Nucky Thompson Posted November 22, 2013 Share Posted November 22, 2013 It has been speculated in excruciating details as to how exactly the Battle of Winterfell would play out. There have been suggestions about Stannis prevailing, about Roose prevailing, and so on. Furthermore, it has to be noted that the editing of ADwD has moved the actual battle in TWoW. However, maybe not the entire battle has been moved. Perhaps the original version would have the battle start and then cut off in the middle leaving us with a similar type of a cliffhanger. What seems likely to me, though, is that the Battle of Winterfell will not end with a clear winner. This doesn't mean that Stannis fakes his death or Roose retreats in an orderly fashion to the Dreadfort. What I think is possible, and propose as a theory, is that this seemingly innocuous in the larger scheme of things battle will actually be the onset of the War vs. the Others. The story has gone on too far ahead only to begin to approach the pending invasion of the Others. No, the pieces have to be in place already. With the developments at the Wall as of end-ADwD and the two opposing armies at Winterfell, it seems that the larger Checkov's guns are about to begin firing. What are the clues? Let's analyze the conventional outcomes of the Battle of Winterfell:1. Stannis wins, Boltons are defeated, Stannis enjoys the natural heating system of Winterfell for 10 years of winter. Doesn't move the story forward very much now, does it?2. Roose prevails, Stannis' head is on a spike, etc. etc. Northern resistance seems futile, or even if successful will lead to the perishing of both Boltons and said resistance. The North is left even leaderless. Yeah, there is the possibility of Rickon returning on a white unicorn, but again, he would simply be left without much in terms of assets to do anything of importance. If, however, during the course of the battle (probably after the skirmish with Manderly, the Freys and Ramsey, which everybody assumes will be won decisively by Stannis), just as Stannis approaches to join the Umber in his siege of the castle, the Others do, finally, arrive in force and the rules of the game change very much. In such a case we could actually expect the Boltons and Stannis to join forces against the common enemy. They could even hole up together in Winterfell as giving open battle to ice zombies and their masters seems rather unwise. What this would accomplish is a huge plot twist which could probably be the reason for it to originally be intended for TWoW and the editing reasons to only have pushed the initial stages of the battle to TWoW as well. Whatever the case, methinks we can agree that neither Roose's, nor Stannis' storyline seems ready to be ending just now. Stannis - for obvious reasons - has to interact once again with his main rivals for the Iron Throne, while Roose has a lot more reveals pending - at least in regard to why he burnt the book at Harrenhall, what are his real plans for the Bolton succession, etc. etc. What such a development would entail, is that either both Stannis and Roose end up on the same - villain - side and one of them becomes the new Night King; or both of them end up fighting "the good fight" and resisting the invasion of the Others together (what a dialogue would those two have). If we assume that Martin's leftist views make him a fan of Hegel and Marx, then such an outcome of the battle would certainly follow the dialectic formula of thesis+antithesis=synthesis with the clash of the two opposites producing a third and independent result. If the aim is to move the story forward as fast as possible, it would also make sense with combining the seemingly unrelated dynastic struggle in the North and the looming Others ex Machina all the while surprising readers and subverting traditional fantasy tropes as GRRM's agenda seemingly suggests. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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