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three-eyed monkey

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  1. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    If we follow on from above then Ramsay stayed in Winterfell after the escape, captured and interrogated the spearwives and/or Mance, learned of the rescue plot, and waited by choice or by order of Roose, while the Freys followed Tybald's map to the crofters village to finish Stannis' frozen army and recapture Reek and Ramsay's bride. Crowfood's greenboys and greybeards would attempt to delay the Freys. They had the element of surprise the first time with Aenys Frey riding straight into the pit, but that trick won't work again so I don't think we can expect the small force to delay the Frey's for long. Once Crowfood's head was mounted on a Frey spear, the journey to the crofters village would take approximately 3 days. I can't see the battle lasting more than a day, not when Stannis' army is fighting on empty stomachs and his men are dying in rising numbers by the day, even before any battle takes place. Sometime around 4 or 5 days after the Freys left Winterfell, Roose would have received a raven from Tybald reporting that Stannis was dead, his host had been smashed, and his magic sword captured, but Reek or Ramsay's bride had not been recaptured. This news would have enraged Ramsay. Given what he has learned from the spearwives, and by a simple matter of deduction, Ramsay would have good reason to think they had gone to Jon at Castle Black. Although he could not be certain. It is quite a long journey in testing conditions and both Reek and Jeyne were frail. Nonetheless, we arrive at his motive to write the letter. Ramsay's tone is threatening, naturally. He needles Jon about being a bastard and about him being the trueborn lord of Winterfell. But he stops short of writing the letter in blood, as he did with his threatening letter to Asha. Ramsay informs Jon that Stannis is dead, his host was smashed, his sword captured and suggests Jon should tell Melisandre. He informs Jon that Stannis friends are dead and their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. And he invites Jon to come see them. He tells Jon that he knows Stannis and Jon lied about burning the King-beyond-the-Wall, and that they sent Mance to Winterfell to steal his bride instead. He tells Jon that he will have his bride back and that if Jon wants Mance back, come and get him. Notably, this is the second time in the letter that Ramsay suggests that Jon should come to Winterfell. He tells Jon that Mance is in a cage for all the north to see, proof of Jon's lies. And that the six women who came with Mance have been flayed. Ramsay does not include a piece of skin, as he had done before in letters to Roose and Asha. Roose explains to Catelyn that Ramsay does this sort of thing because he is cruel, but on this occasion he does not include a piece of Mance or indeed flayed spearwife. The rest is a list of demands. Ramsay's bride, fArya. This is odd as the Boltons know it's not Arya, and Jon is one of the last living people who could confirm this to their detriment. Selyse, Shireen and Mel seems very plausible as they are all aligned to Stannis and rebels to the throne, though it does seem odd that this is not the remit of the Warden of the North, Roose. In fact, nothing about the letter suggests Roose was involved and there are theories that Ramsay has disposed of Roose at this stage, so maybe they are correct. The Wildling princess and little prince, Val and Monster. This too seems odd as even the wildlings do not consider Val a princess and I fail to see why Ramsay would. I also fail to see Ramsay's motive in asking for Val. Perhaps he plans to take a leaf out of Stannis book and seal a peace between the north and wildlings using Val? Seems unlikely, but Ramsay must have some reason for including her. And finally there is Reek, who I imagine is the one Ramsay wants most of all. Ramsay does not get the letter signed by the northern lords, as he did with previous letters to Jon and Asha. The signatures would certainly endorse Ramsay's authority, yet he decided against it. He claims to have Mance in a cage for all the north to see, which would suggest the northern lords are aware of the situation. So is this just a rant, as many people propose, or is there a deeper motive? I certainly think, given GRRM's ability, that it is not simply a rant. But what motive could Ramsay have to write what he wrote? Could he really expect Jon to acquiesce? Maybe, given that he does not know Jon. This is certainly a possibility even though it requires a high level of naivety. It has been suggested that Ramsay wanted Jon to break his vows and get himself executed by the Watch, and if so then Ramsay is mightier with a pen than Arthur Dayne was with a sword. Or maybe he's just extremely lucky and the letter is a piss-poor literary device. And if killing Jon was his motive then he has smarter options like sending assassins or descending on Castle Black in force without warning. Either would be a better move. I have seen it suggested that Ramsay needed Jon dead before fArya reached the Wall. But if Ramsay has strong evidence against Jon in the form of Mance, then surely a letter to someone other than Jon, such as Bowen Marsh who is Lord Steward and castellan at Castle Black, demanding Jon's execution for the crimes, or at least imprisonment in an ice cell until such time that Ramsay could come for his head himself, would have a better chance of success. Instead he chose to write to Jon in the hope that he might share it's contents with the Watch and they would respond with daggers. An alternative version of this suggests that the purpose was to provoke Jon to ride to Winterfell before fArya arrived at Castle Black in an attempt to prevent Jon from discovering Arya is in fact Jeyne, but this is risky given that fArya is traveling in the opposite direction. But considering the letter twice suggests that Jon should come to Winterfell to see the heads on the walls and get Mance back, then this could be possible. But again, I think a letter to Bowen Marsh would surely have a better chance of achieving the goal of preventing Jon meeting fArya. The letter does seem to be designed, with some thought, to provoke Jon into riding for Winterfell. I think this is the most logical motive, and a motive that does not require Ramsay ignoring obviously smarter options to achieve his goal. Ramsay is simply baiting a trap and hoping Jon reacts similarly to how his Uncle Brandon famously did when he rode to the Red Keep to call out Rhaegar.
  2. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    Ok. So let's break it down by motive, means, and opportunity. But I'll leave motive aside just for now. The most logical solution is that everything in the letter is true, Stannis is dead, his army smashed, Ramsay has his sword, Mance is captured, the spearwives have been skinned, the rescue plot revealed. However, it seems that a lot of people, myself included, believe that Stannis is still alive and the letter therefore contains some elements that are not true, as signposted in the text by Tormund. This means that Ramsay is simply lying, or that he has been deceived about the battle with Stannis. The former needs no explanation, but it's rather poor from a story-telling point of view. The latter is more interesting from a story-telling point of view, and there is text to support such a deception. Stannis has Tybald's ravens which are trained to fly to Winterfell and come from what Roose believes to be a reliable source, or if you prefer Stannis might have used his magic sword as part of the deception, or both. But if Ramsay was tricked into thinking Stannis is dead and his army smashed, by whatever means, then surely this suggests he stayed at Winterfell and did not go to the crofters village with the Freys. Ramsay staying at Winterfell and leaving the retrieval of Reek and his bride to the Freys grinds with some of what we have been told of Ramsay. Ramsay has been characterized as someone who loves to hunt human prey. And given their relationship, I think Ramsay would be outraged that Reek even had the audacity to escape, and with his bride. How else should we expect Ramsay to react to the indignity of being out-witted by "less than a man"? Whatever about his bride, I think he would hunt Reek down himself rather that leave it to the Freys. It has been suggested that Ramsay did try and hunt them down but returned unsuccessful, even though the Boltons know where Stannis is thanks to Tybald's map. It was suggested that Ramsay tortured the spearwives and learned their escape plan, then concluded that Theon and Jeyne must have gone straight to Jon at the Wall, but according to Mance the escape plan was to get fArya to Stannis. It has been suggested that Theon and Jeyne would have too much of a lead on their more than 600 mile flight to Castle Black, even though that lead depends on how long Crowfood could delay the pursuit, and that is not likely to be long as Theon noted. None of these explanations are compelling. Personally, I think if Ramsay rode out then he went all the way to Stannis camp and therefore the battle of ice. I think Theon is right that Ramsay will not be far behind the Freys. This is very plausible, given Ramsay's character and the fact that the battle seems quite favorable for the Freys, as Stannis army is freezing, starving, and afoot, with no apparent defenses, and the Karstarks are thought to be loyal to Roose. But if Ramsay follows close behind the Freys then opportunity becomes an issue unless he has a raven for Castle Black for some unknown reason. His means to believe Stannis lost the battle also becomes questionable, given that he was present at the battle. Ramsay going to the battle does not allow a scenario where Ramsay can be misled into thinking Stannis won, be that by the delivery of his head, his sword, or by way of raven as seems to be set up. The most logical explanation is that Ramsay did not ride out with the Freys, Theon was wrong, Ramsay or indeed Roose curbed his love for the hunt and his frustration at being out-witted by Reek. Instead, Ramsay stayed in Winterfell. That way he was in a position to be misled about the result of the battle by raven or sword or whatever means you choose. If Ramsay did stay and received news of the battle by raven, claiming Stannis was dead and his host smashed in battle, then he has the means to believe what he is saying in the letter is true and he has the opportunity to write the letter.
  3. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    I'm not ignoring those things at all. I'm saying I believe Theon is right that Ramsay is coming not far behind the Freys. But if this is true then Ramsay will witness a Frey Victory or a Stannis victory and then return to Winterfell to write the letter in full knowledge of the outcome of the battle. Ramsay can't go to the crofters village and be deceived about the result of the battle at the same time as he will have witnessed or took part in the battle. It has to be one or the other. Ha ha. It's good we agree on some things. All I would say about the political situation is that Stannis wants to win the north, and that means removing the Boltons and replacing them with someone loyal to him and not the Lannisters. The smartest option is to return the north to the Starks. That is what he is offering the north, vengeance for the red wedding and a return to Stark rule from Winterfell, in place of the Lannister/Bolton/Frey alliance. The problem with Rickon is that he is too young. Stannis would need to appoint a regent. Then he would be back to square one, who does he appoint? A southron knight? A loyal northman? Which loyal northman? Jon is so much better from Stannis point of view as Stannis has seen first hand that Jon is, smart, dutiful, loyal and just. Even if you don't accept that Stannis needs Jon, youmust admit Stannis needs someone to rule the north, same as any king on the Iron Throne would, just as he would need someone loyal to rule from Casterly Rock if he was trying to win the west or someone to rule from Highgarden if he was trying to win the Reach. A loyal Lannister or Tyrell would be very valuable in those situations. The big difference is one of his own knights might suffice in either of those cases, but a southron knight ruling Winterfell will not please the north and we know Stannis is aware of this. There is a dilemma set up in Stannis' arc that will need to be resolved before Stannis' story ends. Win the throne or save the kingdom? Stannis will definitely have to make this choice before his story ends, and it is this choice that will eventually lead to the burning of Shireen, as that has also been set up, (and predicted in this forum long before it happened on the show). That is the other big question in Stannis' arc. is it worth taking the life of one child to save millions from darkness? These questions fit together neatly. Save the kingdom or win the throne? It has to be save the kingdom, otherwise the second question is redundant. Stannis will not burn Shireen to win the throne or advance his political position (the show got this so wrong) he will only do it in a misguided attempt to save the kingdom. So, despite his apparently dire situation, I expect Stannis to be progressing towards King's Landing when the Others advance and he is forced to answer the first of these questions. Keep pushing south or turn and face the enemy from the north? He will turn to face the true enemy, and when that situation becomes desperate Shireen will be at risk. Well, that's how I read it but I'm sure plenty will disagree, and there's nothing wrong with that. I agree, again. Ramsay will come after Theon and Jeyne and therefore will not be in Winterfell writing a letter, unless he wins the battle and returns victorious or he loses and escapes knowing the battle is lost. Not really, he has been written into a hopeless position for a reason. That is hardly unusual in literature. But what is important is that everything he needs to turn the situation around is in place (the frozen lakes, Roose's blunder due to pressures on his end, the Karstarks, Tybald and the ravens, etc.) so it will not be deus ex machina. That's a key point. It seems to me there is a lot of twisting needed to get Ramsay writing the letter to fit. If it fits so well then we should be able to produce a logical theory that fits what we know. It's not a coin flip. GRRM would not have spoiled Davos death in AFfC if Davos was really going to die in ADwD. And he did not spoil Stannis death either. I know GRRM likes to break with convention (a point which is grossly over-stated), but there are some rules of writing you just don't break unless you are attempting to create a less satisfying read. The storytelling requires the letter to be false, and it also requires Jon's death to be an unintended consequence, as @redriver pointed out earlier. That means it should be written by someone who did not want Jon to die. I don't put Ramsay in this category. Read and re-sealed certainly but not altered. That would be a complication too far. You may be mistaking Mance's influence for Alliser. But I agree with a lot of what you are saying here. So let's try determine which parts are false and which are not. But is it a mystery, or has he sent half the readership on a wild goose chase believing there is a mystery where there is none? That would be a cheap trick and I don't think GRRM would do it. Of course he could have avoided the whole thing by making it very clear the letter was from Ramsay by including the spiky hand, a piece of skin, and other such things that would fit with how Ramsay's letters had been set up. True. This is probably the best explanation to cover all the inconsistencies we encounter with Ramsay writing the letter, but from a reader's point of view it is the least satisfying. Hear, hear. Well, for now anyway. Maybe. But Jon also told Mance a story about being put in the cheap seats when Robert came to Winterfell because he was a bastard, and mance has needled him with the word on plenty of occasions. The point about the excessive use of bastard is that it is a strategy, along with the signature, Trueborn Lord of Winterfell, designed to provoke Jon into acting against Ramsay and at the same time regret turning down the offer of Winterfell. Why should a monster like Ramsay get Winterfell when he's just a bastard too? There's too much injustice for Jon to bear here. And what does Jon think when he gets his swords? I'm coming for you, bastard. The blood and writing and skin can be explained away, no doubt about it. But I'm asking why should we have to explain them. GRRM set them up, and could have used them to clarify that the letter was indeed from Ramsay. The question is not can they be explained, the question is why must we find explanations to get around the story GRRM has constructed in the text? Let's apply this to fAegon. We could say he really is Rhaegar's son and we could explain away all the clues and foreshadowing that suggest otherwise, like the black dragon sign that washed up years later red with rust, as just coincidental but GRRM has put those things in the text for a reason. Of course an iron sign is going to wash up red with rust years later, that doesn't prove anything in a forensic sense, but in a storytelling sense it suggests an awful lot and I will be shocked if he is not a Blackfyre, even though at this stage I cannot prove that he is.
  4. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    Stannis doesn't need to mask his army as Karstarks, he only needs to use the real Karstarks. Roose thinks they are loyal. Stannis has defused their plot and holds Arnulf and his son Arthor. Some Karstark men were questioned and it appears they were not aware of the plot. Stannis said they will have a chance to prove their loyalty, so he has a use in mind for them. And the best use he could make of them is to use them to gain entry to the castle. If Roose gets a raven telling him that the Freys and Karstarks have defeated Stannis, then it is natural that he would expect his victorious allies to return to Winterfell. He will open the gates for them. I doubt very much that the guards at the gate know every soldier in the Karstark army. If that army is led by Arnulf or Arthor, then there would be no reason to suspect anything. Once the gate is open and the Karstarks are inside they need only keep the gates open until Stannis army floods through. It is far easier to take a castle when the gate is open, obviously. Stannis needs to take the castle quickly, as he will not be able to sustain a siege. Why would Arnulf or Arthor lead them? Because both men have a choice to make. As it stands they are going to burn. Stannis will give them a chance to live. He will most likely keep one a hostage, father or son, while the other leads the army back to Winterfell. Any betrayal will lead to the death of the hostage. Stannis has nothing to lose because if the ploy fails then he is in the exact same position he would be in without the ploy, sitting outside the walls building towers and rams for a difficult assault. Some northerners do know about Robb's will, there's no probably about it. The north knows no king but the king in the north whose name is STARK. Who wants Rickon as king? The only ones who will accept a warden are those few who truly are loyal to Roose. And they are very few. All the rest want a restoration of northern independence under Robb's heir, which is Jon. Stannis political situation is awful. This is why Jon is so important to Stannis. Stannis believes Jon can win the north for him, because the north will rally to the son of Eddard Stark, and the son of Eddard Stark will be loyal to king Stannis. That is what Stannis thinks is the solution to his political situation, but Stannis does not realize the extent of the north's ambition for independence. Even if he managed to get Jon to Winterfell he was going to be outplayed by Robb's will, and Mance, who also wants Jon to be king in the north because it would be great for the free folk, knows this. Well I doubt he wrote it at all, but that's what I'm trying to put together here, a coherent and logical Ramsay wrote the pink letter theory that can stand up to some scrutiny. I tend to agree with you here though, it seems to me so far that this theory works best if Ramsay either really defeated Stannis or if he is just made it all up. But from what I've seen across a number of threads, most people who believe Ramsay wrote the letter think he did so after receiving misinformation from Stannis via Tybald's ravens.
  5. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    Why would I? I'm not the one who is ignoring fairly obvious clues.
  6. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    That's one day of battle as I count it, which seems realistic. I agree that Stannis will win, and it is vital that he gets him army inside Winterfell as soon as possible, otherwise he is finished and it will indeed be a Pyrrhic victory. But Stannis noted that Roose blundered by sending out a portion of his strength instead of sitting in Winterfell and letting Stannis freeze. I believe that Stannis will use this to gain entry to the castle as the victors will have to return. Stannis has Tybald's ravens to send news of a Bolton victory, and he has turned the Karstarks, unbeknownst to Roose. That means he has all the ingredients he needs to enter Winterfell using victorious Karstarks as a wooden horse. This ploy might be risky, but Stannis has no better options. He cannot sustain an effective siege with a starving army. It's either build siege towers and rams and attempt to storm the castle or try some deception with the Tybald's ravens and Karstarks, both of whom Roose trusts. Whatever Stannis does, he needs to do it fast. I expect him to try and gain Winterfell as soon as he can, which could mean several days after Theon and Jeyne escaped. 3 days for Theon and Jeyne to get to Stannis, a day for the battle of ice, and 3 days march on Winterfell. Ramsay might have written the letter sometime after the arrival of the raven but before Stannis attempts to take the castle, though it doesn't really make sense that he would send it weeks before Theon and Jeyne would potentially arrive at Castle Black. Or he could defeat Stannis at the walls of Winterfell and send the letter sometime after that. Once again, it makes most sense if Ramsay wrote the letter after he really defeated Stannis, which means the letter was mostly true and GRRM spoiled Stannis death. I too tend to think Mance evaded capture. If that is the case then Ramsay must have learned about Mance from the captured spearwives and the part about him being in a cage is a lie. But I accept that Mance may have been caught. Stannis may have sent the sword with the Karstarks, but Stannis needs to get his army into the castle quickly so I don't see Ramsay being in possession of the sword for long before Stannis makes his move. Once the gate opens to let the magic-sword bearing Karstarks into the castle, Stannis really needs to flood through before they close again. Abel's description matches Mance perfectly. Mance was wearing a glamour to look like Rattleshirt, and when last we saw him in Castle Black he was still disguised as Rattleshirt. However, he arrived in Winterfell without the glamour. Mance needs Jon. The Watch and the Wall are no longer the problem. Both Stannis and Jon have allowed the free folk pass. They are not the first wildling army to pass the Wall, but history tells us that no wildling army has ever succeeded in staying south of the Wall. If Mance is to succeed where previous kings-beyond-the-wall have failed then he needs a political solution that unites the wildlings and the north. Jon is that solution. Jon Stark, king-in-the-north would be even better. Mance does not want to claim Winterfell, because he knows the north would never allow him hold it. Mance wants Jon to claim Winterfell and be someone Mance could never be, someone both the free folk and the north would choose to follow.
  7. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    #11 correct. #12 smear of pink wax indicates the letter was opened and re-sealed, most likely by Marsh and Co. #13 correct. If Stannis lost the battle of ice then Theon must have evaded capture by Bolton forces, but this is probably a moot point as it is unlikely that Stannis did lose the battle. I don't think GRRM would spoil the result of the battle in a letter that appears before the battle, which we will see in Asha I or Theon II TWoW. Maybe, but that's a separate topic. I don't want to spin off into who wrote the letter. For the purpose of this thread Ramsay is the who, and we are trying to establish the most logical theory to that end.
  8. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    That Ned is Jon's father is never doubted in the text but that don't make it so. So I don't accept this, even if it were accurate. But I don't think it is. Tormund says of the letter, "Might be all a skin o' lies." All includes the signature. So the mystery is green-lit. We also need to ask why the letter does not have any of the attributes of previous letters from Ramsay. Huge spiky hand is set-up twice in ADwD through Jon and Asha yet it is not noted in the pink letter. Ramsay sends a piece of Theon's skin in two of the three letters we know of. Once to Roose in ASoS and once to Asha at Deepwood Motte. The letter that announces his marriage to "Arya" does not contain skin, understandably. But the Pink Letter, like the letter to Asha at Deepwood, is clearly threatening in tone so we really need a good reason to explain why Ramsay did not include a piece of Mance or spearwife. The letter to Asha is also written in blood, which again fits with the tone of that letter. The pink letter does not appear to be written in blood. This seems inconsistent to me. Ramsay's previous letters have also been signed by the northern lords. If Ramsay wants to bring the weight of his authority to bear on Jon, then it seems strange to me that he did not have the northern lords sign the pink letter, given that he already has Mance in a cage for all the north to see. These seem like clues that the letter is not from Ramsay. The fact that none of these things are present could be explained by a series of ifs, buts, and maybes but I don't find that convincing. This is a typical summation of the Ramsay Theory, but it is vague and inconsistent with what we know. For example, if all of it is an act of puffing out his chest and trying to intimidate Jon, then why not write it in blood or include a piece of skin like when he was threatening Asha, and why not get the northern lords to sign their support for him if he is puffing out his chest. Again, we are back to needing an unconvincing series of ifs, buts, and maybes to get around what has been set-up in the text. But for the sake of the argument, let's just say Ramsay was very angry and just didn't bother with the blood and skin or northern lords signatures, and let's also say that Jon didn't mention the huge spiky hand because he had seen it before and didn't think it worth noting. This might ignore what has been set-up in the text with regards to letters from Ramsay, but that set-up is redundant because none of the above appeared in the letter, so we must conclude that their absence is accounted for by the fact that Ramsay was in a huff. We have established the first point in the Ramsay Theory. 1. Any inconsistency between the Pink Letter and previous letters from Ramsay is explained by Ramsay's mood. It seems a bit weak, but if anyone wants to phrase this better or expand on the point then I am happy to take it on-board. The fact is there is inconsistency and the theory must address that. But lets move on. The second point that needs to be addressed is Ramsay's actions when Theon and Jeyne escaped. Lord Ramsay loved the chase and preferred to hunt two-legged prey. All night they ran through the darkling wood, but as the sun came up the sound of a distant horn came faintly through the trees, and they heard the baying of a pack of hounds. * Ben Bones, who liked the dogs better than their master, had told Reek they were all named after peasant girls Ramsay had hunted, raped, and killed back when he'd still been a bastard, running with the first Reek. We know Ramsay loves the chase. I could jump, he thought. He lived, why shouldn't I? He could jump, and … And what? Break a leg and die beneath the snow? Creep away to freeze to death? It was madness. Ramsay would hunt him down, with the girls. Red Jeyne and Jez and Helicent would tear him to pieces if the gods were good. Or worse, he might be taken back alive. Theon believes Ramsay would hunt him down if he jumped from the walls of Winterfell and tried to escape. Theon turned to Abel. "This will not work." His voice was pitched so low that even the horses could not have overheard. "We will be caught before we leave the castle. Even if we do escape, Lord Ramsay will hunt us down, him and Ben Bones and the girls." "Lord Stannis is outside the walls, and not far by the sound of it. All we need do is reach him." Abel's fingers danced across the strings of his lute. The singer's beard was brown, though his long hair had largely gone to grey. "If the Bastard does come after us, he might live long enough to rue it." Think that, Theon thought. Believe that. Tell yourself it's true. "Ramsay will use your women as his prey," he told the singer. "He'll hunt them down, rape them, and feed their corpses to his dogs. If they lead him a good chase, he may name his next litter of bitches after them. You he'll flay. Him and Skinner and Damon Dance-for-Me, they will make a game of it. You'll be begging them to kill you." Again, Theon feels he knows how Ramsay would react to an escape. He would hunt them down. Mance is more optimistic as he thinks that Stannis is the one blowing horns outside the walls, so they do not have far to go. Even though it is Crowfood, it is a valid point and one that saves Theon and Jeyne when they do jump. Crowfood's trap stops the first excursion from Winterfell and Theon and Jeyne begin a three day journey to Stannis' camp. But Crowfood's boys won't hold the Bolton forces long. We do not know how far behind they are but it may be less than a day. They also have the advantage of knowing where to go, courtesy of Tybald's map. The question is, who is coming after them. Frey and Manderly forces seem certain. But again Theon thinks Ramsay will come too. "Who is coming? Bolton?" "Lord Ramsay," Theon hissed. "The son, not the father. You must not let him take him. Roose... Roose is safe within the walls of Winterfell with his fat new wife. Ramsay is coming." * "Frey and Manderly will never combine their strengths. They will come for you, but separately. Lord Ramsay will not be far behind them. He wants his bride back. He wants his Reek." If Theon is right, and Ramsay does ride out not far behind the Frey and Manderly troops then it means he is not in Winterfell to send a raven unless he sends it before he leaves or after he returns. If he sends it before he leaves then it is unlikely that he has the magic sword yet, or a misleading raven from Stannis. If he sends it after returning from the crofter's village then he would not be in doubt about who won the battle of ice. This only works if Stannis does lose the battle and a victorious Ramsay returns with the sword and then writes the letter, which would mean the letter is essentially full of truths rather than lies. But if Theon is wrong and the set-up of Ramsay's hunt-loving character, much like the set-up of his handwriting, is simply redundant, then Ramsay will stay at Winterfell. He would remain in the castle and leave the Freys and Karstarks deal with Stannis and the Manderlys. After three of four days he would receive a raven from Tybald claiming a Frey and Karstark victory. Three days later someone would bring him Stannis' sword, or perhaps he doesn't physically have the sword yet but its capture was reported in the raven. Some people have suggested that Ramsay may have left Winterfell, lost the trail, and then returned before the battle of ice took place, but given Tybald's map I feel this doesn't really make sense. So the second point of the Ramsay Theory should be one of the following: 2. Theon was right, Ramsay came for him, won the battle of ice and returned to Winterfell with the magic sword, before writing the letter. or 2. Theon was wrong, Ramsay did not hunt him but stayed in Winterfell. Later, Tybald's raven arrived with news of the battle of ice and the capture of Stannis' sword, but no news of Theon or Jeyne. Ramsay assumes they have gone from Stannis camp to Castle Black, a journey of over 600 miles that took Tyrion and Jon 18 days in fairer weather, and sends the letter to get there days if not weeks ahead of them. I feel the second of these alternatives fits better than the first as Ramsay staying at Winterfell allows him to interrogate Mance and the captured spearwives. Of course, it seems certain that at least one of the spearwives, Rowan, is a northern woman so her interrogation could well reveal something that would only further deepen suspicions about the loyalty of the north to Roose, but once Rowan dies before she is taken then this should not be an issue. Again, feel free to word this better or add alternatives. But as all these things are taken as given by the Ramsay Theory then we should be able to explain Ramsay's reaction to the escape, whether he hunted Theon and Jeyne or not, when he interrogated the prisoners, how he came to know about the battle of ice and possess the magic sword, and why he was so keen to get the letter to Jon when Theon and Jeyne would not yet have reached Castle Black, if indeed they ever get there at all.
  9. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    @kissdbyfire I know you don't agree with my theories but I really appreciate the intellectual honesty of your reply above.
  10. three-eyed monkey

    Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

    Yes. I would go further actually and say that the Battle of Ice also took place before Jon XIII. ETA: but I don't believe the battle lasted seven days.
  11. It seems that the majority of readers believe that Ramsay wrote the Pink Letter. I don't buy it, I think Stannis was the main architect with some input from Mance, but I would like to leave who aside for the purpose of this debate. I'm more interested in testing the Ramsay Theory. Unfortunately the Ramsay Theory, though widely accepted, does not exist in any unified form, but rather as a separate set of objections to other potential authors. The letter is signed, Ramsay Bolton, Trueborn Lord of Winterfell, so some might argue that the burden of proof is on the other theories, and I accept that. But the act of Ramsay writing the letter still needs to fit into a coherent narrative, a logical sequence of events, book-ended by Theon's leap from the wall of Winterfell and the arrival of the Pink Letter at Castle Black. The Ramsay Theory should propose an explanation for the following: 1. Ramsay's reaction to the escape of Theon and Jeyne. Does he hunt them or stay in Winterfell? 2. How there was Seven Days of Battle when Stannis' army was losing ever-mounting numbers to cold and hunger. 3. What happened in the battle with Stannis. 4. What happened with Mance. 5. How Ramsay came to have Stannis' magic sword. 6. When Ramsay wrote the letter. 7. What Ramsay expected the letter to achieve and why the letter was the best way of achieving that goal. 8. Why Ramsay did not write the letter in blood. 9. Why Ramsay did not get the signatures of the northern lords. 10. What Ramsay thought about the fact that Jon would know his bride is not Arya. Like all good theories, the Ramsay Theory should be supported by relevant citation from the text where possible, including any instances of foreshadowing. So please, explain it to me in detail, if you can.
  12. No he would not be within his rights to do so. According to the letter the Lord of Winterfell has accused him of lying about the execution of Mance and sending Mance to steal back Arya. Ramsay holds Mance as proof. That is a serious accusation. Jon was not complicit in the Rattleshirt switch but later he did allow Mance leave Castle Black and go south so he is complicit in the alleged crime, and therefore he has a motive to help Mance. Well if you think Ramsay would be coming with 20 good men then fine. I think Jon would expect Ramsay to come in force though, or at least Jon would plan for that, if he did decide to wait for Ramsay to come to him. As I said, I don't get this whole argument. Jon states in the text that he will ride to Winterfell alone if needs be, unless anyone will stand with him. Yet I am meant to take that quote as a lie Jon is using just to rally the wildlings and accept your version of events where he reinforces Castle Black and waits for ramsay, which is supported with no citation? Sure. She will believe the part about Stannis being dead is a lie. Tormund suggests the whole letter might be a skin o' lies, but Jon knows there are some truths there. Jon does still have something to worry about, Mance, except you don't see that. Here's the quote nonetheless: "Might be all a skin o' lies." Tormund scratched under his beard. "If I had me a nice goose quill and a pot o' maester's ink, I could write down that me member was long and thick as me arm, wouldn't make it so." "He has Lightbringer. He talks of heads upon the walls of Winterfell. He knows about the spearwives and their number." He knows about Mance Rayder. "No. There is truth in there." Using the letter we are debating as proof of your argument about the letter we are debating is yet another logical fallacy on your behalf. It is presumed from Ramsay, that is the purpose of the letter. Forgers don't sign their own names to forged documents. You have not yet seen a convincing account yet you believe: Ramsay did not hunt Reek and Jeyne to Castle Black, over 600 miles away, despite his reputation for hunting human prey through the woods, and instead favored writing a letter to Jon? It doesn't matter to Ramsay that Jon is one of the few people alive who would know the real Arya and be able to undo the false marriage? Theon was wrong about Ramsay coming after him? Theon was right about what Ramsay would say in a letter Ramsay would write several days later? There really was a seven day battle, despite the fact that Stannis' army was dropping at 80 men a day and rising from cold and hunger? Stannis sent his sword to Winterfell but kept his freezing and starving army outside? GRRM set-up the huge spiky hand description to show that poorly educated people can't write so good, or possibly for a future mystery in TWoW? Writing the letter in blood was not something Ramsay thought appropriate this time? Having the letter signed by northern lords was not something Ramsay thought appropriate this time? Ramsay considers Val a wildling princess? I would like to see these things explained.
  13. I imagine Tybald held the pen for the pink letter. Dictating to a maester is Stannis preferred style. But my point is simply this, "huge spiky hand" was set up twice in ADwD yet did not feature in the climactic pink letter. I find that telling. You obviously disagree. We shall see. No potential author knew about the additional wildlings. But the letter was written to provoke Jon into action nonetheless. That much is quite clear from the language. The letter gives Jon multiple reasons to act and removes the main barrier to him acting, which is Arya being held hostage by the Boltons. Would Jon ride out alone? I doubt it. Even his uncle Brandon took a small group of companions to the Red Keep. Jon would have 300 wildlings to call on. I'm not saying he would be going to take Winterfell, that would be difficult even with Tormund's army, but it makes sense to me that he would try find Arya and maybe even attempt to rescue Mance. He knows Winterfell well afterall. But Jon is a proactive character with a strong sense of justice and I would expect him to act in that manner. I can't get this idea you keep returning to about bolstering defenses at Castle Black. Castle Black cannot be defended from the south, and there is a reason for that. Do you really think if the wildlings had not arrived that Jon would start preparing the Watch for battle against the North given the Mance situation? I don't buy this at all. And getting the named individuals out of harm's way will not be easy when Mel is unlikely to believe Stannis is dead. If Mel says the letter is a lie then Selyse will believe her. This is precisely what Stannis wants. This is called a problem-reaction-solution strategy. Jon would not accept Stannis' offer citing his vows as a reason. Stannis caused the problem with the pink letter, Jon reacted, Stannis will provide the solution with a pardon on the provision Jon accepts the offer. There is too much to cite here. If I was to sum it up in one quote I would say: "Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is STARK." She is talking about Jon, legitimized in Robb's will. If you think there will be another pivotal letter from Ramsay in winds then so be it. I think it's the pink letter. No, to mention it's absence would be a reveal. GRRM wants his readers to work stuff out. That's the way he writes every mystery. Correct. But he doesn't have Arya. He needs to go and get her first. The quote you provided shows that he cares about Arya and wants to protect her. It's the biggest trigger in the letter from Jon's point of view. Go to my threads on Stannis and show me one quote taken out of context. How is this out of context? The author wrote that to show Jon's mindset because it will be relevant. And it's pretty rich considering the Ramsay wrote the letter camp don't have anything relevant to support their theory, just supposition about how Ramsay didn't want to hunt down Reek and Arya but wanted to write a letter instead, and how Jon would reinforce Castle Black from the south and prepare for Ramsay's attack. Stannis saw enough of Jon at Castle Black to know what type of man he is. He watched him deal with Slynt. He saw how Jon reacted to the news that Winterfell would go to a Karstark. He knows Jon has a strong sense of justice. He knows that if Jon passes sentence then he swings the sword himself. When Jon reacted to the pink letter, I don't think he did a single thing that was out of character. And who would think Jon would comply with the letter? Nobody. That leaves Jon with two choices. Waiting at Castle Black for Ramsay to come to him or going to Ramsay, in whatever shape of form those actions take. Leaving the wildling army aside, and regardless of who the author of the pink letter is, you cannot rule out Jon having taken action with whatever means were available without discarding his character, as it has been developed over the series. So I would say, Jon stay and wait for Ramsay to come to him? WHO WOULD THINK THIS??? Although caps do not make the argument any stronger.
  14. Correct, now ask yourself two questions. 1/ Why did GRRM establish Ramsay's huge spiky hand? 2/ What has that set-up to do with the pink letter, given that the pink letter is the most important letter from Ramsay? This is a story where characters actions grow out of the character. I've supported every claim I made about Stannis motive, and method with support from the text. You're making a bunch of claims about Ramsay's motive and Jon's motive, none of which are supported by text. You said it was spelled out several times yet you can't produce a single citation. Mel. I can't put it in simpler terms than I have above. Again, my claim is supported by text, it's not just an unsupported claim about her fleeing to Essos when she hears Stannis is dead. The text does not just fail to support your claim but it actually contradicts your claim. Mance was supposedly executed as a NW deserter. Jon can't write saying he sent him anywhere without being complicit in the deception. I really don't see your point here. None of what you are saying here makes any sense. She might not even know the letter was from Stannis, but she would have reason to doubt the content of the letter and not flee the Wall. Why would Jon be suspicious if she stayed? She is a religious zealot whose goal is to fight the true enemy and there is no better place than the Wall for that. Jon might even be glad for her to stay. "Dalla told me something once. Val's sister, Mance Rayder's wife. She said that sorcery was a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it." "A wise woman." Melisandre rose, her red robes stirring in the wind. "A sword without a hilt is still a sword, though, and a sword is a fine thing to have when foes are all about." So desertion is honorable once there is a bribe involved and we call it a release? The Watch is a sworn brotherhood and the brothers serve for life. The oath has to be forsworn one way or another as long as Jon is alive as there is no get-out clause. The only difference is that if you have power, like Robb had when he was alive, or the northern lords who want Jon to be King-in-the-North have, then you can make it happen and call it what you like.
  15. He doesn't want to make that clear because it is for the reader to work out. That would be a reveal and there would be no mystery. Are you really trying to say that the absence of the term huge spiky hand is proof of there being a spiky hand? If we use that warped logic then we could say that the letter was signed by the northern lords too, but as Jon expected that then he didn't mention it. And why would GRRM use reverse psychology and anti-logic when three simple words, huge spiky hand, would have provided all the clarity he needed? You said this has been spelled out several times. Any citation to support these claims? This is why "I have his magic sword. Tell his red witch," is important. And you really think Jon is going to start lying to northern houses about Ramsay wanting to attack Castle Black without reason? Jon thinks Ramsay captured Mance and exposed the rescue attempt and the proof is hanging in a cage in Winterfell, where most of the north is gathered, having already paid homage to Roose.
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