[quote name='A wilding' post='1554895' date='Oct 14 2008, 06.41']I will not be at all surprised if they turn on each other in ADwD.[/quote]
This issue had been nagging at the back of my mind throughout a recent re-read. Roose Bolton hardly ever says anything to indicate that he's working with his bastard son-- on the contrary he indicates that he hopes Ramsay Snow gets killed soon, to be replaced by legitimate heirs born of his new wife. Bolton says Ramsay Snow would be a danger to any new half-Frey sons. At the MOST it seems like Roose might be temporarily using Ramsay for managing matters up North while Dad is off South betraying Robb.
How much of what Roose says to others about how he regards Ramsay ought to be taken seriously, I wonder?
Another matter about which I wonder, and for which I was unable to pin down a satisfactory answer despite close attention on reread: WHEN exactly did Bolton decide to turn on Robb in favor of the Frey-Lannister alliance? Before or after the Freys did their dealw ith Tywin? How would Roose have known about it anyway? It seems to me as though Frey and Bolton would have hidden their respective bargaining with Tywin Lannister from one another, at least until both were sure the other was no longer likely to split on them to King Robb. As soon as Tywin was sure of one or the other, he could have used that fact to help persuade whichever of them had not yet committed to the betrayal; but it would have been a dicey piece of news to share with anyone who wasn't absolutely SURE not to ruin the surprise. Has anyone worked out a plausible timeline for when Bolton and Frey started to make their plans based on betraying Robb? It's clearly a decision Bolton had already made by the time he takes over Harrenhal.
And yet a third puzzle. In the pile of decrees Tommen seals distributing the prizes from defeating Stannis, there's a paper LEGITIMIZING Ramsay Snow to Ramsay Bolton??? Who would have requested THAT? Is Roose actually so dependent on or close to or cooperating with his bastard son that he's willing to make him his legitimate heir, and won't the Freys explode when they find out about it? It pre-emptively displaces any offspring Bolton gets from Fat Walda, and wasn't half the point of marriage alliances for the Freys that they want part-Frey descendants inheriting whatever their girls marry into? Not that Roose Bolton will be much discouraged by fear of anything the Freys can come up with. Weasels versus wolverines.
It was a serious shock, after reading Roose Bolton casually dismissing Ramsay as treacherous by nature and hoping he gets killed soon, to suddenly find him willing to legitimize the monster. I suppose the only plausible conclusion is that they are actually hand-in-glove and all Roose's previous disclaimers were smokescreens. In fact he's advising Ramsay to whitewash his reputation by posing as the "savior" of the Winterfell women and children, as a step towards consolidating Bolton control of the north for Roose eventually to hand on to his newly legitimized heir. If so, it will be fascinating watching them plot against one another, because Roose has to know that Ramsay will try to have him killed the moment it's in Ramsay's interests to do so. It's a paradox at least as old as the "Republic": evil men can't hold on to power because they can't trust one another to work together, but will always turn on one another. It's the only thing that counterbalances the fact that evil men have a tactical and strategic advantage over good men insofar as good men are handicapped by their refusal to commit certain acts.