Jump to content
three-eyed monkey

Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

Recommended Posts

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

Ramsay writing the letter is based totally on head-cannon, unlike my arguments, which are based on text and are made in the context of the story we have been told. You may disagree with my argument but you cannot disagree that Stannis wants Jon to be his Lord of Winterfell. This is canon. It is repeated in the text several times, starting in ASoS and right through ADwD. Yet you don't seem to accept that as motive for Stannis because of your own head-canon and confirmation bias.

Stannis wanted (past tense) Jon to become Lord of Winterfell.  Whether he still does is an open question.  I'm sure he would like it if it did happen, but I doubt he really needs it.  What Stannis really wants is homage from the Northerners.  If he has managed to defeat the Boltons, he will get that, if only so the Lords can distance themselves from the Boltons.  He doesn't need Jon for that.

As for the Proudwing parallel, I think, as I've said before, that Proudwing is Jon himself.  Jon has refused to perform as hoped, so it is time to move on.  It is also questionable how the Northerners would receive Jon the Deserter in their midst.  The Nights Watch is somewhat highly regarded in the North, and the Lord Commander's abandonment of his post would likely not be taken favorably.

1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

But we must take all circumstances into account. There are other circumstances, such as the political importance of the fake wedding from a Bolton point of view, that should not be ignored if we truly are to be intellectually honest. So while Ramsay does have motive to act against Jon, he does not have motive for that action to take the form of a letter asking for his bride back when he knows Jon would see through the fake wedding charade, which would not be in the Boltons' interest.

Ramsay's problem isn't that FArya will be exposed as fake.  It is that she isn't there.  He needs her in his possession and control as a hostage in order to keep the other Northerners in line.  Without her, he is vulnerable, and knows it. 

As long as the Northerners are cooped up in Winterfell, Jon has no way to tell them anything.  And even outside Winterfell, Jon will be perceived as having ample reason to lie, so his statements will not completely resolve the issue. 

Edited by Nevets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I was always told that when someone starts attacking you rather than your position then they have lost the debate and that seems to be the case here. Instead of claiming that I am intellectually dishonest, why don't you give an example of my intellectual dishonesty?

While you're at it you could also give an example of the far-fetched counterarguments I am trying to invent. Or the head-canon I am trying to invent.

I said you were intellectually dishonest because you tend to judge the Ramsay Theory more critically than your own. It may be that you are doing it subconsciously, in which case you're being biased rather than dishonest. Here are a few examples:

I challenged you by pointing out that Stannis writing the letter doesn't really take the story anywhere, and you said it's fine to have a twist with no punch line because failed plans happen:

On 4/4/2019 at 5:34 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

The plan almost worked but it clashed with another arc and Jon's death was an unintended consequence. The series is littered with failed plans and deceptions so I think the pink letter is very much in keeping with that.

You're also fine with Jon dying randomly because of a scheme that had nothing to do with killing him, even though there's no thematic meat there. But when it comes to Jon randomly dying because of a letter Ramsay wrote, it's suddenly a poor storytelling device:

On 4/4/2019 at 5:34 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

That Ramsay wrote a rant to Jon and then struck gold by getting Jon killed is just a poor storytelling device, especially when there is no set-up, foreshadowing, etc.

Never mind that several major deaths in the series are triggered by trivial things or caused by unexpected background characters (Drogo gets an infected wound, Joffrey is poisoned by Olenna, the Starks are undone by some of their minor bannermen because Robb married a random girl, etc.) 

You make the same point later while challenging my aesthetic tastes, which is a very subjective (as well as personal) argument:

6 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

If you don't see how a simple device like that leading to Jon's death is poor storytelling then we have vastly different opinions on storytelling. But that's ok. I don't have interest in the show because the storytelling is poor in my opinion, comically poor on some occasions, but millions disagree.

So it's fine to call the idea that Jon got himself killed because Ramsay's letter triggered him into breaking his vows "comically poor", but if I call Stannis's plan to get Jon to Winterfell by sending him the Pink Letter cartoonish and convoluted, that can be brushed aside. Obviously, your opinions are an exquisite standard for quality; mine are shit. :lol:

As for the headcanon, here you go. A few pages ago we were discussing the likelihood of Mance's capture. I argued that it would be reasonable to assume that Mance and the other spearwives were captured, because last time we saw Mance he was in the Great Hall with the Boltons, and the text never implies that they had a backup plan in case the alarm sounded. You countered with the following:

Quote

They would have been in the hall or close to it by the time the alarm sounded. The guards must then respond at the walls. Holly gets shot. Theon and Jeyne Jump. Frenya fights. The guards quickly identify the women. Someone then needs to bring that information to Roose or Ramsay in the great hall. The Boltons may well have been brought out of the hall at the sound of the alarm. In fact the hall probably emptied, with most people going towards the alarm at the wall. There would be a number of orders being given as capturing Theon and Jeyne would have been a priority. I think there would be enough time and confusion for Mance and co to slip away.

That's pure supposition. You were attempting to counter a simple and straight-forward scenario that ties together the things we learned from Theon's chapter to the things we learned from the letter with a more convoluted, equally hypothetical scenario. With that explanation you can, at best, cling to the idea that Mance and the spearwives might have escaped (while ignoring Occam's Razor), but you can't use it to cast doubt on the notion that Ramsay would most likely know that Jon ordered fArya's rescue, and therefore would have a score to settle with him.

Now that I gave you a few examples, let's focus back on the Stannis Theory.

It's weakness is not the lack of motive, nor the idea that Stannis wouldn't use subversion. Its weakness is that it is not a very reliable strategy for Stannis to get what he wants. It is extremely easy to find better options from his perspective. Even more so if you say that he will win the Battle for Winterfell. A few points:

  1. Stannis wanted Jon to accept Winterfell back when he was at Castle Black. The main reason for this was that Jon would have gained him the support of some of the northern houses in order to challenge the Boltons (and later the Lannisters). The Boltons had Stark's daughter, so he wanted Ned's son. It is headcanon to assume that he wouldn't already have the support of the other northern lords after defeating the Boltons, or that having Jon in charge would get him anything extra.
  2. Stannis can cement his claim to the North by remarrying fArya to someone loyal to him. Assuming he can't do this is a biased position.
  3. If Stannis believes the northern lords would follow Jon, he can simply tell them that he will free him of his vows and name him Lord of Winterfell if the lords side with him. He can then make Jon the initial offer again, this time while they both know that the lords would support it. A more straight-forward and reliable strategy exists.
  4. There is no reason for Stannis to assume that the Pink Letter would get Jon to come south. We only know that it would have because we benefit from hindsight. Assuming that this result was planned is a huge reach. There is no other scheme in ASoIaF that involves this level of foresight.
  5. Even if Jon comes south with the specific intention of fighting Ramsay, there is no reason to assume he would have accepted the lordship from Stannis after finding out he was deceived. Jumping to this conclusion reflects bias. In the words of two great men.... creatively it makes sense to you because you want it to happen.
  6. If we assume that Stannis is doing all of this for the support of the northern lords, getting Jon to publicly forsake his vows in the process is risky. The northern lords may no longer want Jon if he does that. Ignoring this very obvious risk because it weakens your theory is a biased position.
  7. Narratively speaking, if George wanted Jon to be called south by Stannis and the northern lords, Robb's will would have offered a better justification for this. Robb's will was set up and might yet enter play, so creating a scenario where Stannis didn't know about it but wanted the same thing, and sent the Pink Letter to try and trick Jon even though the will will be used anyway... does nothing but needlessly complicate the narrative. Calling this good storytelling is biased. Creatively it makes sense to you because you want it to happen.

With all the weight of the above, please note that my argument is NOT that you should give up the Stannis Theory. My argument is that you don't have a hard enough case to keep dismissing the Ramsay Theory like it was nothing.

Both theories require us to build scenarios and make assumptions. In both cases it's a matter of taste how well the story works, although I would warn you about holding your own enjoyment hostage in order to make a point against me or others. If you keep arguing your point too hard, you might end up souring the Ramsay scenario for yourself no matter how good it is. Built up bias tends to work like that.

And the Ramsay Theory is likely, no matter what you say. I think @Tagganaro summarized it very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I have no interest in being intellectually dishonest, and I would hope that my fellow members here know that. 

Anything but.  Your arguments have been well thought out, very consistently and even more patiently articulated when we other posters forgot some of the assumptions or premises in the reasoning behind the theory a few pages later.

While maybe super-nerdy :D this has been an amazing thread!

Btw, I'm still on the fence re: PL Authorship. It does take some time to get your head around the Stannis theory (maybe because show Stannis is lurking in there :stunned:?), but it's a viable theory well worth debating IMHO.

 

6 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

Knowing Ramsay as we do, is it out of the question that he would write this letter to provoke and/or hurt Jon?

Certainly not out of the question, it's an equally or perhaps more viable theory, but I agree with the three-eyed one that it is still a theory (or a proposition or an assumption or whatever you wish to call it) and not a fact. The absence of the huge spiky hand, which had been carefully set up with two previous letters is conspicuous by its absence, but beyond that, it seems to come down to the individual reader's interpretation of Ramsay's likely behaviour and his expectation of Jon's behaviour, so it's unlikely we will ever be able to resolve it entirely.

What I thought the thread did a great job with was establishing under what scenarios different theories were viable and fully logically consistent.

Stannis: Has taken Winterfell, wants Jon to break oath, so Stannis can raise him to be lord. (This can be in collaboration with Mel and/or Mance)

Mance A: Winterfell has fallen to Stannis, but Mance wants Jon to become KitN (and of the Wildlings), hence the ruse to make him break the oath.

Mance B: WF has not fallen, maybe Stannis sent misleading Ravens to WF and Mance based PL on it (or is just lying). Motive here is unclear, I don't think we went through this variant here in detail actually, but there was another thread late last year.

Spoiler

Asha: WF has fallen. Theon's fate is uncertain. She has seen the Brantree on the frozen lake and wants Jon to come and see the same at WF and get him to ask Stannis to forgive Theon. Problem: the time taken to travel, what if Stannis decides not to wait that long with all the pressure from Northern lords?

Roose/Walda/Dustin: Actually, I don't think we went through this one here. Take out or weaken Ramsay since he's turning into a liability, but if Jon dies in the attempt, you don't care too much.

 

Edited by Ser Hedge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Ramsay writing the letter simply makes the most sense, no matter how many far-fetched counterarguments you try to invent or how often and how brazenly you state the contrary. Refusing to acknowledge that is intellectually dishonest.

To you the idea that Ramsay wrote the pink/bastard letter makes the most sense.

Other people have a differing point of view.

Posters have been debating and arguing this frekking letter since 2011. It didn't help that martin released the Theon chapter that was removed from DwD.

Intellectual dishonesty indeed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I am somewhat reminded of the old joke about democracy being a horrible idea; the worst of all systems, with the exception of everything else that has been tried.

The idea that the Pink Letter is written by Ramsay isn't very satisfying, is somewhat weak, and has numerous problems, so is a crappy idea. 

But every other suggestion presented is even weaker with more numerous problems, and is even crappier.  I'm going to go with Ramsay until and unless a better suggestion presents itself.

The Stannis theory as presented isn't it.  While it is the best Stannis theory I have seen, that is faint praise,, as it still has many holes, which I have pointed out.  Essentially, its motivation is a bit weak, and the letter itself is ill-suited to carrying out the objective presented.

Edited by Nevets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

11 minutes ago, Nevets said:

But every other suggestion presented is even weaker with more numerous problems, and is even crappier.  I'm going to go with Ramsay until and unless a better suggestion presents itself.

A very fair point. I, personally, am struggling with the lack of a spiky hand, hence not in the Ramsay camp. The other point three-eyed made:

1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

So while Ramsay does have motive to act against Jon, he does not have motive for that action to take the form of a letter asking for his bride back when he knows Jon would see through the fake wedding charade, which would not be in the Boltons' interest.

If this is the same as the  "why advertise you have lost the bride" argument, unfortunately that debate will just continue to run and run. The counter is that because R thinks J may be re-united with fA sooner than she can be hunted down, lie and threaten him so he will be cowed (Attack the best form of defence).

If the argument is "she's fake, so the last thing I want Jon to know is she's loose, because if he finds her, he'll tell everyone", then that debate will also run and run. The counter is, as was just pointed out, "he's lying" and "look he abandoned his post".

So it's really just the lack of a spiky hand, or I missed something completely and am very sorry about that.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Ser Hedge said:

So it's really just the lack of a spiky hand, or I missed something completely and am very sorry about that.

It’s interesting how the same thing can be viewed/interpreted completely differently... For me, the fact that Jon doesn’t think anything about the “huge, spiky hand” - or lack thereof - is one of the strongest arguments in favour of Ramsay being the author. :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Ser Hedge said:

A very fair point. I, personally, am struggling with the lack of a spiky hand, hence not in the Ramsay camp. The other point three-eyed made:

Whether it was in a spiky hand is not mentioned at all.  Tormund does say something about how it "feels nasty", and to an illiterate, a spiky hand could look a bit nasty.  But that statement is a bit ambiguous.

It is also worth mentioning that Stannis had access to the letter that Ramsay sent to Deepwood Motte, which was clearly written in the spiky hand.  So he could copy it if he wanted to forge a letter from Ramsay.  It also could call into question why it isn't spiky.  Why wouldn't Stannis write it as spiky?  Frankly, we can go round and round on that issue, but there is no clear evidence.  Therefore, I basically ignore the issue of handwriting, simply because we have no clear evidence on the matter one way or the other.

 

Edited by Nevets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the best pink/bastard letter threads I have read is a 2014 thread.

It's not long, merely six pages. Verra interesting though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

I said you were intellectually dishonest because you tend to judge the Ramsay Theory more critically than your own. It may be that you are doing it subconsciously, in which case you're being biased rather than dishonest. Here are a few examples:

I challenged you by pointing out that Stannis writing the letter doesn't really take the story anywhere, and you said it's fine to have a twist with no punch line because failed plans happen:

You're also fine with Jon dying randomly because of a scheme that had nothing to do with killing him, even though there's no thematic meat there. But when it comes to Jon randomly dying because of a letter Ramsay wrote, it's suddenly a poor storytelling device:

Never mind that several major deaths in the series are triggered by trivial things or caused by unexpected background characters (Drogo gets an infected wound, Joffrey is poisoned by Olenna, the Starks are undone by some of their minor bannermen because Robb married a random girl, etc.) 

You make the same point later while challenging my aesthetic tastes, which is a very subjective (as well as personal) argument:

So it's fine to call the idea that Jon got himself killed because Ramsay's letter triggered him into breaking his vows "comically poor", but if I call Stannis's plan to get Jon to Winterfell by sending him the Pink Letter cartoonish and convoluted, that can be brushed aside. Obviously, your opinions are an exquisite standard for quality; mine are shit. :lol:

As for the headcanon, here you go. A few pages ago we were discussing the likelihood of Mance's capture. I argued that it would be reasonable to assume that Mance and the other spearwives were captured, because last time we saw Mance he was in the Great Hall with the Boltons, and the text never implies that they had a backup plan in case the alarm sounded. You countered with the following:

That's pure supposition. You were attempting to counter a simple and straight-forward scenario that ties together the things we learned from Theon's chapter to the things we learned from the letter with a more convoluted, equally hypothetical scenario. With that explanation you can, at best, cling to the idea that Mance and the spearwives might have escaped (while ignoring Occam's Razor), but you can't use it to cast doubt on the notion that Ramsay would most likely know that Jon ordered fArya's rescue, and therefore would have a score to settle with him.

Now that I gave you a few examples, let's focus back on the Stannis Theory.

It's weakness is not the lack of motive, nor the idea that Stannis wouldn't use subversion. Its weakness is that it is not a very reliable strategy for Stannis to get what he wants. It is extremely easy to find better options from his perspective. Even more so if you say that he will win the Battle for Winterfell. A few points:

  1. Stannis wanted Jon to accept Winterfell back when he was at Castle Black. The main reason for this was that Jon would have gained him the support of some of the northern houses in order to challenge the Boltons (and later the Lannisters). The Boltons had Stark's daughter, so he wanted Ned's son. It is headcanon to assume that he wouldn't already have the support of the other northern lords after defeating the Boltons, or that having Jon in charge would get him anything extra.
  2. Stannis can cement his claim to the North by remarrying fArya to someone loyal to him. Assuming he can't do this is a biased position.
  3. If Stannis believes the northern lords would follow Jon, he can simply tell them that he will free him of his vows and name him Lord of Winterfell if the lords side with him. He can then make Jon the initial offer again, this time while they both know that the lords would support it. A more straight-forward and reliable strategy exists.
  4. There is no reason for Stannis to assume that the Pink Letter would get Jon to come south. We only know that it would have because we benefit from hindsight. Assuming that this result was planned is a huge reach. There is no other scheme in ASoIaF that involves this level of foresight.
  5. Even if Jon comes south with the specific intention of fighting Ramsay, there is no reason to assume he would have accepted the lordship from Stannis after finding out he was deceived. Jumping to this conclusion reflects bias. In the words of two great men.... creatively it makes sense to you because you want it to happen.
  6. If we assume that Stannis is doing all of this for the support of the northern lords, getting Jon to publicly forsake his vows in the process is risky. The northern lords may no longer want Jon if he does that. Ignoring this very obvious risk because it weakens your theory is a biased position.
  7. Narratively speaking, if George wanted Jon to be called south by Stannis and the northern lords, Robb's will would have offered a better justification for this. Robb's will was set up and might yet enter play, so creating a scenario where Stannis didn't know about it but wanted the same thing, and sent the Pink Letter to try and trick Jon even though the will will be used anyway... does nothing but needlessly complicate the narrative. Calling this good storytelling is biased. Creatively it makes sense to you because you want it to happen.

With all the weight of the above, please note that my argument is NOT that you should give up the Stannis Theory. My argument is that you don't have a hard enough case to keep dismissing the Ramsay Theory like it was nothing.

Both theories require us to build scenarios and make assumptions. In both cases it's a matter of taste how well the story works, although I would warn you about holding your own enjoyment hostage in order to make a point against me or others. If you keep arguing your point too hard, you might end up souring the Ramsay scenario for yourself no matter how good it is. Built up bias tends to work like that.

And the Ramsay Theory is likely, no matter what you say. I think @Tagganaro summarized it very well.

Extremely well argued

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Has anyone thought that the writing is not in huge spiky letters because the Nights Watch mutineers read the original letter rewrote their own letter and added some spicy bits so that it would fit their agenda this would also explain why there is no pink Bolton seal but just a smear of pink.wax. they actually had to rewrite the letter because it was in blood and the letters fell off of the page when they read it. To hide the fact that the letter had previously been read the rewrote and added the parts about Stannis' family and Mel.

Edited by Impbread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

It’s interesting how the same thing can be viewed/interpreted completely differently... For me, the fact that Jon doesn’t think anything about the “huge, spiky hand” - or lack thereof - is one of the strongest arguments in favour of Ramsay being the author. :)

 

 

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

Whether it was in a spiky hand is not mentioned at all.  Tormund does say something about how it "feels nasty", and to an illiterate, a spiky hand could look a bit nasty.  But that statement is a bit ambiguous.

It is also worth mentioning that Stannis had access to the letter that Ramsay sent to Deepwood Motte, which was clearly written in the spiky hand.  So he could copy it if he wanted to forge a letter from Ramsay.  It also could call into question why it isn't spiky.  Why wouldn't Stannis write it as spiky?  Frankly, we can go round and round on that issue, but there is no clear evidence.  Therefore, I basically ignore the issue of handwriting, simply because we have no clear evidence on the matter one way or the other.

 

 

1 minute ago, Impbread said:

Has anyone thought that the writing is not in huge spiky letters because the Nights Watch mutineers read the original letter rewrote their own letter and added some spicy bits so that it would fit their agenda this would also explain why there is no pink Bolton seal but just a smear of pink.wax.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the argument from all of the posters on this thread I must say

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

I said you were intellectually dishonest because you tend to judge the Ramsay Theory more critically than your own. It may be that you are doing it subconsciously, in which case you're being biased rather than dishonest. Here are a few examples:

Aren’t we all a little biased towards our favoured ideas and theories? I don’t know, but speaking for myself only, I do think I am.

Also, I have been doing the PL dance w/ @three-eyed monkey for a few weeks now, and maybe at other times over the years, and we both remain unconvinced of the other’s arguments. I firmly believe Ramsay wrote it, and if it is revealed in Winds that he didn’t, I will be utterly shocked. Like, R+L=/=J level of shock. And 3EM believes just as firmly that Stannis wrote it. One day of of us will owe a pint or 12 to the other, plus eternal rights to take the piss of the mercilessly! (And it will be me getting the free drinks!) :P

One thing I’m sure though... I have never, not once, seen any evidence of intellectual dishonesty in him. 

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

I challenged you by pointing out that Stannis writing the letter doesn't really take the story anywhere, and you said it's fine to have a twist with no punch line because failed plans happen:

You're also fine with Jon dying randomly because of a scheme that had nothing to do with killing him, even though there's no thematic meat there. But when it comes to Jon randomly dying because of a letter Ramsay wrote, it's suddenly a poor storytelling device:

I’d say failed plans do happen, but also it’s possible/credible to have Jon die sort of randomly and w/o thematic meat. As a matter of fact, I think the points both of you make are entirely possible in the context of the story. And here is where our little biases come into play, because scenario A works for us and B doesn’t, and for the next person it’s the opposite. :dunno:

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

Never mind that several major deaths in the series are triggered by trivial things or caused by unexpected background characters (Drogo gets an infected wound, Joffrey is poisoned by Olenna, the Starks are undone by some of their minor bannermen because Robb married a random girl, etc.)

True. In a nutshell, “shit happens”. And it does. 

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

You make the same point later while challenging my aesthetic tastes, which is a very subjective (as well as personal) argument:

As for the headcanon, here you go. A few pages ago we were discussing the likelihood of Mance's capture. I argued that it would be reasonable to assume that Mance and the other spearwives were captured, because last time we saw Mance he was in the Great Hall with the Boltons, and the text never implies that they had a backup plan in case the alarm sounded. You countered with the following:

That's pure supposition. You were attempting to counter a simple and straight-forward scenario that ties together the things we learned from Theon's chapter to the things we learned from the letter with a more convoluted, equally hypothetical scenario. With that explanation you can, at best, cling to the idea that Mance and the spearwives might have escaped (while ignoring Occam's Razor),

IMO both are equally possible. Mance and/or one or more SW may have been captured, but they (or one/some etc) may also have ‘escaped’, meaning, are hiding somewhere or whatever. I don’t think the scenario 3EM proposed is convoluted at all, and in all honesty I think it sounds pretty likely. But to me it doesn’t matter at all whether Mance and or SW(s) are free or not. It doesn’t change absolutely anything, because Ramsay being the author doesn’t rely in either alternative. For instance...

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

but you can't use it to cast doubt on the notion that Ramsay would most likely know that Jon ordered fArya's rescue, and therefore would have a score to settle with him.

I don’t Ramsay knowing the truth about the mission Jon sent Mance on or knowing a version of it matters at all. Not necessarily. Even w/o capturing Mance/SW, it makes sense for Ramsay to say what he’s said. He could just know that fArya escaped, and write to Jon as a preemptive strike. 

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:

Now that I gave you a few examples, let's focus back on the Stannis Theory.

It's weakness is not the lack of motive, nor the idea that Stannis wouldn't use subversion. Its weakness is that it is not a very reliable strategy for Stannis to get what he wants. It is extremely easy to find better options from his perspective. Even more so if you say that he will win the Battle for Winterfell. A few points:

I feel pretty confident that Stannis will indeed win. 

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. Stannis wanted Jon to accept Winterfell back when he was at Castle Black. The main reason for this was that Jon would have gained him the support of some of the northern houses in order to challenge the Boltons (and later the Lannisters). The Boltons had Stark's daughter, so he wanted Ned's son. It is headcanon to assume that he wouldn't already have the support of the other northern lords after defeating the Boltons, or that having Jon in charge would get him anything extra.

Head canon = opinion? :D

Because it is, right? I actually agree w/ the points you made btw. 

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. Stannis can cement his claim to the North by remarrying fArya to someone loyal to him. Assuming he can't do this is a biased position.

Once the Boltons have been defeated, do you really think no one would speak up about Jeyne not being Arya? Because to me it seems most northerners already know Ramsay married a faux Stark. Only they’re not in a position to do anything about it, but once the Boltons are defeated the game changes. And then no one will want to/gain anything from arranging marriages for her. 

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. If Stannis believes the northern lords would follow Jon, he can simply tell them that he will free him of his vows and name him Lord of Winterfell if the lords side with him. He can then make Jon the initial offer again, this time while they both know that the lords would support it. A more straight-forward and reliable strategy exists.

Wholeheartedly agree.

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. There is no reason for Stannis to assume that the Pink Letter would get Jon to come south. We only know that it would have because we benefit from hindsight. Assuming that this result was planned is a huge reach. There is no other scheme in ASoIaF that involves this level of foresight.

:agree:

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. Even if Jon comes south with the specific intention of fighting Ramsay, there is no reason to assume he would have accepted the lordship from Stannis after finding out he was deceived. Jumping to this conclusion reflects bias. In the words of two great men.... creatively it makes sense to you because you want it to happen.

:uhoh:

:leaving:

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. If we assume that Stannis is doing all of this for the support of the northern lords, getting Jon to publicly forsake his vows in the process is risky. The northern lords may no longer want Jon if he does that. Ignoring this very obvious risk because it weakens your theory is a biased position.

Completely agree w/ the bolded. 

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. Narratively speaking, if George wanted Jon to be called south by Stannis and the northern lords, Robb's will would have offered a better justification for this.

Unless he wanted to obfuscate and make us debate endlessly about it for years and years. Oh wait. :D

(and wanted the stabbing to occur precisely then to obfuscate some more)

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. Robb's will was set up and might yet enter play, so creating a scenario where Stannis didn't know about it but wanted the same thing, and sent the Pink Letter to try and trick Jon even though the will will be used anyway... does nothing but needlessly complicate the narrative.

I agree it complicates the narrative, and I think that was a very deliberate choice. See above.

1 hour ago, The Coconut God said:
  1. With all the weight of the above, please note that my argument is NOT that you should give up the Stannis Theory. My argument is that you don't have a hard enough case to keep dismissing the Ramsay Theory like it was nothing.

Both theories require us to build scenarios and make assumptions. In both cases it's a matter of taste how well the story works, although I would warn you about holding your own enjoyment hostage in order to make a point against me or others. If you keep arguing your point too hard, you might end up souring the Ramsay scenario for yourself no matter how good it is. Built up bias tends to work like that.

Very much agree. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Impbread said:

Has anyone thought that the writing is not in huge spiky letters because the Nights Watch mutineers read the original letter rewrote their own letter and added some spicy bits so that it would fit their agenda this would also explain why there is no pink Bolton seal but just a smear of pink.wax.

I think someone having opened it is certainly a possibility, but I don’t buy any type of editing/adding. There’s no way to make a good rushed forgery imo. So, to me, either the letter was opened and replaced, or it was opened and read, then re-“sealed”. I also think it’s possible we get the pink smear of wax w/o the Bolton seal because Roose doesn’t know about letter. Ramsay didn’t have access to the seal, and simply smeared pink wax on the parchment thinking it would be enough.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

I said you were intellectually dishonest because you tend to judge the Ramsay Theory more critically than your own. It may be that you are doing it subconsciously, in which case you're being biased rather than dishonest. Here are a few examples:

I challenged you by pointing out that Stannis writing the letter doesn't really take the story anywhere, and you said it's fine to have a twist with no punch line because failed plans happen:

You're also fine with Jon dying randomly because of a scheme that had nothing to do with killing him, even though there's no thematic meat there. But when it comes to Jon randomly dying because of a letter Ramsay wrote, it's suddenly a poor storytelling device:

Never mind that several major deaths in the series are triggered by trivial things or caused by unexpected background characters (Drogo gets an infected wound, Joffrey is poisoned by Olenna, the Starks are undone by some of their minor bannermen because Robb married a random girl, etc.) 

You make the same point later while challenging my aesthetic tastes, which is a very subjective (as well as personal) argument:

So it's fine to call the idea that Jon got himself killed because Ramsay's letter triggered him into breaking his vows "comically poor", but if I call Stannis's plan to get Jon to Winterfell by sending him the Pink Letter cartoonish and convoluted, that can be brushed aside. Obviously, your opinions are an exquisite standard for quality; mine are shit. :lol:

As for the headcanon, here you go. A few pages ago we were discussing the likelihood of Mance's capture. I argued that it would be reasonable to assume that Mance and the other spearwives were captured, because last time we saw Mance he was in the Great Hall with the Boltons, and the text never implies that they had a backup plan in case the alarm sounded. You countered with the following:

That's pure supposition. You were attempting to counter a simple and straight-forward scenario that ties together the things we learned from Theon's chapter to the things we learned from the letter with a more convoluted, equally hypothetical scenario. With that explanation you can, at best, cling to the idea that Mance and the spearwives might have escaped (while ignoring Occam's Razor), but you can't use it to cast doubt on the notion that Ramsay would most likely know that Jon ordered fArya's rescue, and therefore would have a score to settle with him.

Now that I gave you a few examples, let's focus back on the Stannis Theory.

It's weakness is not the lack of motive, nor the idea that Stannis wouldn't use subversion. Its weakness is that it is not a very reliable strategy for Stannis to get what he wants. It is extremely easy to find better options from his perspective. Even more so if you say that he will win the Battle for Winterfell. A few points:

  1. Stannis wanted Jon to accept Winterfell back when he was at Castle Black. The main reason for this was that Jon would have gained him the support of some of the northern houses in order to challenge the Boltons (and later the Lannisters). The Boltons had Stark's daughter, so he wanted Ned's son. It is headcanon to assume that he wouldn't already have the support of the other northern lords after defeating the Boltons, or that having Jon in charge would get him anything extra.
  2. Stannis can cement his claim to the North by remarrying fArya to someone loyal to him. Assuming he can't do this is a biased position.
  3. If Stannis believes the northern lords would follow Jon, he can simply tell them that he will free him of his vows and name him Lord of Winterfell if the lords side with him. He can then make Jon the initial offer again, this time while they both know that the lords would support it. A more straight-forward and reliable strategy exists.
  4. There is no reason for Stannis to assume that the Pink Letter would get Jon to come south. We only know that it would have because we benefit from hindsight. Assuming that this result was planned is a huge reach. There is no other scheme in ASoIaF that involves this level of foresight.
  5. Even if Jon comes south with the specific intention of fighting Ramsay, there is no reason to assume he would have accepted the lordship from Stannis after finding out he was deceived. Jumping to this conclusion reflects bias. In the words of two great men.... creatively it makes sense to you because you want it to happen.
  6. If we assume that Stannis is doing all of this for the support of the northern lords, getting Jon to publicly forsake his vows in the process is risky. The northern lords may no longer want Jon if he does that. Ignoring this very obvious risk because it weakens your theory is a biased position.
  7. Narratively speaking, if George wanted Jon to be called south by Stannis and the northern lords, Robb's will would have offered a better justification for this. Robb's will was set up and might yet enter play, so creating a scenario where Stannis didn't know about it but wanted the same thing, and sent the Pink Letter to try and trick Jon even though the will will be used anyway... does nothing but needlessly complicate the narrative. Calling this good storytelling is biased. Creatively it makes sense to you because you want it to happen.

With all the weight of the above, please note that my argument is NOT that you should give up the Stannis Theory. My argument is that you don't have a hard enough case to keep dismissing the Ramsay Theory like it was nothing.

Both theories require us to build scenarios and make assumptions. In both cases it's a matter of taste how well the story works, although I would warn you about holding your own enjoyment hostage in order to make a point against me or others. If you keep arguing your point too hard, you might end up souring the Ramsay scenario for yourself no matter how good it is. Built up bias tends to work like that.

And the Ramsay Theory is likely, no matter what you say. I think @Tagganaro summarized it very well.

 

27 minutes ago, Impbread said:

Has anyone thought that the writing is not in huge spiky letters because the Nights Watch mutineers read the original letter rewrote their own letter and added some spicy bits so that it would fit their agenda this would also explain why there is no pink Bolton seal but just a smear of pink.wax. they actually had to rewrite the letter because it was in blood and the letters fell off of the page when they read it. To hide the fact that the letter had previously been read the rewrote and added the parts about Stannis' family and mel

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, kissdbyfire said:

I think someone having opened it is certainly a possibility, but I don’t buy any type of editing/adding. There’s no way to make a good rushed forgery imo. So, to me, either the letter was opened and replaced, or it was opened and read, then re-“sealed”. I also think it’s possible we get the pink smear of wax w/o the Bolton seal because Roose doesn’t know about letter. Ramsay didn’t have access to the seal, and simply smeared pink wax on the parchment thinking it would be enough.  

I think the smudge of ink and (if I remember correctly) how afraid the man that was delivering the letter was are HUGE clues that the NW brothers opened the letter. And if we take into account how fast a group of brothers decided to kill their lord comander… There must have been some premeditation.

8 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

I feel pretty confident that Stannis will indeed win. 

Come on! It is impossible for stannis to win the battle of winterfell. Simply because the story has nowhere to go after it.

I mean, stannis conquers winterfell and then what?

He has to choose a warden. If the warden isn t a stark he won t be accepted. If rickon is available the northern lords might as well choose him as king and kick stannis, his fire god Southern fans and his desire for the IT as far away as possible (stannis has around 600 southerns left at this point so he doesn t have much support).

If he marries one of his followers to farya and declare him warden he is also fucked.

Then the sellswords that he is hiring from essos will arrive in westeros where? In the north or the wall? In the midle of winter? Will they stay in the north in case the others attack ? so stannis is abdicating from the IT during winter and defend westeros with sellswords he hired while the lannisters rule happily? 

Which other kingdoms would support stannis in his claim for the IT? He doesn t have supporters anywhere and nobody likes him...

How will stannis react to faegon or danny? Does anyone think that stannis is capable of establishing an aliance with one of these characters?

And I think I could continue building a list of how there is no point in having stannis winning the battle of winterfell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Briefly, on the subject of supporting text. There is a lot to say on the subject. Everything we know about Westeros and it's characters is based on text. It informs us of everything. Sometimes the interpretation of the text is open to debate. sometimes it is not.

I'll give an example from the Stannis Theory. There was a time, shortly after the release of Theon I and before I had a better handle of where the chapter fit into the timeline, when I argued that the pink letter was sent from the crofters village. Someone pointed out that Stannis did not have a raven trained for Castle Black. I found that unlikely, I mean he is a seasoned battle commander who would know to keep his lines of communication open with his sorceress and the small garrison at Castle Black, etc. I think I made a reasonable argument. But when I tried to support my argument with text I found to my surprise that I could not. We get a detailed description of Stannis column as it leaves Deepwood Motte and no mention of ravens or cages.

I could have persisted with the argument that Stannis would surely have ravens with him on the grounds of "common sense, as we would expect of any expedition such as Mormont's great ranging, but that would have been pointless. This is a novel. If GRRM was going to have Stannis send a raven from the village, you can be sure he would have mentioned the ravens in Asha's description. And without that textual support, the theory that Stannis sent the letter from the village was dead, even though it was still technically possible that he did have ravens but Asha failed to notice or mention them.

2 hours ago, Nevets said:

Stannis wanted (past tense) Jon to become Lord of Winterfell.  Whether he still does is an open question.  I'm sure he would like it if it did happen, but I doubt he really needs it.  What Stannis really wants is homage from the Northerners.  If he has managed to defeat the Boltons, he will get that, if only so the Lords can distance themselves from the Boltons.  He doesn't need Jon for that.

Ok, so lets say Stannis wanted, past tense. But Jon swearing fealty to Stannis would obviously still be very beneficial to the king, I think we agree on that.

By the time Stannis was forced to march out of Castle Black, due to Roose returning north, he had still not persuaded Jon to accept his offer after several attempts. He obviously still needed a Lord of Winterfell, as his goal is not to rule from Winterfell but from the Iron Throne with a loyal lord in place in Winterfell. Stannis knew his southron lords would not be popular choice. So he chose a Karstark as he had limited options and at least the Karstarks had a connection to the Stark family tree.

Then he learned the Karstarks were disloyal. So who does he choose instead? There are some northern lords who might suit, and indeed might have to suit if it comes to that, but Jon is still the strongest candidate by far. I think everyone accepts that the son of Eddard Stark and the direwolf over Winterfell would command the north like no other candidate could. And if Jon is still the best candidate, then it stands to reason that Stannis would still want him. The question is can he get him and if so how?

3 hours ago, Nevets said:

As for the Proudwing parallel, I think, as I've said before, that Proudwing is Jon himself.  Jon has refused to perform as hoped, so it is time to move on.  It is also questionable how the Northerners would receive Jon the Deserter in their midst.  The Nights Watch is somewhat highly regarded in the North, and the Lord Commander's abandonment of his post would likely not be taken favorably. 

Proudwing was incapable. That's not Jon. Proudwing is Stannis' effort to win Jon which was, like the bird, ineffective. Stannis needed to change up birds, and he needed to change up his effort to win Jon.

It is questionable how the north would receive Jon the Deserter. He already had a reputation as a turncloak and oathbreaker when Stannis first offered him Winterfell. So I don't see it deterring Stannis.

3 hours ago, Nevets said:

Ramsay's problem isn't that FArya will be exposed as fake.  It is that she isn't there.  He needs her in his possession and control as a hostage in order to keep the other Northerners in line.  Without her, he is vulnerable, and knows it. 

Her being there is pointless if it's known that she is Jeyne. Ramsay holding Jeyne will not keep the north in line. He is vulnerable once the truth is out there and he has no reason to believe Jon will not put it out there.

3 hours ago, Nevets said:

As long as the Northerners are cooped up in Winterfell, Jon has no way to tell them anything.  And even outside Winterfell, Jon will be perceived as having ample reason to lie, so his statements will not completely resolve the issue. 

If Ramsay thinks Jon has Jeyne, then it is both of their statements he needs to be worried about. What reason would Arya Stark have to tell everyone she is Jeyne Poole, unless she is Jeyne Poole.

The news might take some time to get around, but still, it will get around.

3 hours ago, Nevets said:

I am somewhat reminded of the old joke about democracy being a horrible idea; the worst of all systems, with the exception of everything else that has been tried.

The idea that the Pink Letter is written by Ramsay isn't very satisfying, is somewhat weak, and has numerous problems, so is a crappy idea. 

But every other suggestion presented is even weaker with more numerous problems, and is even crappier.  I'm going to go with Ramsay until and unless a better suggestion presents itself.

The Stannis theory as presented isn't it.  While it is the best Stannis theory I have seen, that is faint praise,, as it still has many holes, which I have pointed out.  Essentially, its motivation is a bit weak, and the letter itself is ill-suited to carrying out the objective presented.

Thank you. You weighed it up and made up your mind and I respect that. It's been a good debate.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Impbread

Okee dokey you have quoted the same Coconut God post twice.

Would you be willing to splain what it is about the Coconut God post that grabbed your attention?

 

Sadly for me martin decided not to describe the pink/bastard letter handwriting.     Also, sadly for me I am having trouble breaking down your post.    So, I am going to try to break open the chatter by supplying spaces.

45 minutes ago, Impbread said:

Has anyone thought that the writing is not in huge spiky letters           because the Nights Watch mutineers read the original letter     rewrote their own letter and added some spicy bits          so that it would fit their agenda         this would also explain why there is no pink Bolton seal         but just a smear of pink.wax.         they actually had to rewrite the letter        because it was in blood and the letters fell off of the page when they read it.       To hide the fact that the letter had previously been read the rewrote and added the parts about Stannis' family and Mel.

Okay, a raven arrived at Castle Black bearing a letter from Bolton with a full seal.     Someone cracked the seal.   Because the letter had been written in blood the writing faded.    Someone rewrote the letter adding spicy bits.   Melted bits of the pink wax and smeared it on a parchment before passing it on to the LC.

Please correct me if I am incorrect in my interpretation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Create an account

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

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×