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YOVMO

Little Walder and His Bag of Silver

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Ok, so in ADWD Ser Hosteen Frey comes marching into the great hall at winterfell with the dead body of Little Walder Frey.

Ser Hosteen blames Lord Manderly. Manderly says (hilariously) that the killer might have done Little Walder a favor because had he lived he would have grown up to be a Frey. A fight ensues. You know the rest. There are some bits of interest here though.

First of all, the body was found, in all places, under the first keep. Some whoever killed Little Walder either did so or staged the body afterwards at the Winterfell crypts. We all know that any time the crypts are brought in there is always the possibility of something larger.

Big Walder was the last to see Little Walder alive. He testifies to Roose Bolton, "I told him not to go out alone, but he said he had to find a man who owed him silver" This is reminiscent of what happens to Pate when he brings Marwin's key to the Alchemist. Big Walder then tells Ramsey that Little Walder never said who the man was. "Only that he won the coin at dice" and then follows up by pointing out that it was White Harbor men who were teaching dice" which is what throws further suspicion on Manderly.

However, there are some odd things here. First of all, Crypts are always odd. That the witness to little walder leaving to meet a white harbor man who was going to give him owed silver from a dice game comes from Big Walder (one of the only people in winterfell who has been to the old keep...the others being Theon and Lady Dustin) is suspicious.

It is a Theon POV and he suspects Abel's washerwomen but they deny it most vociferously. I tend to believe that the washerwomen had nothing to do with it and because it is theon pov we can assume that theon had no knowledge of it either.

 

We know that Big Walder is a big jerk with a cruel streak and we know he is ambitious as he talks to Bran about Frey line of succession with kind of near sociopathic viciousness. Big Walder specifically mentions, with bitterness, that despite him being older than Little Walder, Little Walder is ahead of him in the line of succession. Big Walder tells Bran: "His grandmother was Lord Walder's third wife, the Crakehall. He's ahead of me in the line of succession even though I'm older." That Hosteen finds the boy also doesn't seem a coincidence. Hosteen is described by Stannis as "dim and stupid" and Hosteen is a Crakehall just like little Walder. With the tension brewing as it is, any dead Frey would have set Hosteen off...but that it was a Fray-Crakehall was really explosive.

 

The immediate effects of the murder of Little Walder are as follows

1) The Cold War Between Frey and Manderly Turns hot when Ser Hosteen cuts Wyman's Neck and several Frey and Manderly kngihts and men at arms die in a melee.

2) The battle plan of waiting for Stannis to attack Winterfell changes to sending the Manderly and Frey armies out to meet Stannis in open battle

3) Big Walder jumps a spot in the Frey Line of Succession

4) House Crakehall (who are bannermen to the Lannisters) now have a possible grievance with White Harbor.

5) The opportunity for Able and the Washerwomen along with Arya/Jeyne and Theon to escape is presented.

6) Little Walder Frey is Dead

I think the two main contenders for killing Little Walder Frey are Lord Wyman (though Ser Hosteen doesn't see the real reason), Big Walder (as directed by Ramsey Bolton) or Abel (without the knowledge of the washerwoman)

First, Lord Wyaman. Ok...why would he have Little Walder Frey killed. Well, if we look at the 6 immediate consequences....cold war turning warm between Manderly and Frey is exactly what Wyman wanted he just wanted plausible deniability that he began the war until after he was no longer in the power of the Boltons. Number 2...now Manderly and Frey armies are going out to meet Stannis instead of letting Stannis crash his army on the fortified walls of Winterfell. Well, Wyman tells Davos he has declared for Stannis and the ruse he is playing with the Bolton's and Frey's is almost at an end. We know he hates the Frey's. If and When the joined forces of Manderly and Frey see Stannis' army, Manderly army turning on Frey would be very decisive in winning the war for Stannis. The Frey's would be slaughtered wholesale and the Manderly knights joined to Stannis' forces with a fairly easy ruse to get through the gates of winterfell so long as they leave no Frey's alive. Stannis might even know of this through Davos and even if not, it won't take him too long to figure out what is going on when Manderly knights start butchering Frey Knights. Ok...so number 3 probably means nothing and less to anyone but Big Walder and even to him not very much at all. If Wyman Manderly is throwing in with Stannis than pissing off Lannister bannermen the Crakehall's is actually to his benefit. The Able escape would be meaningless to Walder Frey. Number 6....well, killing Frey's has become quite the entertaining hobby for Wyman.

So, 4 out of the 6 immediate effects of the murder and subsequent discovery of Little Walder favor the lord of white harbor.

Number 2....Big Walder kills Little Walder on the orders of Ramsey. Well we all know that Ramsey isn't above doing this and we know that Big Walder has fallen in as one of his favorites. We know Ramsay has a beef to settle with Wyman from his first marriage to Lady Hornwood (when he was still Ramsay Snow) because Wyman positions himself to seize Hornwood and prevent the Bolton's from taking it. So getting Hosteen Frey to nearly kill Wyamn seems like a plus in Ramsay's corner. Ramsay was, if I am not mistaken, all for marching out and facing Stannis in the field. It is the cautious Roose who decides it is better to let Stannis freeze in the snows and smash his force against the walls of winterfell. So Ramsay, through little walder's death, gets what he wants in terms of strategy. Big Walder jump in Frey line wouldn't have mattered to Ramsay but it is something that he certainly could have used to manipulate Big Walder with (and remember, when Hosteen Frey carries little walder in with big walder behind him big walder is described as being "spattered with blood" Now....I will not claim to have ever found an already murdered corpse in 5 feet of snow caked with ice but it is my feeling that if I did, no matter of pushing him about would get blood splatter on me. Hosteen is carrying the body and there is no mention of blood splatter on him. The splatter seems to indicate that Big Walder didn't just find the frozen corpse but participated in or at least witnessed the death. For number 4, now that the boltons are throwing their allegiance to the Lannisters having enmity between white Harbor and a Lannister bannerman may help in the long run once the dust settles if they look to weaken House Manderly and strengthen house Bolton with Lannister support from the throne. The Able escape plot possibly means nothing but is also very much like one of the games that Ramsay likes to torture Theon with so it is either a positive for him or a neutral. And finally, little walders death will not have hurt anything so while it is not something desirable to Ramsay, it seems like an easy price for Ramsay to pay for the rest of the pay out he gets.

 

So I give 4 out of the 6 immediate effects being a positive for Ramsay Bolton with one of them being at worst neutral and possibly a positive and the last being totally neutral.

 

Finally, is this a plan of Abel which has to do with the escape? Well the Frey's and the Manderly's in open hostile conflict does make distractions easier if they are going to carry off Ramsay's bride. Having the Fray's and the Manderly's march out to meet stannis gives them the escape opportunity they have been looking for. Big walder jump obviously meaningless (though it isn't totally unthinkable that Able convinced Big Walder to do this using that info...unlikely but not unthinkable) The Crakehall-Manderly Feud nothing their opportunity obviously the whole ball of wax for them and little walder dead...well, nothing...maybe they like killing freys because of red wedding...who knows.

 

Of these options I think #2 (Ramsay/Big Walder) is the most likely culprit behind the death of little walder. Let me know what you all think? Have I missed any culprits or any evidence? Any idea if there is some larger plan that the immediate effects of Little Walder's murder didn't bring up.....oh man, if someone has some supernatural explanation for this due to the involvement of the crypts you know I am all about that and if you can shoehorn a faceless man in there I think I love ya.

 

 

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Well thought out.  I always felt that Little Walder was killed by his own kin, most likely Big Walder.  My initial thoughts were that it was to create a reason for the Freys to attack Manderly and if not kill him, knock the whole house down a rung or two in the eyes of the Boltons. 

The resulting change in orders (riding out to meet Stannis) is too coincidental to be the rational, for either Manderly, Frey, Abel or Ramsey, there is no way one could have known that it would change Roose's mind.

But now that I think it through, I think the Ramsey / Big Walder theory is probably the case.  Ramsey has no lover for Manderly, he doesn't trust him, and Manderly is probably the biggest threat to the Boltons inside the castle, he could easily manipulate Big Walder, and he would have no issues with sacrificing the boy.  My question now is whether Roose knew of the plan as well. 

 

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@YOVMO There are three mistakes you make:

There is no mention of Little Walder having been found in the crypts. He's discovered in a snowbank (which is outside) below the ruined keep. There was the 1st keep, and the great keep. The 1st keep wasn't in use anymore, and a wall collapsed during (or after) the sack of WF (after if you think Summer saw a dragon fly off), so it's become a ruin. While the crypts are nearby, it's not stated he was found in the crypts, which is unlikely since most people don't even know where it is. Secondly, it's Little Walder (the one that got killed) who became more and more like Ramsay. The surviving Walder, Big Walder, is supposedly the nicer one of the two. And third, Little Walder is not related to a Crakehall, but to Darry. Little Walder is the brother of Amerei and Fat Walda.

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Big Walder almost certainly killed Little Walder, but not in some part of any conspiracy.  The clue is that he has blood on his body even though the body is frozen solid.  If he found the body already frozen no blood would have transferred to him and it seems unlikely that in the 2 minutes or so that he would run to Hosteen and bring him back to the body that it would have frozen solid.  If he picked the body up and carried it to Hosteen himself it would not have frozen at all.  

Big Walder saw an opportunity to move up in the line of succession without blame, I think it is that simple.  While Little Walder was becoming more like Ramsay, Big Walder was becoming more like Roose, and with the tension between Frey and Manderly he knew he could blame them.

The spear wives seem to confess to several of the murders as Mance needed something to change in order to get Arya and get out so they found some targets they hated and took them out.

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10 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

@YOVMO There are three mistakes you make:

There is no mention of Little Walder having been found in the crypts. He's discovered in a snowbank (which is outside) below the ruined keep. There was the 1st keep, and the great keep. The 1st keep wasn't in use anymore, and a wall collapsed during (or after) the sack of WF (after if you think Summer saw a dragon fly off), so it's become a ruin.

Big Walder mentions that it was under the old keep with the gargoyles. I never thought "in the crypts" but near them. The old keep with the gargoyles was the abandoned one (where Bran catches Cersei and Jamie). I was under the impression that that was the first keep.

Quote

While the crypts are nearby, it's not stated he was found in the crypts, which is unlikely since most people don't even know where it is. Secondly, it's Little Walder (the one that got killed) who became more and more like Ramsay.

You are absolutely right about this. I am not sure it really changes MUCH but it does change some. Sorry and thank you for the clairification.

Quote

The surviving Walder, Big Walder, is supposedly the nicer one of the two. And third, Little Walder is not related to a Crakehall, but to Darry. Little Walder is the brother of Amerei and Fat Walda.

Little Walder has both Darry and Crakehall sigils quartered with the twin towers of Frey on his personal coat of arms. I am assuming a Crakehall connection here.

 

Also, mistakes aside, and when I get a chance I will edit OP and credit you for pointing them out, I think the larger point remains that the murder was indeed fishy, Big Walder's blood stains def fishy and that the death of Little Walder directly lead to events that were in some peoples favor. We are blaming the maderly's solely on the word of a 9 year old walder saying that his cousin went to pick up silver from a man he beat at dice with the assumption that it is a manderly man.

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16 minutes ago, Chris Mormont said:

Well thought out.  I always felt that Little Walder was killed by his own kin, most likely Big Walder.  My initial thoughts were that it was to create a reason for the Freys to attack Manderly and if not kill him, knock the whole house down a rung or two in the eyes of the Boltons. 

Thank you. There are a few errors as were pointed out before that need correcting, though I think that something is fishy and knocking the Manderly's down is a big part of it.

16 minutes ago, Chris Mormont said:

The resulting change in orders (riding out to meet Stannis) is too coincidental to be the rational, for either Manderly, Frey, Abel or Ramsey, there is no way one could have known that it would change Roose's mind.

Hard to say no one. Maybe not. But if anyone did, his Son who he was grooming for command and sharing his strategic thinking with might have.

16 minutes ago, Chris Mormont said:

But now that I think it through, I think the Ramsey / Big Walder theory is probably the case.  Ramsey has no lover for Manderly, he doesn't trust him,

Right and that is increased by the Lady Hornwood insult.

16 minutes ago, Chris Mormont said:

and Manderly is probably the biggest threat to the Boltons inside the castle, he could easily manipulate Big Walder, and he would have no issues with sacrificing the boy.  My question now is whether Roose knew of the plan as well. 

 

Whether Roose knew of the plan is a good question. My guess would be no. Roose quite clearly knew that having the two most powerful houses under his leadership at odds with one another inside a snowed in Winterfell would be bad news bears. That said, he could have been strategic enough to have orchestrated the entire thing himself. That would, at the very least, get rid of the concern that no one could possibly know that Roose would use this incident to send Frey and Manderly out to meet stannis.....even if Ramsay couldn't have guessed it, if the plot was hatched by or at least with Roose then it could have been very much intentional. Roose needed a pretext and this was it.

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1 minute ago, YOVMO said:

Little Walder has both Darry and Crakehall sigils quartered with the twin towers of Frey on his personal coat of arms. I am assuming a Crakehall connection here.

I think you sort of skipped over how you definitely have confused Walder's at some point in your OP. The surviving one is the nicer of the two, while you basically state he is " is a big jerk with a cruel streak and we know he is ambitious as he talks to Bran about Frey line of succession with kind of near sociopathic viciousness."  Not only that, as far as Ramsey is concerned, the one that is now dead "Little Walder" was the one that was becoming fast friends with Ramsey, you state that "Big Walder has fallen in as one of Ramsey's favorites" which is just the opposite.

Basically my argument is, Ramsey's buddy is the one that died, so Ramsey likely had nothing to do with getting Big Walder to do the deed, as you are sort of suggesting. 

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Just now, Heartofwinter said:

I think you sort of skipped over how you definitely have confused Walder's at some point in your OP. The surviving one is the nicer of the two, while you basically state he is " is a big jerk with a cruel streak and we know he is ambitious as he talks to Bran about Frey line of succession with kind of near sociopathic viciousness."  Not only that, as far as Ramsey is concerned, the one that is now dead "Little Walder" was the one that was becoming fast friends with Ramsey, you state that "Big Walder has fallen in as one of Ramsey's favorites" which is just the opposite.

Basically my argument is, Ramsey's buddy is the one that died, so Ramsey likely had nothing to do with getting Big Walder to do the deed, as you are sort of suggesting. 

No I absolutely mixed up Walder's at some point and need to go back to it. I still don't think that Ramsay gives enough of a shit about a 9 year old squire and I am positive Roose doesn't to not be willing to kill them for an advantage. That said, absolutely correct I think I mixed some Walder's up a bit and need to straighten it out.

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I believe Merrett, (the NOT a tapestry) father of Ami, Fat Walda, and Little Walder hanged at Oldstones, was the son of Lady Amerai Crakehall. Little Walder's mother is a Darry.

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There was a set up, no doubt. First of all, I've never bought the story that Big Walder told about Little Walder winning silver at dice. 

Sure, soldiers would teach a kid the game and let him win a few coppers to get him excited...but winning silver from hardened soldiers??? I don't think so. I smelled a rat right there.

Now whether it was Frey on Frey killing or something else, I'm not sure, but I do not believe it was Mance's group that did the deed. It could have been the Hooded Man for all I know.

I just know that the silver story was either a lie from the murderer or a set-up where the kid was hoodwinked into thinking he was going to collect a dice debt.

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As mentioned before, Little Walder's body was frozen so Big Walder could not have blood on his clothes unless he was near him when he was murdered.  He also was unhappy about Ramsay's influnce on his Little Walder.

He either was murderer or collaborated with killer.

 

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@YOVMO

I believe it was Big Walder who did the deed. Spattered blood plus 

Quote

The boy’s gloves were caked with his cousin’s blood.

I don't see any reason to believe it wasn't Big Walder. There was at least some succession motivation. From CoK:

Quote

He’s ahead of me in the line of succession even though I’m older.” “Only by fifty-two days,” Little Walder objected. “And neither of us will ever hold the Twins, stupid.” “I will,” Big Walder declared.

Not the best of motivation, but something. 

Also, we don't know where the murder took place, only where the body was found. 

3 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

@YOVMO There are three mistakes you make:

There is no mention of Little Walder having been found in the crypts. He's discovered in a snowbank (which is outside) below the ruined keep. There was the 1st keep, and the great keep. The 1st keep wasn't in use anymore, and a wall collapsed during (or after) the sack of WF (after if you think Summer saw a dragon fly off), so it's become a ruin. While the crypts are nearby, it's not stated he was found in the crypts, which is unlikely since most people don't even know where it is. Secondly, it's Little Walder (the one that got killed) who became more and more like Ramsay. The surviving Walder, Big Walder, is supposedly the nicer one of the two. And third, Little Walder is not related to a Crakehall, but to Darry. Little Walder is the brother of Amerei and Fat Walda.

You're right, most people don't know. But the Walders do. 

Quote

With Rickon by their side, the Walders plundered the kitchens for pies and honeycombs, raced round the walls, tossed bones to the pups in the kennels, and trained with wooden swords under Ser Rodrik’s sharp eye. Rickon even showed them the deep vaults under the earth where the stonemason was carving father’s tomb. “You had no right!” Bran screamed at his brother when he heard. “That was our place, a Stark place!” But Rickon never cared.

CoK

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21 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

@YOVMO

I believe it was Big Walder who did the deed. Spattered blood plus 

I don't see any reason to believe it wasn't Big Walder. There was at least some succession motivation. From CoK:

Not the best of motivation, but something. 

Also, we don't know where the murder took place, only where the body was found. 

You're right, most people don't know. But the Walders do. 

CoK

I agree otherfamother. Everything you said and more points to big Walder I believe. The question is: was he alone in this deed? Did Roose and or Ramsay play a role? If so to what end? If not, to what end did BW do the deed. Yes the succession thing but it wasn't like he had any chance of also killing the 6 or so people still between him and being lord of the crossing. Could be just anger but as was pointed out above he had a decent disposition. The more I think of it the more I believe it was Roose using it as a pretext to push the Frey's and Manderly's out of winterfell. He Benefts the most. Even if Stannis beats the combined Fray and Manderly force it will weaken him and Roose is still safe behind the walls of winterfell and now being seiged by an even weaker Stannis army while at the same time the whooping this puts on house Manderly in terms of loss of life of knights and men at arms further solidifies Roose's dominance in the north. 

 

That said, the fact that Wyman has already told Davos that he declares for Stannis could very well mean the Frey's get butchered and the Manderly's come back to Winterfell saying they were defeated and walk right through the front gate with Stannis's army

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4 hours ago, YOVMO said:

The immediate effects of the murder of Little Walder are as follows

 

6) Little Walder Frey is Dead

Little Walder's death has an additional impact I just recently noticed.  Little Walder was betrothed to Wylla Manderly, Lord Manderly's grand-daughter who was supportive of the Starks at the meeting with Davos.  His death obviously cancels the betrothal.  Otherwise it could have gotten sticky.  I also noticed her sister's betrothed, Rhaegar, became one of the Frey Pies.  Whether this is enough for a motive is unclear, but it is useful to note.

As for the succession, they are both so far down the line of succession I don't think it really matters unless Frey deaths are even more numerous than they are already likely to be.  I think they have well over 20 men and boys ahead of them.  Even a "Kind Hearts and Coronets" -  style campaign would be unlikely to help.  They're both too far down.

I still think it was Big Walder, probably as the result of an argument of some kind.   He probably made stuff up on the spur of the moment to avoid blame and stick it to the Manderlys who are clear rivals to the Freys at this point.

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4 hours ago, YOVMO said:

Little Walder has both Darry and Crakehall sigils quartered with the twin towers of Frey on his personal coat of arms. I am assuming a Crakehall connection here.

His grandmothre was a Crakehall. Maryia Darry, his mother is at Darry with her daughter Amerei. It's probably a double reason for the Strongboar to go to Darry after the siege of RR in aFfC.

Personally I think Big Walder did it. He's not a sadistic bully type as Little Walder, but he does consistently say that he'll be Lord of the Crossing one day, though he's far behind in the list of heirs (son of the 13th son of Lord Walder Frey). He's not cruel, but seems to be more of cooler calculated type who knows how to come across as docile. Merrett (Little Walder's father) thinks it in the aSoS Epilogue - how the only Freys you can trust are your direct brothers, and even then only so-so. Little Walder was 8 places ahead of Big Walder, and it would set a chain of events in motion that would provoke a fight in which it's not unlikely that Aenys and Hosteen (who are also ahead of him) could get killed.

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@YOVMO

27 minutes ago, Nevets said:

Little Walder's death has an additional impact I just recently noticed.  Little Walder was betrothed to Wylla Manderly, Lord Manderly's grand-daughter who was supportive of the Starks at the meeting with Davos.  His death obviously cancels the betrothal.  Otherwise it could have gotten sticky.  I also noticed her sister's betrothed, Rhaegar, became one of the Frey Pies.  Whether this is enough for a motive is unclear, but it is useful to note.

As for the succession, they are both so far down the line of succession I don't think it really matters unless Frey deaths are even more numerous than they are already likely to be.  I think they have well over 20 men and boys ahead of them.  Even a "Kind Hearts and Coronets" -  style campaign would be unlikely to help.  They're both too far down.

I still think it was Big Walder, probably as the result of an argument of some kind.   He probably made stuff up on the spur of the moment to avoid blame and stick it to the Manderlys who are clear rivals to the Freys at this point.

I think succession is a very motivating factor for Big Walder.

From Bran I, CoK

Quote

He’s ahead of me in the line of succession even though I’m older.”

“Only by fifty-two days,” Little Walder objected. “And neither of us will ever hold the Twins, stupid.”

“I will,” Big Walder declared. “We’re not the only Walders either. Ser Stevron has a grandson, Black Walder, he’s fourth in line of succession, and there’s Red Walder, Ser Emmon’s son, and Bastard Walder, who isn’t in the line at all. He’s called Walder Rivers not Walder Frey. Plus there’s girls named Walda.”

“And Tyr. You always forget Tyr.”

“He’s Waltyr, not Walder,” Big Walder said airily. “And he’s after us, so he doesn’t matter. Anyhow, I never liked him.”

Big Walder declared that he will be Lord someday. He also judges people based on where they are in order of succession. I think succession is extremely important to him and we cannot dismiss this as not enough motivation for murder.

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31 minutes ago, Nevets said:

Little Walder's death has an additional impact I just recently noticed.  Little Walder was betrothed to Wylla Manderly, Lord Manderly's grand-daughter who was supportive of the Starks at the meeting with Davos.  His death obviously cancels the betrothal.  Otherwise it could have gotten sticky.  I also noticed her sister's betrothed, Rhaegar, became one of the Frey Pies.  Whether this is enough for a motive is unclear, but it is useful to note.

Sticky situation indeed lol well done. I hadn't considered the  bethrovals thank you 

31 minutes ago, Nevets said:

As for the succession, they are both so far down the line of succession I don't think it really matters unless Frey deaths are even more numerous than they are already likely to be.  I think they have well over 20 men and boys ahead of them.  Even a "Kind Hearts and Coronets" -  style campaign would be unlikely to help.  They're both too far down.

Agreed that it is too far down to matter but there was an animosity there about big walder being older yet lower in line. He specifically says so. So while it might not be his motive to get closer to being lord of the crossing he nevertheless was angry about the situation and could possibly be manipulated wrt it. Remember, he is like 9.

31 minutes ago, Nevets said:

I still think it was Big Walder, probably as the result of an argument of some kind.   He probably made stuff up on the spur of the moment to avoid blame and stick it to the Manderlys who are clear rivals to the Freys at this point.

This is, of course, possible. However, I just feel that too many things happen as a direct result of that lie. If it wasn't a carefully orchestrated plan it certainly worked out like one.

 

4 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

His grandmothre was a Crakehall. Maryia Darry, his mother is at Darry with her daughter Amerei. It's probably a double reason for the Strongboar to go to Darry after the siege of RR in aFfC.

 

Yes this is correct. Thank you for the save there

4 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Personally I think Big Walder did it. He's not a sadistic bully type as Little Walder, but he does consistently say that he'll be Lord of the Crossing one day, though he's far behind in the list of heirs (son of the 13th son of Lord Walder Frey). He's not cruel, but seems to be more of cooler calculated type who knows how to come across as docile. Merrett (Little Walder's father) thinks it in the aSoS Epilogue - how the only Freys you can trust are your direct brothers, and even then only so-so. Little Walder was 8 places ahead of Big Walder, and it would set a chain of events in motion that would provoke a fight in which it's not unlikely that Aenys and Hosteen (who are also ahead of him) could get killed.

This all seems right to me. I just can't get over the thought that this whole situation plays out so perfectly for the Bolton's that it is hard to imagine it not being by design.

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2 minutes ago, YOVMO said:

 

This all seems right to me. I just can't get over the thought that this whole situation plays out so perfectly for the Bolton's that it is hard to imagine it not being by design.

Why is having a large portion of Roose's army leave perfect for him? Wouldn't it be better to have everyone stay and get along? 

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16 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Why is having a large portion of Roose's army leave perfect for him? Wouldn't it be better to have everyone stay and get along? 

Yes having everyone stay and get along is ideal but impossible and Roose is an idealist. Tensions were super high between Frey and Manderly. It wasn't long before it went bad. By having them both ride out to meet stannis two goals are accomplished. Regardless of outcome stannis is weakened and regardless of outcome Manderly is weakened. Stannis is attacking so him being weakened is a good start. And manderly is a house which has actively subverted House Bolton and has questionable loyalties and is the only house with the money and power to be a real threat to Roose sonseeing him weakened is best for him too. 

 

By by having a pretext to send Frey and Manderly out of winterfell to attack stannis Roose Bolton wins several big victories without lifting a finger and because by it was a response to a bloody fight where Lord Manderly nearly gets killed and several knights on both sides do get killed no one has reason to suspect Roose is doing it for personal gain which is exactly the kind of plotter that he is 

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54 minutes ago, YOVMO said:

Yes having everyone stay and get along is ideal but impossible and Roose is an idealist. Tensions were super high between Frey and Manderly. It wasn't long before it went bad. By having them both ride out to meet stannis two goals are accomplished. Regardless of outcome stannis is weakened and regardless of outcome Manderly is weakened. Stannis is attacking so him being weakened is a good start. And manderly is a house which has actively subverted House Bolton and has questionable loyalties and is the only house with the money and power to be a real threat to Roose sonseeing him weakened is best for him too. 

 

By by having a pretext to send Frey and Manderly out of winterfell to attack stannis Roose Bolton wins several big victories without lifting a finger and because by it was a response to a bloody fight where Lord Manderly nearly gets killed and several knights on both sides do get killed no one has reason to suspect Roose is doing it for personal gain which is exactly the kind of plotter that he is 

My point was more that this situation is not perfect for Roose.

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