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What else are we to do while we wait for Winds? Let's visit this again. What do you think the twist could be?


April 2015 - Martin says he just came up with a big, revealing twist on a long-time character that he never previously considered. “This is going to drive your readers crazy,” he teased, “but I love it. I’m still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It’s a great twist. It’s easy to do things that are shocking or unexpected, but they have to grow out of characters. They have to grow out of situations. Otherwise, it’s just being shocking for being shocking. But this is something that seems very organic and natural, and I could see how it would happen. And with the various three, four characters involved … it all makes sense. But it’s nothing I’ve ever thought of before. And it’s nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already — on this particular character — made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions.”


February 2016  - “I have decided to do that, yes,” Martin said in the new interview when asked about his previous quote. “Will you know it? I don’t know. It’s fairly obvious because it is something that involves a couple of characters, one of whom is dead on the show, but not dead in the books. So the show can’t do it, because they have killed a character I have not killed. But that doesn’t narrow it down much because at this point there are like 15 characters who are dead on the show who are still alive on the books.”

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/02/25/george-rr-martins-game-thrones-twist/


The key points

1.    revealing
2.    long-time character
3.    never previously considered
4.    GRRM loves it
5.    took time to decide ( weigh ) whether or not to do it
6.    it's organic and natural
7.    three or four characters involved 
8.    show can't do it since it has made a couple of decisions with a particular character  
9.    it will be obvious
10.    character alive in books but dead in show
11.    mention of fifteen characters alive vs dead


My thoughts on the key points


1.    Barristan seems suited to reveal something important but do we even know if GRRM used this term or was it the writer of the article? Hibberd used it the first time in 2015 but not the second time in 2016.


2.    They are all pretty much long-time characters, but does it mean a long-time show character? They are all important to GRRM. This twist does seem like something that could effect the plot in a major way, for that reason, I would think it has to be a character with the weight to do so.

 
3.    I think this helps rule out some forum theories solely for the twist. Like Jeyne Westerling being pregnant, I don't believe that GRRM would have never considered that. Maybe even any Lannister's being Aerys get. Not that these theories aren't possible, they just don't fit this twist.


4.    It's likely something horrible if GRRM loves it, at the least, shocking and unexpected. So that should rule out some things too. No Jojen Paste though, it doesn't have a big enough impact imo.


5.    If he had to weigh it that says to me it was weighed against something else. That again, imo, sounds major. "It's a great twist." Of the techniques he likes to use could it be a flashback, an unreliable narrator reveal or a reversal of fortune?


6.    If it's organic it's guessable and may have already been discussed on the forum. But I seriously doubt it's been foreshadowed. Some crackpots can rejoice.


7.    I think, with the  timing of the interview ( at this time GRRM thought he could turn the book in within five months ), it's likely that this twist takes place later in Winds and we won't know who will still be near each other. It's easy to say Stoneheart, Brienne and Jaime, but if the twist is later in the book their situation could be resolved too early to qualify as the three or four characters involved. Unless this is why Winds is taking so long, rewriting.


8.    It sounds like more decisions effects this than killing the character off. That could help narrow the suspects too. If Mago or Grenn could fit the twist did their deviations in the show really effect anything like with say Mance or Xaro?


9.    GRRM thinks we should be able to identify this when we read the book. Again that makes it sound like this twist will be no small thing.


10.    That doesn't really help as much as you'd think, as of season 6 there are like more than 65 characters that fit this criteria. You can even add Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower to the list because we have not "seen" their deaths in the books yet like we have in the show, so in theory GRRM could add a twist that Bran could reveal. And yes season 6 fits the timeline. Martin first mentioned the twist in April 2015, the show stared filming s6 in July 2015, he would have known what they planned. That being said I'm still leaning towards a death from an earlier season.


11.    This is why I said the latter on point ten. Why would he say in 2016 that there are only 15 characters alive vs dead? There are more than 15 at the end of season 2 ( all in Essos ), with the only one of any real consequence through season 4 being Catelyn. Season 5 adds eight more, most with more significance like Stannis.


While this may be an exercise in futility until we get the book it's something to do while on Watch. I can't even begin to guess, especially if s6 characters are factored in, so I look forward to reading everyone's thoughts. 


I will put support behind it being Lady Stoneheart, from Martin's constant mentions of her not being in the show, and not because I have any idea what the twist could involve. GRRM brings up her being cut all the time and how much he wishes she was in the show. I've not seen such consistent comments with other characters.


⦁    2015 - Lady Stoneheart does have a role in the books. Whether it’s sufficient or interesting enough… I think it is, or I wouldn’t have put her in. One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.


⦁    2016 - [An Italian fan] then asked George if Lady Stoneheart was going to appear on the show. George said no, that she’d been cut. He said if he were involved in the show things would be different, but he’s busy trying to finish books.


⦁    2017 - At some points, when [show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] and I had discussions about what way we should go in, I would always favor sticking with the books, while they would favor making changes. I think one of the biggest ones would probably be when they made the decision not to bring Catelyn Stark back as Lady Stoneheart. That was probably the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and David and Dan made that decision


⦁    2017 - In the book, characters can be resurrected. After Catelyn is resurrected as Lady Stoneheart, she becomes a vengeful, heartless killer. In the sixth book, I still continue to write her. She is an important character in the set of books. [Keeping her character] is the change I most wish I could make in the [show].


Here are some mentions of other characters from GRRM that I've found but I would love it if someone has found more. It reminds me not to be biased towards Westerosi characters.


⦁    2011 - “So Mago is not dead in the books. And, in fact, he’s going to be a recurring character in Winds of Winter. He’s a particularly nasty bloodrider to one of the other Khals that’s broken away after Drogo dies.”


⦁    2013 - If they are alive in the books, they are alive in the books, and may well turn up again. Irri (and Jhiqui) is still serving as Dany’s handmaid, Rakharo remains one of her bloodriders.


⦁    2016 - Just consider. Mago, Irri, Rakharo, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Pyat Pree, Pyp, Grenn, Ser Barristan Selmy, Queen Selyse, Princess Shireen, Princess Myrcella, Mance Rayder, and King Stannis are all dead in the show, alive in the books. Some of them will die in the books as well, yes... but not all of them, and some may die at different times in different ways.


⦁    2016 - You will learn the fate of Pyat Pree in WINDS. The Thirteen are still one of the factions contending for power in Qarth.

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On 5/9/2018 at 8:43 PM, Elaena Targaryen said:

February 2016  - “I have decided to do that, yes,” Martin said in the new interview when asked about his previous quote. “Will you know it? I don’t know. It’s fairly obvious because it is something that involves a couple of characters, one of whom is dead on the show, but not dead in the books. So the show can’t do it, because they have killed a character I have not killed. But that doesn’t narrow it down much because at this point there are like 15 characters who are dead on the show who are still alive on the books.”

Challenge accepted, eh? ^_^ Well, the character the twist involves need not actually be the dead character themselves -- merely that one of the characters involved was dead c. S5. I would probably argue that the twist he came up with would probably be in relation to a character not mentioned in that little list of the dead. Then again, I think he was just running off names to make a point.

If it really is Lady Stoneheart, she has her fingers in a ton of pies - that plot line could connect to the Jaime/Brienne plot, the rest of the BwB, the Freys or even the Bolton plot in the North if she makes it that far north. Jojen Reed also died very quickly in the show while he's still alive in the books (and I reject Jojen Paste utterly!) A possible twist there  might involve Bloodraven/3EC's connection to him, since he's the whole reason they went looking for the 3EC. The consequences of that would affect Bran-Meera-Hodor-etc.

If it does have something to do with the Dothraki characters like Mago, Irri, Rakharo, etc. then it may have something to do with Khal Drogo's death or how Dany came to be sold to him of all people. Perhaps Drogo's death wasn't just Miri's murder but a conspiracy.

A twist with the Qarthian characters like Xaro Xhoan Daxos or Pyat Pree actually stretches pretty far. The former would probably tie into Daenerys/Barristan's plot lines with the latter (since Qarth is now at war with Meereen) - the trapping of Xaro in his own safe was a MASSIVE change from Qarth in the books. With the latter, it'd probably relate to Euron's plot to "take over the world". They might also connect to Quaithe.

I can't really see a big twist coming out of Pyp and Grenn though, if it does happen, it will probably be related to Jon and the inevitable mini war about to break out at the Wall over his (attempted) murder by Marsh.

Queen Selyse, Princess Shireen and King Stannis probably would tie into the war in the North and/or the mutiny at the Wall. Since these three characters aren't together they aren't necessarily tied into the same storylines. Stannis's position right now ties into the Winterfell plot, which might stretch to Mance Rayder and his spearwives currently trapped there within.

Princess Myrcella... maybe something to do with Doran Martell's plot.

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For some reason, I have always felt this was in relation to Xaro Xhaon Daxos.  Specifically, Lady Stonehart wasn't necessarily killed off. She was just never included.  That could be splitting hairs, but I find it relevant. There is a difference between "a character that is no longer living" and "a character who no longer appears" , the latter of which could refer to a killed off character or a character that was never included to begin with.

Daxos is in Meereen, or at least emissaries on his behalf. Correct me if I am wrong (it has been a while since I have read ADWD) but wasn't he attacking toward the end? Think of all the pies he has his fingers in, or more pointedly, the HUGE pie: the Meereenese Knot. Barristan, Dany, Tyrion, Jorah, Victarion, Marwyn...He very easily could affect a handful of characters. 

Of course, the question still remains - what is the twist? GRRM has said it is organic.  Any thoughts?

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I was thinking about this recently. Wondering if deciding to go for the twist may have caused lots of rewriting...

I think it will be obvious when compared to the show, not that it will be obvious on its own, so to speak. 

My money is on ser Barry. Stannis is also a good option. I don't think LSH fits though, since she was cut entirely and not killed. 

I'm really curious to find out more. 

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Didn't George also complain the show did not mention the other Tyrell kids, cause they will be important in further stories?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Lemorecake said:

Didn't George also complain the show did not mention the other Tyrell kids, cause they will be important in further stories?

Yup. But the thing is, this twist involves a character that the show killed off but is alive in the books. So, it's not some character that never made it to the screen. That narrows down things a bit. Also, it's not a new character. Martin talks about 15 characters the show killed off that are alive in the books... Also, we should look at when exactly he said that. He first talked about the twist in 2015, then in 2016 he confirmed he was going to go for it. But when in 2016? For instance, by the time he says he will go for the twist and that the show has killed off this character, had series 6 aired already? If so, which characters were killed in s 6 that are still alive in the books? I think the more likely ones are ser Barry, Stannis, Jojen, Doran, Pyp, Grenn, Shireen, Selyse... who else? And Mance!

Edited by kissdbyfire

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35 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Yup. But the thing is, this twist involves a character that the show killed off but is alive in the books. So, it's not some character that never made it to the screen. That narrows down things a bit. Also, it's not a new character. Martin talks about 15 characters the show killed off that are alive in the books... Also, we should look at when exactly he said that. He first talked about the twist in 2015, then in 2016 he confirmed he was going to go for it. But when in 2016? For instance, by the time he says he will go for the twist and that the show has killed off this character, had series 6 aired already? If so, which characters were killed in s 6 that are still alive in the books? I think the more likely ones are ser Barry, Stannis, Jojen, Doran, Pyp, Grenn, Shireen, Selyse... who else? And Mance!

Oh, I know. I just thought it may be interesting to include the coming Reach-involvement for speculations.

Like, let's say, the twist may refer to a new Tyrell-someone alliance-by-marriage.

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I've never been entirely convinced there was ever a twist.  IIRC GRRM made the comments almost immediately after D&D spilled the beans on Shireen and/or Hodor.  I always felt the manner and timing of GRRM's outburst was his way of sticking up a middle finger to the show and trying to steal some limelight back to ensure that the books maintained relevancy.

That said, I've always suspected since that point that GRRM is actively changing as much as possible from what he originally planned so that the books are different to the show.  But if removing the five year gap tied him up in knots then a plot re-write, especially as he'll have to change some of the meaning behind earlier foreshadowing, would have had him tying knots over existing knots!  Which could actually explain why TWOW is taking so long and why GRRM now seems to be conditioning readers that he is throwing in the towel.

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I lean towards Stoneheart the most for the reasons you mentioned plus we have to consider which characters are involved in plots that are for the end game so Martin needs them where he has them. The plots that are destined to be resolved (or at least more likely) in TWOW are. Littlefinger and Sansa, Stoneheart and whatever she ends up doing to Brienne and Jamie, there is a good chance Cersei's plot will come to an end with Aegon and Euron invading Westeros, (although the younger, more beautiful queen has to show up and take everything first before its really over for her), the high Septon could play a part if this is the case. Plus I get the feeling that this twist will take place in Westeros. I think it is possible but less likely this twist will involve the characters involved in the northern conspiracies and the other characters who will be engaged in the Battle of Winterfell and any of the characters involved in Dany's storyline because these plots seem too important as groundwork towards the ending and we all know that George already knows how he will end this (in broad strokes at least) so the plots furthest from the ice and fire will be concluded in the next book before the war of the dawn really really goes down in ADOS. I also dont think this twist involves the Aegon or Euron plot because they aren't long standing characters. It has to be Stoneheart I think. George probably wants to really do her part well since she was cut, on top of her being a favorite character. I would love to see something like Brienne bringing Arya to her and she kills her mom as a mercy and takes over the brotherhood and adds the strength of Nymeria's pack to the brotherhood and marches North. Tin foily and sounds like fan fiction (because I guess it is) but I think that would be great, especially reading it after Martin put it life on paper. It would certainly be dark, and tragic, but I find that it could be natural with Arya's dark path (as said by the ghost of high heart) and the merciful view of death she is gaining from the faceless men. Plus Arya saw Catelyn through Nymeria and is staying attached to Nymeria. I believe that when Arya comes back to Westeros in the next book, she will land in the riverlands, or farther south, forcing her to travel north through them anyway. As she looks for Nymeria, she finds Stoneheart or Brienne or Jamie and learns of her mother unless brought to her unknowingly, which I don't lean towards because I don't see Arya allowing themself to be taken somewhere without being told. She won't be a victim when she comes back and won't be taken along for something meekly without learning who she is meeting and where she is going because that would be foolish. Sansa and Littlefinger encountering Stoneheart would also be great but I can't wrap my mind around Stoneheart crossing paths with them because they won't be vulnerable to be taken by Stoneheart (unless George has something brilliant up his sleeve in that regard). 

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Mago, Irri, Rakharo, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Pyat Pree, Pyp, Grenn, Ser Barristan Selmy, Queen Selyse, Princess Shireen, Princess Myrcella, Mance Rayder, and King Stannis

I think, based off GRRM mentioning these characters having been killed off in the show chronologically after he mentions that the twist would include one of "about" 15 dead show characters (that list is 13), that is safe to say it will include one of those characters.

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32 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

BFish has speculated that it will be Barristan defecting from Dany to Aegon.

Interesting, but not sure it's very likely. Do you have a link to where he elaborates on the hows and whys and such? I'd like to read more about it. IMO Barry and Stannis are the front runners, but if I absolutely had to pick one it'd be Barry.   

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3 or 4 characters could add up to Aegon, Jon Con, Tyrion, and Barry, but it would involve 2 characters that were removed from the show entirely.  Perhaps that is what GRRM meant when he said they went in another direction.

That is something people speculated on before and aside from this topic, and I do think it would be organic if he honestly believes Aegon is the rightful heir, and feels guilt over failing Rhaegar.

It will also drive Dany fans, or anyone who see's Aegon as a Blackfyre crazy.

Seems as good a possibility as any.

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Since he said that before sixth season that means that we can rule out Tyrells or Blackfish.

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It would have to be a significant character to be a major plot twist. And to be a major plot twist it would have to be relevant to the overall story. Jeyne Westerling having a baby for example would not meet that criteria.

The most likely candidates would be, IMO

Stannis, Ser Barristan and Mance Rayder

All three of them are dead in the series but not in the books, and all three of them have or potentially have involvement in a big secret.

Stannis may know about Jon's true parentage. His siege was relieved by Ned, who immediately then set off to find his sister. Ned must have got the information about her whereabouts from somewhere, and the siege of Stannis would be the obvious place. Other characters who could be involved would be Davos and Howland Reed, two men still alive who would know about that. The plot twist would evolve as Stannis knowing about Ned's mission, but not about Jon. That gap would be filled in by Howland when the two meet, and they in turn would tell Jon the truth. Stannis would serve to validate Howland's story and in turn might bend the knee to Jon as the true King of Westeros.

Ser Barristan has drawn a connection between Daenerys and Ashara Dayne based on their similarity, particularly their very unusual eyes. Ashara's demise is also mysterious and odd. She supposedly is dead, but her actual body was never found, so who knows. Other characters who could be involved would be Ashara, Arthur and Ned. It is possible that Quaithe is Ashara and the plot twist could come about when she reveals herself to Ser Barristan, who would obviously know her.

Mance Rayder has mysterious origins, many similarities with Prince Rhaegar (even the two names sound very similar when spoken) and an unusually odd interest in Winterfell. He has an agenda which has not been explained at all in the books. He clearly has some sort of connection with Melisandra and she with him, she certainly goes to a great deal of effort without prompting to save him. Other characters who could be involved are Melisandra and the equally mysterious Val. She is supposedly his sister, but if he came from south of the wall, what the hell is she doing north of it? Btw, there is a connection between Rayder and Asshai, his cloak includes red fabric from there, supposedly from a woman who healed him while he was ranging for the Watch. Mance is by far the most mysterious character in the book and appears to be fairly important even though he was quickly killed off in the series. If I were going to do a surprise twist, he would be the most obvious candidate since all of the ground work has already been done.

None of these things would have been written with the plot twist in mind, but they could all organically evolve from things already described in the books.

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On 5/28/2018 at 7:27 PM, tugela said:

 

Mance Rayder has mysterious origins, many similarities with Prince Rhaegar (even the two names sound very similar when spoken) and an unusually odd interest in Winterfell. He has an agenda which has not been explained at all in the books. He clearly has some sort of connection with Melisandra and she with him, she certainly goes to a great deal of effort without prompting to save him. Other characters who could be involved are Melisandra and the equally mysterious Val. She is supposedly his sister, but if he came from south of the wall, what the hell is she doing north of it? Btw, there is a connection between Rayder and Asshai, his cloak includes red fabric from there, supposedly from a woman who healed him while he was ranging for the Watch. Mance is by far the most mysterious character in the book and appears to be fairly important even though he was quickly killed off in the series. If I were going to do a surprise twist, he would be the most obvious candidate since all of the ground work has already been done.

None of these things would have been written with the plot twist in mind, but they could all organically evolve from things already described in the books.

I like the Mance idea.

 

After that, Barristan.

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On 5/28/2018 at 7:27 PM, tugela said:

It would have to be a significant character to be a major plot twist. And to be a major plot twist it would have to be relevant to the overall story. Jeyne Westerling having a baby for example would not meet that criteria.

The most likely candidates would be, IMO

Stannis, Ser Barristan and Mance Rayder

All three of them are dead in the series but not in the books, and all three of them have or potentially have involvement in a big secret.

Stannis may know about Jon's true parentage. His siege was relieved by Ned, who immediately then set off to find his sister. Ned must have got the information about her whereabouts from somewhere, and the siege of Stannis would be the obvious place. Other characters who could be involved would be Davos and Howland Reed, two men still alive who would know about that. The plot twist would evolve as Stannis knowing about Ned's mission, but not about Jon. That gap would be filled in by Howland when the two meet, and they in turn would tell Jon the truth. Stannis would serve to validate Howland's story and in turn might bend the knee to Jon as the true King of Westeros.

Ser Barristan has drawn a connection between Daenerys and Ashara Dayne based on their similarity, particularly their very unusual eyes. Ashara's demise is also mysterious and odd. She supposedly is dead, but her actual body was never found, so who knows. Other characters who could be involved would be Ashara, Arthur and Ned. It is possible that Quaithe is Ashara and the plot twist could come about when she reveals herself to Ser Barristan, who would obviously know her.

Mance Rayder has mysterious origins, many similarities with Prince Rhaegar (even the two names sound very similar when spoken) and an unusually odd interest in Winterfell. He has an agenda which has not been explained at all in the books. He clearly has some sort of connection with Melisandra and she with him, she certainly goes to a great deal of effort without prompting to save him. Other characters who could be involved are Melisandra and the equally mysterious Val. She is supposedly his sister, but if he came from south of the wall, what the hell is she doing north of it? Btw, there is a connection between Rayder and Asshai, his cloak includes red fabric from there, supposedly from a woman who healed him while he was ranging for the Watch. Mance is by far the most mysterious character in the book and appears to be fairly important even though he was quickly killed off in the series. If I were going to do a surprise twist, he would be the most obvious candidate since all of the ground work has already been done.

None of these things would have been written with the plot twist in mind, but they could all organically evolve from things already described in the books.

A lot of good stuff in here. I always thought GRRM always had a plan for Stannis. So I wouldn't expect a twist with him, seems like the path for him has always been sorta set. 

Selmy is a background character more or less. He is awesome when he is in the books, but never is THAT important to things, it seems (just my opinion.)

Your Mance argument makes a ton of sense. Not much is known of him, he is obviously super important and GRRM hasn't gone too much into his motives or past, so there is a lot of groundwork laid that can easily lead to a twist....

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On 5/29/2018 at 1:27 AM, tugela said:

 Mance Rayder has mysterious origins, many similarities with Prince Rhaegar (even the two names sound very similar when spoken) and an unusually odd interest in Winterfell. He has an agenda which has not been explained at all in the books. He clearly has some sort of connection with Melisandra and she with him, she certainly goes to a great deal of effort without prompting to save him. Other characters who could be involved are Melisandra and the equally mysterious Val. She is supposedly his sister, but if he came from south of the wall, what the hell is she doing north of it? Btw, there is a connection between Rayder and Asshai, his cloak includes red fabric from there, supposedly from a woman who healed him while he was ranging for the Watch. Mance is by far the most mysterious character in the book and appears to be fairly important even though he was quickly killed off in the series. If I were going to do a surprise twist, he would be the most obvious candidate since all of the ground work has already been done.

What if Mance and Mel met before? I don't believe that this is the twist, but it is a nice thing to consider.

What I do believe is that the twist has to do something with Stannis and probably includes Mel and Mance.

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On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 1:27 AM, tugela said:

It would have to be a significant character to be a major plot twist. And to be a major plot twist it would have to be relevant to the overall story. Jeyne Westerling having a baby for example would not meet that criteria.

The most likely candidates would be, IMO

Stannis, Ser Barristan and Mance Rayder

All three of them are dead in the series but not in the books, and all three of them have or potentially have involvement in a big secret.

Stannis may know about Jon's true parentage. His siege was relieved by Ned, who immediately then set off to find his sister. Ned must have got the information about her whereabouts from somewhere, and the siege of Stannis would be the obvious place. Other characters who could be involved would be Davos and Howland Reed, two men still alive who would know about that. The plot twist would evolve as Stannis knowing about Ned's mission, but not about Jon. That gap would be filled in by Howland when the two meet, and they in turn would tell Jon the truth. Stannis would serve to validate Howland's story and in turn might bend the knee to Jon as the true King of Westeros.

Ser Barristan has drawn a connection between Daenerys and Ashara Dayne based on their similarity, particularly their very unusual eyes. Ashara's demise is also mysterious and odd. She supposedly is dead, but her actual body was never found, so who knows. Other characters who could be involved would be Ashara, Arthur and Ned. It is possible that Quaithe is Ashara and the plot twist could come about when she reveals herself to Ser Barristan, who would obviously know her.

Mance Rayder has mysterious origins, many similarities with Prince Rhaegar (even the two names sound very similar when spoken) and an unusually odd interest in Winterfell. He has an agenda which has not been explained at all in the books. He clearly has some sort of connection with Melisandra and she with him, she certainly goes to a great deal of effort without prompting to save him. Other characters who could be involved are Melisandra and the equally mysterious Val. She is supposedly his sister, but if he came from south of the wall, what the hell is she doing north of it? Btw, there is a connection between Rayder and Asshai, his cloak includes red fabric from there, supposedly from a woman who healed him while he was ranging for the Watch. Mance is by far the most mysterious character in the book and appears to be fairly important even though he was quickly killed off in the series. If I were going to do a surprise twist, he would be the most obvious candidate since all of the ground work has already been done.

None of these things would have been written with the plot twist in mind, but they could all organically evolve from things already described in the books.

IIRC there is this line by Ned in AGOT when he says he might have to deal with the king beyond the wall, paraphrased. In the line of the twist that would imply Mance and Ned know? Maybe Mance is someone who was allowed to take the black by Ned, and who deserted the nightwatch beyond the wall for his own safety?

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