bemused

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  1. From a very broad perspective, this may be true - but it still doesn't resolve the many ambiguities surrounding the letter, and as always , with GRRM , the devil is in the details. From here, I'm going to just address at random some of the points that have been made (because of the usual time contraints, interruptions and very slow typing). I agree with many (not all) of the points made by @sweetsunray, some of which I've made myself in this and other threads, others which are new to me, but quite consistent with my own interpretations. ... However, I can't go along with the Dreadfort speculations. I don't feel the Dreadfort will be dealt with very quickly, that is, not as part of Stannis' strategies. I think, for a satisfying narrative, any resolution to the "ancient enmity" between Bolton and Stark, and the truth of whether there are cloaks made from the skins of Starks among the Bolton family heirlooms, must come through a Stark POV. I'll come back to offer my own speculations as an alternative, later. Getting back to the letter, as I said, the person it sounds most like is Thorne and I don't think he's hiding out just "elsewhere", but at CB. A path exists for him to be there (through the Black Gate and smuggled back to CB by Bowen and/or his stewards on one of their many trips to restore/resupply the Nightfort) ... And there is the whole business of the little cell , suitable for hiding out, discovered by Sam in AFfC, Samwell I, just before Jon sends Sam off with Aemon and Gilly. The chair was very hard and cut into the back of his thighs when he bent over a book. I need to remember to bring a cushion. It would be even better if he could sleep down here, in the cell he'd found half-hidden behind four chests full of loose pages that had gotten separated from the books they belonged to, ...and after speaking with Jon... Sam did not recall leaving the armory. The next thing he knew he was stumbling through mud and patches of old snow, toward Maester Aemon's chambers. I could hide, he told himself. I could hide in the vaults amongst the books. I could live down there with the mouse and sneak up at night to steal food. Crazed thoughts, he knew, as futile as they were desperate. The vaults were the first place they would look for him. The last place they would look for him was beyond the Wall, but that was even madder. The wildlings would catch me and kill me slowly. They might burn me alive, the way the red woman means to burn Mance Rayder. Sam never mentions the cell to Jon, or anyone else. His real fear is centred on his father, which he registers with Jon and Maester Aemon. .. So the only purpose these "cell" passages serve, is to establish that the cell exists (or perhaps, others like it).. and on hindsight, after Thorne is sent out, we can see by comparison that the first and last places anyone would look for Thorne are exactly opposite to those Sam envisions for himself (GRRM often uses this type of inversion). Sam's hypothetical fears of how he might be treated by the wildlings would no doubt be realistically shared by Thorne. ... And of course, with Bowen as an ally, Thorne wouldn't even have to sneak out to steal food. Room service would be available. But if, as I believe, the conspirators intercepted and forged a new copy of the letter, we still need to figure out where it originated. Though I think Mance is a possibility, my best bet is placed on Stannis. I'm never sure if spoilers are necessary or not, but in the TWoW Theon chapter.. Stannis would definitely want to warn Jon of what was headed his way. He has, over the course of events, become increasingly accepting of magic and visions (Renly, Penrose, his own vision of The Fist) .. but (being a pragmatist) in case the ravens would fly to WF, he makes the letter appear to be authored by Ramsay (but in a less sneering tone than the letter Jon eventually receives). He has Tybald , who would probably be in possession of pink wax, and who would certainly know Ramsay's signature. @ sweetsunray , you said ... I see a different interpretation. Stannis wouldn't want his people with him unless, oruntil he had actually taken WF. If he had taken it, there would be no need to write as if he was Ramsay. I think the letter was written from the battlefield, and that Ramsay having been convinced of Stannis' death, was riding after Tycho's party to try to recapture "Arya" and Reek. ... There's a danger that "Arya" might never reach Jon and Tycho might not live to register Stannis' loan with the IB. The letter is not about who Stannis wants with him, it's about warning Jon, so that he can take defensive / preemptive action. It announces Stannis' supposed death (in case the letter falls into Roose's hands), while informing Jon of what Ramsay wants - his bride and his Reek. Stannis would want to warn Jon that Ramsay's bride and Reek were on their way, with Ramsay in pursuit. (Theon has been insistent that Rams wants both.) It lets Jon know that "Arya" is not with Mance , and there is another person of interest to look out for, but doesn't clearly identify him ... In case the raven flies to WF, Stannis' deception that Rams sent it is necessary, and Ramsay would never call Theon anything but Reek. I believe the text of the novels suggests that Stannis always knew about Mance's glamour, and after hours of conversation with Mance, he probably also knew that Mance habitually used the disguise of a bard on his reconnaissance trips south of the wall. Mance is not shy about admitting it. Stannis may even have known Mance's alias, but even if he didn't, combined with Theon's ramblings about Abel and the false washerwomen, he could figure it out. He would want to let Jon know that Mance was likely a captive and Theon, Tybald, any number of northmen could have predicted what would happen to any captives of Ramsay's. I think Stannis would try to put the blame for Mance's survival on himself.. "Your false king lied" .. to save Jon trouble with the NW. Thorne would have added "and so did you" to make sure Jon was thoroughly implicated. All the hostage demands apart from "My bride and my Reek" would be added by the conspirators. They want rid of the "hostages", but they also know Jon really couldn't comply without breaking the guest right he granted them .. whatever Jon chooses can be used to damn him. So, at CB, the letter would be intercepted and copied with alterations by Thorne and Marsh (Clydas may be in collusion or perhaps more likely, under coercion.) I've posted a proposed breakdown of the letter in a few threads. I can't remember which, off hand, but if anyone's interested, I could paste it here from my documents. Comparing letters from Ramsay , there was no skin in Jon's "wedding announcement" letter. The only two pieces of skin we encounter are a: the one Roose received from Ramsay and passed on to Catelyn, and b: the one in Asha's letter. A third is implied to have been sent to Dagmer by the words, "I send you each a piece of prince". To me, it doesn't follow that Ramsay would have hand written all the letters to the various Lords in blood and included skin in each. Jon's letter was different from Asha's and theirs would have been as well. The announcement (as in Jon's letter) that Roose had returned as warden of the North and was summoning them to WF (or in Jon's case, Barrowton) would have been adequate intimidation to use on them. (Early on, I assumed Manderly and the others would have been summoned to Barrowton first, then sent a correction substituting WF, but I now realise that Jon's letter would have been the only one to ever say Barrowton, in case he shared the letter with Stannis.) This first letter to Jon was signed in blood, but I think the text was written in ink. It wasn't until Jon saw the signature that the spiky hand and brown, flaky ink are noted. Think of the way we write letters, with the signature at the bottom. With a scroll, the signaturewould be on the end that unrolls last. He urolls the scroll and reads it to himself, probably reading as he goes, then.. When he saw the signature, he forgot the battering Rattleshirt had given him. Immediately after Jon takes in the signatures ... “Might we know what it says, my lord?” asked Iron Emmett. Jon saw no reason not to tell him. ... And he tells them what it contains. He doesn't go back and read it for the first time then, and he doesn't read it aloud - implying that he gives them the gist of the contents from memory, since he already read it, before he came to the signature. Out of time ..I'll be back later.
  2. I'm jumping in in mid- conversation, here.. and (apologies) I haven't had time to read all the way through (but I will). I'm still standing by my opinion that Alliser Thorne is secretly at CB and manipulating / leading Bowen & co. I believe the conspirators intercepted the letter and forged a facsimile , making it more inflamatory, before sending it to Jon. They would leave alone any claims made in the letter that they couldn't be sure of , perhaps add in some demands of their own, and make sure that any negatives would reflect on Jon (e.g. implicate Jon in the decision to "burn the wrong man") I do think the use of "whore" is suggestive..Ramsay never uses it that we see. IIRC, all these months / years later, I don't think Mance ever does either. Stannis does, in regard to Gilly (better goat's milk than whore's milk for Mance's son) but he would never use it in regard to Mel. OTOH, Thorne uses it with exactly the same tone that we see in the letter, when he calls Ygritte an "unwashed whore" during his and Slynt's interrogation of Jon. It's guaged to be as insulting as possible, designed to offend because it's known to be untrue to the person he's addressing. Of all the candidates, I think it's least like Ramsay , because I think he really will be on "Arya's" trail, and I think his MO is always to use some form of subterfuge in his attacks. Take them by surprise seems to be his motto. The letter to Asha with, presumably, a copy to Dagmer (I send you each a piece of prince) is an outlier. Roose is probably back in the north by the time it's written, which means Ramsay doesn't have a free hand.. Ramsay wanted to attack Asha and Dagmer; Roose said not yet,they could be dealt with later. Get the wedding and WF settled first... But if a threatening letter might cause A&D to withdraw in the meantime, Roose (once again)would manage to not spend his own men. Getting back to the wording of the letter, the only time Ramsay uses "bastard" is in reference to his horse - "I rode the bastard hard". Mance uses "bastard" a lot to Jon, as a hint at their first conversation and Jon's lie about his motive for defecting from the Watch. Mance's use is sarcastic in tone but (for me) lacks the pure vitriol that drips from it's use in the letter , and coincidentally, from the way Thorne uses it to Jon. If the letter was being spoken to Jon, it would sound exactly like Thorne. So I don't think Ramsay would give any kind of warning. Either Mance or Stannis would want to warn Jon of the situation.. and in all cases, Thorne would want to turn it to his advantage, in his desire to see Jon dead. Bowen is under pressure from Thorne and possibly from KL, even after Tywin's death , if Pycelle and Kevan sent the letter they proposed to send in Cersei's small council meeting.. ..and as he did before, when he chased the Weeper, Bowenpanics and acts too soon. I'll be back with a bit more, later. (damn real life, anyway.)
  3. Excellent article. "Sansa, kill all men!".... The other night , my sons and I were saying it's as if the GOT women had Bender from Futurama whispering in their ears.. "Hey, foxy mama... wanna kill some humansmen?"
  4. Pretty bad. It's a shame because I used to like some of Greenwald's unsullied written reviews.. but there was really not much insight here... Mind you I expected that the first show, at least, would be fairly gushy, so I was willing to give some leeway... Let's just say Iwon't be watching to see if it improves. For me part of the torture is the long clips.. having to relive scenes that never should have been and hearing them praise the very things I hated about them.. I'm not that much of a masochist. What the flick is still the best post-show discussion, IMO.
  5. Maisie Williams hint about Jon Snow

    Avert! Avert!
  6. "I saw him fighting at WF"

    ..Oh, God! .. I know I have 2 months of kvetching and retching to look forward to.. is that from a reliable source?... and will that be Ian McShane ?
  7. "I saw him fighting at WF"

    There's plenty that I feel is indefensible on the show, but actually, I think it's pretty easy to defend (or at least rationalise) the apparent discrepancy in Mel's vision.IRRC,(without rewatching), she never said she saw Stannis on the walls of WF, she said she saw herself walking on the walls and saw the Bolton banners coming down. Book Mel jumps to conclusions all he time, and show Mel could easily have taken that as a sign of Stannis' victory.. she would neverhave imagined that she would be there without Stannis. Now she says she saw Jon fighting at WF, so she might have assumed he would follow to support Stannis. Or she may have seen that vision since her return...So this one is not a major problem to me. But I'll befairly pissed if they have her usea glamour on Jon or anyone else at CB (when she should have used one on Mance). For me, It's too late for " They burned the wrong man.". That would be just as bad as giving one character's lines to another... and yeah, they do that all the time, so I wouldn't rule it out .. but i'd be rushing to the Rant and Rave thread, which my son has fondly dubbed, "Kvetch 'til You Retch."..
  8. Yes, excellent swimmers. How "Boss." is that ?
  9. My dear Fellow Ranters, The things I liked best about last night were the Frey pot pies stuffed with "pork" tenderloin, button mushrooms, shallots, pease and other goodies (washed down with fearsomely strong cider) and the chestnut and whipped cream pastries for dessert (prepared by our cook, Sleep Deprived Sean)... However, I fear one or two of the mushrooms may have come from the toe of a dwarf's boot, because we all experienced some sort of weird communal vision afterward. Talk about a bad trip ! I'm shuddering just thinking about it. Disappearing bloodhounds, impossibly teary psychopaths, confusing Boss. Ass. Bitches of every description kept popping up - one was afraid of water, some appeared to be excellent swimmers, and I think one was a Greedy.Boss.Ass. Bitch... Then some short guy said "Cock" and we all laughed uncontrollably. Another guy stood to make a rousing speech in a crowded room but what came out of his mouth was pure nonsese... At some point a man and woman clung together,vowing to take back all that had been taken from them, and more.. and for some odd reason, I spontaneously broke into a chorus of "Oh, Carol! I am but a fool..." ... In spite of the excellent meal we'd had, a voice was demanding mutton.. Half naked men were speaking a foreign language, but I could understand it ..something about white haired pussy..and then a naked old crone appeared and showed me I should just go to bed and sleep it off. So I did. It might take me a week to recover (or perhaps I never will). Please be careful with mushrooms.
  10. That will be on replay in my head all day, now..(*sob* not Carol?)
  11. Well, there will be tears... (though maybe not the kind they want...)
  12. The Starks and Queens?

    There's another difference between Lady Hornwood and Lady Dustin. Lord Hornwood had a recognised bastard son, Larence Snow, being fostered by the Glovers. At the harvest feast, Bran finally says "Let the bastard rule" ...which I'm sure will be the eventual outcome. Lady Hornwood didn't want to face the obvious solution, seeming to feel about Larence much like Cat felt about Jon. Politically though, it would be better for Northern stability to have Larence succeed, than to have a Tallhart cousin take the Hornwood name , or have the lands absorbed by another house. It will only take whoever is KitN to declare Larence legitimate. We may (and I stress may) see a different solution to the Dustin situation. So far as we know Willam had no bastard offspring and we don't know if there are cousins (or if so, how remote they might be). ... But there is an, as yet,very slight hint that Barbrey mighthave a bastard son. On her trip to the WF crypts she takes her serjeant to open the door and bear the light. (If she could have found the crypts, she would have gone without Theon.) This minor character is very unnecessarily named.. and he's named "Beron". ... Coincidentally, the tomb ofBeron Stark is one of the ones noted on their excursion. Some won't find this at all noteworthy, some might suspect he's Brandon's son -but I think if he's a Stark bastard , then he's Benjen's.(For reasons too detailed to go into here) .. If either is true (and no cousins appear), the best eventual solution might be to let Beron take the Dustin name (or a new name)... and either way, I think the question will be cleared up in TWoW. As to the OP, while I'm not sure that we can say for certain that the North is now more open to female rulership or the importance of the female bloodline, it may be about to become more accepting, because of Jon's heritage and the supposed content of Robb's "will". Attitudes may also shift somewhatdue tothe integration of wildlings. The Mormonts might not seem like such outliers.
  13. I was laughing all the way through when I first read that, earlier.. I mean there's this, referring to S05.. Sure... Sansa's choice... detouring around Moat Caillin.. 20 good men.. etc., etc., etc. So carefully thought out..and how about.. We better take that to heart and not dare to criticize (but if we do, how lazy of us).I agree a lot of stuff is not being pulled out of thin air, but somewhere much darker, and more damp.
  14. No, it's not working today, though it has before.I had to quote you and reply inside the offending box. More apologies to AGoS, he'll be getting a notification every time I say anything until I get it fixed.
  15. bemused,here...Sorry ! I'm experiencing a glitch. This 1hour ago box keeps popping up. I can't get rid of it. Every time I try to reply ,it keeps coming up, and the cursor won't function outside of it . I finally got it to go away after many attempts, by just typing something in there and posting. Next post was OK, but now, I see it's back again. I'm going to go and do my laundry and hope it's better later...ETA: I'm not trying to put words in your mouth