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three-eyed monkey

Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

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14 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

Problem with the Mance Theory ?

I was wondering if the above weakens the Mance theory. I went through the Theon chapters in ADWD: After the feast again, nowhere does he call himself Reek in the presence of the SWs. Rowan and Squirrel seem to have had, however, overheard Theon's prayer to the old gods to let him die as Theon and not Reek, since Rowan soon after says "You want to die as Theon? We can give you that. ...... But not until you have sung for Abel." 

We don't know what song Theon sings for Abel exactly off page. So while there is just enough left open for Mance theorists to argue otherwise, I personally really think it's unlikely Mance would think to put in "I want my Reek" in a letter addressed to Jon - what's the point?

To be fair to the Mance theory, I don't think it's a problem. There were a lot of people calling Theon by Reek in Winterfell so I think Mance would be aware of it.

However, I still think "I want my bride. And I want my Reek" are far more likely to be quoting what Theon said to Stannis at the crofters village than come from any other source.

14 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

A slight problem with the Stannis Theory as well though

One thing to turn up recently is with regards to false flag attack theories (which are required by the Stannis theory): We have to reckon with a high likelihood of most Freys being sent to the bottom of the lake (the scenario where Stannis wins with the least losses, in a kind of Agincourt with a frozen lake instead of mud - most people's base case) and with the lake quickly re-freezing in those Arctic conditions. This makes disguising Stannis' army as Freys quite hard. A returning Manderly-only army is going to make Roose quite suspicious. Manderley + Karstark might not be just allowed to waltz into WF either, without a lot of questioning at the gate (who's to say the Karstarks really did turn their cloaks or more precisely are not acting as triple agents). Likely, Roose is anyway likely to have sent some scouts after the Freys and Manderleys to have an idea of what's going on. So, the false flag attack by which Stannis takes WF which is a pre-condition for Stannis being able to secure a CB raven to send the PL is by no means a slam dunk, at least the way I've seen it described in the recent past.

The first thing you need to decide is whether you think it is possible that Stannis will go no further than Winterfell? Opinions will differ, obviously, but I think Stannis still has some more story to go. And if that is the case then he really needs to win the battle and take Winterfell quickly. It's not a slam dunk but in my opinion it is more likely than Stannis failing to take Winterfell.

14 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Martin's story got way to big and way to ambiguous, open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning or unclear or inexact.

While that may be good for online discussion it is not pleasing when trying to figure out wtf is happening story wise.

Clarity is hugely important in writing, especially when the plot is so complex. As I keep saying, GRRM would have made it clear if the letter was from Ramsay so that the reader would get it and move on with the story. He would have used the huge spiky hand and other elements he had taken the time and words to set up and he would have nailed the point down to provide clarity for the reader.

Instead he has given clear clues to the source of the letter, such as putting a quote from Theon to Stannis in the letter, but if readers dismiss such clues then it is no surprise they are left scratching their heads. Theon I TWoW would have been before Jon XIII and the fact that it was bumped out of sequence did not help the clarity.

 

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5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

To be fair to the Mance theory, I don't think it's a problem. There were a lot of people calling Theon by Reek in Winterfell so I think Mance would be aware of it.

I did think about that and actually found that Theon had only two on-page interactions with Ramsay's BBs. In one Damon and Skinner both call him Reek in a corner of the Great Hall and he quickly slips away.

The next instance is when Theon brings the hot bathwater with the SWs before the escape and Sour Alyn calls him Reek. So, ok, Holly and Rowan heard it both this time and probably when Theon was praying to the old gods to let him die as Theon and not Reek, but the likeliest conclusion is they think that's what the BBs call him. It does not automatically follow that this is Ramsay's pet name for him, especially all the deep disturbing psychological connotation around Theon's absolute submission to his torturer.

Theon's conversations with Ramsay happened in R's private chambers. Other people at WF call him Turncloak or Kinslayer. So, really the only way Mance might have picked up on "I want my Reek" is if Theon had a long stream-of-consciousness unburdening with him. Maybe that happened, maybe not, but if GRRM wanted to leave us a clue about the author, then "I want my Reek" is not a pointer to Mance.

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Oh let's have a wild new theory, shall we?

What if Alys Karstark wrote the pink letter?

She would have to be working with her uncle and cousin, Arnolf and Cregan, to get some details about what was going on at Winterfell. Maybe she got a raven from Winterfell at Karhold before she left for the Wall, or maybe there was a rendezvous on the King's Road where the Karstarks agreed on their cover story to get Alys into the trusted circle at Castle Black as a sort of Trojan Horse. There she might have picked up on the plan to get the spear wives and Mance into Winterfell, so she included references to that in the letter along with the details about Reek and Ramsay's bride.

The Karstarks may be entirely fed up with the Starks after years of loyalty to them. They wanted to take control of the Hornwood lands and were left out of that by Bran. Rickard wanted to kill Jaime Lannister as revenge for the death of his sons and he was denied that satisfaction by Robb. He killed two Lannister cousins and was punished with beheading by Robb. Harrion has been jerked around by double-crossing bannermen while trying to serve in Robb's army. So Alys has plenty of motive to want to get back at the Starks.

Under the rules of the Night's Watch, we may see Jon Snow as a neutral person in all this warring behavior, but the Lannisters, Stannis and Mormont see him as a Stark. Perhaps the Karstarks do, too. If word of Robb's will reached Arnolf, he would know that Jon is the probable nominal heir of Winterfell, anyway.

So the Karstarks would want Jon to be provoked into fighting the Boltons. Aren't they Bolton allies, though? It would seem so, but we know that people sometimes hide their true loyalties. Stannis has toyed with the idea of granting Winterfell to the Karstarks. I'm sure they would see that as a logical decision - if the Starks have been extinguished, the Karstarks might be of the same blood and could take up the family seat. A fight between Boltons and Jon Snow would likely result in the death of Jon Snow but could also weaken the Boltons, who would have to be dealt with if the Karstarks want to become wardens of the North and/or Lords of Winterfell.

Alys did go through with the marriage to the Magnar of Thenn, however. Would she go that far to fool Jon Snow into believing her cover story about Uncle Arnolf forcing her to marry Cousin Cregan? She might see the alliance with the Magnar as a way to peel off some of Jon's potential allies and warriors. In a way, it's like Dany's marriage to Drogo: the khalisar comes with the marriage and allows Dany to establish a power base as she plans her takeover of an empire. Alys gains an army through her marriage and has a better ability to defend Karhold if any of these false alliances goes sour.

Quote

Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.

Your false king's friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.

I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.

I want my bride back. I want the false king's queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want this wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. 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.

Ramsay Bolton,

Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.

Could the references to the false king double as references to Robb as well as Stannis? We have no reason to think that Robb's sword was magic, except that he won a lot of battles. Catelyn also observed that Robb's sword was his true wife at one point, as Robb became more and more committed to war, so the sword could be meaningful in that sense. Would Jeyne Westerling ever be referred to as a red whore?

The Robb stuff may not be relevant. I'm just looking for more Karstark connections. Because we don't have enough to say in this thread yet. ;)

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12 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

To be fair to the Mance theory, I don't think it's a problem. There were a lot of people calling Theon by Reek in Winterfell so I think Mance would be aware of it.

However, I still think "I want my bride. And I want my Reek" are far more likely to be quoting what Theon said to Stannis at the crofters village than come from any other source.

The first thing you need to decide is whether you think it is possible that Stannis will go no further than Winterfell? Opinions will differ, obviously, but I think Stannis still has some more story to go. And if that is the case then he really needs to win the battle and take Winterfell quickly. It's not a slam dunk but in my opinion it is more likely than Stannis failing to take Winterfell.

Clarity is hugely important in writing, especially when the plot is so complex. As I keep saying, GRRM would have made it clear if the letter was from Ramsay so that the reader would get it and move on with the story. He would have used the huge spiky hand and other elements he had taken the time and words to set up and he would have nailed the point down to provide clarity for the reader.

Instead he has given clear clues to the source of the letter, such as putting a quote from Theon to Stannis in the letter, but if readers dismiss such clues then it is no surprise they are left scratching their heads. Theon I TWoW would have been before Jon XIII and the fact that it was bumped out of sequence did not help the clarity.

 

I think the fact that Jon Snow didn't notice anything different in the letter points to the fact that it was from Ramsey if the writing was different I think he would have noticed it and it would have popped up in his thoughts

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13 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

if GRRM wanted to leave us a clue about the author, then "I want my Reek" is not a pointer to Mance.

I agree. It's a clear pointer to Stannis and his conversation with Theon.

8 hours ago, Seams said:

Oh let's have a wild new theory, shall we?

What if Alys Karstark wrote the pink letter?

I really think the Alys Karstark plot is what it is.

The plot is first set up in the novels when Stannis asks if Mors Umber is pledging loyalty so that the Greatjon is executed by the Lannisters thus leaving the Last Hearth to Mors and Hothor? Jon explain that he finds that unlikely as the Greatjon has sons and a daughter who would inherit before their uncles.

It later transpires that this is exactly what Arnolf and Cregan are planning with regards to the Karhold. Arnolf, who is castelan, declares for Stannis in the hope that Lord Harrion is executed by the Lannisters, leaving the Karhold to Alys and essentially her husband Cregan. If Alys is part of that plot, then what is the benefit of going to Jon? She could just let Arnolf declare for Jon, wait for Harry to lose his head, and marry Cregan. Going to Jon and going as far as marrying a Thenn only greatly complicates the issue.

If anything, the subtext here is that Alys sees Jon as king in the north. Even Jon says what she is asking of him is really a matter for the king. Duh. You know nothing, Jon Snow.

I don't consider Alys as a potential author of the pink letter, but rather someone who is loyal to the memory of King Robb, his heir, and to House Stark, similar to Wylla Manderly and Lyanna Mormont.

 

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9 hours ago, Impbread said:

I think the fact that Jon Snow didn't notice anything different in the letter points to the fact that it was from Ramsey if the writing was different I think he would have noticed it and it would have popped up in his thoughts

Well, we can guess at what Jon would or would not have thought. If he recognized the huge spiky hand then that may have popped up in his thoughts. Anything could have popped up in his thoughts, but this argument ignores that the decision about what Jon thinks and what makes it into the text is made by the author.

It is no different from Old Nan's tale about the Last Hero. She is interrupted before she finishes the story, and while some readers may argue that was just bad luck, most of us agree that this is a well-known writing technique that prevents too much information being disclosed too early. This was the author's choice.

The question is why didn't GRRM use what he had set up? He had set up huge spiky hand twice, once with Asha and once with Jon. If the letter really was from Ramsay then I think GRRM would want the reader to be clear on that. Why not? What is the benefit of no clarity for the reader on that matter, especially when he has Tormund signposting a mystery concerning the letter? He could have made it a lot clearer to the reader that the letter was from Ramsay, using devices he had already set-up, including the huge spiky hand, some skin, blood for ink, etc. But he chose not to, despite the fact that it would have cost him very few words.

Setting up details so that they are later conspicuous in their absence is a well-used technique for creating clues in mystery writing. It's a simple game of spot the difference. Placing clues in emotionally charged scenes so that the character, if not the reader, is less likely to notice them is also a well-known technique. And I submit that the pink letter is a perfect example of these techniques at work.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I really think the Alys Karstark plot is what it is.

Agree, wouldn't be the first time an uncle tried to dispossess his nephew/niece. She did not know whom to turn to but the son of Eddard Stark seems in keeping with what the Liddle tells Bran about the North being safer when there is a Stark in WF and Lady Dustin "they fear the Dreadfort but love the Starks".

I don't think an already complicated Northern plot needs Alys to be a Trojan horse, unless we have 5 more books coming. Not that I would mind another 5 books, as long as they actually came!

I think a basic set of questions to ask about PL authorship are:

1. How does the author know to put in "I want my Reek"

2. How does s/he know about Abel being Mance and the exact number of SWs?

3. How does s/he know about Val and Monster?

4. How does she know about Theon and fArya escaping?

5. Did they have access to a CB Raven?

Another thing to bear in mind is to minimize to and fro Ravens across various locations to gather all the information, which would make the final reveal to be a bit "duhhh ..... really?".

Obviously Ramsay meets the criteria, but @three-eyed monkey makes a very good point about the handwriting.

Stannis, his entourage at the CV and Mance tick the boxes as well, but most other potential authors actually fall of the list as they only have access to 3. or 4. but not both.

PS: Stannis & co tick the boxes of you assume he takes WF, or they had/acquired a CB Raven. Mance ticks the box if he has help inside WF to send a raven.

Edited by Ser Hedge
Added the PS

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4 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I really think the Alys Karstark plot is what it is.

The plot is first set up in the novels when Stannis asks if Mors Umber is pledging loyalty so that the Greatjon is executed by the Lannisters thus leaving the Last Hearth to Mors and Hothor? Jon explain that he finds that unlikely as the Greatjon has sons and a daughter who would inherit before their uncles.

It later transpires that this is exactly what Arnolf and Cregan are planning with regards to the Karhold. Arnolf, who is castelan, declares for Stannis in the hope that Lord Harrion is executed by the Lannisters, leaving the Karhold to Alys and essentially her husband Cregan. If Alys is part of that plot, then what is the benefit of going to Jon? She could just let Arnolf declare for Jon, wait for Harry to lose his head, and marry Cregan. Going to Jon and going as far as marrying a Thenn only greatly complicates the issue.

If anything, the subtext here is that Alys sees Jon as king in the north. Even Jon says what she is asking of him is really a matter for the king. Duh. You know nothing, Jon Snow.

I don't consider Alys as a potential author of the pink letter, but rather someone who is loyal to the memory of King Robb, his heir, and to House Stark, similar to Wylla Manderly and Lyanna Mormont.

It's your thread and of course I would expect you to stick with your Stannis theory. In setting up an alternative theory, I thought I had addressed a number of the points you mention.

1) Alys, Arnolf, Cregan, Arthor and possibly Harrion are working together. Their motives are revenge on the Starks for the kinslaying of Rickard, for years of being taken for granted and used for cannon fodder, and for elevation of the Karstarks into the political, strategic and social position held by what they see as the other branch of the family, the Starks.

2) This Karstark conspiracy doesn't focus on control of Karhold, although that's what Alys tells Jon. House Karstark has been greatly damaged by the deaths of Rickard, Torrhen and Eddard while they provided leal service as Stark bannermen. (Alys also lost her betrothed, Daryn Hornwood.) Alys has had enough of losing family members and she has teamed up with her uncle and cousins to turn the tables on the Starks. Because the family sees Rickard's death as kinslaying, they feel no reservations about getting revenge through deception.

3) I will grant you that marrying the Magnar of Thenn complicates the matter. As I mentioned, however, Alys acquires the Thenn army as allies similar to the way that Dany acquired the Dothraki khalisar through marriage to Drogo. Viserys thought that he was acquiring the khalisar, but he was mistaken. Perhaps Jon Snow is in the Viserys position here, thinking that he has installed an ally at Karhold but instead handing off a strong group of warriors to an opponent.

4) Alys and Arnolf probably do see Jon as a King in the North. That is a key part of the theory I laid out. And she wants to bring him down. What we know about people with king's blood is that they often die through treachery through the machinations of family members or apparent allies - Robert, Joffrey, possibly Balon Greyjoy, Renly, Robb Stark, Viserys. Jon is aware of this on one level because he has moved Mance's baby and Maester Aemon away from Melisandre. But Jon forgets that others may see him as a bearer of king's blood (or it doesn't cross his mind because he doesn't know about his biological parents and he doesn't think of himself as Robb's heir). As you say, "You know nothing, Jon Snow."

I'm not expecting to persuade you, though, just to point out that the points you raised can be logically addressed. I think GRRM has set up another "Whodunnit?" situation with the pink letter, similar to the unanswerable questions around Joffrey's death or the events associated with the Tower of Joy. He may eventually reveal the letter's author, or he may let us keep arguing indefinitely about the various theories.

2 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

Agree, wouldn't be the first time an uncle tried to dispossess his nephew/niece. She did not know whom to turn to but the son of Eddard Stark seems in keeping with what the Liddle tells Bran about the North being safer when there is a Stark in WF and Lady Dustin "they fear the Dreadfort but love the Starks".

I don't think an already complicated Northern plot needs Alys to be a Trojan horse, unless we have 5 more books coming. Not that I would mind another 5 books, as long as they actually came!

I think a basic set of questions to ask about PL authorship are:

1. How does the author know to put in "I want my Reek"

2. How does s/he know about Abel being Mance and the exact number of SWs?

3. How does s/he know about Val and Monster?

4. How does she know about Theon and fArya escaping?

5. Did they have access to a CB Raven?

Another thing to bear in mind is to minimize to and fro Ravens across various locations to gather all the information, which would make the final reveal to be a bit "duhhh ..... really?".

Obviously Ramsay meets the criteria, but @three-eyed monkey makes a very good point about the handwriting.

Stannis, his entourage at the CV and Mance tick the boxes as well, but most other potential authors actually fall of the list as they only have access to 3. or 4. but not both.

1 and 4. The Karstarks have people at Winterfell and with Stannis at the crofter's village, as well as Alys at Castle Black. It might seem a little far-fetched that they are all spies and able to gather so much detail from the decision-makers around them, but we have seen similar listening at doors or use of secret hiding places to gather information in Varys, Littlefinger, Arianne Martell, etc.

Servants at Winterfell (or those who came from the Dread Fort to Winterfell for the wedding) are likely to be aware that Theon had been taken prisoner, tortured by Ramsay and made into the new Reek. Big and Little Walder would also be aware of this. People gossip. It's possible that they were sources of information about the transformation of Theon to Reek.

2 and 3. As soon as Alys arrived at Castle Black, she was quickly embraced as a poor, suffering girl who deserved TLC. She also became the betrothed of a leading man among the wildlings. It's possible that the wildlings spilled some of the beans about the six women who were selected for a mission to Winterfell. It's possible Melisandre (who performed her wedding ceremony) confided in her about Mance. The "listening at doors," mentioned above, might also apply as an information-gathering technique for Alys.

The letter refers to "his little prince, the wildling babe." It's no secret that there is a baby at the Wall and that it is in the care of Val. Whoever wrote the letter is apparently still under the impression that Val is caring for the baby of Mance and Dalla. As far as we know, only Jon Snow, Val and Gilly were aware of the switched babies (Maester Aemon figures it out and tells Sam Tarly). The wet nurses brought in by Flint and The Norrey arrived after Gilly departed with Mance's actual baby, right? I guess a lack of knowledge about which baby is at the Wall neither confirms nor eliminates any of the suspected letter-writers, but it's interesting to note that the secret is still apparently unrevealed.

There is another factor with Alys that begins to get into the magical parallels that GRRM creates for characters: Alys is a parallel for Arya. When Melisandre saw a girl on a horse, Jon Snow thought it was his sister, Arya. In the chapter where Alys marries the Magnar, Jon again sees the similarity between the two girls. We know that the real Arya is a badass assassin who uses disguises and can skinchange into other beings to use their eyes as her own. Given an assignment to kill someone, Arya comes up with a complicated but effective strategy to make it look as if the victim had died in a way that had nothing to do with her. Because of the parallel between Arya and Alys, I think it's fair to assume that Alys has some of the same abilities. With reference to her new husband's untamed savage background, Alys says, "Let him fear me."

5. I don't believe the letter was sent via raven from Winterfell, so I think this is a moot point. But it would not surprise me if Winterfell still had ravens that could reach Castle Black. Roose brought in three maesters to handle the ravens at Winterfell, so any one of them might have been bribed or forced to send a raven without reporting back to the boss. I think it's more likely that Clydas was coerced or ensorcelled to bring the letter to Jon Snow. GRRM makes a point of telling us that there is something very "off" about Clydas when he brings the letter to Jon.

To me, the "smear" of the sealing wax tells me that the letter was not written by Ramsay at Winterfell. I think Ramsay would be careful to make his identity clear if he had written the letter, putting his clear stamp on it to show its authenticity and to underscore that he means business. I think the letter was written at Castle Black and planted with Clydas for delivery to Jon.

I still also like the idea that Melisandre wrote the letter, and that uses literary clues and parallels to the death of Renly. But I'm enjoying exploring the range of possibilities laid out for us by the author.

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On 3/25/2019 at 3:10 AM, Alaynsa Starne said:

Why would Ramsay need to torture that information from anyone? Ramsay isn't looking to make the letter look like it was written by Mance. None of the language used in the letter is actually exclusive to Mance, and to believe so is to have such a strong bias towards the Mance theory that one ignores the fact that 1) the series is written by one person and will inevitably have phrasal/stylistic repetition even between different characters, and 2) literally any character can use the language you've cited. Mance is not the first human to threaten to cut someone's heart out. Mance has not only never actually used the phrase "for all the north to see," but he certainly doesn't have the phrase trademarked, either. Most characters have called Jon a bastard. Plenty of other characters have talked about cloaks, and if Ramsay actually did make a cloak out of the washerwomen's skins, what else is he supposed to call it? Should Martin not use the word "cloak" just in case readers jump to wild conclusions just because a cloak was important to Mance once? Ramsay probably wants to avoid alternative authorities in the North. He probably doesn't understand the dynamic of wildlings, and so assumes that Val and Mance's baby are "heirs" of sorts. Selyse and Shireen are the same, and, more importantly, they're noble and could theoretically raise swords to come fight him eventually. Better to nip that shit in the bud. The term "crow" is not used exclusively by wildlings at all, and is it really so far a stretch to believe someone in the south would have the "imagination" to add black to that nickname? They're called "black brothers" they "take the black," they wear all black. It's not as though this is the greatest leap, here. 

 

Theme: a central topic in a story. The main theme of Jon's story is duty. I believe it was three-eyed monkey who said that what I cited as theme was related to character arc, but not theme. Which ignores how character arc acts in direct service to theme, but that's probably because I worded my original comment poorly. 

What we need to remember is that the PL was written by Grrm.And it's set up as a mystery-which in series character wrote it?

A good question to ask might be how much of the letter is for the recipient and how much for us, the readers?

Clearly it seems Jon has missed much of the phraseology used by Mance/Rattleshirt or in their presence.Though we don't know what was said in the two hour meeting with Tormund et al.

But I think the reader is supposed to be able to puzzle it out with direction from the author.That direction includes use of word combinations which are deliberately set to make us think.

When we read "for all the world to see" it invites us to reflect where have I read something like this before?Some simple research will lead you to Mance as Rattleshirt telling Jon the king "burned the man he had to burn.For all the north to see".You seem to think I'm accusing these characters of coining a new phrase.I'm not.But no other character uses them in the novels.

Anytime.

Anywhere.

Also remember Rattleshirt was suspended in a cage over the fire.

More subtle clues like the cloak made from the skins of six women make me ponder.Oh that's it !Varamyr Sixskins,someone known to Jon and Mance.

The phrase "He wants his bride back.He wants his Reek" is admittedly problematic from a Mance-centric p.o.v,but I think the spearwives learned enough about this,but more so the notion could have emerged in the Mance-Theon off page chat.In fact the Pl could have been written right then.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/2/2019 at 1:55 PM, Ser Hedge said:

Obviously Ramsay meets the criteria,

Well I would say that while it does seem plausible that the letter came from Ramsay, which is obviously the intention of any proposed forger, on closer inspection we see that there are a number of problems from Ramsay's point of view. That is the point of this thread.

The letter works best coming from Ramsay if the contents are true. If Stannis really has been defeated and Mance really has been captured. It would also work best if Ramsay actually thought his bride was really Arya Stark.

But once we get into Ramsay being misled about the result of a battle that we might expect him to be present at, or Mance and the spearwives evading capture or at least avoiding being taken alive, or a motive for Ramsay that makes sense of him asking for his bride back when he knows Jon would know it is not Arya, it becomes very dubious in my opinion.

22 hours ago, Seams said:

It's your thread and of course I would expect you to stick with your Stannis theory. In setting up an alternative theory, I thought I had addressed a number of the points you mention.

You did lay it out well. Alys might be playing Jon, but if so then I feel she is going to extraordinary lengths to take him down, including taking unnecessary measures like warning Jon that Arnolf was going to betray Stannis. I really feel she is genuine, and that the women of the north are leading the way to support Jon even if the northern lords are playing a more cautious game, but of course I could be wrong.

2 hours ago, redriver said:

What we need to remember is that the PL was written by Grrm.And it's set up as a mystery-which in series character wrote it?

A good question to ask might be how much of the letter is for the recipient and how much for us, the readers?

I agree it is set up as a mystery, using fairly standard mystery-writing techniques. It's enough in my eyes to discount Ramsay immediately.

And I would say it is all for the reader. Every word of every novel is for the reader, even if it is disguised as interaction between characters. "Huge spiky hand" was set up for the reader and that's why I don't accept the argument that Jon may have thought this or Jon may have thought that regarding the signature. GRRM set it up and left it out, Jon's really got nothing to do with it.

2 hours ago, redriver said:

Clearly it seems Jon has missed much of the phraseology used by Mance/Rattleshirt or in their presence.Though we don't know what was said in the two hour meeting with Tormund et al.

But I think the reader is supposed to be able to puzzle it out with direction from the author.That direction includes use of word combinations which are deliberately set to make us think.

When we read "for all the world to see" it invites us to reflect where have I read something like this before?Some simple research will lead you to Mance as Rattleshirt telling Jon the king "burned the man he had to burn.For all the north to see".You seem to think I'm accusing these characters of coining a new phrase.I'm not.But no other character uses them in the novels.

Anytime.

Anywhere.

On the day that he returned from his latest sortie, he had tossed the head of a Yunkish lord at her feet and kissed her in the hall for all the world to see, until Barristan Selmy pulled the two of them apart. Dany VII ADwD.

2 hours ago, redriver said:

More subtle clues like the cloak made from the skins of six women make me ponder.Oh that's it !Varamyr Sixskins,someone known to Jon and Mance.

Well, there may be a parallel here with Varamyr. It's not particularly clear what Mance thought he would gain from including so cryptic a clue? The six skins of the women might have been a better choice of wording if indeed he was hoping to make Jon think of Varamyr for some reason.

I think the line about the cloak of skins is a clear callback to something Ramsay actually did say in Winterfell.

"What man?" Ramsay demanded. "Give me his name. Point him out to me, boy, and I will make you a cloak of his skin."

Of course this means the line in the letter is something that Ramsay would say, and it is one of the only lines of text in the novel that could be used to support Ramsay writing the letter. But it must be remembered that this comes from Theon's point of view and Abel was also present. So if anyone present in the Great Hall at the time wanted to imitate Ramsay in a threatening letter, then this might be something they would use. This makes perfect sense, to me at least.

2 hours ago, redriver said:

The phrase "He wants his bride back.He wants his Reek" is admittedly problematic from a Mance-centric p.o.v,but I think the spearwives learned enough about this,but more so the notion could have emerged in the Mance-Theon off page chat.In fact the Pl could have been written right then.

Again, the line points to Theon and Stannis at the crofters village. If you don't think it is possible that this comes from Stannis simply quoting Theon about what Ramsay would want, then you are left grasping at straws. Either Theon predicted what Ramsay would write practically verbatim, orelse Mance in a letter to Jon just happened to say the exact same thing Theon said to Stannis. Coincidence, synchronicity, or perhaps psychic ability? Neither are more probable than simple quotation in my opinion.

22 hours ago, Seams said:

The letter refers to "his little prince, the wildling babe."

Stannis refers to Val repeatedly as a wildling princess. He also refers to the babe as a prince. Some examples:

"I would hope the truth would please you, Sire. Your men call Val a princess, but to the free folk she is only the sister of their king's dead wife.

***

"Your Grace is mistaken." You know nothing, Jon Snow, Ygritte used to say, but he had learned. "The babe is no more a prince than Val is a princess.

***

"This had best not be some bastard's trick. Will I trade three hundred fighters for three thousand? Aye, I will. I am not an utter fool. If I leave the girl with you as well, do I have your word that you will keep our princess closely?"

She is not a princess. "As you wish, Your Grace."

***

"Horpe and Massey aspire to your father's seat. Massey wants the wildling princess too."

It's not a term exclusively used by Stannis. The king's men also call her princess, but that is no doubt down to the influence of Stannis.

"Nestoris," said Ser Axell, "and the lord commander. Might I join you?" He lowered himself to the bench before they could reply. "Lord Snow, if I may ask … this wildling princess His Grace King Stannis wrote of … where might she be, my lord?"

The term becomes widely used at the Wall with Sam, Mully, Ser Axell and others using it. Val mockingly uses the phrase herself. Even Jon, who insisted she was not a princess, starts to call her the wildling princess. But it all started with Stannis.

I accept that Ramsay may have picked up the term from prisoners after he defeated Stannis, it's just that I don't find Ramsay defeating Stannis to be a compelling argument.

 

 

 

Edited by three-eyed monkey

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If Ramsay did not write the PL then why did the author of the PL try so hard to make it sound like Ramsay? (Jon and anyone else at CB whose counsel Jon would seek will likely not know what Ramsay sounds like anyway, so what's with "I want my Reek" and the cloak of skin)

Possible reasons:

1. They cannot under any circumstances have the letter traced back to them since they have to work with Jon in the future. This points to Stannis, might work for Mance too. 

The authors that really want Jon to come to harm, and will be actively moving against him, do not really need to take so much effort into making it that authentic (Bowen, Alliser, a Bolton-allied noble)

2. The author wants Jon to know what Ramsay is truly like, and in this they have absolutely succeeded. Again, Stannis and Mance tick the box, someone like Lady Dustin might too.

 

So, if Ramsay is not the author, the (updated) questions to ask are:

1. How does the author know what Ramsay sounds like? (This is a very wide net, as many northerners have been with Ramsay at Barrowton and picked up on the Reek thing while waiting for Roose to come up the neck. Before the war though, I don't think many nobles had actually met him. There is less chance they heard him at WF, since there is no on-page interaction between R and T in public)

2. If 1. passes the test, then ask why they go to such lengths to make the letter sound so authentic, when Jon and his advisers have no idea who Reek is. (Here the whole Stannis mistaking who Reek is is pretty interesting).

3. Ok, of these people, who has full information about Val and Monster and knows who Abel is (obviously Stannis, and also anyone present in WF, if you assume Abel or a SW is tortured and the confession leaks. This does rule out anyone not in WF, or has not been at CB recently. 

4. Now we get to motive and opportunity with a smaller list.

By Opportunity I mean: CB Raven.

Please note that even Mel or a NW conspirator needs WF data to effectively write the letter. They could not have done it on their own, so have received a raven with the Reek bit.

Motive:

Now this had been gone through in a lot of detail on this and other PL threads.

Stannis: Wants Jon to take up the Lord Stark gig, but for this to be feasible, he needs Jon to have an army (which arrived after Stannis left CB). So it's really Stannis and Mel co-headlining.

Mance: Doesn't know about the army, so there is no clear motive, unless he wants anarchy.

Asha: Wants Theon saved, by fArya's grateful brother (especially after also getting told Bran and Rickon being alive)

Lady Dustin: Maybe thinks fArya needs to be picked up, also hates Ramsay, so doesn't mind if he is taken out should Jon go completely postal ( but leaving enough room for Roose not to get targeted), but doesn't care if the bastard of Eddard Stark guess gets himself killed in the process.

Roose/A Frey: Above can work too.

I think we have eliminated other authors through this process, unless you are really assuming a multiple persons across multiple locations scenario.

PS: The Karstark theory was fascinating, but the issue is there are no Karstarks in WF itself, and the ruse has left Cregan in an ice cell, Thenns all over the ancestral home and two kin in the CV killed/badly mutilated, with the rest under arrest and possibly due for an appointment with R'hllor. So, I would say it's very unlikely.

IMO, the possible author list is:

1. Ramsay (ahhhh but why no spiky hand ahhh)

2. Stan and Mel (but only after taking WF and getting a means to communicate between WF and CB). Maybe Mance is in on this, but he is not the sole author, as the only motive on that case is anarchy.

3. Asha and Theon (but again Stan has taken WF here)

4. Some random dude in Stannis' army after taking WF. No good motive though.

5. Lady Dustin/Roose/some Frey: In the event WF is still in Bolton hands. Variable motives, but don't care too much of Jon goes crazy attacks WF and gets killed.

I think we can rule everyone else out, right - including covert pro-Starks in WF? They don't want Jon killed.

 

 

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8 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

And I would say it is all for the reader. Every word of every novel is for the reader, even if it is disguised as interaction between characters. "Huge spiky hand" was set up for the reader and that's why I don't accept the argument that Jon may have thought this or Jon may have thought that regarding the signature. GRRM set it up and left it out, Jon's really got nothing to do with it.

I would like to point out that Stannis has had access to the letter addressed to Asha - the one with the large spiky hand.  Asha gave it to the maester of Deepwood Motte to show to Lady Glover.  Stannis attacked later that night.  I'm sure he has seen it.   There is no reason why he wouldn't.

In which event, if he was forging the letter, why wouldn't he copy the handwriting?  My point here is to say that we need to concentrate on the statements made within the letter.  

@Ser Hedge has made some good points about the fact that Jon is generally unfamiliar with Ramsay's writing style, and nobody would expect him to actually be familiar with it.  So including Ramsey-isms like "I want my Reek" would appear pointless from the point of view of a forger.

Also,, Ramsay doesn't know Jon well.  It is entirely possible that he thinks Jon might be sufficiently amoral and/or easily cowed to give in to the demands of the letter.  The threat that Jon might disclose FArya's true identity (to whom?) isn't as serious as it sounds.   Jon can easily be branded a liar,, by claiming that he is either protecting his sister or continuing his support for Stannis by causing trouble for the Boltons and Lannisters.  I expect many Northerners would believe that he was lying, although they would be happy to use the statement in any event.

As to Melisandre, I really can't see it.  From what I can tell from her POV, she considers Jon as a necessary ally, and wants him at the Wall, to help her deal with her Enemy.  

Stannis has problems as well.  I consider his motive of getting Jon to join him as a weak one.  In any event, the letter seems poorly suited to carrying out this motive.  There is no compelling reason given in the letter for Jon to go to Winterfell, and the mention of Stannis's family as desired hostages is likely to lead to their evacuation from Castle Black, and increases the likelihood of Jon remaining at CB to organize defenses, searches, evacuations, etc.

I even more firmly believe that the writer is Ramsay, though I remain skeptical of the truth of many of the statements contained within.

 

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Forget for a moment the Theon chapter that was moved from DwD to WoW.


After there is a brouhaha in the hall --- caused by the death of the Walder kid --- I don't remember if it was Big or Little Walder --- one of Lord Manderly's chins gets sliced ---  Roose calls for Manderly and Frey forces to gather at the gates --- Rowan says now is the time for the (bath) rescue of Jeyne/Arya.

Ramsey knows Jeyne is not Arya Stark. Why send a letter to LC Snow, the bastard son of Eddard Stark demanding the return of his [Ramsey's] bride and also threaten to cut Jon's heart out and eat it?

Why would Ramsey think that Theon and Jeyne travel through the winter wonderland to CB?

Before the dastardly letter arrived at the Wall LC Snow's intent was to trek to Hardhome. After the letter Jon decides he is gonna go to WF.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Ramsey knows Jeyne is not Arya Stark. Why send a letter to LC Snow, the bastard son of Eddard Stark demanding the return of his [Ramsey's] bride and also threaten to cut Jon's heart out and eat it?

Ramsay probably assumes that Jeyne is nothing to Jon, and he therefore might be willing to return her.  We know better.  Ramsay probably doesn't.

7 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Why would Ramsey think that Theon and Jeyne travel through the winter wonderland to CB?

There are two possible destinations - Stannis's camp and Castle Black.  Stannis's camp is likely to become a battlefield soon, so moving them to Castle Black makes sense.  Ramsay is probably under the impression that Jon and Stannis are working closely together.  He might also have failed to find them at Stannis's camp or been told they had already left.  In which case, Castle Black is the logical destination.

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Nevets said:

Ramsay probably assumes that Jeyne is nothing to Jon, and he therefore might be willing to return her. 

Any idea/speculation why Ramsey assumes Jeyne and Theon traveled the winter wonderland to Castle BlacK?

43 minutes ago, Nevets said:

There are two possible destinations - Stannis's camp and Castle Black.  Stannis's camp is likely to become a battlefield soon, so moving them to Castle Black makes sense.  Ramsay is probably under the impression that Jon and Stannis are working closely together.  He might also have failed to find them at Stannis's camp or been told they had already left.  In which case, Castle Black is the logical destination.

Forget for a moment the Theon chapter that was moved from DwD to WoW.

 

 

Edited by Clegane'sPup

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@kissdbyfire I would like to read if you care to share your thoughts about @Nevets  idea Ramsay is probably under the impression that Jon and Stannis are working closely together.

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

If Ramsay did not write the PL then why did the author of the PL try so hard to make it sound like Ramsay? (Jon and anyone else at CB whose counsel Jon would seek will likely not know what Ramsay sounds like anyway, so what's with "I want my Reek" and the cloak of skin)

Ramsay has a reputation and Jon is aware of it. Stick them with the pointy end, he'd told her. Wisdom for her wedding night if half of what he heard of Ramsay Snow was true.

Stannis was trying to imitate Ramsay so it's quite obvious why he would make the letter sound like it came from Ramsay. But Stannis does not know much about Ramsay. That's why he clearly needs Theon. He even says Theon may have knowledge they need. Knowledge of the situation in Winterfell, sure, but why not knowledge of Ramsay too? Know your enemy, right?

Theon already told Stannis why Ramsay would be coming. "He wants his bride. He wants his Reek." Stannis concluded that this is what Ramsay genuinely wants and if Ramsay was going to write a letter to Jon then "I want my bride. And I want my Reek," would be authentic demands. Why would Stannis not include them?

And if we jump forward to the point where Stannis has talked further with Theon regarding the knowledge he may need, it seems natural that Ramsay would be part of that conversation. Theon has already told Stannis that the Freys and Manderlys were at each others throats inside the castle and would come for him separately. Division among his enemies is certainly something Stannis would be interested in. If Theon were to expand on that point then the story of Walder Frey's murder and how it came to lethal blows in the Great Hall would be central to the story, which is when Ramsay threatened to make a cloak of skin from the guilty party.

Stannis included the part about flaying women to underline Ramsay's monstrous nature. He knows Jon has a strong sense of justice and is not likely to be pleased about his father's seat being held by such a vile creature.

6 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

They cannot under any circumstances have the letter traced back to them since they have to work with Jon in the future. This points to Stannis, might work for Mance too. 

Correct.

6 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

How does the author know what Ramsay sounds like? (

Theon is the author's prisoner.

6 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

If 1. passes the test, then ask why they go to such lengths to make the letter sound so authentic, when Jon and his advisers have no idea who Reek is. (Here the whole Stannis mistaking who Reek is is pretty interesting).

Stannis is quoting what Theon says about Ramsay's motive. But ask the same of Ramsay. Why would he ask Jon for Reek back? And why would he ask for his bride back when he knows Jon would know the real Arya? Makes no sense.

6 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

Stannis: Wants Jon to take up the Lord Stark gig, but for this to be feasible, he needs Jon to have an army (which arrived after Stannis left CB).

No, it just requires Jon to break his vow and get involved against Ramsay with whatever means he has available. Stannis knows Jon has 300 wildling fighters. It's not much, perhaps, but 3000 are equally unlikely to take Winterfell. Mance says Stannis has 5000 but would need ten times as many to take the castle. So what is the correct number of swords Jon should have before he can plausibly react in your opinion?

If Jon has no army then the obvious move is for him to try and rally the north against the Boltons. The north would not rise for Stannis but they might for the son of Eddard Stark, as Lyanna Mormont's letter to Stannis indicated.

The return of any Stark claimant would be a problem for the Boltons and they are aware of that. The truth about Arya would also be a problem for them, and again they are well aware of that too. They brought Theon to give her away for this very reason. Theon grew up with Arya and if he didn't question her identity then the hope was that no northern lord would either, even if they had suspicions.

If Jon discovered that Ramsay's bride was not really Arya then that would be a disaster for them, especially when they no longer hold Theon who they could manipulate into countering Jon's claims, not that kinslaying Theon Turncloak would be believed over anyone. That's why it makes no sense for Ramsay to ask Jon, of all people, for his bride back.

6 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

1. Ramsay (ahhhh but why no spiky hand ahhh)

It is quite literally a literary clue. Simple as that.

6 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

Stan and Mel (but only after taking WF and getting a means to communicate between WF and CB). Maybe Mance is in on this, but he is not the sole author, as the only motive on that case is anarchy.

No Stan and Theon? We shall see.

Regarding Mance, he does have a motive actually and it is pretty much the same as Stannis with a few differences. In brief, he needs Jon as Jon is potentially the only person the free folk and the north would follow, and getting past the Wall is only half of Mance's plan. History tells us that there have been a few kings-beyond-the-wall who came south but none who stayed there for long before the Watch or Winterfell came down on them. Mance wants the free folk to stay south of the Wall and unite with the northmen before the Others arrive and Jon is the best chance of that happening.

This would be especially true if Jon was king of an independent north. It's unclear how much Mance knows about the northern agenda to crown Jon, but Abel and his women are well placed to learn about it I would say. There is a three way tug-o-war going on for Jon between Stannis, Mance, and the northern lords. Stannis is the only one who is explicit in this regard. You have to read between the lines for the other two.

3 hours ago, Nevets said:

I would like to point out that Stannis has had access to the letter addressed to Asha - the one with the large spiky hand.  Asha gave it to the maester of Deepwood Motte to show to Lady Glover.  Stannis attacked later that night.  I'm sure he has seen it.   There is no reason why he wouldn't. 

In which event, if he was forging the letter, why wouldn't he copy the handwriting? 

We don't know that read the letter, Lady Glover may have simply informed him of what the letter said or had her maester read it to him. She may have burned it in disgust after reading it for all we know. Stannis said "word has come to us" in reference to the letter but he didn't say he read or saw the letter. He may have but he may not.

But even if he did, at the time he was planning on bestowing Winterfell on a Karstark, and the pink letter plan would not yet have been conceived for another month when he was at the crofters village. It was the arrival of the banker, the letter from Jon outing the Karstarks, and Theon and Jeyne that triggered the pink letter plan. Stannis would have been working off his memory of the letter at Deepwood Motte and trying to remember details that would not have seemed important at the time he read the letter.

3 hours ago, Nevets said:

My point here is to say that we need to concentrate on the statements made within the letter.  

All of which can be connected to Stannis and Theon. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore. Wildling princess. The cloaks of skin. I want my bride. And I want my Reek. And everyone demanded in the letter is someone of personal or political value to Stannis.

2 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Ramsey knows Jeyne is not Arya Stark. Why send a letter to LC Snow, the bastard son of Eddard Stark demanding the return of his [Ramsey's] bride

Good question. The answer is he wouldn't.

2 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Why would Ramsey think that Theon and Jeyne travel through the winter wonderland to CB?

It's obvious they would go to the nearest place of refuge, which is Stannis camp. And that's where the Freys go, naturally.

Jeyne and Theon are both frail, and Jeyne has frostbite by the time she gets there, which is three days later. Castle Black is beyond them. The Boltons have people watching the kingsroad, people searching for Bran and Rickon, allies further north that they could send ravens to in an attempt to cut her off. And even if she has a three day lead, which she does not, it is not beyond being overhauled by the hunters over the course of 600 miles. Writing the pink letter is the last thing they would do.

2 hours ago, Nevets said:

Ramsay probably assumes that Jeyne is nothing to Jon, and he therefore might be willing to return her.  We know better.  Ramsay probably doesn't.

Is there anything to indicate this in the text? No. But lots to indicate that asking Jon, of all people, for Jeyne back would simply be utter stupidity on behalf of the Boltons.

Again, a typical Ramsay Theory argument that requires an if, but, or maybe and has no textual support, runs contrary to the fake Arya story, and make little sense.

2 hours ago, Nevets said:

He might also have failed to find them at Stannis's camp or been told they had already left.  In which case, Castle Black is the logical destination.

This scenario depends on Ramsay winning the battle of ice but not recovering Theon. I don't think that's certain by any means, and a lot of Ramsay theorists agree.

1 hour ago, Clegane'sPup said:

I would like to read if you care to share your thoughts about @Nevets  idea Ramsay is probably under the impression that Jon and Stannis are working closely together.

It is known in Winterfell that Jon has made common cause with Stannis according to Theon.

Theon shivered. Baratheon or Bolton, it made no matter to him. Stannis had made common cause with Jon Snow at the Wall, and Jon would take his head off in a heartbeat. Plucked from the clutches of one bastard to die at the hands of another, what a jape.

Edited by three-eyed monkey

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14 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

But once we get into Ramsay being misled about the result of a battle that we might expect him to be present at, or Mance and the spearwives evading capture or at least avoiding being taken alive, or a motive for Ramsay that makes sense of him asking for his bride back when he knows Jon would know it is not Arya, it becomes very dubious in my opinion.

Does the phrase "the fog of war" mean anything in this context?  Just because he is there doesn't mean he can't be fooled into thinking Stannis is dead and he has won.

I actually think Mance and the spearwives were captured (or at least some of them).  I don't know why they wouldn't.  I don't think the crypts are a viable idea.

Getting his bride back would be easier (from Ramsay's vantage point) if she is fake.  Jon isn't as likely to care.   No way is he going to return his real sister.

Even if your suggested motive for the letter is legitimate, I don't see how the letter is designed to carry out that motive.  The only reasons given for a trip to Winterfell are taunts, which is hardly a compelling reason to go, especially without armed support.  The mention of his family as potential hostages also leads to potential action (e.g., evacuation) that appear counter to Stannis's interests.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:
11 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

Stannis: Wants Jon to take up the Lord Stark gig, but for this to be feasible, he needs Jon to have an army (which arrived after Stannis left CB).

No, it just requires Jon to break his vow and get involved against Ramsay with whatever means he has available. Stannis knows Jon has 300 wildling fighters. It's not much, perhaps, but 3000 are equally unlikely to take Winterfell. Mance says Stannis has 5000 but would need ten times as many to take the castle. So what is the correct number of swords Jon should have before he can plausibly react in your opinion?

Apologies, the Stannis theory does work w/o knowledge of the arrival of Tormund & co as you have pointed out before. I was running through all the angles again using those questions, but this skipped my mind. Appreciate your patience.

5 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Regarding Mance, he does have a motive actually and it is pretty much the same as Stannis with a few differences. In brief, he needs Jon as Jon is potentially the only person the free folk and the north would follow, and getting past the Wall is only half of Mance's plan. History tells us that there have been a few kings-beyond-the-wall who came south but none who stayed there for long before the Watch or Winterfell came down on them. Mance wants the free folk to stay south of the Wall and unite with the northmen before the Others arrive and Jon is the best chance of that happening.

This would be especially true if Jon was king of an independent north. It's unclear how much Mance knows about the northern agenda to crown Jon, but Abel and his women are well placed to learn about it I would say. There is a three way tug-o-war going on for Jon between Stannis, Mance, and the northern lords. Stannis is the only one who is explicit in this regard. You have to read between the lines for the other two.

A very good point and it's not often proponents of one theory are this fair to other theories.

Spoiler

A scenario where Stan has taken WF, but for some reason the Bolton seal is unavailable actually opens quite a few possibilities about authorship. Besides Stan, you could have some combination (but not necessarily all of) Mance and northern lords collaborating on this. Stan might want Jon to be his warden, Mance might want him to be king of the first men (as per your reasoning - I need to think about that a bit), the lords might want him to be KitN. If you want to throw Asha into the mix, she might want Jon to pardon Theon for saving 'Arya', especially if he also buys the story of the Miller's boys. If the Weirwood at the CV assumed Bran's face (as identified by Theon at the WF Weirwood earlier), then the same can happen at WF again if Jon comes down to see, and Jon can then intercede with Stan. The northern lords at CV might have witnessed a miracle at CV where the Weirwood called out to Theon, but they wouldn't know it was Bran's face. Stan might still be undecided what to do with Theon and might have held off until after the battle(s).

I guess  the above needed a spoiler box since the prediction draws on the TWOW chapter.

Just one more point: I said the Bolton seal was unavailable for the above, but actually that's not necessary, the PL might have been opened by Clydas.

Edited by Ser Hedge

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