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Euron III Greyjoy

Bowen Marsh's Plan

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I'm not sure what's going to happen to Bowen Marsh straight after Jon's stabbing, I have seen detailed theories on how he will get out of this alive, and I've also seen theories on how he will die straight away. For the sake of the argument lets just say he gets out of this alive, what is his plan to deal with the Others? 

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He will need to organize the men.  Convincing the wildlings to stay and defend the wall instead of running south to fight the Boltons is an impossible task.  He will need to let them go and send a warning to the Boltons.  

Edited by Widowmaker 811

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41 minutes ago, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

I'm not sure what's going to happen to Bowen Marsh straight after Jon's stabbing, I have seen detailed theories on how he will get out of this alive, and I've also seen theories on how he will die straight away. For the sake of the argument lets just say he gets out of this alive, what is his plan to deal with the Others? 

Seal the gate. That's what he wanted to do originally.

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Bowen Marsh will let the wildlings go because of his even harder bias and also because he won’t have to feed them.

He doesn’t have any plan to speak of beyond hiding as he’s just operating primarily out of fear. Fear that the alliance with Stannis will mean the IT will not help or feed them. Fear of others and Others. Fear that the accountant to whom numbers and order are so important will soon be tossed into a world where such things are no longer relevant. Fear that his well-defined place in his numbers and oath-filled world will be no more. It's an existential crisis. He defines himself by his world and his place in it and when his world falls apart, so does he. They can just seal the gates permanently and everything will be all right. Bowen Marsh represents the Westerosi who will want to hide behind walls and Walls because they can’t face the realities of the threat ahead for whatever reason.

ADWD Jon IV

"It is worse than I feared, my lord," Marsh announced when he was done. He sounded gloomier than Dolorous Edd.

Jon had just been thinking that all the meat in the world surrounded them. You know nothing, Jon Snow. "How so? This seems a deal of food to me."

"It was a long summer. The harvests were bountiful, the lords generous. We had enough laid by to see us through three years of winter. Four, with a bit of scrimping. Now, though, if we must go on feeding all these king's men and queen's men and wildlings … Mole's Town alone has a thousand useless mouths, and still they come. Three more turned up yesterday at the gates, a dozen the day before. It cannot go on. Settling them on the Gift, that's well and good, but it is too late to plant crops. We'll be down to turnips and pease porridge before the year is out. After that we'll be drinking the blood of our own horses."

"Yum," declared Dolorous Edd. "Nothing beats a hot cup of horse blood on a cold night. I like mine with a pinch of cinnamon sprinkled on top."

The Lord Steward paid him no mind. "There will be sickness too," he went on, "bleeding gums and loose teeth. Maester Aemon used to say that lime juice and fresh meat would remedy that, but our limes were gone a year ago and we do not have enough fodder to keep herds afoot for fresh meat. We should butcher all but a few breeding pairs. It's past time. In winters past, food could be brought up the kingsroad from the south, but with the war … it is still autumn, I know, but I would advise we go on winter rations nonetheless, if it please my lord."

The men will love that. "If we must. We'll cut each man's portion by a quarter." If my brothers are complaining of me now, what will they say when they're eating snow and acorn paste?

ADWD Jon VIII

Septon Cellador pursed his lips. "Salvation can be found only through the Seven. This witch has doomed them all."

"And saved the Wall, mayhaps," said Bowen Marsh. "These are enemies we speak of. Let them pray amongst the ruins, and if their gods send ships to carry them off to a better world, well and good. In this world I have no food to feed them."

ADWD Jon III

Bowen Marsh edged his mount up next to Jon's. "This is a day I never thought to see." The Lord Steward had thinned notably since suffering a head wound at the Bridge of Skulls. Part of one ear was gone. He no longer looks much like a pomegranate, Jon thought. Marsh said, "We bled to stop the wildlings at the Gorge. Good men were slain there, friends and brothers. For what?"

ADWD Jon V

It was at times like this that Jon missed Maester Aemon the most. Clydas tended to the ravens well enough, but he had not a tenth of Aemon Targaryen's knowledge or experience, and even less of his wisdom. Bowen was a good man in his way, but the wound he had taken at the Bridge of Skulls had hardened his attitudes, and the only song he ever sang now was his familiar refrain about sealing the gates.

 

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Seal the gates and send Ravens begging for help. He will probably try to threaten the wildlings with the hostages. He is assuming that most of the nights watch will back him but I suspect he has vastly underestimated how popular Jon is. I don't think more than a handful will back him.

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Most if not all of the brothers who were present at the Shield Hall will support Bowen Marsh because he is right and Jon is wrong.  They know Jon had to be stopped.  Bowen has nothing to worry about from the crows.  It's those wildlings that he has to worry about.  Fortunately for him, they will be more interested in confronting the Boltons instead of getting even for the execution of Jon.  

Send a raven for help if the wildlings try to make trouble.  Better yet, just let them ride out to Winterfell.  Many will die before reaching the castle and most should die from the battle.  The rest will become coin purses and leather-substitute for the Bolton men.

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8 hours ago, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

I'm not sure what's going to happen to Bowen Marsh straight after Jon's stabbing, I have seen detailed theories on how he will get out of this alive, and I've also seen theories on how he will die straight away. For the sake of the argument lets just say he gets out of this alive, what is his plan to deal with the Others? 

Poor Bowen Marsh has a tough job because Jon Snow made a real mess of things.  He could take these steps.

  1. Gather the remaining Watchmen.
  2. Seal the gates.
  3. Let the wildlings leave Castle Black to meet the Boltons.  Don't bother blocking them.  They are too many.
  4. Send a raven to Roose.  Explain what happened and ask for help.

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Hope that the Iron Bank will still honor the loan they agreed to give the Watch that Jon Snow negotiated. Send out wondering crows to buy food with that money. Hope Stannis loses against the Boltons and pray Roose will do a lot to support the Watch. If Bowen hasn't exchanged any letters with the new Warden of the North Roose Bolton then he may find little help or support from Roose. It would'v been smarter of Bowen to get Roose's backing and guaranteed support before making his move against Jon, the wildlings and essentially Stannis. The same way Roose and Walder had the backing of Tywin and the Crown before they killed Robb and his loyalists. Roose could very well be held up in skirmishes and small battles with other enemies even after Stannis, so Bowen and the Watch could be very low on his list of winter and war time priorities.

I think it would have been wiser for Bowen Marsh and his supporters to detain Jon Snow and use him as a hostage to trade to Roose if the Boltons won, which is what Bowen Marsh most likely believes at this point. The Watch can't survive on their own and need the support of the North.

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10 hours ago, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

I'm not sure what's going to happen to Bowen Marsh straight after Jon's stabbing, I have seen detailed theories on how he will get out of this alive, and I've also seen theories on how he will die straight away. For the sake of the argument lets just say he gets out of this alive, what is his plan to deal with the Others? 

He doesn't understand how big of a threat the Others are and he certainly doesn't understand that the thousands of Wildlings that Jon allowed to pass through the gate would have made the Others' army even bigger if they had stayed north of the Wall.  He will seal the gate, send the Wildlings away and man the Wall with whatever men are left in the Night's Watch.  Crow's will fly asking for support from the south. 

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4 hours ago, Silver Bullet 1985 said:

 Fortunately for him, they will be more interested in confronting the Boltons instead of getting even for the execution of Jon.  

How do you reason that?

the plan was this in exchange for the Nights Watch heading North to rescue the Wildlings at Hardhome. They have no reason to go fight the Boltons with Jon dead now, and no reason to try rescue the ones at Hardhome because there is no safe refuge anymore in this scenario if they left to go save them, at least without killing the entire NW first; The Wall would be shut behind them.

 

It's pretty clear there'll be some kind of takeover at The Wall and Martin will have in mind for partisans on both sides to die. Some free folk may flee South, but i imagine more will fight because the NW have hostages & The Wall is the only safe haven left to them with Winter coming.

 

I don't remember how many Wildlings out-number the Black Brothers, but it's somewhere in the multiplier. They aren't a cohesive force and are factitious and will be fighting each-other with Jon's death, though a good amount will try ride the line and stay out of it. I'm not sure if they have access to the armoury, or if the ones at the Shield Hall were combat ready when Jon sent for them, but if i remember correctly, they do man several castles on The Wall.


We'll most likely get to see what goes down from Melisandre's POV. She'll burn Shireen and maybe Bowen and his co-conspirators, if the fighting force of Wildlings at Castle Black doesn't get them first

The people in the aftermath of Jon's stabbing still think Ramsay is coming for them and will make preparations for that

 

 with food supplies being so dire, they are all reliant on the Braavosi to send the promised food aide

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19 hours ago, King Aegon I Targaryen said:

I'm not sure what's going to happen to Bowen Marsh straight after Jon's stabbing, I have seen detailed theories on how he will get out of this alive, and I've also seen theories on how he will die straight away. For the sake of the argument lets just say he gets out of this alive, what is his plan to deal with the Others? 

Assuming he lives I think he will gather up what he can and head to the top of the wall. Castle Black has no defenses if Ramsay or the Wildlings attack and he has mentioned before about holding the high ground. I do not think he has a specific plan to deal with the Others - just to hold the high ground for as long as possible against all comers.

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Marsh may not know about the loan from the IB so I doubt it factored into any of Marsh's plans, but he did have the wildlings' valuables.

ADWD Jon XI

Bowen Marsh sighed. "If they do not slay us with their swords, they will do so with their mouths. Pray, how does the lord commander propose to feed Tormund and his thousands?"

Jon had anticipated that question. "Through Eastwatch. We will bring in food by ship, as much as might be required. From the riverlands and the stormlands and the Vale of Arryn, from Dorne and the Reach, across the narrow sea from the Free Cities."

"And this food will be paid for … how, if I may ask?"

With gold, from the Iron Bank of Braavos, Jon might have replied. Instead he said, "I have agreed that the free folk may keep their furs and pelts. They will need those for warmth when winter comes. All other wealth they must surrender. Gold and silver, amber, gemstones, carvings, anything of value. We will ship it all across the narrow sea to be sold in the Free Cities."

 

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I think Marsh is probably a dead man pretty soon, unless he gains control of the wildling hostages and can control them.  Tormund will want revenge for Jon, and since the plan was for the NW to go save wildlings at Hardhome I'd imagine Tormund will want the NW to go through with that.  Another wildcard is the Queen's Men, who will probably be riled up over Ser Patrek's mauling at Wun-Wun's hands.  

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2 hours ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Assuming he lives I think he will gather up what he can and head to the top of the wall. Castle Black has no defenses if Ramsay or the Wildlings attack and he has mentioned before about holding the high ground. I do not think he has a specific plan to deal with the Others - just to hold the high ground for as long as possible against all comers.

The Wall doesn’t stop wights. The attack in AGOT at Castle Black proved that. 

Bowen Marsh is an idiot. His assassination of the Lord Commander leaves dysfunction in the ranks and will leave the Watch vulnerable to the white walkers. One can reason with wildlings, wights will attack and kill anyone they see. Leaving wildlings outside the Wall? The White Walkers/wights will kill them and make more wights, who, as I say, will attack anyone until they are ripped to pieces or set on fire.

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8 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

I think Marsh is probably a dead man pretty soon, unless he gains control of the wildling hostages and can control them.  Tormund will want revenge for Jon, and since the plan was for the NW to go save wildlings at Hardhome I'd imagine Tormund will want the NW to go through with that.  Another wildcard is the Queen's Men, who will probably be riled up over Ser Patrek's mauling at Wun-Wun's hands.  

It looks like we saw the last of the attack and there was no indication at all that anyone witnessed it.

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My guess is Castle Black will erupt in all out chaos.  It will be the Wildings against everyone else, and I suspect the Wildings will run South with whomever they can save.  Bowen will then write Winterfell with news of Jon's death and the Wilding incursion. It is not clear if he believes in the White Walkers, he only believes in the Wildings, so he may not feel the need to seal the gate, but he will gather supplies and men atop the wall in the event another attack comes from either the north or south

 

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1 hour ago, Tagganaro said:

I think Marsh is probably a dead man pretty soon, unless he gains control of the wildling hostages and can control them.  Tormund will want revenge for Jon, and since the plan was for the NW to go save wildlings at Hardhome I'd imagine Tormund will want the NW to go through with that.  Another wildcard is the Queen's Men, who will probably be riled up over Ser Patrek's mauling at Wun-Wun's hands.  

I agree with this. Although Jon said that he planned to buy food in the Riverlands, Vale, Reach, Dorne and Stormlands as well as the Free Cities, he isn't aware that much of the food supply has been destroyed by the fighting and the occupying armies. The Vale is hoarding its food along with its bannermen. So any food the Night's Watch is able to purchase is likely to be shipped through Eastwatch. If the wildlings are on their way north or returning from trying to save their friends at Hardhome, they may commandeer any arriving food and supplies at that end of the Wall.

We haven't considered the possibility - which I suspect is likely - that Marsh was just the catspaw in the attack on Jon. Someone like Thorne or even Denys Mallister might be the real leader of the NW mutiny. Marsh was over by the Shadow Tower when he led the skirmish against the Weeper at the Bridge of Skulls, so he and Mallister might have conferred.

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29 minutes ago, Seams said:

We haven't considered the possibility - which I suspect is likely - that Marsh was just the catspaw in the attack on Jon. Someone like Thorne or even Denys Mallister might be the real leader of the NW mutiny. Marsh was over by the Shadow Tower when he led the skirmish against the Weeper at the Bridge of Skulls, so he and Mallister might have conferred.

The Bridge of Skulls happened in ASoS before Jon was elected Lord Commander, though. There's mention that the Weeper was going to try to cross the bridge again in ADwD, but we never hear of it. I doubt Denys Mallister has anything to do with any of this. If anyone knows about Robb's will who is not a northman at the Wall, I think there's a small chance he might. His nephew was present as one of the witnesses of the signing of the will and was tasked to deliver Maege and Galbart to the Neck.

If Clydas is on the side of the mutineers, then there's certainly the possibility of using ravens, Janos Slynt does manage to send a raven to King's Landing to tell them what's going on at the Wall and with Stannis. I doubt Slynt knew how to do that on his own.

I've sort of wondered about Eastwatch actually. Cotter Pyke is gone and left Glendon Hewett in charge. He is not a Jon fan.

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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2 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

Another wildcard is the Queen's Men, who will probably be riled up over Ser Patrek's mauling at Wun-Wun's hands.  

I feel like yes, on one hand a giant did kill one of their own, but on the other hand, Bowen Marsh will probably want to hand Melisandre, Selyse, Shireen, Val, and baby Aemon over to the Boltons, so the Queen's Men might side with the wildlings purely for survival. 

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