Black Crow

Heresy 203 and growing suspicions anent the Starks

384 posts in this topic

56 minutes ago, Faera said:

I remember that flittering through my mind on my last re-read, too. I always suspected that whoever wrote the letter wanted to lure both the wildlings and Jon down for alternative reasons. Now, I can definitely see Stannis sending the letter to beef up his army some more or even Wyman Manderly doing it because he wants to gather his pieces together. However, Mance not only would want his wildling army as far south of the Wall as he can get them but he might hope to exchange Jon for his son (though, obviously, it won't be his son) or even to try and extract demands from the Northern Lords.

This is my thinking as well; if Mance wrote the letter, it might position him with enough leverage to negotiate better terms for his people to establish themselves in the North, a process that Jon himself has already begun by uniting the Thenns and the Karstarks--rather than, say, setting about raiding and conquering.

As an additional thought, when speculating about potential authors of the letter, we must also keep in mind that whoever wrote it knows that Mance isn't dead, and that Winterfell was infiltrated by the six spearwives. Ramsay might have acquired this knowledge through torture, and Mance would obviously know this, but who else among the alternative Pink Letter authors might have reasonably learned that Mance is still alive?

Stannis and his men would recognize Mance, but it seems less certain that they would recognize the spearwives, nor that Mance would sell them out if he were caught, and the Pink Letter doesn't really seem Stannis' style; it's not clear what he would hope to gain through the trickery.

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24 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

This is my thinking as well; if Mance wrote the letter, it might position him with enough leverage to negotiate better terms for his people to establish themselves in the North, a process that Jon himself has already begun by uniting the Thenns and the Karstarks--rather than, say, setting about raiding and conquering.

As an additional thought, when speculating about potential authors of the letter, we must also keep in mind that whoever wrote it knows that Mance isn't dead, and that Winterfell was infiltrated by the six spearwives. Ramsay might have acquired this knowledge through torture, and Mance would obviously know this, but who else among the alternative Pink Letter authors might have reasonably learned that Mance is still alive?

Stannis and his men would recognize Mance, but it seems less certain that they would recognize the spearwives, nor that Mance would sell them out if he were caught, and the Pink Letter doesn't really seem Stannis' style; it's not clear what he would hope to gain through the trickery.

Stannis has Theon and the Tybald (a Bolton maester). My bet is on him.

Edited by Tucu

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Discussion has taken an interesting turn, and its worth pursuing further, but I'd just make a couple of observations here. The plot, or plots, under discussion are political and concerned with Jon's temporal leadership of the Watch; Ice and Fire doesn't appear to come into it. Secondly I'm dubious of Qyburn's active involvement. He's simply too remote, although that's certainly not to prevent him ensuring the conspirators singly or collectively, that they do the Queen's work and that she will smile upon them accordingly.

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14 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I don't believe that the Nights King does want Jon. He's just a legend from the land of long long ago

 

5 hours ago, JNR said:

Yes, as far as we know there has been no sign of this entity for thousands of years, and even in the stories, he was only a human being who was the LC of the Watch.  Doesn't seem likely he would still be around.

My pot of crack with 2 cents:

Maybe not the Night's King but whoever commands the White Walkers in the books.

The prince that was promised to the CotF when the truce was made on the island of the faces.

Jon belongs to the old gods (Ghost). His final death will synch the seasons and end the White Walkers.

Daenerys will lose all her dragons before dying = mirrors Cersei.

Jamie kills Cersei, Tyrion Daenerys.

Oh, and I recently saw Eaters of the Dead (13th warrior) again. Sam is the Arab, so to speak.

And GRRM will never finish the series.

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45 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

Just out of curiosity. Where do you get the Lord Dustin from ? The ice and fire search says Lady and I would call it correct as there is no known Lord Dustin alive.

It's a direct quote from the text:
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VI

He turned to find Clydas standing beneath the broken archway, a parchment in his hand. "From Stannis?" Jon had been hoping for some word from the king. The Night's Watch took no part, he knew, and it should not matter to him which king emerged triumphant. Somehow it did. "Is it Deepwood?"

"No, my lord." Clydas thrust the parchment forward. It was tightly rolled and sealed, with a button of hard pink wax. Only the Dreadfort uses pink sealing wax. Jon ripped off his gauntlet, took the letter, cracked the seal. When he saw the signature, he forgot the battering Rattleshirt had given him. 

Ramsay Bolton, Lord of the Hornwood, it read, in a huge, spiky hand. The brown ink came away in flakes when Jon brushed it with his thumb. Beneath Bolton's signature, Lord Dustin, Lady Cerwyn, and four Ryswells had appended their own marks and seals. A cruder hand had drawn the giant of House Umber. "Might we know what it says, my lord?" asked Iron Emmett.

 

But yes, why is it Lady Dustin one letter and Lord Dustin on the other? 

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23 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Discussion has taken an interesting turn, and its worth pursuing further, but I'd just make a couple of observations here. The plot, or plots, under discussion are political and concerned with Jon's temporal leadership of the Watch; Ice and Fire doesn't appear to come into it. Secondly I'm dubious of Qyburn's active involvement. He's simply too remote, although that's certainly not to prevent him ensuring the conspirators singly or collectively, that they do the Queen's work and that she will smile upon them accordingly.

Yes, there is always two or three degrees of separation between Qyburn and dodgy developments.  In the case of these two letters, purportedly both from Ramsey but oddly, with the same signatures and seals; how does this happen if those signatories aren't present during Theon's torture?  Potentially they are gathered when Roose summons his supporters to Barrowtown where several copies of the oaths of featly are made and perhaps sent elsewhere.  I'm guessing Cersei recieved a copy on parchment with ink that flakes off when it's touched.  How convenient.  LOL!  

It's Jon who is holding the whole thing together at the Wall.  If he is killed, what is to stop the Wildlings from decimating the Watch and deserting the Wall?  Qyburn is flippant about snarks and grumpkins considering that Robert Strong is his creation. I suspect Qyburn knows better, but Cersei of course doesn't.

Theon's vision of Roose Bolton at the wedding:
 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - The Prince of Winterfell

The mists were so thick that only the nearest trees were visible; beyond them stood tall shadows and faint lights. Candles flickered beside the wandering path and back amongst the trees, pale fireflies floating in a warm grey soup. It felt like some strange underworld, some timeless place between the worlds, where the damned wandered mournfully for a time before finding their way down to whatever hell their sins had earned them. Are we all dead, then? Did Stannis come and kill us in our sleep? Is the battle yet to come, or has it been fought and lost?

Here and there a torch burned hungrily, casting its ruddy glow over the faces of the wedding guests. The way the mists threw back the shifting light made their features seem bestial, half-human, twisted. Lord Stout became a mastiff, old Lord Locke a vulture, Whoresbane Umber a gargoyle, Big Walder Frey a fox, Little Walder a red bull, lacking only a ring for his nose. Roose Bolton's own face was a pale grey mask, with two chips of dirty ice where his eyes should be.

 

Of course Qyburn is a necromancer.  I suspect he is a certain man of Varys' acquaintance:

Quote

 

A Clash of Kings - Tyrion X

"One day at Myr, a certain man came to our folly. After the performance, he made an offer for me that my master found too tempting to refuse. I was in terror. I feared the man meant to use me as I had heard men used small boys, but in truth the only part of me he had need of was my manhood. He gave me a potion that made me powerless to move or speak, yet did nothing to dull my senses. With a long hooked blade, he sliced me root and stem, chanting all the while. I watched him burn my manly parts on a brazier. The flames turned blue, and I heard a voice answer his call, though I did not understand the words they spoke.

 

And I think the original Reek is one of Qyburn's creations.

 

Edited by LynnS

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1 hour ago, Tucu said:

Stannis has Theon and the Tybald (a Bolton maester). My bet is on him.

To add onto this, I was skeptical as to what Stannis' motives would be for the letter, and my best guess is that it's a big gambit: reasoning with Jon has failed, offering him Winterfell has failed, so instead he appeals to his anger, and hopes that Jon will show up before the Battle of Winterfell is concluded; having already committed himself to intervention, he may proceed to attack the Bolton forces and reinforce Stannis...if things went according to plan.

Mance's motives have already been mentioned, and I think Ramsay's motives are straightforward enough as well. With Stannis dealt with, the next biggest threats to Ramsay would be the Iron Islands and the Wall--between Jon Snow, the Queen's Men, the wildlings, and Alys Karstark going to Jon, the Bolton alliance would have good reason to believe that they need to either demand concessions, or bring the conflict to a head. 

Edited by Matthew.

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39 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

To add onto this, I was skeptical as to what Stannis' motives would be for the letter, and my best guess is that it's a big gambit: reasoning with Jon has failed, offering him Winterfell has failed, so instead he appeals to his anger, and hopes that Jon will show up before the Battle of Winterfell is concluded; having already committed himself to intervention, he may proceed to attack the Bolton forces and reinforce Stannis...if things went according to plan.

Mance's motives have already been mentioned, and I think Ramsay's motives are straightforward enough as well. With Stannis dealt with, the next biggest threats to Ramsay would be the Iron Islands and the Wall--between Jon Snow, the Queen's Men, the wildlings, and Alys Karstark going to Jon, the Bolton alliance would have good reason to believe that they need to either demand concessions, or bring the conflict to a head. 

And of course this makes the most sense.  :D  But how do they get their hands on a piece of parchment with all those signatures and seals?  The other question is who delivered the letter?  Clydas doesn't say.  Perhaps it was the Iron Banker?

Edited by LynnS

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

It's the signatures and seals that are appended that would seem to support Ramsey sending the letter.

They were all present for Ramsey's wedding.  They seem to have carried their seals with them but what about this letter?   The next letter sent to Asha has the same seals and signatures done in maester's ink. The similarities are interesting.   It's almost as though several blanks were made with the signature  and seals.  By whom?  Was Lady Dustin or the Ryswells around when Ramsey sent this note to Asha?
 

And here is the gathering place to collect all those seals and signatures:
 

 

 

You are mixing up 2 different letters:

Quote

Ramsay Bolton, Lord of the Hornwood, it read, in a huge, spiky hand. The brown ink came away in flakes when Jon brushed it with his thumb. Beneath Bolton’s signature, Lord Dustin, Lady Cerwyn, and four Ryswells had appended their own marks and seals. A cruder hand had drawn the giant of House Umber. “Might we know what it says, my lord?” asked Iron Emmett.  Jon saw no reason not to tell him. “Moat Cailin is taken. The flayed corpses of the ironmen have been nailed to posts along the kingsroad. Roose Bolton summons all leal lords to Barrowton, to affirm their loyalty to the Iron Throne and celebrate his son’s wedding to …” His heart seemed to stop for a
moment. No, that is not possible. She died in King’s Landing, with Father.  “Lord Snow?” Clydas peered at him closely with his dim pink eyes. “Are you … unwell? You seem …”  “He’s to marry Arya Stark. My little sister.”

Jon did receive a letter from Ramsay with other Lords' seals.  But it isn't the pink letter that made him march south.  The first letter has a button of hard pink wax and is written in brown ink that flakes (likely blood).  We aren't told how it addresses Jon, but Jon is calm, even nonchalant, reading it to Iron Emmet so I doubt it says "Bastard" and while Ramsay calls himself "Bolton" he doesn't mention "true born".

The 2nd letter has a smear of wax and we aren't told anything about the ink or seals at the bottom, and it address Jon as 'Bastard'.  If it really was from Ramsay, I'd have to question why he is so insulting in the 2nd letter but not the first.

Edited by Brad Stark

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11 minutes ago, LynnS said:

And of course this makes the most sense.  :D  But how do they get their hands on a piece of parchment with all those signatures and seals?

The Pink Letter only has one signature and a smear of pink wax. That could easily be faked from Stannis's camp or from inside Winterfell.

The language used in the letter is interesting as it contains expressions used by Theon in his TWOW chapter ("He wants his bride back. He wants his Reek"), preferred by Mance/wildlings ("bastard" and "black crows") or from Stannis' camp/Melisandre ("false king", "wildling princess", "little prince")

The mix of expressions can be explained by Mance joining Stannis in his camp.

 

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

Discussion has taken an interesting turn, and its worth pursuing further, but I'd just make a couple of observations here. The plot, or plots, under discussion are political and concerned with Jon's temporal leadership of the Watch; Ice and Fire doesn't appear to come into it. Secondly I'm dubious of Qyburn's active involvement. He's simply too remote, although that's certainly not to prevent him ensuring the conspirators singly or collectively, that they do the Queen's work and that she will smile upon them accordingly.

I didn't mean to side track the discussion.  My point was if Jon is important to the whole Ice/Fire thing as I believe he is, then the person behind his assassination may have had an Ice/Fire motive and not a politics of the Watch motive.

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36 minutes ago, Tucu said:

The Pink Letter only has one signature and a smear of pink wax. That could easily be faked from Stannis's camp or from inside Winterfell.

The language used in the letter is interesting as it contains expressions used by Theon in his TWOW chapter ("He wants his bride back. He wants his Reek"), preferred by Mance/wildlings ("bastard" and "black crows") or from Stannis' camp/Melisandre ("false king", "wildling princess", "little prince")

The mix of expressions can be explained by Mance joining Stannis in his camp.

 

Yes, you're right! 

Edited by LynnS

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4 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

I didn't mean to side track the discussion.  My point was if Jon is important to the whole Ice/Fire thing as I believe he is, then the person behind his assassination may have had an Ice/Fire motive and not a politics of the Watch motive.

I agree also.  Melisandre apparently knows that Jon's life is in danger and she can name names.  But he doesn't believe her and she doesn't insist and I wonder why.

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7 hours ago, LynnS said:

I agree also.  Melisandre apparently knows that Jon's life is in danger and she can name names.  But he doesn't believe her and she doesn't insist and I wonder why.

It depends where she sees Jon at this stage. It appears she sees him as a useful ally but doesn't attach greater significance to him and if the fool isn't interested on his own head be it. He's expendable anyway. Stan's still the man.

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8 hours ago, Tucu said:

The Pink Letter only has one signature and a smear of pink wax. That could easily be faked from Stannis's camp or from inside Winterfell.

The language used in the letter is interesting as it contains expressions used by Theon in his TWOW chapter ("He wants his bride back. He wants his Reek"), preferred by Mance/wildlings ("bastard" and "black crows") or from Stannis' camp/Melisandre ("false king", "wildling princess", "little prince")

The mix of expressions can be explained by Mance joining Stannis in his camp.

 

Yes, I can go with this too.

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7 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

I didn't mean to side track the discussion.  My point was if Jon is important to the whole Ice/Fire thing as I believe he is, then the person behind his assassination may have had an Ice/Fire motive and not a politics of the Watch motive.

It depends how you define important. I'm not convinced by the union of Ice and Fire thing and if Jon has a significance in that respect it is as a son of Winterfell and ultimately the counterbalance to Fire. If there is any "non-political" intervention going on my primary candidate would be Mel, having failed to recruit him and re-interpeting those skull not as a danger to Jon but the reverse, ie; Jon representing the danger 

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10 hours ago, LynnS said:

It's a direct quote from the text:
 

But yes, why is it Lady Dustin one letter and Lord Dustin on the other? 

I used the search tool wrong. The letter signed with Lady Dustin has brown ink and is from Ramsay Bolton, Lord of Winterfell, informing Asha that Moat Coalin has fallen to him. And the letter has signatures.

The (first) letter to Jon has Bolton's signature, styling himself Ramsay, Lord of Hornwood. The rest are marks and seals. And Jon himself thinks Lord Dustin sealed the letter.

 

questions:

- why is Jon thinking it is Lord Dustin's seal ?
- why is Ramsay so obsessed with Lord of Hornwood instead of Winterfell ?
- Did Theon write the first (and to an extend the third) letter ? 
- has Lady Dustin married and now there is a Lord Dustin ?

Edited by SirArthur

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9 hours ago, LynnS said:

I agree also.  Melisandre apparently knows that Jon's life is in danger and she can name names.  But he doesn't believe her and she doesn't insist and I wonder why.

Melisandre tries to warn Jon 3 times about the "daggers in the dark" vision. The main problem with her visions is that they lack context.

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3 hours ago, SirArthur said:

I used the search tool wrong. The letter signed with Lady Dustin has brown ink and is from Ramsay Bolton, Lord of Winterfell, informing Asha that Moat Coalin has fallen to him. And the letter has signatures.

The (first) letter to Jon has Bolton's signature, styling himself Ramsay, Lord of Hornwood. The rest are marks and seals. And Jon himself thinks Lord Dustin sealed the letter.

 

questions:

- why is Jon thinking it is Lord Dustin's seal ?
- why is Ramsay so obsessed with Lord of Hornwood instead of Winterfell ?
- Did Theon write the first (and to an extend the third) letter ? 
- has Lady Dustin married and now there is a Lord Dustin ?

Geez, I don't know.  I didn't even notice the discrepancy until yesterday.  Is there a Lord Dustin?  This might be a good one for the general forums as I don't have a clue.

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3 hours ago, SirArthur said:

I used the search tool wrong. The letter signed with Lady Dustin has brown ink and is from Ramsay Bolton, Lord of Winterfell, informing Asha that Moat Coalin has fallen to him. And the letter has signatures.

The (first) letter to Jon has Bolton's signature, styling himself Ramsay, Lord of Hornwood. The rest are marks and seals. And Jon himself thinks Lord Dustin sealed the letter.

 

questions:

- why is Jon thinking it is Lord Dustin's seal ?
- why is Ramsay so obsessed with Lord of Hornwood instead of Winterfell ?
- Did Theon write the first (and to an extend the third) letter ? 
- has Lady Dustin married and now there is a Lord Dustin ?

-One advantage of unreliable narrators is that any mistake overlooked by GRRM/Editors can be attributed to the narrator (Jon Snow in that case)

-At that point he was only Lord of Hornwood (the marriage to fArya was later)

-The first two letters are almost surely written by Dreadfort's maesters. The Pink Letter author(s) are not clear yet

-There is no mention of Lady Dustin marrying again (in any case naming a male heir would make more sense given her age)

Edited by Tucu

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