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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] The Sacrifice

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Some hope for Stannis, yes!! I was beginning to think they'd all die there in the snow.

If he does align himself with the Braavosi bank then it's going to take a long time until they get a force over to support him, so til then he'll still need to rely on what he currently has, but he should now be able to exterminate the threat that the traitor Karstark presented. If they do kill Arnolf, then the Karstark men with him will likely agree to fight for Alys.

I can't wait to see how this plays out... please let there be another Asha chapter later in this book!

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Maybe this is the Economic Crisis talking, but I find the idea of a banker riding alone through the snow a bit silly. To start off with, I find the idea of a big, influencing bank already pretty "fantastic". In real history, banks were not developed before Renaissance era, which Westeros clearly has not reached yet.

Well, the earliest known state deposit bank, Banco di San Giorgio (Bank of St. George), was founded in 1407 at Genova, Italy (my hometown :thumbsup: ). Since the proper "Renaissance era" started almost 90 years after, at the end of Middle Age (at least politically speaking), I think that it isn't so strange to have a bank in Braavos...

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wow great ending to this chapter, this book seemed to be more about theon..I love Jon Snow but Theon's chapters have been the best reads for me. I love the end with Theon smiling. I am trying to imagine Alfie an old toothless theon and I hope he can pull it off. I think he can as he does a good job with the character now. I am rooting for Stannis. I know he's not going to be a King but I do NOT want him to die. He's the only baratheon left (besides the bastards Gendry and Edric). Anywho, I don't want to speculate because everybody I root for dies. or "dies".

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This was my favorite ending to any of the chapters so far (Besides Dany riding Drogon). I'm so glad Theon got away from that bastard alive. Hopefully w'ell be able to see some revenge on the Boltons soon.

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In real history, banks were not developed before Renaissance era, which Westeros clearly has not reached yet.

No, but Braavos apparently has.

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Shocking ending.

I'm thinking maybe they won't reveal the true identities of Jeyne and Theon to make the claim of traitors more believable. [They'd be more trusting of Arya?]

I'm in no way a Greyjoy fan but I'm happy that Asha and Theon were reunited. I personally have a hard time finding him completely redeemable but I guess it's impossible not to root for his survival after everything he's gone through.

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I dont understand why this chapter was called The Sacrifice. A sacrifice happened, but usually the PoV chapter name refers to the PoV themself. Like Asha was The Kings Prize, makes sense, but she simply wasnt any kind of sacrifice.

I think the named PoVs are stupid anyway TBH. Would have preferred they just do Asha etc. Reek/Theon was fine, since he really did change his name, but the rest were annoying. Especially Victarion, since he goes back and forth seemingly at random.

The Sacrifice. It sets up Theon being the Sacrifice. He is only surviving Balon's son, heir to the Seastone Chair. Sons come before brothers for inheritance. He has King's blood. He's a better sacrifice than Asha. Stannis can't forgive him for murdering the Miller's boys. He has to pay for his crimes. Stannis won't forgive him his sin. He must burn.

Bumping up this old thread b/c I am wondering why this Asha chapter is called the Sacrifice? In an interview recently GRRM indicted he puts a lot of thought into chapter titles when it is not the name of the character (this is in relation to the Ser Barristan spoiler chapters and I don't want to go any further than that for those who don't read them). So it got me to wondering. She's not the sacrifice and is it just that she is thinking she is going to be? That does not seem a good enough reason to name the chapter that though... Or is the fact that Theon comes in at the very end of the chapter the reason it is called that? But it is not his POV so it still does not really fit. It just seems an odd departure from his chapter naming. Thoughts?

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I don't see the problen with the tittle "Sacrifice".

Snowed under, Stannis' host situation is desperate. Some are willing to offer a sacrifice to the Red God and find four troopers apt to the task. We are shown some characters who seem to enjoy burning people.

At least we know who were making all that noise around WF. Fine tactics, fraying their nerves till they start killing one another.

Last time we've heard from Theon, Freys and Manderleys were about to be sent to take on Stannis. Weren't they sent, after the scape, or were they? If the former, where are they? I was eager to know of Freys beeing smashed between Umbers, Manderleys and clansmen.

Has Bolton thought better?, or has Mace done him amongst the confusion? Nobody cares bout a bard, and his only chance after beeing discovered was to take one side.

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The title Sacrifice is perfect, but the get nothing from the sacrifice. It is pointless worshiping R'hollor without a priest, only a priest knows how to entice and speak to the Lord of Light. Lighting a giant fire and burning men is pointless, R'hollor doesn't respond to that.

The Frey's and Manderly's are going to run into the Karstark sitting in front of Winterfell, but that Karstark is supposed to turn on Stannis.

When the envoy from the Iron Bank arrives he brings Theon and "Arya". That concerns me because Theon is much more valuable than Asha, Theon will turn all of the North to Stannis and when he reveals the truth of the Boltons, Stannis can destroy them with him. Asha is now a possible sacrifice, I would assume GRRM would rather give Asha to the fire than Theon.

The bastard has mance? Possible, hopefully. i expect to read a early chapter from winterfell that displays what is occuring in WoW. If the bastards letter is true, Stannis died, and somehow Reek and Arya escaped, but I doubt Stannis is dead, he has to sit the Iron Throne before his death. He is Iron, it is right the throne belongs to him.

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No problem with the title 'Sacrifice' either. The chapter titles are showing what the POV character seems himself/herself as. Asha thought she was gonna be the one sacrificed, hence during most of her time as POV in this chapter, she sees herself as 'the sacrifice'. This is a nice device for us to get inside her mind at that time.

That Braavosi banker is indeed a badass dude. He gets things done: to Deepwood Motte, and back, straight to Stannis' camp (almost - Winterfell first), not wasting much time. And all this under a raging snow storm. So either there is more to him than meets the eyes (maybe he is also a FM?), or GRRM needed to help Stannis a bit more urgently. Anyway, it's great. Now we can see things being more balanced between Stannis and Roose, and if I was Roose and knew all this, I'd start to feel the pressure.

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Somewhere I read this theory:Stannis will try to burn Theon but somehow Theon will escape,and by ecaping getting burned Theon is Azor Ahai Reborn.Born amidst smoke and salt

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i just want the northmen to get their reveng !! why cant they just have it ? why george :crying: ?? hmmmmff I would like to see wayman mandrley killing hosteen frey with a chicken bone :drool:


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Sometimes I think the theme of the whole series is "sacrifice".

Stannis actually has one of the most important lines in it: sacrifice is never easy, or it is no true sacrifice.

From there, it's only a short step to: sacrificing something that is not yours to give, is also no true sacrifice.

And from there, only another short step: another person's life is theirs to give, not yours. Although a condemned criminal's life could be said to be no longer one's own, sentenced to death by law. Thus, Theon, under sentence of death for multiple crimes of treachery, becomes an acceptable "sacrifice" on behalf of those to whom his execution belongs (i.e. The North, against whom he committed his crimes - though not necessarily Stannis unless he identifies himself with the Northern cause): whereas Asha, merely taken as a "prisoner of war", is not: she swore no oaths to the North, and thus has broken none, and indeed is now trying to find a decent, sensible way out of the mess her father got the Iron Islands into.

Other important "sacrifices" going on, that are not yet being recognised as such:

- The older Northern Clansmen. They already know what winter means, especially in time of famine: death. Many of them do not expect to survive the winter. One of them (I think it's either a Flint or a Wull) comes out with the right attitude: he expects to die, and better to die fighting for something he can believe in, than alone of cold in the snow. If they win their battle and survive, they will eat Bolton food: if they fail, they are no longer a burden on their clans that would need to be fed through the winter, and would still die. We hear more about their culture in other sentences: if there was a winter famine, it was the custom for older people who would be a burden on the tribe, to "go out hunting" and die in the snow, and never be seen again (like our very own Captain Oates in the Antarctic), so that the food and warmth left to the tribe would be there for its future - the younger generation, rather than wasted on the old who would die even *with* the food and warmth. (Of course, Oates' own sacrifice failed - Scott and his men died 11 miles short of the cache of food and fuel that would have saved them - but it was worth a try.)

- The Umber Greybeards, under Hother. In reality, they are Stark loyalists through and through. But the Umber lands were not able to gather in their last harvest, for shortage of manpower: there will be a famine in the Umber lands. And guess what, ALL the youngsters - the ones left behind to live off what the Umbers could store - are with Mors, the loyalist. The Umbers have put their clan's entire future on the side of the Starks, and against the Boltons: it is the old greybeards - the ones who would, like the mountain clansmen, have "gone out hunting and never come back" in this winter, so that their children could eat - that have gone over to the Boltons. Too old to fight, too short-sighted to do good guard duty, all they can do for the Boltons is eat their food... which serves only to help the anti-Bolton forces by running them out of food. Even if Stannis were not there, the Umber future would survive in Umber lands, and in a couple of years, all of Bolton's Umbers would be dead, and all of the Loyalist Umbers would be grown men ready to sire children of their own and keep the future going. Hother Umber, once considered of sufficient intelligence to be sent to Oldtown to study as a maester, is certainly smart enough to be aware of this. The Umber greybeards are turning their "traditional winter sacrifice of the old" - the going out hunting and never coming back - to the downfall of their enemies. Very smart indeed.

- Also of note: Greatjon Umber is of no real value as a hostage to the south. If he dies, leadership passes to his children. The only of-age one (Smalljon) was slain at the Red Wedding, but he has other under-age children back at Last Hearth. And Mors, with no children of his own to try and usurp the leader's position, makes a safe guardian of the interests of the Greatjon's children. Therefore, Greatjon Umber is in fact as "expendable" as Hother's greybeards, and of no value as a hostage in the South: if he dies, the new Umber leaders will be free, and ready to take over from their regent when they grow up. The South, not accustomed to serious winters, does not recognise this. Smalljon, as a younger man, would have been the better hostage, but they killed him.

- Wyman Manderly is making *himself* a sacrifice in a different kind of way. Having won back his son Wylis, with the faked execution of Davos, he antagonises the Boltons and Freys enough that they nearly come to blows. His own throat is nearly cut, and he's saved only by the fact that the dagger failed to cut deep enough through the rolls of fat on his double chin... not quite what he planned, but it serves only to reinforce what he DID plan: annoying them enough that Roose Bolton is forced to send out both the Manderlys and Freys, separately, to fight Stannis. He himself is not fit to march, so must be kept behind as a hostage... BUT, for the same reasons as above, Wyman Manderly himself is of no value as a hostage: if he dies, leadership passes to his son Wylis... who is now FREE, outside the castle with all the Manderly forces, and able to turn on the Freys or even defect to Stannis, knowing that he leaves behind nothing that is of any value to the Boltons. In effect, Wyman Manderly is making a "sacrifice" of himself to strip the Boltons of several thousands of their best men, and passing leadership onto his son. I expect Wylis to defect, and Wyman to die, and Wylis to know exactly what Wyman's plans were.

Roose probably half expects this. Even if not recognising that Wyman Manderly is putting himself out to be sacrificed, he certainly will be expecting the Manderly and Frey men to turn on each other, and the survivors to either be killed or imprisoned by Stannis, or defect to him - if imprisoned, they will defect anyway because their loyalty was uncertain at the best of times (even if he thinks Wylis will remain loyal because of his father being held hostage - which is what I think will not be the case.) This is why I think Ramsay has been sent out, among the Manderly men, to try and defect with them - Stannis does not know Ramsay, so will not realise that he's now harbouring the greatest traitor in the North.

BUT. The one thing that nobody expected. If the trees start talking back to Theon, Stannis may spare Theon (who has already pointed out "You do not know him" and got the reply "No more than he knows me" - Ramsay no more knows what Stannis looks like, than vice versa). And if Theon is spared for now... he is someone who DOES know Ramsay and, if Ramsay tries to defect with the Manderly men, may be able to uncover the deception and in turn save Stannis from Ramsay's attempt at treachery.

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The end of this chapter nailed Theon's redemption for me. I was struggling against it so much with him as Reek (then the various other names through the book). I'm team Theon now. Though, I hope Theon is not so short-lived.

Amazing how GRRM redeems characters.

This.

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Sometimes I think the theme of the whole series is "sacrifice".

Stannis actually has one of the most important lines in it: sacrifice is never easy, or it is no true sacrifice.

From there, it's only a short step to: sacrificing something that is not yours to give, is also no true sacrifice.

And from there, only another short step: another person's life is theirs to give, not yours. Although a condemned criminal's life could be said to be no longer one's own, sentenced to death by law. Thus, Theon, under sentence of death for multiple crimes of treachery, becomes an acceptable "sacrifice" on behalf of those to whom his execution belongs (i.e. The North, against whom he committed his crimes - though not necessarily Stannis unless he identifies himself with the Northern cause): whereas Asha, merely taken as a "prisoner of war", is not: she swore no oaths to the North, and thus has broken none, and indeed is now trying to find a decent, sensible way out of the mess her father got the Iron Islands into.

Other important "sacrifices" going on, that are not yet being recognised as such:

- The older Northern Clansmen. They already know what winter means, especially in time of famine: death. Many of them do not expect to survive the winter. One of them (I think it's either a Flint or a Wull) comes out with the right attitude: he expects to die, and better to die fighting for something he can believe in, than alone of cold in the snow. If they win their battle and survive, they will eat Bolton food: if they fail, they are no longer a burden on their clans that would need to be fed through the winter, and would still die. We hear more about their culture in other sentences: if there was a winter famine, it was the custom for older people who would be a burden on the tribe, to "go out hunting" and die in the snow, and never be seen again (like our very own Captain Oates in the Antarctic), so that the food and warmth left to the tribe would be there for its future - the younger generation, rather than wasted on the old who would die even *with* the food and warmth. (Of course, Oates' own sacrifice failed - Scott and his men died 11 miles short of the cache of food and fuel that would have saved them - but it was worth a try.)

- The Umber Greybeards, under Hother. In reality, they are Stark loyalists through and through. But the Umber lands were not able to gather in their last harvest, for shortage of manpower: there will be a famine in the Umber lands. And guess what, ALL the youngsters - the ones left behind to live off what the Umbers could store - are with Mors, the loyalist. The Umbers have put their clan's entire future on the side of the Starks, and against the Boltons: it is the old greybeards - the ones who would, like the mountain clansmen, have "gone out hunting and never come back" in this winter, so that their children could eat - that have gone over to the Boltons. Too old to fight, too short-sighted to do good guard duty, all they can do for the Boltons is eat their food... which serves only to help the anti-Bolton forces by running them out of food. Even if Stannis were not there, the Umber future would survive in Umber lands, and in a couple of years, all of Bolton's Umbers would be dead, and all of the Loyalist Umbers would be grown men ready to sire children of their own and keep the future going. Hother Umber, once considered of sufficient intelligence to be sent to Oldtown to study as a maester, is certainly smart enough to be aware of this. The Umber greybeards are turning their "traditional winter sacrifice of the old" - the going out hunting and never coming back - to the downfall of their enemies. Very smart indeed.

- Also of note: Greatjon Umber is of no real value as a hostage to the south. If he dies, leadership passes to his children. The only of-age one (Smalljon) was slain at the Red Wedding, but he has other under-age children back at Last Hearth. And Mors, with no children of his own to try and usurp the leader's position, makes a safe guardian of the interests of the Greatjon's children. Therefore, Greatjon Umber is in fact as "expendable" as Hother's greybeards, and of no value as a hostage in the South: if he dies, the new Umber leaders will be free, and ready to take over from their regent when they grow up. The South, not accustomed to serious winters, does not recognise this. Smalljon, as a younger man, would have been the better hostage, but they killed him.

- Wyman Manderly is making *himself* a sacrifice in a different kind of way. Having won back his son Wylis, with the faked execution of Davos, he antagonises the Boltons and Freys enough that they nearly come to blows. His own throat is nearly cut, and he's saved only by the fact that the dagger failed to cut deep enough through the rolls of fat on his double chin... not quite what he planned, but it serves only to reinforce what he DID plan: annoying them enough that Roose Bolton is forced to send out both the Manderlys and Freys, separately, to fight Stannis. He himself is not fit to march, so must be kept behind as a hostage... BUT, for the same reasons as above, Wyman Manderly himself is of no value as a hostage: if he dies, leadership passes to his son Wylis... who is now FREE, outside the castle with all the Manderly forces, and able to turn on the Freys or even defect to Stannis, knowing that he leaves behind nothing that is of any value to the Boltons. In effect, Wyman Manderly is making a "sacrifice" of himself to strip the Boltons of several thousands of their best men, and passing leadership onto his son. I expect Wylis to defect, and Wyman to die, and Wylis to know exactly what Wyman's plans were.

Roose probably half expects this. Even if not recognising that Wyman Manderly is putting himself out to be sacrificed, he certainly will be expecting the Manderly and Frey men to turn on each other, and the survivors to either be killed or imprisoned by Stannis, or defect to him - if imprisoned, they will defect anyway because their loyalty was uncertain at the best of times (even if he thinks Wylis will remain loyal because of his father being held hostage - which is what I think will not be the case.) This is why I think Ramsay has been sent out, among the Manderly men, to try and defect with them - Stannis does not know Ramsay, so will not realise that he's now harbouring the greatest traitor in the North.

BUT. The one thing that nobody expected. If the trees start talking back to Theon, Stannis may spare Theon (who has already pointed out "You do not know him" and got the reply "No more than he knows me" - Ramsay no more knows what Stannis looks like, than vice versa). And if Theon is spared for now... he is someone who DOES know Ramsay and, if Ramsay tries to defect with the Manderly men, may be able to uncover the deception and in turn save Stannis from Ramsay's attempt at treachery.

No one else noticed, but this is an awesome, awesome post. I've never considered the "sacrifice" the older generations make in the harsher lands of the north, compared to southern elders who seem to rule forever (and keep their power close, creating chaos when they die).

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