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First of Her Name

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  1. Just my two cents, but I don't think it's actually relevant whether it is something that he actually had her do or just something that he threatened her with, the point is not to show you what a bad guy he is, it is to show what Jeyne Poole has become, just as the point of Theon's descriptions was to show you what Theon has become. GRRM can't tell the stories of Theon or Jeyne Poole - or the Walders and the northern lords, for that matter, but of course in an entirely different way - without having to give some details about Ramsay. We all got that Ramsay's an evil psychopath from way early on, no problem, but Ramsay is an event in the stories of other characters and that event has to be described for us to understand those characters. Ramsay in uninteresting in himself, sure, but it is interesting to see what effect he has on others. Not that I read about Jeyne or Theon and think, "hmm, that's so interesting" in some detached way. It is hard to read, but I read it and I think that I've obtained a lot more information about the character than I had before. For those not in Ramsay's complete control, i.e., people who could resist him without suffering for it, moreover, Ramsay's character serves as a filter that allows us to judge the "true knight"-ness of those he encounters. We judge people by their willingness to stand against Ramsay, but we see over and over that their willingness is not based on their knowledge of his psychosis, but the advantage to their cause. And so his father has given up trying to disown him because it is easier to just let him have his way. Lords sworn to the North let a girl they believe to be Arya Stark get served up to Ramsay and ally themselves with him for it. We judge this world and these people by their inability to contain this evil. The fact that this is a world where Ramsay Snow might become Lord of Winterfell is informative, it is illustrative, it speaks loads for the people around him, it prevents us from idealizing the Northmen who rallied to Robb, because we see now what their allegiance has bought his "sister." Do you imagine how Ned or Jon or Robb or Catelyn or Sam or Brienne or Tyrion would have reacted to being guests at that wedding? I think we are supposed to, and then to look at all the northmen and think, "oh, well, you are a rotten bunch of bastards almost as much as that guy."