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lalt

The Ramsey's list and the true goal of the Pink Letter

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17 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

The main reason I don't think Ramsay wrote the letter is because it's totally out of character for him. He likes to hunt girls through the woods, not write letters. Castle Black is weeks from Winterfell, perhaps a month in the weather. He'd hunt her all the way to the Wall before he would write a letter that advertises the loss of such an important hostage.

 

 

Yes, I got that. But who do you think wrote it? 

14 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

There's a very good chance the letter was opened before it came between Jon's hands. If Ramsay wrote it, then the letter had already been read by Bowen Marsh and his ilk.

Maybe. I mean, definitely possible. 

14 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

It doesn't change that the letter is full of lies.

Something we agree on regarding the PL. But as Jon tells Tormund, “There is truth in there” as well. 

14 minutes ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Round and round we go ;)

Yup. Something to pass the time! And as such, I’d rather talk about something interesting like the PL than any “what if” scenario, for instance. ;)

 

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2 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Something we agree on regarding the PL. But as Jon tells Tormund, “There is truth in there” as well. 

The truth Jon knows is that Mance is still alive, that he had spearwives with him. He never sent him to Winterfell, but he has been wondering where Mance has gone when he is late returning, so him having gone all the way to Winterfell is an answer to his question. Jon is going by the one truth he knows. 

8 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Yup. Something to pass the time! And as such, I’d rather talk about something interesting like the PL than any “what if” scenario, for instance. ;)

I don't really get those.

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1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

The main reason I don't think Ramsay wrote the letter is because it's totally out of character for him. He likes to hunt girls through the woods, not write letters. Castle Black is weeks from Winterfell, perhaps a month in the weather. He'd hunt her all the way to the Wall before he would write a letter that advertises the loss of such an important hostage.

 

 

Ramsay loves writing letters that boast and threaten. We have other examples of them to both Jon and Asha. And it would be foolish to assume he hasn't sent out a bunch of others to people we don't get povs for. 

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2 hours ago, Lluewhyn said:

For me, the big issue when I first read it was that there was WAY too much information in there that Ramsay wouldn't know (or likely care about for some things). At the time, I wasn't speculating about there being an alternate author, just that this was absolutely BS writing.

The only defense that people have for that is that Ramsay tortured Mance to get that information. Except, most of it isn't information that Ramsay would easily glean because he wouldn't know the questions to ask. The only way this works is if we ignore all previous portrayals of Mance being a strong force of personality and accept that he broke from torture almost immediately and volunteered information beyond the questions that he was asked, including information that would get his own sister-in-law and child killed. Brings to mind the scene from The Goonies where Chunk is babbling every little thing he ever did wrong to the Fratellis while they sit around amused.

That is another thing I’ve been thinking too. Together with this:

1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

The main reason I don't think Ramsay wrote the letter is because it's totally out of character for him. He likes to hunt girls through the woods, not write letters. Castle Black is weeks from Winterfell, perhaps a month in the weather. He'd hunt her all the way to the Wall before he would write a letter that advertises the loss of such an important hostage.

 

 

 I would expect  Ramsey to go hunting them/her. That’s what a sociopath would do. And more importantly why to announce  that he may be coming? Go ahead and put a siege to CB, taking Jon by surprise. The letter, and the demand of all those people make sense only if he wants Jon to refuse that ultimatum, leaving immediately and not meeting fArya. But just because Ramsey is not that... clever, I better see his father doing that. Or someone else entirely.

Edited by lalt

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9 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I think the smear of wax is a hint that the letter had been opened and re-sealed. This was most likely done by Marsh and conspirators. They were scheming before the letter, largely due to pressure from Kings Landing and possibly the off-screen return of Thorne. I believe they simply took the letter as genuine and it forced them to act.

I don't believe it's genuine. I've been off the forums for a while but I've been banging the drum for Stannis since Theon I was first released. That thread has had a few updated versions over the years and having just completed a re-read I'll be posting the latest version this week.

Attaboy! You know I'm on the same bandwagon..:cheers:

And I completely agree with this:

9 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

For instance, I don’t believe for a second that Stannis has been defeated and is dead. But I do believe Ramsay believes it. 

 

9 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

The main reason I don't think Ramsay wrote the letter is because it's totally out of character for him. He likes to hunt girls through the woods, not write letters. Castle Black is weeks from Winterfell, perhaps a month in the weather. He'd hunt her all the way to the Wall before he would write a letter that advertises the loss of such an important hostage.

Absolutely... Ramsay would never give warning if he was actually on his way, and I think he will be  - straight from the battlefield. 

Looking forward to your new thread. Lost quite a long post last night.(I'll save it up, now.)

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15 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

I typed all that to say this.  Stannis still has two ravens in his possession. Iffin' the attack on Stannis failed and Stannis prevailed ---- might Stannis send word to WF via Tybald's hand writting ---- that Stannis has been defeated?

Ramsey could have penned the letter under the false impression that Stannis is indeed dead.

OR Stannis is dead.    What about Mance in a cage?  Does that imply that there was a skirmish inside WF due to the Theon & Jeyne escape?

 Even "Mance in a cage" could be written by Stannis making an assumption based on Theon's ramblings. ... When he arrived Theon was trying to tell Asha all about Abel and the spearwives. Hours have passed, and he's been talking to Stannis. ...  Stannis has had hours of conversation with Mance. Mance didn't hesitate to tell Jon about his singer disguise. Why would he not mention it to Stannis.? Stannis can add two and two and come up with four.. ... Prisoners in cages are commonplace in Westeros. Stannis had Rattleshirt/Mance in a cage"for all the world to see" at WF. ...(Mance gives this quote to Jon ... but was he just repeating what Stannis said to him ?)

 

ok..'snuff.:D

Edited by bemused

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8 hours ago, bemused said:

 Even "Mance in a cage" could be written by Stannis making an assumption based on Theon's ramblings. ... When he arrived Theon was trying to tell Asha all about Abel and the spearwives. Hours have passed, and he's been talking to Stannis. ...  Stannis has had hours of conversation with Mance. Mance didn't hesitate to tell Jon about his singer disguise. Why would he not mention it to Stannis.? Stannis can add two and two and come up with four.. ... Prisoners in cages are commonplace in Westeros. Stannis had Rattleshirt/Mance in a cage"for all the world to see" at WF. ...(Mance gives this quote to Jon ... but was he just repeating what Stannis said to him ?)

 

ok..'snuff.:D

This is the kind of language that makes me think Mance wrote the PL or is at least partially involved.  Mance as Rattleshirt before he was revealed to Jon seemed to enjoy giving Jon obvious hints about who he really was.  Like when he offers to range or sing for Jon, but just don't ask me to wear your cloak.  The cage for 'all the North to see" seems like such a direct callback to to Rattleshirt's burning "for all the world to see."  And then you add him calling Jon's brother's "black crows" and it just seems like Mance is toying with Jon here in the same way.

But admittedly, as stated above, the inclusion of "Reek" and the "Red Whore" sounds a lot like it has to be Ramsay.

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I am late to this thread, and indeed this discussion as I am sure it has gone on for years now, but I was wondering if in all that time has anyone postulated that Ramsey and the NW conspirators are working together?

These nervous brothers are surrounded by wildlings and religious weirdoes and feel that their entire world is coming apart. Would it be so strange to think that they might reach out to the lawful lord of Winterfell for assistance? Alternatively, Roose Bolton could have a spy in the NW and Winterfell has been apprised all along of what has been going on up north and the Boltons approached the conspirators.

I agree with @three-eyed monkey that Ramsey would hunt his lost bride and whipped dog to the Wall before announcing his problem to the world, unless he had a better plan. Ramsey may have indeed written the letter with all of its inflammatory nonsense on purpose just to get Jon riled up and give the conspirators their effective reason to strike. Getting rid of Jon (and probably Theon after a time), especially after hearing about Stannis' plan to legitimize him and restore the Starks to power, would be high on the Bolton's list of things to do, especially if the fArya thing is going to work.

 

Edited by Trefayne

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6 hours ago, Trefayne said:

I was wondering if in all that time has anyone postulated that Ramsey and the NW conspirators are working together?

I don't know if it ^ has been postulated.

I have chewed on the idea that Clydas is a steward not a maester making Clydas' activities questionable.

What's to say that there haven't been ravens flapping hither and yon between unknown sources. I mean, communications between the NW and WF.  Har! this is what happens when I delve to deeply into this PL/Bastard thawg.

I sorta understand why Bolton would want Stannis' wife, child and Mel.  I dunna understand how Bolton knows of Val & Monster nor why Bolton would want Val & Monster other than for sport.

The main threat of the dastardly letter however seems to be directly aimed at Jon:

"Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard's heart and eat it."

6 hours ago, Trefayne said:

Would it be so strange to think that they might reach out to the lawful lord of Winterfell for assistance?

No, it is not strange to think that members of the NW who are loyal to the IT would reach out to the Warden of the North (Roose).

It is also possible that Roose contacted the NW via raven. Who is in charge of the ravens at CB? Clydas the steward is.

That is part of the reason that I dislike this PL/Bastard letter. Lannister/Barathaen is in control of the Iron Throne. Stannis is considered a threat to the Throne of Westeros.

I  verra much agree with what the OP typed as referenced in the below.

On 11/28/2018 at 3:23 PM, lalt said:

Not that there are not legit speculations about it, but surely it's an hard job to put all the dots needed together. And I feel that... we still miss something.

 

 

Edited by Clegane'sPup

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15 hours ago, bemused said:

ok..'snuff.:D

Instead of being my randy, rowdy, grumpy self I have been trying to sow the seeds of sharing of information. :wub:

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On 11/28/2018 at 11:45 PM, Makk said:

Ramsay loves writing letters that boast and threaten. We have other examples of them to both Jon and Asha. And it would be foolish to assume he hasn't sent out a bunch of others to people we don't get povs for. 

Given the choice between writing a letter and hunting Jeyne himself I think Ramsay would clearly choose the latter.

If Ramsay wrote the letter, given it's threatening nature, I think we should expect it to be written in blood and/or contain a piece of spearwife. I think we can be sure that the letter is not written in blood, because when Jon brushed the letter written in blood with his thumb the ink flaked off while he flattened out the Pink Letter with his hand without mention of flaking ink.

If Ramsay wrote the letter to bring the weight of his authority down on Jon then I think we should expect it to be appended by other northern lord,s as we have seen in the past.

If Ramsay wrote the letter, I don't think he'd so quickly confess that he lost his bride and hostage before she even had time to reach the Wall.

If Ramsay wrote the letter, and GRRM wanted us to be clear that Ramsay wrote the letter, then he would use a device that has already been set up, namely Ramsay's spiky hand, to indicate clearly that it was Ramsay.

Plus I don't think Ramsay has a clear motive to write the letter, at least not one that makes sense or has been set up in any way. I can't remember Ramsay ever mentioning Jon.

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Ramsay's purpose for the letter is rather basic.  He wants his bride back and the people listed for political reasons.  It's better to ask for them.  He doesn't want to travel hundreds of miles in deep snow to get to Castle Black and then have to fight for them.  Even a madman like the lord commander who sent a wildling king to steal his sister from her husband might listen to reason and comply.  Ramsay wrote the letter and hoped Jon Snow would see the light and comply.  

Edited by Josette DuPres

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6 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Given the choice between writing a letter and hunting Jeyne himself I think Ramsay would clearly choose the latter.

If Ramsay wrote the letter, given it's threatening nature, I think we should expect it to be written in blood and/or contain a piece of spearwife. I think we can be sure that the letter is not written in blood, because when Jon brushed the letter written in blood with his thumb the ink flaked off while he flattened out the Pink Letter with his hand without mention of flaking ink.

If Ramsay wrote the letter to bring the weight of his authority down on Jon then I think we should expect it to be appended by other northern lord,s as we have seen in the past.

If Ramsay wrote the letter, I don't think he'd so quickly confess that he lost his bride and hostage before she even had time to reach the Wall.

If Ramsay wrote the letter, and GRRM wanted us to be clear that Ramsay wrote the letter, then he would use a device that has already been set up, namely Ramsay's spiky hand, to indicate clearly that it was Ramsay.

Plus I don't think Ramsay has a clear motive to write the letter, at least not one that makes sense or has been set up in any way. I can't remember Ramsay ever mentioning Jon.

I am assuming all discussion here includes the Theon chapter from Winds. Writing a letter and going out hunting the girl is not mutually exclusive, he may have already done so, returned home empty handed and written the error in a fit of rage. What is very evident however is that even if he did go out hunting her, the chances of finding her is virtually nil. They have days and days of head start, guided by rangers from the wall under the instruction to hurry, with an army between them. The north is huge, and the weather and time would render the dogs completely ineffective. The Rangers will reach Winterfell or die in the snow. If Ramsay did hunt them, he is not going to find them.

As for your comment about motivation, I couldn't disagree with you more. Ramsay is an angry, insecure, egotistical jerk. He is the only one with a motive, there is no cunning plan behind it, he is just venting and threatening and trying to establish a justification for attacking the wall in the future. If he causes chaos there so much the better. He does not expect Jon to come out to fight because he does not know about how many troops Jon has. Even with those troops Jon's decision seems half crazy. I find this very much believable and expected behavior for Ramsay. As for the others...

Stannis. Does not know about Mance Rayder. Does not know about Jon's acquisition of Wildlings troops, and the Wall is far too far away for any assistance before the battle. He originally needed Jon to rally the North, yet if he takes Winterfell, that is probably little benefit as he will be able rally the north without him. Feigning his death comes at a high risk given what the news would do to his other supporters, but it is worth it to capture Winterfell and save his life and his entire army. It is not worth it to...do what exactly? What does he get out of making Jon believe he has been defeated? If Jon does come down to Winterfell from the wall, what has Stannis gained? What does Jon think when he finds Stannis alive? Also does Stannis even have any Ravens for Winterfell? If one had somehow lived through the cold, would he not have sent one out for assistance much, much earlier?

Mance. Does not know about the arrival of Tormund and the bulk of the wildling troops. What does he think Jon will do? Again he is days and days march from Winterfell, he is not going to arrive anytime soon. If Mance is hiding out, why would he want to lie to and endanger his compatriots? And if Jon did somehow find him he would be extremely angry that Mance lied endangering .

At best Mance or Stannis would expect Jon to send out another small quick moving search party, which doesn't really help them at all.

 

As for the description of the letter itself, Jon is not an idiot (despite what some people here would claim), in fact very much the opposite. The writer has already described the spiky handwriting, he does not need to do so again. But Jon would have recognised if the writing was different, and that is something that the writer should have put down when Jon was wondering and discussing how much was true. 

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@Makk @Josette DuPres  I still think that the chance only that fArya could meet Jon is a problem for the Boltons. For the very same reasons as to why they managed the wedding in the first place and used Theon to prove the girl’s identity.

And again not just a problem in the immediate future.. but in years to come.

They can win or solve the problem this time around. They can kill Jon, etc..

But if Jon will ever meet her and if he’ll make all the SK know that she is a fake, his words can be used in 10 or 20 years time. And not by people that necessarily trust Jon. By people who’ll need an excuse, to rebel to the Boltons. People that may find another fake to be used instead of Jeyne. And of course, if the letter has to be trust, then they have a second problem: Theon and what he may confess about Bran and Rickon.

Again, not the certainty, but the chance only that this can happen, jeopardizes the Boltons claim and it does for decades.

That said, whatever scenario we may imagine, Ramsey cannot reach CB before fArya does. Even if he wnats to. 

And if the point is (as I believe it has to be) to avoid the fArya/Jon meeting, they must find a way to let him go before she arrives.

That is why Jon has to choose between harming the NW or giving away to a monster women and children. Women and children bound to him (as that quote of Theon, proves that at least people in North know they are). That is the only thing that can possibly and hopefully convince Jon to do what he has never done (for his father and half brothers) and that in fact he is about to do. Something that the Boltons (just like everybody else in the SK) know that Jon hadn’t  done before, in grave but still... normal (for a man of the NW) circumstances. Between family and duty, he chose duty. And the Boltons - just like everybody else in the SK - are awere of that. 

However, those who know Jon personally (Stannis and Mance)... they know even more so how it’s hard to convince Jon to leave the Wall. All the interactions Stannis, Mance, Melisandre/ Jon ADWD show that they know that, very well.

And we cannot debunk the idea per se, that they (together or separately) are still working on the same plan. That is to gain Jon to their cause.

But whoever wrote that letter, demanded those people not because he wants them, not because their polical value ( that is questionable in some cases) or because they all matter to him/her. He/she demanded them.. because they matter to Jon.

Edited by lalt

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4 hours ago, Makk said:

am assuming all discussion here includes the Theon chapter from Winds. Writing a letter and going out hunting the girl is not mutually exclusive, he may have already done so, returned home empty handed and written the error in a fit of rage. What is very evident however is that even if he did go out hunting her, the chances of finding her is virtually nil. They have days and days of head start, guided by rangers from the wall under the instruction to hurry, with an army between them. The north is huge, and the weather and time would render the dogs completely ineffective. The Rangers will reach Winterfell or die in the snow. If Ramsay did hunt them, he is not going to find them.

Hunting the girl and writing the letter are not mutually exclusive in general, but if we examine this situation closer we can see that they very much are in this case. I think Ramsay would favor the first option as a solution. We don't know how long a lead Jeyne has. Crowfoods boys caught the Freys at the main gate of Winterfell, but there are other gates and sally ports in Winterfell, the hunters gate for example, and Ramsay and indeed the Freys are probably a day behind Theon and Jeyne. This lead is nothing given the distance to the Wall. And if Ramsay is confident she is going to Castle Black, then he doesn't really need dogs to track her.

But it makes far more sense that those outside the walls of Winterfell, who the Boltons associate with Stannis, would bring her to the closest refuge, that being Stannis' camp, a location the Boltons know thanks to Tybald's map. This is where Ramsay will go first I would imagine, long before he would consider writing a letter to Jon. He'll be close behind the Frey and Manderly troops, as Theon tells Stannis. What happens after that depends on the outcome of the battle.

If he wins then maybe he returns and writes that letter or maybe he continues to hunt Jeyne. He's got two or three weeks to make up a day or two day's lead if he chooses the latter. If he loses then he dies or escapes but he knows the battle is lost. The only situation where Ramsay writes the letter believing the context is true is if he stays in Winterfell, waits for news of the battle, and then writes the letter, in which case he never hunts the girl. That's why writing the letter or hunting the girl may very well be mutually exclusive in this case.

6 hours ago, Makk said:

Stannis. Does not know about Mance Rayder. Does not know about Jon's acquisition of Wildlings troops, and the Wall is far too far away for any assistance before the battle. He originally needed Jon to rally the North, yet if he takes Winterfell, that is probably little benefit as he will be able rally the north without him. Feigning his death comes at a high risk given what the news would do to his other supporters, but it is worth it to capture Winterfell and save his life and his entire army. It is not worth it to...do what exactly? What does he get out of making Jon believe he has been defeated? If Jon does come down to Winterfell from the wall, what has Stannis gained? What does Jon think when he finds Stannis alive? Also does Stannis even have any Ravens for Winterfell? If one had somehow lived through the cold, would he not have sent one out for assistance much, much earlier?

You may not consider Jon vital to winning the North, but Stannis does. This is made clear in the text several times. Stannis will be driven by his character goals as set-up in the text, not by what you think. Stannis believes he needs Jon to win the North. This is undeniable. He may have been content to have used a Karstark or some other lord at one point but Jon is by far the strongest candidate available and has always been Stannis first choice. And as Jon himself observed, it is not a castle that makes a lord it is the man.

Feigning his death is risky and shows how far Stannis is willing to go to get Jon. It also makes sense of why he warned Massey about hearing rumors of his death. As for his other supporters, then I ask who? The small company he left at Castle Black with his queen? Even if they fled on hearing the news, it would only be a temporary set-back and an acceptable one if it means he gets Jon and wins the North.

Stannis has to make Jon believe he is defeated if he is to have any chance of Jon coming for Ramsay. If Jon gets the letter and Stannis is still outside Winterfell then the smart thing for Jon to do is wait for the outcome of the battle before dealing with the letter because if Stannis wins then the letter will be redundant. Only with Stannis defeated does Jon have to act.

If Jon breaks his vows and comes to a Winterfell that is held by Stannis, and the Boltons are dead, all of which could happen before Jon arrives, then Stannis has an oathbreaker who the law demands should be executed. Jon would be faced with a choice of execution or else a royal pardon and accept Stannis offer. As his vows would already be broken they would no longer be a valid reason to reject the offer. I think Stannis would consider this checkmate. It is important to note that Stannis could never allow Jon know the true author of the letter. His story would be that he sent false information to Winterfell, Ramsay wrote the letter, then Stannis surprised the Boltons and took the castle. And now the Boltons are dead so who is to say otherwise?

Stannis has two ravens for Winterfell at the crofters village. It is questionable whether he has a raven for Castle Black at the village. But even if he doesn't, he most likely sent the letter from Winterfell after taking the castle.

7 hours ago, Makk said:

As for the description of the letter itself, Jon is not an idiot (despite what some people here would claim), in fact very much the opposite. The writer has already described the spiky handwriting, he does not need to do so again. But Jon would have recognised if the writing was different, and that is something that the writer should have put down when Jon was wondering and discussing how much was true. 

You can argue this both ways. True, the writer has already tagged Ramsay's handwriting with the tag, spiky hand. Clarity is very important in the writing process, as any editor will tell you. If the letter is genuinely from Ramsay then from a clarity point of view the natural thing to do is use the tag again, as he does in Asha's chapter. But GRRM omits the tag, as well as the signatures of the northern lords, written in blood, piece of skin, and other common characteristics of Ramsay's letters. This is done to alert the reader to the fact that all is not as it seems with this letter. It's a classic mystery-writing device.

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The nearest thing she has to living kin. Theon Greyjoy had grown up with Arya Stark. Theon would have known an imposter. If he was seen to accept Bolton's feigned girl as Arya, the northern lords who had gathered to bear witness to the match would have no grounds to question her legitimacy. Stout and Slate, Whoresbane Umber, the quarrelsome Ryswells, Hornwood men and Cerywn cousins, fat Lord Wyman Manderly … not one of them had known Ned Stark's daughters half so well as he. And if a few entertained private doubts, surely they would be wise enough to keep those misgivings to themselves.

...

They are using me to cloak their deception, putting mine own face on their lie. That was why Roose Bolton had clothed him as a lord again, to play his part in this mummer's farce. Once that was done, once their false Arya had been wedded and bedded, Bolton would have no more use for Theon Turncloak.

ADwD, The Prince of Winterfell.

The Boltons clearly know that Arya is fake, the scheme was most likely cooked up between Tywin and Roose, and they cleverly used Theon at the wedding to quash any question of her legitimacy. So if they know she is fake, then why are they writing to Jon and asking for her back when he would obviously be able to tell an imposter?

 

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20 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

I have chewed on the idea that Clydas is a steward not a maester making Clydas' activities questionable.

What's to say that there haven't been ravens flapping hither and yon between unknown sources. I mean, communications between the NW and WF.  Har! this is what happens when I delve to deeply into this PL/Bastard thawg.

 

Yeah, Clydas might be a mole, even if the Boltons and the conspirators aren't in league and he was just nudging things in certain directions.

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@three-eyed monkey I get your points. And I should add, that in order to write the letter, the way it is, with all those info about Mance, Ramsey also has to torture Mance/the spearwises. Something that he has to do in WF, but when? If he goes first to fight Stannis, then he has to come back in WF to do such things. If he stays in WF waiting for the news and meanwhile he’s torturing Mance and those women, then by the 7 seven days of battle (whatever that means) he’s still too far away from fArya.

That said, I still think that given Ramsey’s personality, going into hunting her and whoever may be with her, would be more in character.

Furthemore, since he doesn’t look particularly scared of harming the NW, showing up there, taking Jon by surprise, and asking him the same things he’s demanding with the PL but being outside CB, would be a better choice, if the point is getting fArya back.

At least, Jon couldn’t pretend she and the other people have escaped (from CB or during they trip to Ramsey). Nor that they are not there. 

That’s why I don’t think that getting fArya back (and those other people) was never the real goal of the PL. But the contrary. 

And of course if Ramsey is not the author, that is even more clear, IMO.

 

Edited by lalt

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