Direwolf Blitzer

Manderly Wrote the Pink Letter

44 posts in this topic

He only need to torture Mance to know ALL. Look what he did to Theon, he know how to torture.

 

He doesn't know about Jeyne and Theon whereabouts because they when to The Wall before battle started and he wasn't been able to find them. Simple as that.

Yes, but wouldnt Ramsay send some of Mance to Jon as well?

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I can buy that it was Mel, Jon is a little hard on her. She admits that she is "human" and errs when Alys shows up at the Wall. She never told Jon she foresaw Mance rescuing her sister. The only thing she saw was a girl desperately running from a marriage on a dying horse. It was totally reasonable to assume that was Arya.

At this point she might resort to trickery to get Jon more on her side, she might have even foreseen that he would be attacked, and assumed she could save him. I think she might even know that he's a warg/skinchanger, she studied magic in Asshai and is probably well over 100 years old, she might not even think it's evil, she's quite pragmatic about certain things.

 

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I'm still of the belief that Ramsay wrote the letter, before even engaging Stannis, based upon both the mistaken belief that Theon and Jeyne were heading to The Wall and a sense of political crises. I think that Ramsay wanted to get the letter to Jon before Theon and Jeyne reached the wall, in order to prevent Jon from letting anyone else know that “Arya” wasn't Arya. If it became common knowledge that Ramsay had knowingly married a fake Arya, not only would it destabilize his legitimacy as Warden of the North, it would also prove embarrassing to the Lannisters. Since it was an alliance with the Lannisters that set the Boltons up as the new Wardens of the North, embarrassing the Lannisters could cost the Boltons that position.

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I'm still thinking Ramsey wrote the letter but i do find some of the conspiracy element compelling and I'm definitely not 100% convinced of the true author.

This whole thread has got me thinking about the timelines of Davos meeting Manderly and leaving (we assume for Skagos) and Manderly moving to Winterfell. Could Davos have found Rickon and Manderly knows this before his "showdown" with Ransey leading for him to ride out against Stannis. Remember Manderly swore to support Stannis if he had Rickon.

I then think about what Stannis said "It may be that we shall lose this battle," the king said grimly. "In Braavos you may hear that I am dead. It may even be true. You shall find my sellswords nonetheless." I've always taken this to think that Stannis was planning some subterfuge for the coming confrontation. He wants to make sure he get's his sellswords even if he's dead.

Manderly is cunning. I think he goaded Ramsey and Roose into a trap of Stannis's making. The winner is unknown.

Anyhow i digress...

 

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Here's my take on the Pink Letter:

1.) There will be no first hand account of the Battle of Ice in TWoW. The Pink Letter serves as the not-completely-honest second hand account of what has occurred.

2.) Ramsay's first mistake is that Theon is going to the Wall. In fact, Theon has escaped with Asha for the Iron Isles.

3.) Ramsay is correct that fake Arya is headed to the wall. She left for the wall before the battle with Justin Massey, Tycho Nestoris, and a generous number of horses.

4.) Throughout several books GRRM has subtly hinted that Stannis is a false prophet (i.e. Melisandre has misinterpreted her visions about him among other things). Hence, Stannis is indeed a "false king". But is he dead? Unless there is a first person who can verify his head on a pike (unlikely), this will be intentionally ambiguous (much like the Hound).

5.) The letter is written in Ramsay's voice. Doubtful that Manderly or Asha can imitate Ramsay's writing. If they tried to do so, GRRM would have included more obvious clues... not the dubious clues that only a dedicated conspiracy theorist could tenuously patch together.

6.) Asha does not have access to a Raven that will fly to Castle Black (Remember, GRRM tells us that most ravens can only fly along a dedicated route).

7.) Simple logic tells us that the Raven handlers need to know exactly which bird flies which route. Otherwise, Raven mail just doesn't work! In fact, the Raven handlers probably know each individual raven by sight alone. Remember it takes a lot of time to train a bird for a route and the birds are re-used for dedicated routes for many years. A White Harbor (Manderley) raven carrying a Bolton letter would be noticed immediately upon arrival.

8.) Ramsay/Roose keeping Mance alive is out of character (Roose had promised a brutal death for any sneaky sabotagers). But in actuality it is GRRM keeping Mance alive in order to motivate the Wildlings to join Jon for the upcoming Battle of the Bastards. So yes, the conspiracy theorist are right. Ramsay didn't write the Pink Letter at least not on his own free will. GEORGE WROTE THE LETTER (or forced Ramsay to do it in order to weave together the numerous strands of the story, which is obviously no easy task... hence the inevitable little gaps that readers misinterpret as intentionally hidden clues)

9.) Ultimately, the Pink Letter is flawed in terms of complete logical perfection no matter how you interpret it. GRRM is simply juggling way too many balls at the same time. He has no choice but to add small fudge factors in order to fit all the puzzle pieces together. The result has been endless speculation among readers of the veracity and true author of the letter. All doubts will finally be put to rest in a few months with the release of The Winds of Winter. Much can also be gleaned in a few weeks from Season 6 of the TV series.

Edited by MLR

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We need a first hand account. There are five PoV in the north, and I think GRMM will kill some for us in the upcoming book. There are two at winterfel, Theon and Asha, and either someone dies in the battle, (which we need a PoV to verify) or someone dies later, but survives the battle. If they survived the battle, then they can give an account at the very least. GRMM will not kill two PoV off screen however.

I think everyone except Ramsey makes sense at this point. Mance would die before he allowed himself to be tortured, and the letter's information could have only came from Mance or Mel. Mance could have sent the letter himself, told stannis, or told Manderly; and Mel could have faked the letter. But Ramsey, even if he believed he won or actually won the battle, could not have sent the letter. Same goes with Littlefinger, although I would not be surprised if he is involved with the northern politics somehow. 

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Not a chance. If Manderly wrote it, it would have ketchup and lamprey stains all over it. 

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I always suspected Mance or Mel. Only two people are privy to the information in the letter if we are to dismiss Ramsey as the author. However, the last part of the letter seals the deal for me...it has to be Mance.

Quote

Bastard, was the only word written outside the scroll....

Mance was always calling Jon "Bastard" when he was impersonating the Lord of Bones.

Now the letter:

Quote

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

It was signed,

Ramsey Bolton

True born Lord of Winterfell. 

 The first part of the letter:


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.

(This could be anyone of the usual suspects)

 

The second part becomes a little more focused:

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. 

(Only a few people know of Mance and his mission at WF, unless the author is really Ramsey and he got this info through torture, this part narrows our list of suspects to Mance, Mel & Stannis if he knows about Mance).

The third part is just goading:

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.

(It could be anyone).

The final part of the letter is the most revealing:

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 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.

(Up until the wildling babe, it could be Mance, Mel or Stannis if he knows. "And I want my Reek" would be someone aware that Theon is called "Reek" by Ramsey and the "my Reek" part insinuates that the author of the letter is aware that Theon is Ramsey's toy. This person would either have to be Theon himself or someone who has witnessed Theon in Ramsey's presence and seen the interaction between the two. That fits only Mance, because Mel can only see images in her fire she doesn't hear conversations. Anyway, imho, I don't think the letter would be something Stannis would send, it is so unlike him. Finally, to cynch the deal "black crows" is basically what the wildlings call the NW.) 

 

I could be totally wrong and the letter could actually be the product of more than one person conspiring together. However, it seems whoever sent the letter did not have Jon's best interest at heart and was hoping to create chaos.

 

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I have yet to hear of any coherent motive for anyone other than Ramsay to have written a letter that so clearly is intended to anger and provoke Jon and cause chaos at the Wall.  Until someone can give me a clear reason for someone else having written the Pink Letter, I will go with Ramsay as the author, although I have deep doubts about its accuracy.  I do not see the stylistic issues that have been presented as being sufficient to dismiss him as its author, especially in the absence of any good reason for anyone else to have written it.

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As much as I love Manderly, why would he do this. The guy doesn't even know Jon.

 

The info on the songs was rather cool, but maybe the last song was just hinting at his eventual betrayal. Speaking of Manderly, do we even know if he's still alive. At the end of ADWD his neck gets badly cut open. I hope he's alright, when WoW starts.

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On 8/18/2015 at 4:09 PM, LinsarellaSand said:

“A grey girl on a dying horse. Daggers in the dark. A promised prince, born in smoke and salt. It seems to me that you make nothing but mistakes, my lady. Where is Stannis? What of Rattleshirt and his spearwives? Where is my sister?”    

 

“All your questions shall be answered. Look to the skies, Lord Snow. And when you have your answers, send to me. Winter is almost upon us now. I am your only hope.”    

 

“A fool’s hope.” Jon turned and left her.

(ADWD Ch. 70)

 

It's in Mel's interest to make Jon believe that she correctly foresaw the letter, so as to make him put more stock in her abilities (and thus give her more power over him) ... Which he does after getting the letter, thinking to himself, 

 

"Melisandre … look to the skies, she said.” He set the letter down. “A raven in a storm. She saw this coming.” (ADWD Ch. 70)

I was really in the boat that it was probab;y Manderly until I re-read this portion. It makes total sense and in a way that GRRm like tho subtly tell his tale.

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On 8/1/2015 at 6:32 AM, AerionBrightflameII said:

Manderly is fat not a troll.

I agree there are some interesting song choices but why would he send the Pink Letter to Jon?

He believes he already has Rickon Stark to rally the North why would he need the NW or Jon?

I thought Manderly's seal was on Robb's Will legitimizing Jon and naming him his hier. Also if you look at the word he used to describe Rickon "return my liege lord" not "return my King". So Manderly could be playing a different game than we realize.

I could be wrong and it was his son that placed the seal on the will.

Edited by Slaysman

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I think Ramsay wrote the Pink Letter, but has not simply beaten Stannis's forces in battle.

Either he has been deceived by Stannis himself into the belief that Stannis is dead, or Stannis's own Northern army have themselves turned on Stannis and killed him and turned his head and his sword over to the Boltons in Winterfell, with a view to a subsequent betrayal.

HOWEVER, my money is on Stannis still being alive, and this being a trick on his own part: not least because, although I do not think he will actually sacrifice his daughter, the situation in which he has the choice whether or not to do so is a situation that must be set up for him to make that choice, one way or the other. And he cannot see Shireen again unless he survives the defeat of the Boltons - since the weather now traps him near Winterfell so he cannot leave Winterfell and live unless his own forces take and hold it, driving the Boltons out.

In any case there is no good reason for the Northmen to murder Stannis: he has aided them both against Wildlings and Ironborn, given Deepwood Motte back to its rightful lords, promised to put a Stark back in Winterfell, and come to the aid of the Wall. And he is about to pay respect to the Northern Old Gods - at Asha's suggestion, true, but Asha is showing signs of becoming one of the few ironborn who can learn from the situation, and of being a person with whom the North could make peace if she were to be ransomed back.

All of these things are reasons for the Northmen to accept the aid of Stannis in driving the Boltons out of Winterfell and putting a Stark there: if there is a betrayal, it won't take place till AFTER that. And in any case, I believe the Northern lords would be more likely to allow him safe passage out of the North if they chose to maintain their independence, or even offer him an honourable alliance. Certainly the Glovers will not betray him, nor will the Clansmen.

I think:

(1) Ramsay has been deceived - and Stannis is party to the deceit, and will pop up later. Stannis is finding a way to fake his death and allow his sword to fall into the hands of the Boltons.

(2) There is a good possibility that Ramsay will murder Roose, thinking that with Stannis dead, there are no longer any enemies outside Winterfell for Bolton forces to unite behind. However, Roose has either concealed the official seal of House Bolton, or the maesters have instructions to keep it away from Ramsay until such time as Roose (alive) tells them that Ramsay may use it, and of course if Roose is dead, he cannot give that instruction. So all Ramsay has is the wax, rather than the seal to imprint into the wax.

(3) Wyman Manderly, as hostage for the good behaviour of his own forces (who have been sent out to oppose Stannis), has already planned to take his own life and leave the Boltons with no hostage, and Wylis Manderly (also in on this plot, and leading the Manderly forces) is now free to desert or defect.

(4) Hother Umber, inside Winterfell, is in fact in league with his brother outside, and they are Stark loyalists. The fact that Mors and company  handed Theon and Jeyne - whether or not they knew her to be a fake Arya rather than the real one - to Stannis rather than back to Ramsay, proves that they are pro-Stark rather than pro-Bolton. When the real Stannis comes calling, Hother Umber and his men will be among the ones that open the gates from the inside: it being far easier to take a castle with assistance from inside, than by storm from outside. Also inside Winterfell will be the host of House Karstark - in reality some of Stannis's own northern allies wearing Karstark colours: the people who "helped" Ramsay "escape" from the apparently "successful" assault on Stannis himself at his camp.

(5) Theon is in no fit state to travel, and even less fit state to try and make a claim to rule the Iron Islands to undermine Euron even if he *did* become fit to travel. At present his only function in the story is to be an eye witness in Stannis's camp. He could claim the kingship in theory, but not in practice. Asha already knows there is no hope of escape - Theon could not survive the travel in the snow, being in no condition to hunt for provisions or carry the supplies to get anywhere. Asha herself stands a chance of survival by being ransomed: she has been an enemy to the North, but not a betrayer, and shows signs of being willing to make a deal. Theon is about to be beheaded, but the intervention of the talking ravens may keep him alive a while longer.

(6) This is actually a thing that Theon shares with Stannis: the ability to claim the kingship in theory, but not in practice. They cannot live as kings... but they could die as kings. Two kings to wake the dragon.

(7) And it just so happens that the Bastard Dragon (i.e. Jon Snow, bastard of Rhaegar Targaryen by Lyanna Stark) is dead and needs waking... I think where he's going is that Theon and Stannis himself will end up being the sacrifices (and a sacrifice there must be, "only death can pay for life" to do it properly, otherwise he will come back wrong) that bring Jon back from death. In fire and blood, as well. Theon gets the blood - to die by beheading, in traditional Northern fashion: I think it will be Stannis himself who ends up in the fire (as per his own vision in the flames, described to Davos long ago in ASOS: the burning king whose crown burned him to ashes.) "Two kings to wake the dragon" and "Fire and blood to wake the dragon". It all fits...

Edited by JLE

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In the pre-released Theon-chapter of WOW, we learn that Stannis has hands on two ravens trained to fly to Winterfell (the ones from A. Karstark).

Stannis is cunning and desperate enough to provoke Ramsay Snow to write a letter alike the pink one that Jon Snow receives. Stannis has - I think - access to all necessary information (through Theon, A. Karstark, J. Poole). The advantage for Stannis to get Jon Snow's Forces down to attack Winterfell are obvious. He was not successful to make the Wildlings fight for him in the first place, now he found a way to bring them to his side. Stannis is clever enough to imagine, how Jon would react.

Admittedly a weak point of my theory: How did Stannis learn about Mance Ryder being still alive? I would say: He was clever enough to conclude from Theon's report.

Well, pack all this information into a letter with the sigil of A. Karstark, telling Ramsay Snow that the battle was won, Stannis' Forces starved, frozen, slain in a mutiny etc., and that by torturing Stannis he got the following information: bla, bla, bla. And that he (A. Karstark) was stuck in snow and could not come to Winterfell, but instead sent this raven.

So, in short, I think Stannis wrote a false letter with the sigil of A. Karstark (whom he holds hostage) to Ramsay Snow, providing him all false and correct information necessary to provoke Ramsay Snow to write the pink letter.

Edited by Greywater-Watch

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Ramsey's first two letters were described as being written in a 'spikey' hand and were briefer.  The Pink Letter was not so described...

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On October 5, 2016 at 3:06 AM, Greywater-Watch said:

Admittedly a weak point of my theory: How did Stannis learn about Mance Ryder being still alive? I would say: He was clever enough to conclude from Theon's report.

 

Actually, I don't think this is a very weak part of your theory. Stannis might have always known that Mel glamoured Mance. Mance could have been a part of the Stannis-Mel plot all along. Such an angle would only be a stretch if we assume that Mel has jumped off the Stannis-wagon and has gone rogue, but we've actually been given no reason (in the books) to make that assumption. 

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On 11/4/2016 at 4:50 AM, mcbigski said:

Ramsey's first two letters were described as being written in a 'spikey' hand and were briefer.  The Pink Letter was not so described...

This and the lack of skin (in such a letter) I take it as overwhelming  evidence that the letter as received by Jon is not from Ramsay.

My theory is that there was a letter, maybe even from Ramsay, but it was adulterated upon arrival by B. Marsh, Clydas and others to frame Jon, who in turn fell on it.

This would explain why Clydas was so scared. Also, Ramsay, Mance, etc do not know that Selyse is at Castle Black (even Stannis departed before they arrived), although they may know she is at Eastwatch and thus under Jon's protection.

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If you are a great northern conspiracy believer, then you need to rule out Ramsay and Stannis as the pink letter author.

Boltons are doomed in Winterfell, all other northern lords are plotted against them, it's just a matter of when. By insulting Freys openly, Wyman Manderly sent out a clear signal that they are ready, at least his part in GNC is done and he is not afraid of death. Roose sensed this and he was scared. He sent Manderly away along with Freys and Ramsay. He hoped Manderly is the only schemer but he was wrong. 

I am not worried about Mance's capture at all. He is a great fighter, very intelligent and charming. He knows Winterfell well, he may have plotted with Manderly and/or Umber together. Even if the worst happens, he can glamor himself or hid in crypts. It's very unlikely that Ramsay captured him and tortured all the information out of him. Some details in the pink letter are totally unrelated to Theon and Jeyne's escape, such as Val and Mance's son. 

Mance and Mel may have some other agenda in Winterfell. They may have known each other long time ago, maybe Mel is the wood witch that helped Mance before. It's a high treason to cheat Stannis, who Mel still believed in. Why did Mel spend so much effort saving someone just to send him on a mission to win Jon's trust? Something else was going on.

 

 

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While it would be unlike Stannis, I think the pink letter might be from him. When you compare some of the wording of the letter:

" I want my bride back.... And I want my Reek.

With what Theon told him in the TWOW sample chapter:

"He wants his bride back. He wants his Reek." - The wording is very similar. Perhaps this is not a coincidence?

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But would Lord Manderly really want a bastard to march on Winterfell with a Wildling army? He wants Rickon as his Liege Lord, remember? Would he risk a situation where Jon Snow decides that he wants to rule Winterfell and the North? 

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