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[TWOW SPOILERS] Theon I, part vi

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I read the chapter years ago on Martin's website and thought that if Jon is actually dead, then Theon could be a King's blood sacrifice to bring Jon back without using Mel.

I'm surprised that I can't find anyone else on this thread who thought the same, but maybe I missed something in the earlier threads or in the text itself?

GELFLING: There are threads devoted to arguments for and against Theon meeting his fate beneath a nearby heart tree. Spilling the "hot" king's blood dispassionately upon the carpeting of snow, a pristine, white canvas safeguarded by lofty branches stretching to reach the sky. The swift separating of the head from the neck results in a gush of red, then a spray, and finally a slow pulsing stream that stains the shaded floor as if an abstract artist whose medium of paint is replaced by blood.

The snow drinks the blood and feeds the roots buried beneath the frozen, hard-packed earth. Many members also post the pro's and con's of Bran skinchanging Theon so that he can articulate a sincere and meaningful confession, including Theon's full disclosure about the fates of Bran and Rickon.

Now, my issue is why Theon's sacrifice is necessary to feed the greenseer and advance his magic when Bran is proficient enough to taste the blood of an ancient sacrifice 1000's of years in the past.

It is also an exercise in futility for Bran to apply his energies into skinchanging with Theon when his traitor status prevents a meaningful connection between them.

Good luck finding kindred spirits to rehash and debate your Theon/Bran theories.

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I'm gonna list some key lines from the chapter and try my best to explain how they prove Ramsey wrote the letter:

Obviously the implication here is that Maester Tybald has 3 ravens that fly exclusively to Winterfell and has been using them to betray Stannis' location to the Boltons.

Yes, leave the ravens that only fly to Winterfell, as detailed earlier in this exchange. But why?

Also meaning, it may be false. But why would Massey receive false news of Stannis' death? Well:

The Pink Letter claims that Stannis is dead. It also claims there was a 7 day long battle. Odd that GRRM decided to include detailing the length of the battle. Why is it important for the reader to know? Well, after Roose Bolton get's Tybald's last message, he says:

3 days for the Freys/Manderys to arrive at The Gift, 1 day of a farce of a battle (Manderly's drive the Freys into the frozen lake - more on this later) and to plot on how to prevent Ramsey from following into battle and discovering their ploy (see Dreadfort ravens explanation above), and another 3 days for Stannis' host to reach Winterfell. 3 + 3 + 1 =

How do I know the frozen lake will play a part in the doom of the Freys? Well, from Theon we know:

And Roose Bolton orders this:

Then we have this piece of information, when Stannis asks Theon if boys killed Aenys Frey. Theon answers:

What's Stannis smiling about? He's been given an idea, which he begins to explain here:

Then the ravens, who I assume are Bloodraven or Bran, begin to hint at the plan as well:

And where is the tree? Well, later in the chapter, Asha says:

Aaaand the ravens go bananas.

As far as the heads on the Winterfell walls go, seems fishy *wink wink*. Perhaps we now know the significance of why GRRM had the Manderlys mount "Davos" head on their walls. Fake head mounting seems their style, certainly, and that "evidence" would help the Manderlys' story once they returned to Winterfell to deceive the Boltons and spread word that Stannis was just outside the walls (invisible behind the snow).

All these little "truths" sprinkled throughout the Pink Letter are given substantial support from this chapter, and for me solidifies that Ramsay did indeed write the Pink Letter, just under false pretenses,

Also, consider this:

The parchment is a letter from Jon explaining Arnolf's treachery.

Here we see Stannis ordering Justin Massey to drop "Arya" off at Castle Black before heading off to Eastwatch because, as he explains, "A true king pays his debts."

He felt, even if it was to the most minuscule degree, indebted to Jon. What could possibly be the reason for sending "Arya" to Jon at Castle Black, then turning around and sending a raven (which would undoubtedly travel faster than Massey's company) to Castle Black with a deceptive message? If it was to draw Jon out, why send "Arya" to Castle Black in the first place? If Stannis truly believes he's a "true king", why would he pay his debt with deception? It makes no sense.

Amazing theory. I don't think I have seen one better than this.

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I am deeply troubled for Stannis after watching the last episode. Stannis in show, i find, is a very weak character in contrast with books. One of the best, if not the best, military commander beaten by Ramsay Bolton (Unbelievable)...What does this mean for Stannis in books? Does this hint that Northern Clans are going to abandon Stannis because they want Theon executed, which i believe stannis is hesitant to do so at the moment.



P.S this is my first post on this forum. Be Nice! :bang:


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I am deeply troubled for Stannis after watching the last episode. Stannis in show, i find, is a very weak character in contrast with books. One of the best, if not the best, military commander beaten by Ramsay Bolton (Unbelievable)...What does this mean for Stannis in books? Does this hint that Northern Clans are going to abandon Stannis because they want Theon executed, which i believe stannis is hesitant to do so at the moment.

P.S this is my first post on this forum. Be Nice! :bang:

welcome and the shows and books are two different things. the books have not been spoiled for us, hints have been here and there but do not worry. Book Stannis is every bit a good commander and never quits. The Boltons will bleed against Stannis in the books, be assured of that.

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IMO, if the show spoiled anything its that Stannis wins the battle. They went out of their way to allow Brienne to be the 1 to kill Stannis, and Brienne is nowhere close in the books.


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This is something I posted elsewhere a few years ago.

Those of us who watched series 5 saw a version (if we can call it that) of the Battle of Ice that is nothing at all as I’d imagined. And while I don’t want to dwell on the show’s version of it, I will say that I do believe Stannis will die (but later on), I think there is a real possibility that Shireen will burn, and I also think Stannis may be directly involved but the stakes will have to be much, much higher.

Some (too many!) highlights from the TWoW sample chapter Theon I:
<…>
As he left, another entered; a knight. The king's knights had been coming and going all night, Theon recalled dimly. This one seemed to be the king's familiar. Lean, dark-haired, hard-eyed, his face marred by pockmarks and old scars, he wore a faded surcoat embroidered with three moths. "Sire," he announced, "the maester is without. And Lord Arnolf sends word that he would be most pleased to break his fast with you."
"The son as well?"
"And the grandsons. Lord Wull seeks audience as well. He wants — "
"I know what he wants." The king indicated Theon. "Him. Wull wants him dead. Flint, Norrey... all of them will want him dead. For the boys he slew. Vengeance for their precious Ned."
"Will you oblige them?"
"Just now, the turncloak is more use to me alive
. He has knowledge we may need. Bring in this maester."
<…>
You must not call him that! A wave of pain washed over Theon Greyjoy. He closed his eyes and grimaced. When he opened them again, he said, "You do not know him."
"No more than he knows me."
"Knows me," cried one of the ravens the maester had left behind. It flapped its big black wings against the bars of its cage.
"Knows," it cried again.
Stannis turned. "Stop that noise."
<snip>
"Mors took the green boys and Hother took the greybeards. All the real men went with the Greatjon and died at the Red Wedding. Is that what you wanted to know, Your Grace?"
King Stannis ignored the jibe. "Boys," was all he said, disgusted. "Boys will not hold Lord Bolton long."
"Not long," Theon agreed. "Not long at all."
"Not long," cried the raven from its cage.
The king gave the bird an irritated look.
<snip>
"We hold the ground, and that I mean to turn to our advantage."
"The ground?" said Theon. "What ground? Here? This misbegotten tower? This wretched little village? You have no high ground here, no walls to hide beyond, no natural defenses."
"Yet."
"Yet," both ravens screamed in unison.
Then one quorked, and the other muttered, "Tree, tree, tree."
<snip>
She has to understand. She is my sister. He never wanted to do any harm to Bran or Rickon. Reek made him kill those boys, not him Reek but the other one. "I am no kinslayer," he insisted. He told her how he bedded down with Ramsay's bitches, warned her that Winterfell was full of ghosts. "The swords were gone. Four, I think, or five. I don't recall. The stone kings are angry." He was shaking by then, trembling like an autumn leaf. "The heart tree knew my name. The old gods. Theon, I heard them whisper. There was no wind but the leaves were moving. Theon, they said. My name is Theon." It was good to say the name. The more he said it, the less like he was to forget.
<snip>
He waved Asha to her feet. "You may rise."
She stood. "The Braavosi ransomed my seven of my men from Lady Glover. I would glady pay a ransom for my brother."
"There is not enough gold on all your Iron Islands. Your brother's hands are soaked with blood. Farring is urging me to give him to R'hllor."
"Clayton Suggs as well, I do not doubt."
"Him, Corliss Penny, all the rest. Even Ser Richard here, who only loves the Lord of Light when it suits his purposes."

"The red god's choir only knows a single song."
"So long as the song is pleasing in god's ears
, let them sing. Lord Bolton's men will be here sooner than we would wish. Only Mors Umber stands between us, and your brother tells me his levies are made up entirely of green boys. Men like to know their god is with them when they go to battle."
"Not all your men worship the same god."

"I am aware of this. I am not the fool my brother was."
"Theon is my mother's last surviving son. When his brothers died, it shattered her. His death will crush what remains of her... but I have not come to beg you for his life."
"Wise. I am sorry for your mother, but I do not spare the lives of turncloaks. This one, especially. He slew two sons of Eddard Stark. Every northman in my service would abandon me if I showed him any clemency. Your brother must die."
"Then do the deed yourself, Your Grace."
The chill in Asha's voice made Theon shiver in his chains. "Take him out across the lake to the islet where the weirwood grows, and strike his head off with that sorcerous sword you bear. That is how Eddard Stark would have done it. Theon slew Lord Eddard's sons. Give him to Lord Eddard's gods. The old gods of the north. Give him to the tree."
And suddenly there came a wild thumping, as the maester's ravens hopped and flapped inside their cages, their black feathers flying as they beat against the bars with loud and raucous caws. "The tree," one squawked, "the tree, the tree," whilst the second screamed only, "Theon, Theon, Theon."
Theon Greyjoy smiled. They know my name, he thought.

I think Bloodraven and Bran are controlling the ravens, I think they do want Stannis to bring Theon before a weirwood but not to have him killed as a sacrifice.

Bran has important information for Stannis. Not only that he and Rickon are alive, but about Winterfell as well. Bran knows the secret ways of Winterfell better than anyone.

AGoT, chapter 8, Bran II:

“When he got out from under it and scrambled up near the sky, Bran could see all of Winterfell in a glance. He liked the way it looked, spread out beneath him, only birds wheeling over his head while all the life of the castle went on below. Bran could perch for hours among the shapeless, rain-worn gargoyles that brooded over the First Keep, watching it all: the men drilling with wood and steel in the yard, the cooks tending their vegetables in the glass garden, restless dogs running back and forth in the kennels, the silence of the godswood, the girls gossiping beside the washing well. It made him feel like he was lord of the castle, in a way even Robb would never know.
It taught him Winterfell’s secrets too. The builders had not even leveled the earth; there were hills and valleys behind the walls of Winterfell. There was a covered bridge that went from the fourth floor of the bell tower across to the second floor of the rookery. Bran knew about that. And he knew you could get inside the inner wall by the south gate, climb three floors and run all the way around Winterfell through a narrow tunnel in the stone, and then come out on ground level at the north gate, with a hundred feet of wall looming over you. Even Maester Luwin didn’t know that, Bran was convinced.”

I think Bran might skinchange into Theon when he’s brought before the weirwood. And I think Theon, who is ready to die, will be a willing vessel for Bran to communicate with Stannis (and the northners).

Here are some bits that foreshadow this.

We know dogs are the easiest animals to skinchange into.

ADwD, Prologue

Dogs were the easiest beasts to bond with; they lived so close to men that they were almost human. Slipping into a dog’s skin was like putting on an old boot, its leather softened by wear. As a boot was shaped to accept a foot, a dog was shaped to accept a collar, even a collar no human eye could see. Wolves were harder.

And Theon is presented to us, time and again, as a dog. This point is driven home throughout Dance.

ADwD, Reek II

Lord Ramsay laughed. “You’re not a man, Reek. You’re just my creature. You’ll have your wine, though. Walder, see to it. And fear not, I won’t return you to the dungeons, you have my word as a Bolton. We’ll make a dog of you instead. Meat every day, and I’ll even leave you teeth enough to eat it. You can sleep beside my girls. Ben, do you have a collar for him?

ADwD, Reek II

Farther back came the baggage train—lumbering wayns laden with provisions and loot taken in the war, and carts crowded with wounded men and cripples. And at the rear, more Freys. At least a thousand, maybe more: bowmen, spearmen, peasants armed with scythes and sharpened sticks, freeriders and mounted archers, and another hundred knights to stiffen them.
Collared and chained and back in rags again, Reek followed with the other dogs at Lord Ramsay’s heels when his lordship strode forth to greet his father.

The way I see it, there is an awful lot of emphasis on Theon becoming a dog; we know Bran can skinchange into Hodor and use the weirnet; we know Theon is broken and guilt-ridden, possibly willing to do anything he can to atone to his betrayal; and he’s very likely going to be brought before a weirwood.

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Great theory...


This chapter always gives me goosebumps.



In the last chapter of Bran (I think), Bloodraven tells Bran that you cannot communicate through trees and that he has tried himself many times..(When Bran sees Ned cleaning ICE)..If this is true, how did Theon hear his name when he was in the godswood. He is definitely not hallucinating...


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Yes, looks like Stannis lost. Not sure if he is dead or not. That was left a little ambiguous in the show ending. I hope he lives and somehow helps Theon, Sansa and maybe Brienne escape from Ramsay when he starts searching for them. (which he will).


In the book, I hope the battle is closer and more interesting than the show. That was just depressing. If Stannis actually loses in the book I hope he escapes and helps the North anti Bolton resistance or something like that. The Bolton’s win the battle of Ice, but lose the war……..


The Shireen Burning in the show was even more depressing (and shocking). Kinda saw it coming in the show build up, but I still don’t think the ‘real’ Stannis would have done that. The real Stannis has her back at the wall 'safe', as she is his legacy for the future and that is what Stannis is all about. He’s the only one who was prepared to go north and protect the Wall and help the Night’s Watch after all. If he was all just about being king, he’s have gone to Winterfell first. If he dies, I guess Melisandre can do her fire thing... Though if Stannis is dead, then Shireen is the Queen (in the book). I like the Shireen character in the book and in the show. She seems to be reasonable and astute. The kind of person GRRM seems to like. It was a shame to see her get killed off like that in the show.


Edited by A-Stannis-Fan

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He’s the only one who was prepared to go north and protect the Wall and help the Night’s Watch after all. If he was all just about being king, he’s have gone to Winterfell first.

Well, geography makes that pretty much impossible. Frankly, I don't know what Stannis would be doing if he didn't arrive at the Wall, because he was mostly a non-factor in the WoTFK after Blackwater.


Edited by Cybvep

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Well, geography makes that pretty much impossible. Frankly, I don't know what Stannis would be doing if he didn't arrive at the Wall, because he was mostly a non-factor in the WoTFK after Blackwater.

Don't forget Stannis sailed to the North to get to the Wall. With Ships he could sail to where he liked on the coast and then have marched directly on Winterfell. Saving time, supplies and Men, and maybe even kept some element of surprise.

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But why the tree? How does Asha even know about the tree? And why is her voice "strangely deep?" And how would she have any idea "what Ned Stark would have done?" She never met him. Who would have told her all about Ned Stark? She's Ironborn.
 
 
I do think Stannis wrote the letter, though, although I'm not at all sure what his plan could possibly be.


I think you're making too many assumptions about Asha's education and Knowledge base about the North. She is well travelled and her family's Leige Lord was Ned Stark....she is most likely way less ignorant than you make her out to be. You don't think she asked Maesters, or Nuncles about the people her Brother was being raised by?

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I think you're making too many assumptions about Asha's education and Knowledge base about the North. She is well travelled and her family's Leige Lord was Ned Stark....she is most likely way less ignorant than you make her out to be. You don't think she asked Maesters, or Nuncles about the people her Brother was being raised by?

The Irons Islands and the Greyjoy's are their own region and Lord. They answer only to the King.

 

Someone/Something is affecting Asha in this chapter imo..

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But why the tree? How does Asha even know about the tree? And why is her voice "strangely deep?" And how would she have any idea "what Ned Stark would have done?" She never met him. Who would have told her all about Ned Stark? She's Ironborn.

 

 

I do think Stannis wrote the letter, though, although I'm not at all sure what his plan could possibly be.

 

On top of what she may or may not have learned growing up she's been spending a lot of time among the northern clans and Alysane Mormont; in fact, Alysane and Asha have grown close. It would be hard strange if she didn't know any of this. As to her deep voice, I don't see anything strange there at all. It is a very grave situation, and as far as she knows Theon is going to die after having gone through all that he's gone through. 

 

Great theory...

This chapter always gives me goosebumps.

 

In the last chapter of Bran (I think), Bloodraven tells Bran that you cannot communicate through trees and that he has tried himself many times..(When Bran sees Ned cleaning ICE)..If this is true, how did Theon hear his name when he was in the godswood. He is definitely not hallucinating...

 

I think a whispered name may work - sound of the wind through the leaves - but I don't see a proper conversation taking place like that.

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I agree totally with kissdbyfire's post above and back at #127..Asha has grown close to Alysanne, Alysanne will be close to the clansmen (especially if you think there is a GNC or resistance movement ..under whatever name)

 

Asha wants to save Theon's life , but knows Stannis will not respond to emotional pleas..she saw earlier what wouldn't work with Stannis, and will most likely have taken advice from Alysanne and possibly some clansman (perhaps Middle Liddle ?) It was The Liddle who shared a shelter with Bran &co. on their way north. All the clansmen therefore know Bran and Rickon are alive, yet it's the murder of the Stark boys that Stannis thinks he must execute Theon for.(Her voice may well be the result of keeping her emotions in check.)

 

The Northmen waiting to see Stannis will also ask that Theon be taken to the tree, believing, as they do, that no man can lie before a heart tree.

 

There , pertinent questions may be put to him, or he will at least be given an opportunity to speak some last words. Theon wanted to explain himself to the old gods in the godswood. He may do it now.. and I would not rule out that he may "go into a trance" (i.e. be warged by Bran) and speak some truths - perhaps some of a nature to convince Stannis that the information is genuine ( i.e. something Stannis said or did at the Wall that is not generally known).

 

If it's shown Theon did not kill the boys, I believe it would be an acceptable option for all concerned to allow him to take the black.

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If it's shown Theon did not kill the boys, I believe it would be an acceptable option for all concerned to allow him to take the black.

 

Well he killed two boys and that's more than enough for Stannis to execute him regardless of the boys' names.

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^Stannis thinks that he can't spare Theon for political reasons,(which we know to be false) but the law of the land states that anyone can request to take the black, and Stannis honors the law.

Edited by aryagonnakill#2

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^Stannis thinks that he can't spare Theon for political reasons,(which we know to be false) but the law of the land states that anyone can request to take the black, and Stannis honors the law.

 

Yes, and if he does take Theon to the tree, it will be because he wants to do justice in a way that is satisfactory to the northerners, in this particularly northern matter (not so much because Asha asks it).

 

Once, Luwin almost convinced Theon to take the black.. If Bran convinces him now (or in some way 'influences' him to ask),the northmen would agree.

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I think you're making too many assumptions about Asha's education and Knowledge base about the North. She is well travelled and her family's Leige Lord was Ned Stark....she is most likely way less ignorant than you make her out to be. You don't think she asked Maesters, or Nuncles about the people her Brother was being raised by?

 

No. She's an Iron Islander. They have no use for education. They don't buy or sell. They don't sow. They probably don't do much reading or writing either. Why would they? Asha has not spent a great deal of time in the North, nor does she know a single thing about what Ned Stark would or wouldn't do. It's not as if they sent ravens back and forth. They didn't, apparently.

 

It makes no sense whatsoever for an Iron Islander to ask Theon to be sacrificed to a tree, rather than the Drowned God. I think it's pretty obvious she's being warged by Bran.

Edited by Ladywhiskers

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