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Ran

[Pre-ADwD Spoilers] Asha - Spoilers for ADwD

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Benjen,

Balon was a false king, in Stannis's eyes. I'm not sure that he (or even Melisandre) would suppose that he actually has king's blood. Stannis seems to have accepted, OTOH, that Mance was a king among the wildlings, as they were never sworn to the Iron Throne.

Cybro,

I think it's pretty clear that given Torrhen's Square is lost, that the initial attackers against Deepwood are northerners under Bolton, and that the second lot of attackers are Stannis's men. There may be some northern clansmen and wildling with Stannis, but the trumpets clearly indicate that he has his southron knights and soldiers with him as well.

Any ideas as to when Torren's Square was lost by the Ironborn? We hear nothing of this in AFFC. Torren's Square and more importantly Moat Caillin falling to the Boltons should have at least been mentioned since they are stratigcally important in the Ironborn Vs Iron Thore/Bolton struggle.

urizen,

A number of possibilities come to mind. A lot of the men may have taken ship to join Euron once he was selected as king and promised tremendous wealth to his followers, for example, especially when Asha made it clear that she was in opposition to him and that King Euron was not particularly interested in the North (i.e., he wasn't going to be sending them any backup). Those who remain must be her crew of the Black Wind and some others who are loyal to her. It's funny, we all sort of assumed she'd just manage to keep all those people, but of course that doesn't make a lot of sense when Euron makes it plain as day that he thinks fighting for the North is a waste of time until he gets his dragons.

I guess that makes sense. Anyone important with Asha, besides Tristifer Botley and her crew?

He's planning to fight Bolton and Bolton's supporters. It's not exactly a black-and-white situation these days, where all northeners are hand-in-hand singing "Kumbaya". Some northerners like some other northerners but dislike others.

So the Northerner attacking DM are confirmed Bolton supporters then?

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urizen,

Any ideas as to when Torren's Square was lost by the Ironborn? We hear nothing of this in AFFC. Torren's Square and more importantly Moat Caillin falling to the Boltons should have at least been mentioned since they are stratigcally important in the Ironborn Vs Iron Thore/Bolton struggle.
As noted elsewhere, GRRM said this chapter was a late ADwD chapter, and would have been a late AFfC chapter if he had put it in there. I suspect this chapter takes place sometime around or somewhat after the end of AFfC, so I'd assume that the details of Moat Cailin's fall simply hadn't yet begun to be reported by the time AFfC closed.

So the Northerner attacking DM are confirmed Bolton supporters then?

I think it's pretty clear. The people first attacking are just plain northmen. The third group who jumps into the fight are using trumpets, which is a sign of Stannis's troops.

Oh, yeah, and elsewhere someone did say that GRRM confirmed after the reading that the third group was indeed Stannis's forces.

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Wow

Thaks for the summary!

So many questions.

Is there indication that the "trumpet" force attacks the other northerners, or that they simply are arriving on scene?

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Speaking of the fight and what happened to Asha, any word on whether Qarl the Maid survived it? I expect Asha might have kept an eye out for him in the fracas.

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A few counter points. :)

I don't believe there was 3 forces. We heard the trumpets from the very beginning, so it would be weird that the Boltons attacked Asha if they suspected that there was another force around (a force that wasn't hiding themselves either considering their trumpet blasting).

GRRM said that Stannis arrived on the scene at the end but he didn't say that there was 3 forces (people can correct me if I am wrong on this since I wasn't around for this question).

I don't believe that Torrhen's Square has fallen either. Instead Asha thinks about hearing word that Moat Cailin has fallen. She blames this on Euron as he has pulled a lot of forces out of the North. She thinks Dagmer will cause the Boltons a lot of trouble when they attack Torrhens Square.

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Oh-ho. That could change things quite a bit, then. It would probably just be Stannis then, never the Boltons ... hrm. That certainly works a bit better for the timeline, since it would surely put it more squarely within AFfC's time frame.

She could then be assuming it's the Boltons all along, I suppose, when in fact it's Stannis. They don't capture the five guys who try and bust out Lady Glover, I wonder? I suppose not, or otherwise they could have "questioned" them...

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Wow, so many questions!

As to the various forces involved:

You aren't really hit over the head as to who the two approching forces belong to--other than one group is Northerners and the other is implied to belonging to Stannis. When Stannis' group arrives at the end, you aren't told if they are working with the Northerners or not--it's all rather subtle.

As to Stannis, and the idea of would he even be willing to work with Asha and Theon:

IMHO, I think he would be fine working with Asha (as long as she watches her mouth and doesn't flaunt her wanton ways, lol). Even Lady Glover admits in this chapter that Asha treated her and her people with honor. I think Asha is someone that Stannis could respect enough to work with her towards a common goal. Theon is another story, obviously, but if they need a puppet king to help Asha dethrone Euron...well, maybe Stannis can just grit his teeth and do what it takes?

As to the number of men and ships available to Asha, and her departure from the Kingsmoot:

I'm fairly certain that it was only 200 men and 4 ships. If I understand correctly, she only has those trusted men who were willing and able to sneak away from the Kingmoot with her. Speaking of which, even though she had the foresight to hide her ships on the far side of the island, it is made clear that she only ran from Euron at the request of The Reader. At one point, Asha remembers talking to him before she left, and he bascially told her that she had to run because he couldn't bear to watch her killed. She left the Glover baby (or was it more than one child?) behind with him only because she was concerned that the baby couldn't survive another sea voyage so soon, btw.

As to Asha and Qarl's relationship:

At first glance, it seems to be about the sex. But as the chapter progresses, I'd say it goes a bit deeper than that. Whatever it is between them, I think she says they have been involved for years (maybe 6 years?). At one point during the battle, they fight back to back to protect each other. I'm not certain if we were told what happened to them ultimately, once they get pushed apart by the battle.

As to Asha's fighting skill:

She fought with dirk, ax and sword at different points (picking up a sword from somewhere once she left her own weapons behind in various opponents). I'd say she's a very good fighter. It's clear that the battle goes on for some time, so she must have been tired once the final opponent backed her into a tree. Then, sadly, her feet get tangled in the roots. And, btw, I can't remember if she had a helm--I'd assume so, but am not certain.

As to the Iron Born woman with Asha:

There is at least one woman warrior with the group, other than Asha. I can't remember her name, however. She tries to get Tris to join her in the woods when they stop, gets turned down, and picks someone else. When the attack starts, she runs right into the battle naked. Those Iron Born women are tough!

I also wanted to point out an interesting thing about the northerners. They used leaves and branches as primitive camo--very cool. I couldn't help but think of Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane Castle. Except this was The Wolf Wood comes to Deepwood Motte, I'd suppose. :thumbsup:

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A few counter points. :)

I don't believe there was 3 forces. We heard the trumpets from the very beginning, so it would be weird that the Boltons attacked Asha if they suspected that there was another force around (a force that wasn't hiding themselves either considering their trumpet blasting).

GRRM said that Stannis arrived on the scene at the end but he didn't say that there was 3 forces (people can correct me if I am wrong on this since I wasn't around for this question).

I don't believe that Torrhen's Square has fallen either. Instead Asha thinks about hearing word that Moat Cailin has fallen. She blames this on Euron as he has pulled a lot of forces out of the North. She thinks Dagmer will cause the Boltons a lot of trouble when they attack Torrhens Square.

Thank goodness someone else who heard the reading showed up! *hugs Pod*

I considered it three forces only because the group with the trumpets seemed to arrive at the battle in the woods well after the fighting started. But it's true that Asha also heard trumpets earlier, as she was leaving the castle. Even if the Northmen and Stannis's men are working together, Stannis' group seemed to have lagged well behind in the woods, and arrived later.

I'll take your word for it about Torrhen's square. Maybe I mixed up that and Moat Callin?

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Thanks, Regina. :)

Wonder if anyone else who was at the reading might show up. Be interesting to see if some more details of who the attackers were, when trumpets sounded, etc. could be pinned down.

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I don't believe that Torrhen's Square has fallen either. Instead Asha thinks about hearing word that Moat Cailin has fallen. She blames this on Euron as he has pulled a lot of forces out of the North. She thinks Dagmer will cause the Boltons a lot of trouble when they attack Torrhens Square.

I thought events had progressed perhaps a little too quickly with Torrhen's Square being the one to fall. But if it is in fact Moat Cailin that has fallen, then the other group of northmen at Deepwood should not be Bolton northmen at all (they are probably just northmen from the mountain clans or Mormonts even). Asha would have been a whole lot more anxious in the chapter if Torrhen's Square had just fallen, and her 200 men were all that were left to stop Bolton.

Asha can also have more barganing power if Dagmer still holds the Square. Stannis would most likely want to see the castle surrender quickly and bloodlessly with Bolton's forces now at the Moat. Perhaps Asha would be able to convince Dagmer to surrender, if Stannis were willing to give her Theon in the end. Also, on the map of the North, with Stannis at Deepwood and Bolton at the Moat, Torrhen's Square lies exactly between the two of them. Will this be the location of a major battle?

Edit: Also, I love the idea of these northern 'commandos'. Were they wearing the branches and leaves, or simply holding up the branches in front of them like they did in MacBeth?

Also, it is mentioned that along with Theon's skin, there was a letter. Was there any details on what the letter stated?

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I really wasn't planning on listening to this reading but when I was supposed to depart I found myself sitting down mesmirised. :P

A few other points.

There is a list of signatures (or a drawing of a giant in the case of an Umber) of Boltons supporters in the initial letter to Asha. Because I am horrible at remembering names I can't recall anyone else.

Asha says she would have liked to marry Qarl the Maid but he is the grandchild of a Thrall (what is the name of the people that work the land on the Iron Isles?) and unworthy of her.

Tris is the only Ironman to add his ships to hers when she left the Isles. Nearly everyone else left her. So basicly she is left with very few highborn Ironmen. She originally planned to openly rebel against Euron but the Reader convinced her that she wouldn't have the support.

The most interesting thing about the Theon revelation is what will happen to him. She needs to convince Stannis to release him now. Theon has a lot of baggage but needs must. It will be amusing to see Stannis get his teeth around letting Theon live. The Starks were rebels, so its doable. Also, Jon can't do much. Stannis can tell him that he had his chance to rule the North but he refused. He can't turn around now and demand Theon's head. That would be very hypocritical.

The problem for Asha is that she will have few men left. The battle in the "Reluctant Bride" chapter (IIRC) was a fight to the death battle. Qarl may have survived but it seems clear that very few would have. We didn't see him die though. Although Jughead makes a good point about Asha convincing Dagmar to surrender. That would be a fun conversation. :P

I believe that one of the men that attacks the fort initially (they try to sneak in to open the gates) is a Flint. Not sure what that suggests. I know a Flint was mentioned somewhere but I couldn't swear where. Asha does try to question the survivors but they lie to her (pretend they were just trying to free Lady Glover). I think it was the trumpets that alerted them to the lies?

The implication from the flaying is that he is still alive IMO. Its a lot scarier to flay a live person. If he was dead they may as well sent his head. She vows that she wouldn't be taken alive to be flayed.

And yes, GRRM said that this chapter will happen late in the book, after the last Victarion chapter in aFfC timewise. If Theon is a POV perhaps we'll just get 2 chapters. One showing his horrible state and another him been freed at the end of the book.

The problem with this is that unless he do something fairly momentous Theon wont get support from enough IB's since they see him as greenland bum
Asha's presence will help this. And the fact that Euron and Victarion have gone off. They have a chance to raise support. The interesting thing is that IIRC, Asha mentioned that Euron has gone east and Victarion has followed him. Not the other way round. Anyone else remember this? Of course, one must note that not everything Asha hears may be true.

Asha brings back Lady Glover to DM. Probably because she thinks she could get the people there to obey her more easily that way. She left the younger kid back in the Iron Isles because it was too young to travel so much (and presumably also because they made better hostages away from DM).

Asha isn't dead. Otherwise she wouldn't be dreaming of Stannis arriving on the scene. :)

Euron has done some clever things. Erik Anvilbreaker opposed him at the Kingsmoot but leaving him in control of the IronIsles when he left and marrying her to Asha has ensured his loyalty. Aeron is missing btw and Tris thinks him dead.

The fact that GRRM mentioned that the chapter was originally intended for AFFC might support the theory that Jorah is the New POV.

I don't see why? Or is this because of the 19 chapter comment a long time ago?

I also wanted to point out an interesting thing about the northerners. They used leaves and branches as primitive camo--very cool.

Oh yes, this is a good point. Asha thinks of how the forest was moving. :)

Oh and Asha kicks ass when it comes to fighting. :P

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I believe that one of the men that attacks the fort initially (they try to sneak in to open the gates) is a Flint. Not sure what that suggests. I know a Flint was mentioned somewhere but I couldn't swear where.

The only Flint I can vaguely remember hearing about is one of Ned Stark's female ancestors being one of them - so that is probably in one of Bran's chapters in aFfC. I am fairly certain she was a Flint, it may have been one of the other Northern clans.

Aratan

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I might as well add that it looks like GRRM has a good bit left to write. :P He is still suggesting that he might add other POVs from aFfC into aDwD but it still depends on how big aDwD will be without these chapters. Since he isn't sure as of now, he clearly has a good few chapters to write. He is currently on the prologue. He is apparently finding it difficult to get right and has made several attempts at it already.

Parris did say that the renovations are done now and they just have to move back in everything. So things are better on that front. She also said that he is anxious to get back into aDwD when they return from Comicon but I know some people will never believe those declarations. :)

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:grouphug: *hugs Pod again*

Pod--My memory of everything you posted jives with yours, except maybe the title of the chapter. I was thinking it was something like The Wayward Bride? And I have no memory of the part where she thinks that Euron went east and then Victarion followed him--I missed that completely.

note to self: bring a recording device to future readings!

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Speaking of the fight and what happened to Asha, any word on whether Qarl the Maid survived it? I expect Asha might have kept an eye out for him in the fracas.

She was seperated from all of her men. I think it safe to assume he is dead. Everyone but Asha dies apparently.

I also do not believe there were three forces.

I do not, however, believe that the chapter is over when he stops reading. I believe that, before she passes out, she will be greeted by her brother. All the lead up seems to point to this. I do not have any inside info to this, it ust seems logical with all the references to Theon being her only hope throughout the chapter.

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I do not have any inside info to this, it ust seems logical with all the references to Theon being her only hope throughout the chapter.

Heh. This is interesting. I had some debates with Stego about plausible theories but i'm more inclined to agree with this. :P I'm not sure would this go well with the timeline but if Theon is going to make a return and he isn't released by this stage, then he will only have a very small role, so you might wonder what's the point? His reappearance would tie her chapter nicely together (and there is a precedent of GRRM excluding the end of a chapter before when he was doing a reading).

OTOH, would Stannis allow Theon such freedom without Asha convincing him of his use?

And I have no memory of the part where she thinks that Euron went east and then Victarion followed him--I missed that completely.

I always wonder could I just make this stuff up. ;) IMO it was a oneliner stuck in the middle of the chapter but I couldn't say for sure.

If could be the Wayward Bride also. Definitely something like that.

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Pod,

There is a list of signatures (or a drawing of a giant in the case of an Umber) of Boltons supporters in the initial letter to Asha.
Ryswell must be one. Cersei says the Umbers, Ryswells, and several other northern lords have rallied to Bolton. IIRC, from other chapters I think we can take it that the Mormonts have not rallied to either side just yet, and were dubious of joining Stannis. The Karstarks were looking to be going Stannis's way. The Manderlys were professing loyalty to the Iron Throne, but if this is post "The Reaver" then it's not impossible they've switched sides from the last time Cersei/Jaime knew of their professed loyalty. We've got various candidate houses remaining -- Lockes, Dustins, Flints of Widow's Watch, Flints of Flint's Finger, and so on...

Not sure what that suggests. I know a Flint was mentioned somewhere but I couldn't swear where.

There are a number of Flint houses, but I suspect this means they are the mountain Flints, who were among the mountain clans Jon says might well support Stannis. So this does indeed fit pretty well, if it's Stannis who's coming to attack. I gather from all this that Asha thinks it's Boltons troops coming, and has no clue that Stannis has come down, which is exactly what Jon said would happen if Stannis used his suggested tactic.

Aeron is missing btw...
Interesting...

Stego,

I do not, however, believe that the chapter is over when he stops reading. I believe that, before she passes out, she will be greeted by her brother.

I don't think this is possible. For this to work, Theon has to somehow get busted out of the Dreadfort before Asha recieves the "piece of prince" letter (? I'm assuming it just arrived, and if that's the case, a raven travels a lot faster than a flayed prince), then has to hook up with Stannis before he takes off for Deepwood Motte...

OTOH, it is appealing to have Theon out, somehow, just so you can get him tied in and not have to figure out how to spring him free before the book ends... But how it'd happen, I have no clue. Can't be Stannis. The Manderlys, perhaps, changing sides (as some have expected them to do) and joining Stannis with Davos at their side? Though why he'd think to go and attack the Dreadfort to free Theon Greyjoy is beyond me...

Doesn't explain the Flint, though, unless maybe he's a Flint of Widow's Watch and it suggests that they've joined Stannis's side...

I'm dubious, timeline wise.

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I also do not believe there were three forces.

Even if Stannis and the Northmen were working together all along, his forces did arrive significantly later to the battle in the woods, didn't they? Because that's the only reason I considered them a third, separate group...

Or am I just losing my mind entirely? :huh: That's always possible after a con. :P

I do not, however, believe that the chapter is over when he stops reading. I believe that, before she passes out, she will be greeted by her brother. All the lead up seems to point to this. I do not have any inside info to this, it ust seems logical with all the references to Theon being her only hope throughout the chapter.

I would have thought that anything along those lines would be saved for the start of another chapter? After all, the ending as it stands now has that evil cliffhanger thing going for it... ;)

Has George added big revelations on to the end of an already read chapter before? I haven't been to enough readings to have any experience comparing various edits of a chapter as it changes over time.

I always wonder could I just make this stuff up. ;) IMO it was a oneliner stuck in the middle of the chapter but I couldn't say for sure.

No, I don't think you're making things up! I'm just saying I missed that part completely. Assuming your are right, do you think Euron really went East, or that Asha has just been misinformed? The East could be getting crowded!

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Perhaps Asha thought that Euron went south, and Victarion with him, instead? That would make sense.

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-The trumpets sounded at the beginning of the battle. There is only one invading force.

-Theon was never flayed. He was a hostage, but a friendly one, at the Dreadfort. (As he was at Winterfell.)

-Asha references the skin she got (presumably Theons, but I heartily doubt it.) a long time ago, and recalls burning it when it happenned. This isn't real-time, it's a distant recollection.

-Theon sees his chance with Stannis, and Stannis could use a navy.

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