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About Tagganaro

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    I know SUN TZU hrurrr jizz everywhre.

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  1. Tagganaro

    The Hooded Man is Torren Liddle.

    What is so confusing to me is that I've always viewed the "ploy" as Mance wanting to live out his Bael the Bard fantasy- disguising himself as a singer with spearwives as washerwomen to infiltrate a castle and steal the Lord of Winterfell's daughter (i.e. "Arya"). But that would mean he never thought the girl he was supposed to rescue at Long Lake actually was Arya. That doesn't really make sense though since we see Mel genuinely believes the girl at Long Lake is Arya, especially as she's trying to win Jon's trust so desperately she wouldn't lie about it. So yeah, I'm just as confused as anybody. It's possible his "ploy" doesn't have anything to do with rescuing "Arya" and maybe just relates to the crypts of Winterfell which he shows a healthy interest in through the spearwives interrogating Theon about it. But that again raises the question of why spearwives would be needed to "infiltrate" Winterfell when at the time he left Castle Black Winterfell was an abandoned mess of ruins full of squatters. Yes, the clan lords behavior in particular is very suspicious. They seem to show no interest in a wildling apocalypse scenario but show up to bring wet nurses to help with the babies at the Wall and witness a wedding between Alys and Sigorn? I'm not buying that at all. Val is such a suspicious character- she is definitely hinted at as being much much more than she appears to be. I know there was a thread a while back about Val being some kind of priestess or religious leader of the wildlings. Can't seem to recall what the title of it was. Lets not forget that Val was somehow able to locate Tormund on her own in the dead of winter on a half-blind horse without even being bothered by the Others who were picking off strays from Tormund's band whenever they got the chance. She also said something to the effect the North holds no ghosts for me which is an interesting turn of phrase as it relates to the Others and wights. Finally lets not forget the description Jon gives of her which seems intentionally designed to be reminiscent of the Night's Queen who controlled the Night's King.
  2. Tagganaro

    The Hooded Man is Torren Liddle.

    Yes it's very clear that Jon sends Mance to Long Lake to rescue "Arya" and that's all Jon considered Mance doing. This is made clearer after the fact when Alys Karstark shows up and Jon wonders several times where Mance is and what he's doing. What interests me about all this is Mance mentioning "having a certain ploy in mind" that involves spearwives directly in front of Jon...yet we get absolutely no follow-up from Jon on this and then after the fact Jon never even considers Mance mentioning this ploy. Mance mentions that the spearwives will help him gain "Arya's" trust but that does not explain the "certain ploy" aspect of Mance's plan, which Mance clearly differentiates from his mission to rescue Arya at Long Lake. Knowing Mance and his obsession with Bael the Bard and how he shows up as Abel replaying that scenario using the spearwives as cover, it may be safe to assume that his "ploy" always involved disguising himself as a singer and infiltrating a castle. But that leaves just as many questions...Was Mance intending to go to Barrowton and then met up with Umber or another Northerner who told him the wedding had been moved to Winterfell? If so what was the point of infiltrating the castle and needing the spearwives in the first place, since Mance would have no reason to suspect that "Arya" would be there and not at Long Lake? And if that wasn't the case what was Mance intending to do? Presumably he wouldn't need the spearwives to infiltrate Winterfell if there was no wedding there since Winterfell was an abandoned mess full of squatters before the Boltons went back there. So many questions about that.
  3. Tagganaro

    Jon Snow's death

    I think if we're getting technical Winterfell is not Roose Bolton's household- if anything it is Ramsay's although it really isn't since his claim runs through "Arya" who is a fake. I think it is also questionable whether guest right extends to a host's employees. Finally I'd question whether guest right is really even invoked if Roose/Ramsay aren't really the ones providing the food. I'm not sure if this stands for most of the time in Winterfell, but for at least the "Frey Pie" feast wasn't it stated that Manderley brought and provided the food? I'm pretty sure that wouldn't invoke guest right since it's all about the "host" offering bread/beverages etc.
  4. Tagganaro

    Jon Snow's death

    Expectations vs reality right? The reality is that if Mance had stuck to what Jon ordered him to do, he would have simply helped Alys Karstark get to the Wall quicker. I don't think this absolves Jon of responsibility entirely, but it does limit his portion of blame. Jon's thoughts afterwards confirm that he was expecting Mance to return with the "grey girl on the dying horse" as he wonders what Mance is up to. As for Jon forgiving Mance, sure you could argue it could be considered a betrayal. But two things- First, that was kind of taken out of Jon's hands by Stannis/Mel, who usurped that authority by "burning Mance" for show. Sure, Jon probably could have killed Mance on the spot once he revealed himself, but we should also remember that Jon assumed Mance was dead and that Jon himself killed him. Second, and more importantly, we see Jon struggle with the practicality of killing Mance when he tries to get Stannis to spare him. Jon considers all the terrible things Mance has done, but still sees him as useful to the NW (which I'd argue Jon is 100% correct about). I agree with this, again assuming that Ramsay actually wrote the letter. By who? We see that Marsh considers it a betrayal, but Marsh is an established racist who has had his views hardened by his own failures at the Bridge of Skulls and the injuries he sustained there. But we also see that perhaps no less than the Old Bear would not consider it much of a betrayal, as he has similar thoughts about this after the Fist of the First Men. I'd like to think anyone who was at the Fist of the First Men would agree with Jon, and we as readers I would think mostly agree with Jon. Does Jon actually think he's breaking his vows? I think his exact thought is "if I am forswearing my vows." Jon is someone who acts for any good, whether it is greater or smaller. As we see when "Arya" turns out to be Alys karstark, Jon is not about to leave anyone to suffer when he can help them. Jon sent Mance to retrieve a girl on a dying horse fleeing a presumably bad marriage...knowing Jon he is not about to let that horse die and the girl suffer when he can help them, especially if he thinks that girl is his beloved sister but I think actually regardless Jon would act similarly. I would not say Marsh and co. had equally valid priorities- they are largely looking to save their own skin and ignoring the apocalyptic threat that Jon and us readers know is coming down on them. Jon is consumed by the "bigger threat", which he began to learn from Mormont and Qhorin Halfhand and was solidified by his trip to the weirwood grove. But Jon is also a fundamentally good person who wants to help people wherever he can. Jon had basically no options if you consider his reasoning correct that leaving the wildlings to die would be disastrous not only from a humanitarian standpoint but a practical one (adding to the army of the dead while the Wall doesn't have enough defenders to begin with). I'd say Jon is 100% correct here as well, while Marsh is written to be close-minded for a reason.
  5. Tagganaro

    Night's Watch vows and the truth of history.

    Really interesting stuff between this post and @The Fattest Leech. More Jon/Waymar comparisons: Here is the description of Waymar in the prologue in AGOT: Here is how Jon is described in Bran 1 AGOT:
  6. Tagganaro

    Victarion hand and fireworms

    This is interesting. I've always wondered what kind of "magic" was at play with Vic's burned hand. I think it's a possibility for sure. I know there is some theorizing that Vic died in that chapter as the POV switches to omniscient while Moqorro heals the hand. It is certainly an interesting theory, I am not sure if we get any other POVs that suddenly switch like that. And then you could read Moqorro's "your death is with us now" more literally, as Vic is about to die right that instant and Moqorro is about to resurrect him. As to the OP, my only issue with it is that I've always liked the idea of the "glory" Moqorro mentions being Vic getting Quentyned, i.e. roasted by a dragon. It sort of fits really well with Vic being dumb and comedic and having these misunderstandings of what words and phrases mean like "I will sail the Dothraki sea" and others. But to to the OP's point, Vic being burned from the inside out due to the fireworms is almost equally as tragic and again, maybe that would make Moqorro's "your death is with us now, my lord. Give me your hand." make perfect sense as Moqorro is literally about to place a time-bomb in Vic's hand. I definitely think that the "glory" that awaits Vic is of the tragicomedic variety and not actual glory.
  7. Yeah, this continues to be my issue with Quentyn. I did actually enjoy his chapters for the most part, but it's so pointless. Even assuming that it leads to Dorne turning against Dany or Mellario and causes a whole series of events, it could have just as easily happened off-page. I've said in this thread before, but you've already established everything you need to establish in Arriane's chapters- that Quentyn is on a mission to Dany to try and get her to marry him. Then you can just pick up right where you do anyway in Dany's chapters when Quentyn first shows up. There is no need for a POV and multiple chapters here- if you really think the dragon burning Quentyn is such a cool moment and needs to be on the page then make him a prologue or epilogue. And Vic is one of my favorite POVs, he's hilarious and bad-ass and the perfect mix of awful irredeemable villain and very slightly sympathetic but it's another POV that is entirely unnecessary to me. And I get that we're only talking about a few chapters for each POV, but these chapters add up- in light of all the issues finishing ADWD and not even being able to include the climactic fight the book seems to want to build up to, I can't seriously defend the inclusion of multiple POVs for these characters, when GRRM needed to be putting in serious work in Winterfell and Mereen to get to where he needed to be.
  8. Well option 1 is a little less straight forward than it would seem, because "Ramsay" is demanding Reek and "Arya", two hostages that Jon doesn't have. And I guess if you run with the idea that Stannis is the author, depending on when he wrote the PL he would know that Jon doesn't have Reek and Arya, which would make him more likely to pick option 2. My issue still continues to be that it is risky from Stannis's perspective- he risks antagonizing Jon for really no good reason if Jon was to discover this deception. Plus, by including his wife and child in there he risks the admittedly extremely miniscule chance of endangering them by including them in the letter. Plus, even more glaringly he risk endangering them by writing the letter itself, which puts them in a precarious position as if Stannis is believed dead people at the Wall will want to get in good with the Boltons by giving up Selyse and Shireen. Now that I really think about it, this may eliminate Stannis as a potential author. He would not be willing to endanger his family like that for some deception that doesn't even net him that much benefit. I will continue to beat this Mance drum . Not only is he a total badass but we know he's also a plotter who is extremely motivated to, well, plot. He is stuck under the thumb of Mel/Stannis through Val and what he thinks is Monster, he is a king presumed dead without an army (that conveniently Jon is planning on taking right to him). We know that Mance requested the spearwives for a "certain ploy" that was separate from the Arya rescue mission. We know that Mance (or at least we can assume) never even went to Longlake to pick up what turned out to be Alys Karstark. We know that Mance is obssessed with Bael the Bard and is replaying it here with his Abel nickname. And we know that Mance is asking a ton of questions about the crypts. There is also reason to believe that Mance may be aware that "Arya" is a fake- remember he took "passing note" of all the Stark children at Robert's feast. And again, we know that Mance likes to needle Jon by using obvious language in front of him (when he was disguised as Rattleshirt, he offered to sing for Jon as long as he didn't have to wear his cloak). I find it really interesting that the letter repeats the same exact language Mance initially told to Jon ("a cage for all the world/North to see") for why he was "burned." And the black crow language is certainly just as provocative.
  9. I just disagree with the premise that the letter was written to lure Jon away from the Wall. As you said, Jon's actions were "irresponsible" and anybody who knows him would not expect that reaction. And anyone who doesn't know him likewise would have no reason to expect that reaction. I think the letter is purposefully provocative but to what end- I'm not sure. That's where all the speculation comes in. It's not just one girl and one man though. It's two innocent children (one a baby) as well. And then you factor in that Jon does not actually have the hostages demanded by the apparent maniac threatening to do all sorts of horrible things...there is no set reaction here that makes perfect sense. Jon can't deliver on Ramsay's demands, and Ramsay is not so dumb as to think that threatening to skin people and then demanding innocent children from Jon would actually result in Jon handing them over. Ramsay (or whoever wrote the letter) has every reason to expect non-cooperation here. I'd emphasize the quote that "I can only hope to win the north by battle" as meaning to defeat the Boltons. I get your point, but Jon is not necessary once the Boltons are dead. I think the preferable option for Stannis is whoever will be most loyal to him- a Stark would be nice but it's a luxury, one that he doesn't need. That being the case, I don't really see his motivation for writing the PL. It's kind of a big deal, and as has been stated by @divicamanipulating Jon by writing it is risky. If stannis really wants Jon at Winterfell, he could just return to the Wall or send for Jon after he takes Winterfell and offer it to him again. I agree with this- I think this is part of Jon's journey in ADWD as well where he begins to question the utility of sticking to one's vows in light of the purpose of the NW. I do think he can better protect the realm as a Northern leader rather than at the Wall. I agree with your point on from an ally's perspective, the PL doesn't make a ton of sense. But I don't think from the Bolton's perspective it's brilliant or makes a ton of sense either. Jon reading the letter out loud to his brothers is not remotely guaranteed, nor would I say is that even a likely outcome. Likewise a "mutiny" is not a particularly likely outcome either, considering that besides from Bowen Marsh and a select few conspirators we have no idea what the general reaction is to the PL. In short, there is no way for the author of the PL to know how Jon will react to this letter, nor is there any way to know how the rest of the NW and the people at the Wall will respond. Do I still think Ramsay is the most likely author? Probably. In light of the letter not making a ton of sense, Ramsay fits as a psycopath who found and tortured a spearwife, found out about the plot, and is now furious with Jon for depriving Ramsay of his favorite torture subjects. The PL can thus be viewed not as any kind of strategic play, but just Ramsay being Ramsay and not being able to control his anger. Having said that, as I have written elsewhere, certain phrases and the inclusion of Val and Monster indicate Mance as being involved. If Ramsay has Mance, I don't see real need for Val and Monster. If he truly wants the pitiful wildling force that he thinks is at the Wall of the remaining dregs of Mance's smashed army (again I agree that nobody knows about Tormund) he has Mance- Val and Monster are not very helpful. Mance on the other hand would 100% want his son and Val back as they are being used by Stannis to control him. Again though, it's so tough to ascribe motivations to the letter pertaining to the hostages requested because I don't think the author of the PL could ever reasonably expect those hostages to be delivered by Jon. So I'm left looking at phrases like "for all the North/World to see" and "black crows" as some kind of code. My issue continues to be that if Stannis wins this battle at Winterfell, there is no need for trickery from him. Stannis at his own leisure can go back to the Wall or send for these hostages himself if he really wants them. There is little to no reason why Stannis would want Monster and Val in Winterfell and not at the Wall- they are just as useful as hostages over Mance at the Wall as they are at Winterfell. The bolded is the key issue I keep coming back to- there is no way the author could ever expect Jon to comply with the demands. And similarly I think there is no way for the author to predict any particular outcome arising out of sending the letter.
  10. I'm not sure Selyse and Shireen even have any value if what the PL claims is true (which I don't think anyone actually does). If stannis is defeated nobody is following Shireen whether she is his heir or not. Not only is she a child but she has greyscale- we know how Westeros feels about that in general. And I don't see how Val and "Monster" have any value either- even in a misconceived "southron fool" kind of way of believing the wildlings would follow Mance's sister and son, it's entirely impractical to ever get to use them, when the North would probably not be aware of Tormund's band being allowed through the Wall. That's why I still view the letter as written on purpose to be provocative, asking for hostages that the author knows that Jon either does not have or would be unwilling to part with. My one issue with Stannis being the author is that once he wins back Winterfell, I don't think he really needs Jon nor would he really want him. Stannis would have won the North's loyalty and probably would just as easily install another Northern Lord, as he planned to do with Karstark. He could easily go with an Umber, Glover, or Manderley instead of Jon IMO. And I think Stannis is also sincere in wanting to defeat the Others, something he may have come to think of Jon as being important to that cause.
  11. This is the kind of language that makes me think Mance wrote the PL or is at least partially involved. Mance as Rattleshirt before he was revealed to Jon seemed to enjoy giving Jon obvious hints about who he really was. Like when he offers to range or sing for Jon, but just don't ask me to wear your cloak. The cage for 'all the North to see" seems like such a direct callback to to Rattleshirt's burning "for all the world to see." And then you add him calling Jon's brother's "black crows" and it just seems like Mance is toying with Jon here in the same way. But admittedly, as stated above, the inclusion of "Reek" and the "Red Whore" sounds a lot like it has to be Ramsay.
  12. I can't see Mance being dead- he's too much of a badass and I think he still has story left. My guess is that Ramsay has a spearwife who he has tortured and she spilled the beans. Mance is living out his Bael the Bard fantasy in the crypts beneath Winterfell and won't be found for some time. This assumes that Ramsay wrote the letter though, which I'm not sure he did. I can't get over the Bael the Bard parallels as well- not only in Winterfell but in the PL itself, which involves the "trueborn" Lord of Winterfell insulting the King of the wildlings and demanding the return of a Stark girl to him.
  13. Yeah, I mean like I said it could very well point to Ramsay as well as Mance.
  14. ahh, my favorite topic . I go back and forth between who the author of the PL is- it seems like there are mixed motives that could be ascribed to any of Ramsay, Mance, and/or Stannis. I think we can all agree with the OP and the following posts that the purpose of the letter seems to be to provoke Jon to take some kind of action. It is purposefully written as provocative, establishing Ramsay as a monster who will probably do terrible things to Arya if Jon does not return her to him (I think it is irrelevant whether the author of the PL honestly believes Arya is heading towards the Wall- again the purpose is to provoke Jon.) The language used in the letter has always seemed to indicate Mance to me- the repeated use of bastard is straight out of Mance's playbook for provoking Jon and is in many ways central to their relationship - Jon's story about being a bastard is the basis for Mance accepting Jon's turning of his cloak and becoming a wildling. Having said that, this also could be pure Ramsay, who even more than Jon is obsessed with his bastard status and would probably assume Jon is just as obsessed as him. And you can't discount the inclusion of "Reek" in the letter, which is Ramsay all the way. However, I still learn towards Mance because of one major thing- we are given information that Mance requested the spearwives to carry out a "certain ploy" that definitively seems separated from his rescue mission of Arya- he explicitly uses "and" when requesting the spearwives, which indicates in addition to the purpose of getting "Arya" to trust him he needs the spearwives for the "ploy" he intends to carry out. Finally, one last thing is we can't discount the possibility that the letter was somehow tampered with at Castle Black or perhaps Eastwatch if it arrived there first (Eastwatch because we know as Jon notes that Hewett who is a Thorne lackey is in charge there). I've always found Ghost's behavior interesting before Jon's death- he is agitated but he does not attack Bowen Marsh when he is with Jon. Yet Ghost seems to have tried to attack Mully of all people, a steward who may have had access to the Pink Letter first.
  15. Tagganaro

    Bowen Marsh's Plan

    I think Marsh is probably a dead man pretty soon, unless he gains control of the wildling hostages and can control them. Tormund will want revenge for Jon, and since the plan was for the NW to go save wildlings at Hardhome I'd imagine Tormund will want the NW to go through with that. Another wildcard is the Queen's Men, who will probably be riled up over Ser Patrek's mauling at Wun-Wun's hands.