt that?
And freys get most of the blame for RW...not the boltons..


But as i said she could be...and this is a huge concern for Roose

#6 DaveSnow House Stark

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

One of the oldest parts of war and combat, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

She could very well just be biding time gathering forces and strengthening alliances, waiting for the will to be made public and Jon to come to Winterfell with his wildling army to help defeat the Freys and Boltons

#7 Tagganaro

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

Snip- northern conspiracy awesomeness


Some really good stuff Nenya and thanks for reopening this wonderful thread. About the details...

Harwood Stout sort of does go under noticed in this conspiracy threads. He's rarely brought up. All I remember from the top of my head is that he was forced to host Ramsay at the beginning of ADWD and seemed none too happy about . Additionally, I believe Ramsay's crazy dogs murdered his own dogs so maybe that's some kind of foreshadowing/symbolism.

About the snowmen- Brilliant find. Of course we know of a certain character thought to be at the head of any Northern Conspiracy whose last name is Snow. Once Robb's will comes out, Manderley and the others mentioned will most likely be "Snowmen" indeed.

About Lady Dustin- A lot of speculation has existed about her. There's definitely a certain "She doth protest too much" vibe to her about her rants over Eddard and the Starks. When push comes to shove, I believe she's shown that as much as she proclaims to hate the Starks, she hates Ramsay that much more so that's certainly something to keep an eye on if Roose goes belly-up. I also recall this being mentioned before- That her trip to the Crypts with Theon was certainly a reconnaissance mission to check on the missing swords.

#8 Tagganaro

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

and whats her reason to hate the Boltons? She dosent know who burned winterfell and does she care abt that?
And freys get most of the blame for RW...not the boltons..


But as i said she could be...and this is a huge concern for Roose

She hasn't shown hatred for Roose, but we already know that she hates Ramsay. And she has good reason to hate him- She finds him to be a vile human being and on top of that she was close to Domeric Bolton who she believes Ramsay was responsible for his death.

#9 nenya~

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

Harwood Stout sort of does go under noticed in this conspiracy threads. He's rarely brought up. All I remember from the top of my head is that he was forced to host Ramsay at the beginning of ADWD and seemed none too happy about . Additionally, I believe Ramsay's crazy dogs murdered his own dogs so maybe that's some kind of foreshadowing/symbolism.


Completely forgot about the dogs!

About the snowmen- Brilliant find. Of course we know of a certain character thought to be at the head of any Northern Conspiracy whose last name is Snow. Once Robb's will comes out, Manderley and the others mentioned will most likely be "Snowmen" indeed.


Oh, wow didn't even think about them being "Snowmen." I was just looking at a hint about them just being in a conspiracy together. Nice connection there! (edit: That's some good stuff for the king in hiding thread, I'm gonna go ahead and add it there /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> )

Great White Walker, when I said Boltons, I really meant Ramsay. Sorry for the confusion. Tagganaro has already explained why she would hate Ramsay. And remember that Ramsay is Roose's heir, so I doubt she'd be too happy with Ramsay being not only a lord, but Warden of the North in the future.

Edited by nenya~, 22 January 2013 - 04:05 PM.


#10 Winter's Prince

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

Another point to consider is yes the Freys do get most of the blame for RW, but many northern lords wonder how it is that Roose and his men survived, how he was made Warden of the North. Yes he did not admit to killing Robb, but in the eyes of many its a mystery. And I'm pretty sure Roose did send Robbett and Ser Helman to Duskendale in hopes to not only have them killed but to destroy the northern foot. Roose wanted to bleed off all loyalists and potential rivals.

#11 Scipio Africanus

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

The greatest thing I love about the Nothern Conspiracy theory is that it would prove Tywin Lannister wrong - that the North is just filled with a bunch of idiots who can be bullied around without much thought.

As for Lady Dustin, there is less and less doubt in my mind which side she'll pick push comes to shove. Ramsay really went too far. First Domeric, then Lady Hornwood, his hobbies...I'd find it a miracle if Dustin stayed loyal to Roose for more then 10 pages into WoW.

#12 Ice Turtle

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

“I am only a guest there. The castle and the town belong to Lady Dustin, and she cannot abide you.”
Ramsay’s face darkened. “If I cut off her teats and feed them to my girls, will she abide me then? Will she abide me if I strip off her skin to make myself a pair of boots?”
“Unlikely.


Definitely doesn't like Ramsay.

#13 nenya~

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

I've made of list of all the northmen to get a better understanding of their location, who they could've been in contact with, and possible motivations for rising against the Boltons/Freys. I won't post the whole list since it's too damn long and most of it has already been discussed in the other threads, but I've made a note of some that I don't think have been discussed.

From what I see, almost every single house in the north has had someone killed/captured in the Red Wedding, Duskendale trap, sack of Winterfell, and/or Ramsay's dumbassery. There are a few exceptions like the Mountain Clans, but even they had some men go south with Robb...some Burleys, Norreys, and Wulls. There was an Owen Norrey who was slain in the Red Wedding. (not sure of his relation to The Norrey). The Boltons and Freys just seem to be running on very, very thin ice

The Mountain Clans
  • Jon says that the Norrey's fish the Bay of Ice, so I could definitely see some Mormonts encountering some of the Mountain Clans on the coast and do some info swapping.
  • Duncan Liddle (Big Liddle), Torren Liddle's eldest son, is in the NW. He was one of Jon's guards when letting the wildlings through the gate. It's possible he could have been in contact with Torren Liddle, since the Liddle that Bran was talking to seemed to know what was going on at the Wall (I don't think Big Liddle would know anything about Bran though). Also, could Old Flint and Norrey have inquired about Jon with Big Liddle?
Roose left some 600 men at the Trident lead by Ronnel Stout and Ser Kyle Condon (knight of Lord Cerwyn). The men include Stouts, Cerwyns, Hornwoods, and men from the rills, the mountains, and White Knife. There hasn't been word about them since then, and I've been wondering what they could have been doing all this time. Could they have been in contact with the Blackfish after he escaped or even the BwB? We know that Tom of Sevenstreams is currently a mole at Riverrun and was there when Jaime was telling Frey to bring the prisoners to King's Landing. There's already speculation that there could be a plot to free the prisoners on the way to King's Landing, and I wonder if some of these men could join in on it.

#14 Lady Green

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

Might be..but why tell Reek all that story about her past?

And i thought that she hates both freys and starks


The story she told was for Theon's benefit unless he told Ramsay about the conversation or Ramsay tortured it out of him, both of which are possibilities really.

and whats her reason to hate the Boltons? She dosent know who burned winterfell and does she care abt that?
And freys get most of the blame for RW...not the boltons..


But as i said she could be...and this is a huge concern for Roose


Someone did mention that it was, at the very least, suspected in the North that the Boltons were involved in the RW, I think it was Manderly when he was talking to Davos. And then I think Lady Dustin made a comment about Bolton wanting to be King of the North to Theon. That would imply that there is at the very least suspision, if not out right knowledge, that the Boltons helped hatch the plot. And so for everyone who lost kin there are doubly to blame as the Freys, the Boltons are North men after all and helped murder their direct liege Lord.

#15 nenya~

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:04 PM

The Manderly's definitely know that Winterfell was sacked by Ramsey:

“Not slain,” said Glover. “Captured, and carried back to the Dreadfort. The Bastard has been flaying him.” Lord Wyman nodded. “The tale you tell is one we all have heard, as full of lies as a pudding’s full of raisins. It was the Bastard of Bolton who put Winterfell to the sword … Ramsay Snow, he was called then, before the boy king made him a Bolton. Snow did not kill them all. He spared the women, roped them together, and marched them to the Dreadfort for his sport.”

Martin, George R.R. (2011-07-12). A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (p. 391). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

And here's the passage about the Red Wedding:

The Lord of White Harbor leaned forward. “The Freys are no better. They speak of wargs and skinchangers and assert that it was Robb Stark who slew my Wendel. The arrogance of it! They do not expect the north to believe their lies, not truly, but they think we must pretend to believe or die. Roose Bolton lies about his part in the Red Wedding, and his bastard lies about the fall of Winterfell. And yet so long as they held Wylis I had no choice but to eat all this excrement and praise the taste.”

Martin, George R.R. (2011-07-12). A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (pp. 391-392). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Edited by nenya~, 28 January 2013 - 07:08 PM.


#16 Lady Green

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:19 AM

Thank you nenya~, I knew I'd got that idea from somewhere.

Though it is just Manderly who we know for sure knows about it; it does suggest that there is at least some suspision in the North as to the Boltons activities.

Plus the North is all well aware of Ramsay's 'hobbies' and what happened to Lady Hornwood. So I'd say that most Northern Houses have the potential to be involved in the conspiracy, even Dustin, unless they really really really hate the Starks (which doesn't really seem to be the case with any of the North).

#17 Scipio Africanus

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:58 AM

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.


Barbery hated the Starks for Brandon as well. She wasn't allowed to join the club because Rickard Stark had his soutron ambitions. She's also connected to Roose through Domeric, his mother was her sister (she's a Rhyswell) was Roose's second wife.

That said I currently believe that she might've gone with Roose but she'll never go with Ramsay. Making the latter an enormous political liability for Roose and it will lead to his downfall.

#18 The Red Viper's Son

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

I would love it if this theory were true, but I see one gaping hole: Jon has already turned down a similar offer. Stannis offered Jon to be the lord of winterfell, but Jon who was just elected Lord Commander turned it down. Jon is a Stark to the bone, R=L=J or Ned being the father regardless. He follows his duty and keeps honor.

#19 Scipio Africanus

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

I would love it if this theory were true, but I see one gaping hole: Jon has already turned down a similar offer. Stannis offered Jon to be the lord of winterfell, but Jon who was just elected Lord Commander turned it down. Jon is a Stark to the bone, R=L=J or Ned being the father regardless. He follows his duty and keeps honor.


He turned it down because Red Mel demanded he burn Winterfell's weirwood. Besides converting and therefor (logically) converting the North to that red god of hers.

That was something he rightly knew the populace wouldn't accept, besides that he himself follows the religion of the Old Gods.

#20 sertravisredbeard

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

Yeah he turned it down because he felt he would be taking it from someone else and no one would accept him. If his populace came to him and said "you're our Lord of Winterfell and King in the North. It's what your brother wanted.", he'd believe them. At least until Bran or Rickon shows up. Then he's free to either to to the IT or stay at the Wall and fight the Others. Or both.

That thing about the snowmen is pretty awesome, I never put those two observations together. We know Manderly and Umber have been working together. And Lady Dustin's little scouting mission seems to include Stout and her also. Jon having "Snowmen" is fitting considering his father had "Starkmen."