Jump to content
three-eyed monkey

Please explain Ramsay and the Pink Letter.

Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, divica said:

I don t think anyone will enter winterfell and storm it from the inside. I can imagine stannis arriving to an unsuspecting winterfell with his army "masked" as karstarks, freys and maderleys and then the people at the gate notice that they don t know any of the soldiers and that there are too many of them and a battle starts right there.

However, in order to fake a karstark army he would need to convert some karstarks to his cause and it didn t seem likely from theon I. Roose would never believe a karstark army with nobody he knows in it...

Stannis doesn't need to mask his army as Karstarks, he only needs to use the real Karstarks. Roose thinks they are loyal. Stannis has defused their plot and holds Arnulf and his son Arthor. Some Karstark men were questioned and it appears they were not aware of the plot. Stannis said they will have a chance to prove their loyalty, so he has a use in mind for them. And the best use he could make of them is to use them to gain entry to the castle.

If Roose gets a raven telling him that the Freys and Karstarks have defeated Stannis, then it is natural that he would expect his victorious allies to return to Winterfell. He will open the gates for them. I doubt very much that the guards at the gate know every soldier in the Karstark army. If that army is led by Arnulf or Arthor, then there would be no reason to suspect anything.

Once the gate is open and the Karstarks are inside they need only keep the gates open until Stannis army floods through. It is far easier to take a castle when the gate is open, obviously. Stannis needs to take the castle quickly, as he will not be able to sustain a siege.

Why would Arnulf or Arthor lead them? Because both men have a choice to make. As it stands they are going to burn. Stannis will give them a chance to live. He will most likely keep one a hostage, father or son, while the other leads the army back to Winterfell. Any betrayal will lead to the death of the hostage. Stannis has nothing to lose because if the ploy fails then he is in the exact same position he would be in without the ploy, sitting outside the walls building towers and rams for a difficult assault.

17 hours ago, divica said:

And then stannis political situation is just awfull. Some northerns probably know about robb's will and want jon as king, some will want rickon as king, some won t accept a warden even if he is a stark and nobody wants to fight for the IT...

Some northerners do know about Robb's will, there's no probably about it. The north knows no king but the king in the north whose name is STARK.

Who wants Rickon as king?

The only ones who will accept a warden are those few who truly are loyal to Roose. And they are very few. All the rest want a restoration of northern independence under Robb's heir, which is Jon.

Stannis political situation is awful. This is why Jon is so important to Stannis. Stannis believes Jon can win the north for him, because the north will rally to the son of Eddard Stark, and the son of Eddard Stark will be loyal to king Stannis. That is what Stannis thinks is the solution to his political situation, but Stannis does not realize the extent of the north's ambition for independence. Even if he managed to get Jon to Winterfell he was going to be outplayed by Robb's will, and Mance, who also wants Jon to be king in the north because it would be great for the free folk, knows this.

18 hours ago, divica said:

Finally, I highly doubt that ramsay wrote the PL based on some letters from tybald. It was either his personal experience of events that happened or was mostly fake.

Well I doubt he wrote it at all, but that's what I'm trying to put together here, a coherent and logical Ramsay wrote the pink letter theory that can stand up to some scrutiny. I tend to agree with you here though, it seems to me so far that this theory works best if Ramsay either really defeated Stannis or if he is just made it all up. But from what I've seen across a number of threads, most people who believe Ramsay wrote the letter think he did so after receiving misinformation from Stannis via Tybald's ravens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Stannis doesn't need to mask his army as Karstarks, he only needs to use the real Karstarks. Roose thinks they are loyal. Stannis has defused their plot and holds Arnulf and his son Arthor. Some Karstark men were questioned and it appears they were not aware of the plot. Stannis said they will have a chance to prove their loyalty, so he has a use in mind for them. And the best use he could make of them is to use them to gain entry to the castle.

If Roose gets a raven telling him that the Freys and Karstarks have defeated Stannis, then it is natural that he would expect his victorious allies to return to Winterfell. He will open the gates for them. I doubt very much that the guards at the gate know every soldier in the Karstark army. If that army is led by Arnulf or Arthor, then there would be no reason to suspect anything.

Once the gate is open and the Karstarks are inside they need only keep the gates open until Stannis army floods through. It is far easier to take a castle when the gate is open, obviously. Stannis needs to take the castle quickly, as he will not be able to sustain a siege.

That is possible. But it would imply that stannis can also turn some freys, manderleys and that ramsay doesn t march to CV. Given what we know at the moment stannis shouldn t be able to trust a word a manderly says and ramsay is suposed to be marching to CV. We can t just ignore those things because they are in the way of a good theory.

31 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Some northerners do know about Robb's will, there's no probably about it. The north knows no king but the king in the north whose name is STARK.

Who wants Rickon as king?

The only ones who will accept a warden are those few who truly are loyal to Roose. And they are very few. All the rest want a restoration of northern independence under Robb's heir, which is Jon.

Stannis political situation is awful. This is why Jon is so important to Stannis. Stannis believes Jon can win the north for him, because the north will rally to the son of Eddard Stark, and the son of Eddard Stark will be loyal to king Stannis. That is what Stannis thinks is the solution to his political situation, but Stannis does not realize the extent of the north's ambition for independence. Even if he managed to get Jon to Winterfell he was going to be outplayed by Robb's will, and Mance, who also wants Jon to be king in the north because it would be great for the free folk, knows this.

I think this is one of the things we both really agree lol. 

And I meant the northerns that don t know about the will want rickon as king and that jon or rickon as wardens probably woudn t be able to unite the whole north because some of them seem to realy want Independence.

And stannis whole political situation is one of the reasons that I see no reason for him to win winterfell. It wouldn t be useful for anyting… He can perfectly lose the batle and escape to CB where after shireen burns he joins the NW and becomes LC only so that he is the one that loses the Wall to the others. This seems fit stannis so much...

37 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Well I doubt he wrote it at all, but that's what I'm trying to put together here, a coherent and logical Ramsay wrote the pink letter theory that can stand up to some scrutiny. I tend to agree with you here though, it seems to me so far that this theory works best if Ramsay either really defeated Stannis or if he is just made it all up. But from what I've seen across a number of threads, most people who believe Ramsay wrote the letter think he did so after receiving misinformation from Stannis via Tybald's ravens.

I don t think it makes sense to have theon I tell us that ramsay will come some time after the freys if he doesn t come. Theon knows how ramsay would behave after farya escape and mance's capture. There is no reason for him to be wrong here and I don t understand why grrm would have theon saying it if it ends up being completly fake...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, divica said:

Who wants Rickon as king.    <---I think this is one of the things we both really agree lol. 

I want Rickon mostly for how much he and Manderly could bond over eating stuff.  Like what about the visual of Rickon hosting a taste testing BBQ where the flavors of Ramsay's dogs could be compared and contrasted with Ramsay's own legs for the quality and savory value.   Like, Rickon would look over to the side where a gagged Ramsay would be squirming and deliver an opinion like, "Yours is not a lordly haunch, I find.  I will continue to chew you, but solely out of a sense of obligation.   I much prefer your dogs, truth be told."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the moment I am not sure there is much to explain, a few tidbits aside there is every reason to think Ramsay wrote the letter. 7 days of battle isn’t out of the realms of possibility, Stannis could indeed see off the Frey’s and Manderlys et all, through a combination of his enemies dislike of each other and tactics, only to be finally defeated outside the walls of Winterfell itself, his men exhausted, starving, fighting until the bitter end. All the rest makes sense too, perhaps Asha and Theon escape, Mance and the Spearwives are caught, the lack of Theons execution causes the Northerners to turn their backs on Stannis. Stannis’ position is so fragile right now that one of many, many things going wrong will cause his downfall, like a dominoe effect, any ending where Stannis somehow comes out on top will be a truly miraculous set of circumstances.

 

The last we saw of Mance Rayder, he was very much alone in the Lions den while his Spearwives were being slaughtered.

 

Melisandre still believes in Stannis, she would not advertise his defeat.

 

The only doubt that Ramsay hasn’t written this letter, and that it doesn’t contain more or less the whole truth is it’s not Ramsay’s usual style of letter, but until I hear differently (whenever that may be) I take the Pink Letter at face value, there is too much in it that is completely plausible and right now seeing anything else is twisting things to fit

Edited by Bronn Urgundy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really it's a coin flip between two options.  Was Davos' reported death at White Harbor meant to give us hope for Stannis to survive his own fake news scare, or did Davos' good luck only serve to set us up for things to go the other way with Stannis , with the letter being true this time.

I feel the storytelling situation requires the letter to be false, and the wording of the letter itself asks to be doubted by us, like it's trying too hard and doth gloat too much.  Heavily manipulative language like that goes hand in hand with lying.  If the writer isn't lying as part of it, he isn't trying hard enough.  And it's clearly written with Deadpool's "maximum effort."   So I say Stan lives.

I'm on an Alliser-as-editor kick at the moment because I doubt Ramsay gives a crap about the Seven, and the letter bends backwards to include that unlikely Seven Day symbolism to go with insulting the red god.   I think Ramsay may have hit with the Bastard thing once, but to harp on it draws too much attention to Ramsay's weak footing as a non-bastard.  He wouldn't want to draw too much attention to the best way to undermine his authority, like shoving the idea in Jon's face.   Alliser would repeat it though, and drive it into the ground.  And his rewrite could explain the lack of blood or handwriting match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, The Mother of The Others said:

I feel the storytelling situation requires the letter to be false,

I think it only requires its contents to be false, or to put it better, some of its contents. 

Quote

and the wording of the letter itself asks to be doubted by us, like it's trying too hard and doth gloat too much. 

I agree, but I think that’s just Martin being Martin. He gives us a mystery, a puzzle of sorts, and hints and red herrings enough to make it impossible for the readers to be absolutely certain either way. Exactly like w/ Jon’s parentage. 

Quote

Heavily manipulative language like that goes hand in hand with lying. 

Or the ravings of a mad psycho, which we know Ramsay is. 

Quote

If the writer isn't lying as part of it, he isn't trying hard enough.  And it's clearly written with Deadpool's "maximum effort."   So I say Stan lives.

Damn straight! :commie:

Quote

I'm on an Alliser-as-editor kick at the moment because I doubt Ramsay gives a crap about the Seven, and the letter bends backwards to include that unlikely Seven Day symbolism to go with insulting the red god. 

I think Ramsay wrote the letter, and that maybe it’s been tampered with. Not sold on Alliser being behind it, but it’s entirely possible. 

Quote

 I think Ramsay may have hit with the Bastard thing once, but to harp on it draws too much attention to Ramsay's weak footing as a non-bastard.  He wouldn't want to draw too much attention to the best way to undermine his authority, like shoving the idea in Jon's face.   

I think the harping on it and even addressing the letter to “bastard” is very much something Ramsay would do. He hated being reminded of his bastardy... My take is, Ramsay really wants to insult Jon, and to him, no insult is worse than that, therefore he goes for it w/ a vengeance. 

Quote

Alliser would repeat it though, and drive it into the ground.  And his rewrite could explain the lack of blood or handwriting match.

The lack of blood can be explained in many ways IMO, and can’t be used to prove or disprove anything at this point. The handwriting is a non-issue for me; I think Jon saw exactly what he expected to see, and that’s why we don’t get anything on handwriting, style, etc. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, this is obviously a part of Big Walder's master plan to take out Aenys and Hosteen Frey so that he can become the next lord of the Crossing! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, divica said:

That is possible. But it would imply that stannis can also turn some freys, manderleys and that ramsay doesn t march to CV. Given what we know at the moment stannis shouldn t be able to trust a word a manderly says and ramsay is suposed to be marching to CV. We can t just ignore those things because they are in the way of a good theory.

I'm not ignoring those things at all. I'm saying I believe Theon is right that Ramsay is coming not far behind the Freys. But if this is true then Ramsay will witness a Frey Victory or a Stannis victory and then return to Winterfell to write the letter in full knowledge of the outcome of the battle. Ramsay can't go to the crofters village and be deceived about the result of the battle at the same time as he will have witnessed or took part in the battle. It has to be one or the other.

4 hours ago, divica said:

I think this is one of the things we both really agree lol. 

And I meant the northerns that don t know about the will want rickon as king and that jon or rickon as wardens probably woudn t be able to unite the whole north because some of them seem to realy want Independence.

And stannis whole political situation is one of the reasons that I see no reason for him to win winterfell. It wouldn t be useful for anyting…

Ha ha. It's good we agree on some things.

All I would say about the political situation is that Stannis wants to win the north, and that means removing the Boltons and replacing them with someone loyal to him and not the Lannisters. The smartest option is to return the north to the Starks. That is what he is offering the north, vengeance for the red wedding and a return to Stark rule from Winterfell, in place of the Lannister/Bolton/Frey alliance.

The problem with Rickon is that he is too young. Stannis would need to appoint a regent. Then he would be back to square one, who does he appoint? A southron knight? A loyal northman? Which loyal northman? Jon is so much better from Stannis point of view as Stannis has seen first hand that Jon is, smart, dutiful, loyal and just.

Even if you don't accept that Stannis needs Jon, youmust admit Stannis needs someone to rule the north, same as any king on the Iron Throne would, just as he would need someone loyal to rule from Casterly Rock if he was trying to win the west or someone to rule from Highgarden if he was trying to win the Reach. A loyal Lannister or Tyrell would be very valuable in those situations. The big difference is one of his own knights might suffice in either of those cases, but a southron knight ruling Winterfell will not please the north and we know Stannis is aware of this.

6 hours ago, divica said:

He can perfectly lose the batle and escape to CB where after shireen burns he joins the NW and becomes LC only so that he is the one that loses the Wall to the others. This seems fit stannis so much...

There is a dilemma set up in Stannis' arc that will need to be resolved before Stannis' story ends. Win the throne or save the kingdom? Stannis will definitely have to make this choice before his story ends, and it is this choice that will eventually lead to the burning of Shireen, as that has also been set up, (and predicted in this forum long before it happened on the show). That is the other big question in Stannis' arc. is it worth taking the life of one child to save millions from darkness?

These questions fit together neatly. Save the kingdom or win the throne? It has to be save the kingdom, otherwise the second question is redundant. Stannis will not burn Shireen to win the throne or advance his political position (the show got this so wrong) he will only do it in a misguided attempt to save the kingdom. So, despite his apparently dire situation, I expect Stannis to be progressing towards King's Landing when the Others advance and he is forced to answer the first of these questions. Keep pushing south or turn and face the enemy from the north? He will turn to face the true enemy, and when that situation becomes desperate Shireen will be at risk.

Well, that's how I read it but I'm sure plenty will disagree, and there's nothing wrong with that.

7 hours ago, divica said:

I don t think it makes sense to have theon I tell us that ramsay will come some time after the freys if he doesn t come. Theon knows how ramsay would behave after farya escape and mance's capture. There is no reason for him to be wrong here and I don t understand why grrm would have theon saying it if it ends up being completly fake...

I agree, again. Ramsay will come after Theon and Jeyne and therefore will not be in Winterfell writing a letter, unless he wins the battle and returns victorious or he loses and escapes knowing the battle is lost.

3 hours ago, Bronn Urgundy said:

Stannis’ position is so fragile right now that one of many, many things going wrong will cause his downfall, like a dominoe effect, any ending where Stannis somehow comes out on top will be a truly miraculous set of circumstances.

Not really, he has been written into a hopeless position for a reason. That is hardly unusual in literature. But what is important is that everything he needs to turn the situation around is in place (the frozen lakes, Roose's blunder due to pressures on his end, the Karstarks, Tybald and the ravens, etc.) so it will not be deus ex machina. That's a key point.

4 hours ago, Bronn Urgundy said:

The only doubt that Ramsay hasn’t written this letter, and that it doesn’t contain more or less the whole truth is it’s not Ramsay’s usual style of letter, but until I hear differently (whenever that may be) I take the Pink Letter at face value, there is too much in it that is completely plausible and right now seeing anything else is twisting things to fit

It seems to me there is a lot of twisting needed to get Ramsay writing the letter to fit. If it fits so well then we should be able to produce a logical theory that fits what we know.

2 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

Really it's a coin flip between two options.  Was Davos' reported death at White Harbor meant to give us hope for Stannis to survive his own fake news scare, or did Davos' good luck only serve to set us up for things to go the other way with Stannis , with the letter being true this time.

I feel the storytelling situation requires the letter to be false, and the wording of the letter itself asks to be doubted by us, like it's trying too hard and doth gloat too much.  Heavily manipulative language like that goes hand in hand with lying.  If the writer isn't lying as part of it, he isn't trying hard enough.  And it's clearly written with Deadpool's "maximum effort."   So I say Stan lives.

It's not a coin flip. GRRM would not have spoiled Davos death in AFfC if Davos was really going to die in ADwD. And he did not spoil Stannis death either. I know GRRM likes to break with convention (a point which is grossly over-stated), but there are some rules of writing you just don't break unless you are attempting to create a less satisfying read.

The storytelling requires the letter to be false, and it also requires Jon's death to be an unintended consequence, as @redriver pointed out earlier. That means it should be written by someone who did not want Jon to die. I don't put Ramsay in this category.

2 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

I'm on an Alliser-as-editor kick at the moment because I doubt Ramsay gives a crap about the Seven, and the letter bends backwards to include that unlikely Seven Day symbolism to go with insulting the red god.   I think Ramsay may have hit with the Bastard thing once, but to harp on it draws too much attention to Ramsay's weak footing as a non-bastard.  He wouldn't want to draw too much attention to the best way to undermine his authority, like shoving the idea in Jon's face.   Alliser would repeat it though, and drive it into the ground.  And his rewrite could explain the lack of blood or handwriting match. 

Read and re-sealed certainly but not altered. That would be a complication too far. You may be mistaking Mance's influence for Alliser. But I agree with a lot of what you are saying here.

2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I think it only requires its contents to be false, or to put it better, some of its contents. 

So let's try determine which parts are false and which are not.

2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I agree, but I think that’s just Martin being Martin. He gives us a mystery, a puzzle of sorts, and hints and red herrings enough to make it impossible for the readers to be absolutely certain either way.

But is it a mystery, or has he sent half the readership on a wild goose chase believing there is a mystery where there is none? That would be a cheap trick and I don't think GRRM would do it. Of course he could have avoided the whole thing by making it very clear the letter was from Ramsay by including the spiky hand, a piece of skin, and other such things that would fit with how Ramsay's letters had been set up.

2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Or the ravings of a mad psycho, which we know Ramsay is. 

True. This is probably the best explanation to cover all the inconsistencies we encounter with Ramsay writing the letter, but from a reader's point of view it is the least satisfying.

2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Damn straight! :commie:

Hear, hear. Well, for now anyway.

2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I think the harping on it and even addressing the letter to “bastard” is very much something Ramsay would do. He hated being reminded of his bastardy... My take is, Ramsay really wants to insult Jon, and to him, no insult is worse than that, therefore he goes for it w/ a vengeance. 

Maybe. But Jon also told Mance a story about being put in the cheap seats when Robert came to Winterfell because he was a bastard, and mance has needled him with the word on plenty of occasions. The point about the excessive use of bastard is that it is a strategy, along with the signature, Trueborn Lord of Winterfell, designed to provoke Jon into acting against Ramsay and at the same time regret turning down the offer of Winterfell. Why should a monster like Ramsay get Winterfell when he's just a bastard too? There's too much injustice for Jon to bear here. And what does Jon think when he gets his swords? I'm coming for you, bastard.

3 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

The lack of blood can be explained in many ways IMO, and can’t be used to prove or disprove anything at this point. The handwriting is a non-issue for me; I think Jon saw exactly what he expected to see, and that’s why we don’t get anything on handwriting, style, etc. 

The blood and writing and skin can be explained away, no doubt about it. But I'm asking why should we have to explain them. GRRM set them up, and could have used them to clarify that the letter was indeed from Ramsay. The question is not can they be explained, the question is why must we find explanations to get around the story GRRM has constructed in the text?

Let's apply this to fAegon. We could say he really is Rhaegar's son and we could explain away all the clues and foreshadowing that suggest otherwise, like the black dragon sign that washed up years later red with rust, as just coincidental but GRRM has put those things in the text for a reason. Of course an iron sign is going to wash up red with rust years later, that doesn't prove anything in a forensic sense, but in a storytelling sense it suggests an awful lot and I will be shocked if he is not a Blackfyre, even though at this stage I cannot prove that he is.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

All I would say about the political situation is that Stannis wants to win the north, and that means removing the Boltons and replacing them with someone loyal to him and not the Lannisters. The smartest option is to return the north to the Starks. That is what he is offering the north, vengeance for the red wedding and a return to Stark rule from Winterfell, in place of the Lannister/Bolton/Frey alliance.

The problem with Rickon is that he is too young. Stannis would need to appoint a regent. Then he would be back to square one, who does he appoint? A southron knight? A loyal northman? Which loyal northman? Jon is so much better from Stannis point of view as Stannis has seen first hand that Jon is, smart, dutiful, loyal and just.

Even if you don't accept that Stannis needs Jon, youmust admit Stannis needs someone to rule the north, same as any king on the Iron Throne would, just as he would need someone loyal to rule from Casterly Rock if he was trying to win the west or someone to rule from Highgarden if he was trying to win the Reach. A loyal Lannister or Tyrell would be very valuable in those situations. The big difference is one of his own knights might suffice in either of those cases, but a southron knight ruling Winterfell will not please the north and we know Stannis is aware of this.

But here the situation is much worse for stannis.

Any non stark simply won t work.

Rickon is too young (I agree) and if he choses a bannermen as his regent this will be seen as the bannermen selling the north in order to become regent and we have the lost Independence issue.

With jon, despite what stannis may think if he releases jon from his vows the north wont accept it. we aren t talking about robb (who they loved) or them deciding he should leave the NW. We are talking about a fire loving Southern deciding that vows to the old gods are meaningless and therefore jon is free from the watch. And to rubb salt on the injury he is legitimizing him! Certainly some northmen lords will also have problems with that. And I am ignoring robb's will in this analysis that completly fucks up stannis.

Given what we know there simply isn t a move for stannis to unite the north to him. It is a lost cause. And with that in mind him winning the battle of winterfell becomes a waste of time and text.

2 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

There is a dilemma set up in Stannis' arc that will need to be resolved before Stannis' story ends. Win the throne or save the kingdom? Stannis will definitely have to make this choice before his story ends, and it is this choice that will eventually lead to the burning of Shireen, as that has also been set up, (and predicted in this forum long before it happened on the show). That is the other big question in Stannis' arc. is it worth taking the life of one child to save millions from darkness?

These questions fit together neatly. Save the kingdom or win the throne? It has to be save the kingdom, otherwise the second question is redundant. Stannis will not burn Shireen to win the throne or advance his political position (the show got this so wrong) he will only do it in a misguided attempt to save the kingdom. So, despite his apparently dire situation, I expect Stannis to be progressing towards King's Landing when the Others advance and he is forced to answer the first of these questions. Keep pushing south or turn and face the enemy from the north? He will turn to face the true enemy, and when that situation becomes desperate Shireen will be at risk.

I think here you are absolutely wrong. Stannis dilemma isn t if he wants to save the kingdom or win the throne. His dilema is how far he is willing to go because of his belief he is AA (the one that will fight the darkness) and the one true king. For stannis these personnas feed each other. Like he needs to save the kingdom in order to prove he is the king.

What stannis battles constantly is what sins he is willing to do in order to become king and defeat the darkness. That is how shireen will die. Because stannis will be in an unwinnable situation and in his mind he will think that it is the only way to save the kingdom. 

And this scenario will happen at the Wall. There is a reason jon has been sending the people with royal blood away, shireen will be the only one available for the sacrifice (or mel will sell stannis that she is his nissa nissa, but I like the first theory better). And this will also happen because if stannis has a future he will head to the wall. He can t controll the north and his familly is at CB. He will need to return and stay there until his reinforcements fromm essos arrive and that will take several months.

2 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

It seems to me there is a lot of twisting needed to get Ramsay writing the letter to fit. If it fits so well then we should be able to produce a logical theory that fits what we know.

It's not a coin flip. GRRM would not have spoiled Davos death in AFfC if Davos was really going to die in ADwD. And he did not spoil Stannis death either. I know GRRM likes to break with convention (a point which is grossly over-stated), but there are some rules of writing you just don't break unless you are attempting to create a less satisfying read.

The storytelling requires the letter to be false, and it also requires Jon's death to be an unintended consequence, as @redriver pointed out earlier. That means it should be written by someone who did not want Jon to die. I don't put Ramsay in this category.

Honnestly, I laughed when you say it needs twisting to get Ramsay writing the letter to fit. It is the most logical and easier to accept person to having written the letter. You just have to accept that stannis might lose or die. His victory and life aren t a sure thing. Stannis being in a strong position isn t essential to the story moving forward. Stannis wont unite the north and continue moving south, nobody would follow him. In thruth stannis is an obstacle to get things moving in the right direction...

The storytelling doesn t require any of those things. That letter's only objective is to fuck jon. It would always lead to conflict within the NW. And the story requires stannis to either die, quit his quest for the IT or go away to essos or some other place get sellswords. As I have said earlier he can t unite the north to support him with men to conquer the IT so if his arc in the north continues to be about getting the north's support it is toxic for the story...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, three-eyed monkey said:

 I'm saying I believe Theon is right that Ramsay is coming not far behind the Freys.

This could only happen if Ramsey had the preservation sense of a lemming and Roose finally saw the need to get rid of him. Because both the Freys - what with Roose openly talking about Ramsey murdering Walda's future children, and the Manderlies have excellent reasons to see him dead. We need to keep in mind that Theon is deeply traumatised and hysterically terrified of Ramsey, so while he may accurately judge what the BoB would _wish_ to do, he can't be trusted on what his nemesis might be _able_ to do.

Nor would it be by any means clear to the characters that Theon and Jeyne would have been  brought to Stannis, instead of hidden somewhere else by Mors's men or conducted directly to the Wall. So, Ramsey may have been fruitlessly hunting for them in other directions, since even the best hounds and trackers are going to be defeated by heavy snowfall. Or he may have stayed in WF, because with Roose refusing to commit a decent number of Bolton troops to the hunting party's protection, they could have fallen to Mors's ambushers. Much would have depended on whether Roose reached the point of writing Ramsey off as a liability. Also, is Ramsey the person who would rush out without questioning the captive spearwives/Mance about their planned escape route first? Not IMHO. In this latter case, he'd have become even more convinced that his quarry was taken directly to the Wall and tried to pursue them - but again, snow storms and Umbers lands lying in-between.

IMHO, the Pink Letter was either posted from Winterfell - but in a fit of temper and without his father's approval, or Ramsey just took a CB-trained raven with him on his hunt  - as we have seen other people do numerous times, and sent it when he heard about "victory" over Stannis from a messenger. As to bits of skin, what would be the point of sending any? Unlike the letters to Robb and the Greyjoys, there is no familial/deeply adversarial connection between Jon and the people he sent after fArya.

 

Quote

 Jon is so much better from Stannis point of view as Stannis has seen first hand that Jon is, smart, dutiful, loyal and just.

Is the person who broke one solemn oath "loyal" and "dutiful"? Various characters would say no. Provoking Jon into desertion would severely damage his usefulness to Stannis as a means to control the North. Not to mention that Stannis _knows_ what the real score is and wouldn't risk giving the Others such an obvious opening as Jon's desertion and resultant chaos at the Wall would cause.

And once Stannis does take Winterfell, he'd have plenty of options, what with "Arya" at his disposal - or so he thinks. The clansmen sided with him, why not marry one of their leaders to "Arya" and name him the warden of the North? Such a person wouldn't have enough pull to pursue the KiTN agenda, but would be more acceptable to the North than a southern knight or a Bolton. All Stannis needs is to make "Arya" a widow. As a bonus, it would be easier to convince such a man of the reality and imminent danger of the Others, etc.

 

Quote

There is a dilemma set up in Stannis' arc that will need to be resolved before Stannis' story ends. Win the throne or save the kingdom? Stannis will definitely have to make this choice before his story ends, and it is this choice that will eventually lead to the burning of Shireen, as that has also been set up, (and predicted in this forum long before it happened on the show). That is the other big question in Stannis' arc. is it worth taking the life of one child to save millions from darkness?

This, I 100% agree with.

Quote

Not really, he has been written into a hopeless position for a reason. That is hardly unusual in literature. But what is important is that everything he needs to turn the situation around is in place (the frozen lakes, Roose's blunder due to pressures on his end, the Karstarks, Tybald and the ravens, etc.) so it will not be deus ex machina. That's a key point.

Indeed.

Quote

It seems to me there is a lot of twisting needed to get Ramsay writing the letter to fit. If it fits so well then we should be able to produce a logical theory that fits what we know.

People are not logical, though. There doesn't have to be an intricate plan behind the letter - all we need is motive, method and opportunity and Ramsey had all 3, while Stannis only had 2. Many plausible scenarios have already been suggested - and you really don't need much there for Ramsey, unless you purposefully hedge him around with artificial restrictions.

 

Quote

It's not a coin flip. GRRM would not have spoiled Davos death in AFfC if Davos was really going to die in ADwD.

This is a very interesting observation, to me, because it also touches on Robb's will. What was the point of writing these scenes that way, if the outcome is as straightforward as many/most readers choose to believe? And why were sons of Artos the Implacable added on the Stark family tree in WoIaF, with helpful note that both of them had "issue"? These people would be almost, or, depending on how the generations have gone, as closely related to the Starks as their Vale cousins, but they also would be northerners and descendants of a respected historical figure. Both WoIaF and FaB have a number of examples of obscure cousins inheriting.

 

Quote

The storytelling requires the letter to be false, and it also requires Jon's death to be an unintended consequence, as @redriver pointed out earlier.

This last condition is not convincing nor based on anything tangible, IMHO.

Quote

But is it a mystery, or has he sent half the readership on a wild goose chase believing there is a mystery where there is none?

But the authorship of the letter was never signposted as a mystery - it's contents was, to the extent that a character on-screen (Tormund) specifically questioned it's validity. By contrast, Jon didn't notice anything unusual about the letter itself.

 

Quote

Let's apply this to fAegon. We could say he really is Rhaegar's son and we could explain away all the clues and foreshadowing that suggest otherwise,

Well, with fAegon, it isn't just about some subtle clues, but primarily about Varys's contradictory, unbelievable motivations if he is, indeed, real. After all we now know that Varys worked against Rhaegar at every turn and likely was the reason why Rhaegar failed to assume regency over his mad father and Aegon was in harm's way in the first place. It is implausible that he would then spend 17 years on a byzantine plot to crown the son of a man whom he purposefully helped  to doom. Not to mention that knowing what we know now, after WoIaF and FaB, Varys had been absolutely in position to rescue Elia and Rhaenys too, if he so chose. So, yea, he has no cred as a Targaryen loyalist anymore.

 

Just now, divica said:

Rickon is too young (I agree) and if he choses a bannermen as his regent this will be seen as the bannermen selling the north in order to become regent and we have the lost Independence issue.

This is not true. In the face of a hard winter that would only be made much worse by internal warfare, the North would be content to accept a reasonable leader with a Stark figurehead. Heck, if Ramsey had been less of a monster, they would have eventually accepted Roose - as Jon himself pointed out to Stannis. Only children who have only known the long summer give a rat's ass about the independence at this point.

 

Quote

 And I am ignoring robb's will in this analysis that completly fucks up stannis.

We don't know what was in this will - why would GRRM have concealed it from us, if there wasn't some surprise in it? But naming a black brother would have always been hugely contraversial, no matter who did it - what excuse could old-gods-following Robb offer? Nor is there any reason to think, as a lot of readers do, that the northeners are so slavishly devoted to Robb's memory that they would do anything for his sake, completely neglecting their own beliefs, interests, or, indeed, their very survival. IMHO, sons of Artos the Implacable and explicit mention of them having descendants were included in WoIaF for a reason.

 

Quote

Given what we know there simply isn t a move for stannis to unite the north to him. It is a lost cause.

Or uniting the North is a lost cause, period, because the Others are about to invade and sweep everything before them. They can't delay endlessly while nobles bicker and still remain a credible menace. There is a good reason to think that Stannis's last stand against the Others will happen at Winterfell and that's were Shireen's sacrifice will happen as well.

Edited by Maia

Share this post


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

So let's try determine which parts are false and which are not.

Sort of a tall order at this point, but I’ll give it a go.

IMO, the big inaccuracies - b/c I’m not sure whether it’s flat-out lies or just things Ramsay believes are true but aren’t - are: Stannis lost and died and Mance has been taken. Mance having been taken is the hardest, again, IMO. I do think Ramsay believes Stannis lost and died, but he is wrong/has been played. What’s going on w/ Mance is altogether harder... maybe he was captured, but maybe not and it was one (or more) of the spearwives who were taken and tortured and spilled the beans. 

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

But is it a mystery, or has he sent half the readership on a wild goose chase believing there is a mystery where there is none?

No, I think the main intended “mystery” is what’s in the letter, not its authorship. 

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

That would be a cheap trick and I don't think GRRM would do it.

:agree:

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Of course he could have avoided the whole thing by making it very clear the letter was from Ramsay by including the spiky hand, a piece of skin, and other such things that would fit with how Ramsay's letters had been set up.

Well, making the whole thing a bit fuzzy is not unlike Martin. And I don’t think much of the skin, blood and spiky hand as a means to prove or disprove any theory on who wrote it. 

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

True. This is probably the best explanation to cover all the inconsistencies we encounter with Ramsay writing the letter, but from a reader's point of view it is the least satisfying.

This is one thing we really don’t agree on, I don’t think there are inconsistencies. I also don’t think it’d unsatisfying in the least. :dunno: 

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Hear, hear. Well, for now anyway.

The character’s arc is not done. To have Stannis die off-page, now that would be hugely unsatisfying IMO.

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Maybe. But Jon also told Mance a story about being put in the cheap seats when Robert came to Winterfell because he was a bastard, and mance has needled him with the word on plenty of occasions. The point about the excessive use of bastard is that it is a strategy, along with the signature, Trueborn Lord of Winterfell, designed to provoke Jon into acting against Ramsay and at the same time regret turning down the offer of Winterfell. Why should a monster like Ramsay get Winterfell when he's just a bastard too? There's too much injustice for Jon to bear here. And what does Jon think when he gets his swords? I'm coming for you, bastard.

I see it differently. Ramsay is using the one insult that he hopes will enrage Jon. The insult that would have enraged him before he was legitimised. And I see Jon thinking, “I’m coming for you, bastard” merely as not acknowledging Ramsay’s trueborn status, and even less that he is the LoW. 

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

The blood and writing and skin can be explained away, no doubt about it. But I'm asking why should we have to explain them.

I don’t think we need to? 

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

GRRM set them up, and could have used them to clarify that the letter was indeed from Ramsay. The question is not can they be explained, the question is why must we find explanations to get around the story GRRM has constructed in the text?

Martin could have clarified or obfuscated, he chose the latter, which is very much his style IMO.

10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

 Let's apply this to fAegon. We could say he really is Rhaegar's son and we could explain away all the clues and foreshadowing that suggest otherwise, like the black dragon sign that washed up years later red with rust, as just coincidental but GRRM has put those things in the text for a reason. Of course an iron sign is going to wash up red with rust years later, that doesn't prove anything in a forensic sense, but in a storytelling sense it suggests an awful lot and I will be shocked if he is not a Blackfyre, even though at this stage I cannot prove that he is.

I know what you’re saying. And maybe (likely?) I’m failing at making myself clear... loads of hints and red herrings all over the place. The example you used is another good one. It’s up to us to separate the wheat/hints from the chaff/red herrings. And at this point, with the actual info we have, it’s impossible to be sure, so each of us lean towards what we think makes more sense when deciding what’s a clue and what’s a red herring.

Share this post


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

Read and re-sealed certainly but not altered [by Alliser].  That would be a complication too far

If he only added Bastards, yes, it looks silly.  But if he changed all sorts of details, like who sent it and who won, in a desperate attempt to take the wall back before it joined a traitor north....

What's alliser's dilemma?  He's calling jon a bastard but it's not quite enough to get under jon's skin because too many others show jon respect.  Alliser wants and needs more of the world to gang up on jon and call him a bastard so that jon finally cracks.  And here's the opportunity, to pen something from the most maddening source possible using inverted details from mance & stan's letter so jon really believes and seethes and snaps.  That's not a stretch beyond all plausibility.  Turning the notification of victory into an instrument of defeat for the LC.  It's not a frontrunnner theory, but it has a percentage chance, i feel.  Alliser was brandished at us a lot, and now he's just hanging there as a loose thread, waiting to pounce.  And he's gonna miss out on this bastard bash?

 

14 hours ago, divica said:

With jon, despite what stannis may think if he releases jon from his vows the north wont accept it. And to rubb salt on the injury he is legitimizing him! And I am ignoring robb's will in this analysis that completly fucks up stannis

Not a bicker, just a thought:  Stannis is shivering in the cold with northmen.  Putting in his time.  Paying the cost to be the boss.  He left lots of his fire trappings at the wall.  If he takes winterfell won't the northmen's perception be that he's an honorary one of them now?  That he did it their way.   Then if Robb's will names Jon that means Stan won't have to, so he won't be seen as interfering in their independence.  And if lots of people just saw Jon's watch come to an end....  that's why i'm hinting that coming back in a different 2.0 body might be best for Jon, so everyone would know it was a new life, and that his past life's duties were done, buried with his old body, so no confusion would linger about whether he was abandoning the nightswatch oath.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, The Mother of The Others said:

If he only added Bastards, yes, it looks silly.  But if he changed all sorts of details, like who sent it and who won, in a desperate attempt to take the wall back before it joined a traitor north....

What's alliser's dilemma?  He's calling jon a bastard but it's not quite enough to get under jon's skin because too many others show jon respect.  Alliser wants and needs more of the world to gang up on jon and call him a bastard so that jon finally cracks.  And here's the opportunity, to pen something from the most maddening source possible using inverted details from mance & stan's letter so jon really believes and seethes and snaps.  That's not a stretch beyond all plausibility.  Turning the notification of victory into an instrument of defeat for the LC.  It's not a frontrunnner theory, but it has a percentage chance, i feel.  Alliser was brandished at us a lot, and now he's just hanging there as a loose thread, waiting to pounce.  And he's gonna miss out on this bastard bash?

The problem I have w/ the idea of the letter having been tampered with is that then Jon had to note something was weird. After all, whoever supposedly added whatever couldn’t possibly have matched the handwriting used in the letter’s original content. So, either the letter is exactly the same letter its author penned, or it’s a totally new one that replaced the original IMO.

As to Thorne, I agree that too much was made of him and his interactions w/ Jon for him to just vanish completely just like that. I think it’s entirely possible he was involved in the assassination attempt, but am far from sold on the idea. But I do think Thorne will cross paths w/ Jon at some point, and maybe upon learning about R+L=J will do a 180° turn irt Jon. 

Quote

Not a bicker, just a thought:  Stannis is shivering in the cold with northmen.  Putting in his time.  Paying the cost to be the boss.  He left lots of his fire trappings at the wall.  If he takes winterfell won't the northmen's perception be that he's an honorary one of them now?  That he did it their way.   Then if Robb's will names Jon that means Stan won't have to, so he won't be seen as interfering in their independence.  And if lots of people just saw Jon's watch come to an end....  that's why i'm hinting that coming back in a different 2.0 body might be best for Jon, so everyone would know it was a new life, and that his past life's duties were done, buried with his old body, so no confusion would linger about whether he was abandoning the nightswatch oath.  

Not sure on the 2.0 body and release from the NW vows, but agree w/ everything else. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Mother of The Others said:

Not a bicker, just a thought:  Stannis is shivering in the cold with northmen.  Putting in his time.  Paying the cost to be the boss.  He left lots of his fire trappings at the wall.  If he takes winterfell won't the northmen's perception be that he's an honorary one of them now?  That he did it their way.   Then if Robb's will names Jon that means Stan won't have to, so he won't be seen as interfering in their independence.  And if lots of people just saw Jon's watch come to an end....  that's why i'm hinting that coming back in a different 2.0 body might be best for Jon, so everyone would know it was a new life, and that his past life's duties were done, buried with his old body, so no confusion would linger about whether he was abandoning the nightswatch oath.  

The thing is that the northners and southerns in stannis army are already clashing and stannis is seen as one of the southerns. 

Even if stannis wins winterfell he is still a southern that knows nothing about the north and worships a fire God that demands burnings. That and stannis inability to bend the rules and his desire for the IT make it impossible for him to win the north to him. 

(edit)

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

Not sure on the 2.0 body and release from the NW vows, but agree w/ everything else. 

I forgot to add. What do you think will happen when stannis decides to give northern castles to his Southern knights or have wedding between sotherns and northerns in order to reward them lands? And we know stannis is desperate to reward those southerns that have been loyal to him.

Edited by divica

Share this post


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

I forgot to add. What do you think will happen when stannis decides to give northern castles to his Southern knights

Why would he do that? Sure, he says he must reward those who remained loyal to him and gave up lands and castles in the south. But he also knows he can’t just give northern castles to them because the northerners also fought for him. He is not going to punish houses/men who stuck w/ him through thick and thin because he isn’t an idiot. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

or have wedding between sotherns and northerns in order to reward them lands?

Marriage pacts may be beneficial for all involved.

1 hour ago, divica said:

And we know stannis is desperate to reward those southerns that have been loyal to him.

Not desperate, but it’s something he knows he has to do. But as I said above, I just don’t see Stannis just evicting northerners who fought for him to put his knights/lords in their place. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 7:10 PM, three-eyed monkey said:

I'm not ignoring those things at all. I'm saying I believe Theon is right that Ramsay is coming not far behind the Freys. But if this is true then Ramsay will witness a Frey Victory or a Stannis victory and then return to Winterfell to write the letter in full knowledge of the outcome of the battle. Ramsay can't go to the crofters village and be deceived about the result of the battle at the same time as he will have witnessed or took part in the battle. It has to be one or the other.

That's not necessarily the case.  I can easily imagine a scenario in which Ramsay is presented with what appears to be the body (or head) of Stannis and the sword, and thinks he has won; while Stannis sneaks away toward Winterfell.  In fact, his sending the message from Stannis's camp could explain many of the supposed inconsistencies.

I do not for a second believe that Stannis has been killed.  There is too much unfinished business in his story, including the foretold confrontation with Daenerys.

On ‎2‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 3:41 PM, kissdbyfire said:

I think Ramsay wrote the letter, and that maybe it’s been tampered with. Not sold on Alliser being behind it, but it’s entirely possible.

I think Clydas may have opened the letter, and maybe passed on the contents to others, but I doubt that the contents were altered.  

I have serious doubts about Alliser being anywhere involved.  He left with two men who, from what I recall, are quite loyal to Jon.  If a substitute went with them, they would figure it out and simply return to Castle Black to tell Jon.  And Jon hasn't noticed any good rangers missing, either.   And, while Alliser is not at all loyal to Jon, I do believe he is loyal to the Watch itself. Which means that killing two of its members is probably too much, even for him.  I do think we will see him again.  But I don't think he is hiding at Castle Black.

Edited by Nevets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Why would he do that? Sure, he says he must reward those who remained loyal to him and gave up lands and castles in the south. But he also knows he can’t just give northern castles to them because the northerners also fought for him. He is not going to punish houses/men who stuck w/ him through thick and thin because he isn’t an idiot.  

He isn t an idiot, but do you think he can reward norherns before he rewards those that have been with him since the beguining and lost everything? He even wanted to give them castles on the Wall...

What do you think he might do with the dreadforth or any other holding that becomes available? A lot of them must go to his southerns… Here there is no other choice.

25 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Marriage pacts may be beneficial for all involved.

Not desperate, but it’s something he knows he has to do. But as I said above, I just don’t see Stannis just evicting northerners who fought for him to put his knights/lords in their place. 

yeah… given what northerns think of southerns at the moment and that stannis only has southerns fanatics with him it has everything to go wrong… I can t even imagine how northern peasents will react to a Southern lord...

And I never said he would evict northerns. But there will be free castles and strongholds with all the death going on in the north… Look at the dreadforth...

Share this post


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

I think Clydas may have opened the letter, and maybe passed on the contents to others, but I doubt that the contents were altered.  

I’m not sold on this idea by any means, but it’s definitely possible. 

9 minutes ago, Nevets said:

I have serious doubts about Alliser being anywhere involved.

Same here.

9 minutes ago, Nevets said:

  He left with two men who, from what I recall, re quite loyal to Jon.  If a substitute went with them, they would figure it out and simply return to Castle Black to tell Jon.  And Jon hasn't noticed any good rangers missing, either.   

Yes. Dywen was one, and he’s definitely loyal to Jon. Can’t remember who’s the other one...

9 minutes ago, Nevets said:

And, while Alliser is not at all loyal to Jon, I do believe he is loyal to the Watch itself.

:agree:

9 minutes ago, Nevets said:

Which means that killing two of its members is probably too much, even for him.  I do think we will see him again.  But I don't think he is hiding at Castle Black.

Yup, agree again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, divica said:

He isn t an idiot, but do you think he can reward norherns before he rewards those that have been with him since the beguining and lost everything? He even wanted to give them castles on the Wall...

What do you think he might do with the dreadforth or any other holding that becomes available? A lot of them must go to his southerns… Here there is no other choice.

yeah… given what northerns think of southerns at the moment and that stannis only has southerns fanatics with him it has everything to go wrong… I can t even imagine how northern peasents will react to a Southern lord...

And I never said he would evict northerns. But there will be free castles and strongholds with all the death going on in the north… Look at the dreadforth...

We are looking at this very differently. While you’re thinking in terms of northerners and southerners, I’m thinking in terms of allies and enemies.  I can see he possibility of Stannis giving enemy castles, like the Dreadfort, to southerners. But that’s it. 

Share this post


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

We are looking at this very differently. While you’re thinking in terms of northerners and southerners, I’m thinking in terms of allies and enemies.  I can see he possibility of Stannis giving enemy castles, like the Dreadfort, to southerners. But that’s it. 

Well, I don t see great diference between giving enemy castles or allied castles as long as the allies that would have a claim to the castle are all dead.

But my problem remains. Stannis has to reward his southerns with castles and lands in the north and even arrange marriages between them and northern noblewomen.

And given northern mentality about disliking the south it has everything to go wrong. If we add that stannis is surrounded by Southern fanatics that follow r'hllor then it is even worse…

 I doubt northern lords or peasents will accept this. 

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

×