Jump to content
James Steller

Battle at Winterfell - Rodrik should have been suspicious

Recommended Posts

Re-reading the book recently, it strikes me that Rodrik should have smelled a rat regarding the Dreadfort men's arrival at the siege.

Just to summarize events leading up to that moment, Ramsay Snow had just kidnapped and killed Lady Hornwood, the Boltons and Manderlys were fighting over the Hornwood lands, and Ramsay Snow was allegedly killed by Rodrik and his followers. 

So with all that in mind, what made Rodrik think that those Bolton men were allies? What logic did he apply to justify the Boltons sending anyone to Winterfell? We can assume that Ramsay was obviously in charge of the Dreadfort with Roose's absence. Ramsay is now both dead (as far as Rodrik knows), and he is guilty of so many atrocities, not least of which having Lady Hornwood starve to death. If House Bolton tolerated such a monster, why would they aid the man who killed said monster and wishes to drag his name through the mud with a trial? 

Rodrik should have smelled a rat when the Dreadfort men arrived. Maybe not outright attacked them, but at least he could have had his men on the alert and kept his distance. Instead of just assuming all was well and shake the commander's hand. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ramsay Snow was a bastard, so why would he be in charge? And the Boltons hadn’t rebelled for generations. Rodrik had no reason to suspect foul play.

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it was known that Ramsay was left in charge of the Dreadfort so that could account for it. But even it was, Rodrik had no reason to distrust the Dreadfort men. They followed Ramsay because he was their Lords son. As far as Rodrik knew, this 'new commander' (actually the same guy) had no interest in going down the same path.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, James Steller said:

Re-reading the book recently, it strikes me that Rodrik should have smelled a rat regarding the Dreadfort men's arrival at the siege.

Just to summarize events leading up to that moment, Ramsay Snow had just kidnapped and killed Lady Hornwood, the Boltons and Manderlys were fighting over the Hornwood lands, and Ramsay Snow was allegedly killed by Rodrik and his followers. 

So with all that in mind, what made Rodrik think that those Bolton men were allies? What logic did he apply to justify the Boltons sending anyone to Winterfell? We can assume that Ramsay was obviously in charge of the Dreadfort with Roose's absence. Ramsay is now both dead (as far as Rodrik knows), and he is guilty of so many atrocities, not least of which having Lady Hornwood starve to death. If House Bolton tolerated such a monster, why would they aid the man who killed said monster and wishes to drag his name through the mud with a trial? 

Rodrik should have smelled a rat when the Dreadfort men arrived. Maybe not outright attacked them, but at least he could have had his men on the alert and kept his distance. Instead of just assuming all was well and shake the commander's hand. 

The seat of the north was being attacked by the Iron born. He would have welcomed men from another northern house. There is no reason to smell a rat as Ramsey was considered dead. 

Edited by Dorian Martell's son

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most likely, Rodrik would have had small units of outriders guarding his rear and his flanks. One of those units would have made initial contact with Ramsay. Ramsay would not have given his name since he was presumed dead, but he would have advised that he was bringing men from the Dreadfort in answer to Rodrik’s summons. This would have been relayed to Rodrik, who would have welcomed the additional cohort, which was smaller than his own force. Surprise then benefitted Ramsay. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest issue with Rodrik is not believing a northern house will aid him but how he handled the prior affairs. Leaving the capital of the North and the King's heirs basically undefended (when he has 900 men with him) and then stripping (or allowing to be stripped) TS of its garrison to fight at WF were both moronic mistakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its easy to see why the Bolton men would want to curry favor with Rodrick after the whole incident with Ramsay and Lady Hornwood and smooth things over a bit by helping with re-taking Winterfell. If all Robb hears is how much trouble the Bolton soldiers have been, Robb could well kill them as Roose throws them under the bus to save himself. If on the other hand they can prove their worth to Rodrick Cassel he might put in a good word for them to Robb and so they'll be spared and the blame put entirely on Ramsay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2018 at 8:45 PM, James Steller said:

Re-reading the book recently, it strikes me that Rodrik should have smelled a rat regarding the Dreadfort men's arrival at the siege.

Just to summarize events leading up to that moment, Ramsay Snow had just kidnapped and killed Lady Hornwood, the Boltons and Manderlys were fighting over the Hornwood lands, and Ramsay Snow was allegedly killed by Rodrik and his followers. 

So with all that in mind, what made Rodrik think that those Bolton men were allies? What logic did he apply to justify the Boltons sending anyone to Winterfell? We can assume that Ramsay was obviously in charge of the Dreadfort with Roose's absence. Ramsay is now both dead (as far as Rodrik knows), and he is guilty of so many atrocities, not least of which having Lady Hornwood starve to death. If House Bolton tolerated such a monster, why would they aid the man who killed said monster and wishes to drag his name through the mud with a trial? 

Rodrik should have smelled a rat when the Dreadfort men arrived. Maybe not outright attacked them, but at least he could have had his men on the alert and kept his distance. Instead of just assuming all was well and shake the commander's hand. 

Yah I'm with the majority here.  There was no reason to think Ramsay was in charge of the Dreadfort.   By all appearances the Boltons were staunch Stark supporters at the time.  Roose often bemoans his bastard's bad blood and distances himself from Ramsay...until Ramsay turns it around and "saves" Winterfell from the Ironborn.   Then Ramsay becomes OK in Roose's conversations.  Rodrik had no way of knowing what the bastard of Bolton was up to.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×