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redriver

The Hooded Man is Torren Liddle.

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15 minutes ago, redriver said:

Probably minding the goats.Just a green boy...

Hopefully you acknowledge martin uses language and words in a variation of meanings. Think about it for just a second --- Liddle --- The Liddle, main man --- then the use of Big, Middle and Little to describe the sons of The Liddle.

19 minutes ago, redriver said:

Or she might not.It's not mentioned in the text.

Of course the caterpillar lip and the wild chin hair is not mentioned in the text. A person has to work in the health care profession to know about aging and the elderly.

 

24 minutes ago, redriver said:

The ongoing interesting part for me is the "ploy"-was he heading to Winterfell at this point?

I don't know if Mance had a plan in mind while talking with Mel and Jon. All I know is that Mance ended up at WF.

While I found The Liddle (Torren) an interesting idea for Theon's hooded man it didn't pan out.

Any ideas why the Liddle in the hidey hole identified by Bran via the clasp didn't ease Bran's journey to the Wall?

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, redriver said:

I won't spoon-feed you that answer but the real subtextual question here is are there more real and esoteric links between the Wildlings and the Mountain Clans than we are led to believe?

 

5 minutes ago, redriver said:

I would suggest that there are.The treatment of a lord or king as "the" as in The Ned or The Mance seems to be uniquely held between Wildling and Mountain Clan cultures,for example..

How does any of this relate to Theon's hooded man as being The Liddle --- leader of the Liddle clan.

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7 minutes ago, redriver said:

I won't spoon-feed you that answer

And here I thought we were having an interesting convo. :cheers:

@three-eyed monkey, yeah, that’s all I had, I think. What we have regarding the movement of the players doesn’t rule out the possibility of Mance bumping into Mors at some point, or someone else. There are quite a few possibilities imo. And every one more likely than Mance knocking on anyone’s door south of the Wall. 

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2 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

And here I thought we were having an interesting convo. :cheers:

@three-eyed monkey, yeah, that’s all I had, I think. What we have regarding the movement of the players doesn’t rule out the possibility of Mance bumping into Mors at some point, or someone else. There are quite a few possibilities imo. And every one more likely than Mance knocking on anyone’s door south of the Wall. 

Hopefully we are,did not mean to offend you.I'm trying to maintain the Socratic approach I mentioned earlier,but obviously failing miserably.

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8 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Mance bumping into Mors at some point,

This is would be disastrous.  Mors (Crowsfood) price for joining up with Stannis is the skull of Mance. And a pardon for Hothor (Whoresbane).

5 minutes ago, redriver said:

I'm trying to maintain the Socratic approach I mentioned earlier,

As in critical thinking --- who, what when, where, why?

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4 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Mors (Crowsfood) price for joining up with Stannis is the skull of Mance.

Yeah this is a big point against Mors and Mance working together, unless it's a ruse to hide the alliance from Stannis.

It's a point worth discussing. The story is that Mors hates the wildlings because they stole his daughter, as well as the fact that Umbers have a history of dealing with wildling raiders who cross the Bay of Seals and plunder Umber lands. Seems straight forward, but two things strike me about this.

The first is that if Mance wants to move the free folk south of the Wall then it makes sense that he needs an alliance with the Umbers, given their geographical location.

The second is Val, if she is Crowfood's daughter then maybe she is involved in vouching for Mance or an alliance with the free folk. Maybe her pending return is enough to appease Crowfood. I don't know, just throwing it out there.

Another interesting question about this comes from Stannis point of view. It really depends on whether you believe Mors is aligned with Stannis outside Winterfell or whether you think he is operating under another agenda, that being a northern agenda. If he is aligned with Stannis then has Stannis met Mors' demands, as in sent him a skull and said it was Mance, or promised him Mance's head when all is done?

Or if we want to go further, has Mance agreed to sacrifice himself for the sake of his people and an alliance with the north? I know some will find that suggestion to be unlikely but I believe it could tie into the "true king" theme. I think Mance knows that the only way the free folk can stay south of the Wall without bleeding is if they seal a peace with the north, and Mance's head might well be the price of that peace. I believe Mance sees Jon as the solution to the problem. The North will follow the son of Eddard Stark but the free folk don't follow names, they follow the Man, and Jon did kill the boy to let the Man be born. Jon can be what Mance never could, someone both the North and the free folk would choose to follow.

I don't believe for a moment that Mance did not plan for what might happen if he gets the free folk past the Wall.

 

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33 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Hopefully you acknowledge martin uses language and words in a variation of meanings. Think about it for just a second --- Liddle --- The Liddle, main man --- then the use of Big, Middle and Little to describe the sons of The Liddle.

Never struck me for a second.Green boys indeed.Is that use of language?

 

40 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

I don't know if Mance had a plan in mind while talking with Mel and Jon. All I know is that Mance ended up at WF.

You do.Mance tells you,-"a certain ploy in mind".

 

48 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Any ideas why the Liddle in the hidey hole identified by Bran via the clasp didn't ease Bran's journey to the Wall?

Now you're talking.

That is a very odd response indeed.He should really have grabbed him by the cuff of the shirt,marched him off to the Liddle holdfast and kept him prisoner until this Bolton nonsense blew over.

But instead he imparts some enigmatic words,leaves some nice bread and fucks off.

Weird.But real.I haven't pulled this stuff outta my ass.It is extant in the text.Suggesting that Mr Liddle and Co were cool with allowing a cripple to be hauled around by a halfwit and a pair of oddballs and Osha.We know that Bran is aware they are under surveillance through Summer's eyes.We can infer that maybe they watched and protected them north to an extent.Why though?

But ,Mr Pup,you are only asking half a question.The other half of it is why did Mr HM allow Theon to walk on by?

 

 

 

 

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First let me say I enjoy reading your commentary. That is a compliment on my part.

10 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Yeah this is a big point against Mors and Mance working together, unless it's a ruse to hide the alliance from Stannis.

Stannis sent out what a member of the NW described as the wrong way rangers.

Those two men came back with terms and alliances.

14 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

The first is that if Mance wants to move the free folk south of the Wall

Supposedly Mance is trying to get his people south of the Wall because of the Others.

16 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

The second is Val, if she is Crowfood's daughter

That is a verra big leap. Crowsfood is Mors --- the Umber that wants Mance's skull.

20 minutes ago, three-eyed monkey said:

It really depends on whether you believe Mors is aligned with Stannis outside Winterfell or whether you think he is operating under another agenda,

Mors did send Theon, Jeyne, the Banker and the Banker's NW guides to Stannis.

I dunna think Mors knows Mance is inside WF.

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3 minutes ago, redriver said:

Never struck me for a second.Green boys indeed.Is that use of language?

 

You do.Mance tells you,-"a certain ploy in mind".

 

Now you're talking.

That is a very odd response indeed.He should really have grabbed him by the cuff of the shirt,marched him off to the Liddle holdfast and kept him prisoner until this Bolton nonsense blew over.

But instead he imparts some enigmatic words,leaves some nice bread and fucks off.

Weird.But real.I haven't pulled this stuff outta my ass.It is extant in the text.Suggesting that Mr Liddle and Co were cool with allowing a cripple to be hauled around by a halfwit and a pair of oddballs and Osha.We know that Bran is aware they are under surveillance through Summer's eyes.We can infer that maybe they watched and protected them north to an extent.Why though?

But ,Mr Pup,you are only asking half a question.The other half of it is why did Mr HM allow Theon to walk on by?

 

 

 

 

You are way to cool and intellectual for me.  Share with me why Mr. HM allowed Theon to walk on by.

Thanks.

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Just now, Clegane'sPup said:

You are way to cool and intellectual for me.  Share with me why Mr. HM allowed Theon to walk on by.

Thanks.

Mrs HM knew that Mance wanted to interview Theon

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4 minutes ago, redriver said:

Mrs HM knew that Mance wanted to interview Theon

cool

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9 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

First let me say I enjoy reading your commentary. That is a compliment on my part.

Thank you. I always enjoy your contributions as well.

11 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Stannis sent out what a member of the NW described as the wrong way rangers.

Those two men came back with terms and alliances.

They came back with terms but I can't remember if or how Stannis met them, in particular the one about Mance's skull.

12 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Supposedly Mance is trying to get his people south of the Wall because of the Others.

I agree he's moving them to save them from the Others but getting south of the Wall is one thing, staying there is another. Gendle and Gorne got past the Wall, so did Raymund Redbeard, and others, but each were defeated by the north.

Mance told Jon he believes his people have bled enough, so it seems unlikely that staying south of the Wall by way of battle is his first choice.

16 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

That is a verra big leap. Crowsfood is Mors --- the Umber that wants Mance's skull.

I know Crowfood is Mors. Crowfood's daughter was stolen by wildlings. If Val is that girl, then Mance is returning her in a way.

However, you are right to say it is a big leap. The problem is that she was stolen 30 years ago. We never get an age for Val, but she would have to be at least 30 years old. Older I would think. We don't know how old the child was when stolen but she could have been any age from new born infant up. I think if it is Val then she would have been of talking age when she was stolen. The reason I say that is because Val says my lord and not m'lord, which has been signposted as a means of telling high birth. So that would mean she is mid-thirties. I get a sense that a lot of readers think Val is younger.

But a character that was born to a northern house but raised by wildlings would be a perfect bridge between the two cultures.

28 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Mors did send Theon, Jeyne, the Banker and the Banker's NW guides to Stannis.

I dunna think Mors knows Mance is inside WF.

True. And Mance told Theon that they only need to get to Stannis outside the walls, so I don't think Mance knew it was Crowfood who was outside.

30 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Share with me why Mr. HM allowed Theon to walk on by.

Because the Hooded Man is Hal Mollen, in Winterfell to return Ned's bones to the crypts as part of the wider northern conspiracy. Killing Theon would only risk drawing attention. It was his first reaction but he thought better of it. And leaving Theon to Ramsay is a worse fate anyway.

Hal and Theon are mentioned together several times in AGoT, so it seems they were close. "False is all you were," suggests to me that the Hooded Man is referring to a past when they were supposedly friends.

And we know Hal was last seen going into the Neck on his way to Winterfell. He is a staunch Stark loyalist and I think he would be determined to fulfill the final task Lady Catelyn had given him and return Ned's bones to their rightful place. With some help from the Crannogmen, White Harbor, maybe even Lady Dustin, I'm sure he would have made some progress by now.

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Val and Crowfood could be related, but she is not his daughter.

The Night's Watch takes no part, Jon thought, but another voice within him said, Words are not swords. "The elder of the Greatjon's uncles. Crowfood, they call him. A crow once took him for dead and pecked out his young. His sons died on the Trident, his wife in childbed. His only daughter was carried off by wildlings thirty years ago." (Jon IV, ADWD 17)

So I was going through the timeline of ADwD and there was something I really never picked up on.

The first letter Jon received from Ramsay about Moat Cailin and "Arya's" marriage;

Jon saw no reason not to tell him. "Moat Cailin is taken. The flayed corpses of ironmen have been nailed to posts along the kingsroad. Roose Bolton summons all leal lords to Barrowton, to affirm their loyalty to the Iron Throne and celebrate his son's wedding to . . ." His heart seemed to stop for a moment. No, that is not possible. She died in King's Landing, with Father. (Jon VI, ADWD 28)

So the marriage was going to be celebrated at Barrowton (anyone claiming that Jon sent Mance to Winterfell needs to take a seat).

Three chapters later, Melisandre I, ADwD 31, we find out about glamoured Mance and the plan to go to Long Lake with the spearwives and find Arya.

It's the following chapter, in Reek III, that we find out that Roose has decided that Ramsay's wedding would take place at Winterfell. And Jon finds out about this in Jon VII, ADwD 35, when he receives a letter from Stannis telling him that Deepwood has been taken and that they learned that Roose is moving up to Winterfell for his son's wedding.

I don't think Myrtle is a Liddle dressed as a woman, but Rowan is 100% from the north and I don't think she's the only one in that group. I do think there's a really good chance Mance is working with the Umbers. He left Castle Black and would have been moving through Umber lands to reach Long Lake.

We don't know what his ploy that he mentions is, but at that time, he had no idea the wedding was going to be moved from Barrowton to Winterfell, so I don't think he was headed to Winterfell in the first place and that his plans must have changed sometime after he reached or crossed the Umber lands and found out about the location change. 

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11 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Val and Crowfood could be related, but she is not his daughter.

The Night's Watch takes no part, Jon thought, but another voice within him said, Words are not swords. "The elder of the Greatjon's uncles. Crowfood, they call him. A crow once took him for dead and pecked out his young. His sons died on the Trident, his wife in childbed. His only daughter was carried off by wildlings thirty years ago." (Jon IV, ADWD 17)

That depends on Val's age, which is not confirmed or even hinted at as far as I remember. Being beautiful does not confine her to a specific age bracket in my opinion. She has a self-assured and somewhat wise nature, which suggests some degree of maturity. Why not mid-30s?

I think Val solves two small mysteries. The first is what happened to Crowfood's daughter? The second is who sewed Mance's cloak? Neither is necessarily a mystery that needs to be solved, because either could just serve as the wound or backstory for Mors and Mance, but as a lot of seemingly trivial details usually do become relevant at some level in these books I think it's worth asking.

This is a little off-topic but I'll outline the case briefly.

Crowfood's daughter was stolen around 270. Her age at the time was unknown. If it was Val then she must have been speaking at the age she was stolen, to account for her habit of saying my lord instead of m'lord, like free folk and smallfolk do. That would mean Val is early to mid 30's at least.

Mance left the Watch sometime after escorting Lord Commander Qorgyle to Winterfell, where he met a young Jon and Robb. I don't think their ages are mentioned but it must have been late in Qorgyle's reign as LC which ended in 288. Jon and Robb would have been around 4 or 5 years old at the time.

Sometime after that Mance was wounded by the shadowcat and taken to a wildling healer. The woman was dead but her daughter healed Mance, nursed him back to health, and stitched his cloak. If this was Crowfood's daughter, and the dead wildling woman her foster-mother for want of a better term, then she would be at least 18 years old at the time.

Shortly after that Mance left the shadow tower for a place where a kiss was not a crime and a man could wear whatever cloak he chose. The kiss he mentions must have been shared with the woman who nursed him back to health. Unless it was shared with some other woman of the free folk who is never mentioned, or possibly one of his sworn brothers but that's a different thread.

Mance introduces Jarl as Val's latest toy, which suggests she has had a number of toys. I wonder if Mance was one of those toys some ten years earlier?

Val does say "I am no southron lady, but a woman of the free folk," (paraphrased) which many readers take to mean she is not from south of the Wall, but no Umber would consider herself a southron lady, and as Val was raised by the free folk then it is natural she would consider herself a woman of the free folk. So the statement remains true regardless of whether Val was born an Umber or not.

And Mance met Dalla on his return from Robert's feast, a route which runs through Umber lands, which suggests Dalla could well be from Umber lands, and if Val is described as her sister, then it stands to reason that she too is from Umber lands.

Which makes me wonder if the plan to unite the free folk and the north against the Others was originally Mance's idea or Val's, given she would have a connection and interest in both cultures. As she told Jon, the free fork and kneelers are more alike than people think.

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20 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

They came back with terms but I can't remember if or how Stannis met them, in particular the one about Mance's skull.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon IV     "Your Grace, might I know if the Umbers have declared for you?"    "Half of them, and only if I meet this Crowfood's price," said Stannis, in an irritated tone. "He wants Mance Rayder's skull for a drinking cup, and he wants a pardon for his brother, who has ridden south to join Bolton. Whoresbane, he's called."/

Stannis didn't meet with Umber or Karstark. Karstark accepted Stannis' request via raven. Sir Richard and Ser Justin brought back terms from Umber.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon IV   Your Grace would do well to accept his terms."   Stannis ground his teeth. "He informs me that Umber will not fight Umber, for any cause."   Jon was not surprised. "If it comes to swords, see where Hother's banner flies and put Mors on the other end of the line."/

Before the above takes place the lead in is interesting in that Sigorn and Rattleshirt (Mance) are in attendance at Stannis' meeting. I find that Jon IV chapter very interesting considering  "The Bastard of Bolton has gone south, taking Hother Umber with him. On that Mors Umber and Arnolf Karstark are agreed. That can only mean a strike at Moat Cailin, to open the way for his lord father to return to the north."

A Dance with Dragons - Jon IV   "Sir Richard and Ser Justin have returned," said Devan. "Will you come, my lord?"   The wrong-way rangers. Massey and Horpe had ridden south, not north. Whatever they had learned did not concern the Night's Watch, but Jon was curious all the same. <snip>     In the King's Tower, Jon was stripped of his weapons and admitted to the royal presence. The solar was hot and crowded. Stannis and his captains were gathered over the map of the north. The wrong-way rangers were amongst them. Sigorn was there as well, the young Magnar of Thenn, clad in a leather hauberk sewn with bronze scales. Rattleshirt sat scratching at the manacle on his wrist with a cracked yellow fingernail. Brown stubble covered his sunken cheeks and receding chin, and strands of dirty hair hung across his eyes. "Here he comes," he said when he saw Jon, "the brave boy who slew Mance Rayder when he was caged and bound." The big square-cut gem that adorned his iron cuff glimmered redly. "Do you like my ruby, Snow? A token o' love from Lady Red."/

As an aside Theon went missing at the end of CoK. Theon shows back up before the Jon IV chapter in DwD as Reek. Reek describes the two lords Ramsey is entertaining. One of which is Karstark. Is it possible the other lord is Hothor?

A Dance with Dragons - Reek I    At the high table the Bastard of Bolton sat in his lord father's seat, drinking from his father's cup. Two old men shared the high table with him, and Reek knew at a glance that both were lords. One was gaunt, with flinty eyes, a long white beard, and a face as hard as a winter frost. His jerkin was a ragged bearskin, worn and greasy. Underneath he wore a ringmail byrnie, even at table. The second lord was thin as well, but twisted where the first was straight. One of his shoulders was much higher than the other, and he stooped over his trencher like a vulture over carrion. His eyes were grey and greedy, his teeth yellow, his forked beard a tangle of snow and silver. Only a few wisps of white hair still clung to his spotted skull, but the cloak he wore was soft and fine, grey wool trimmed with black sable and fastened at the shoulder with a starburst wrought in beaten silver./

Look at the Jon IV chapter again --- "The Bastard of Bolton has gone south, taking Hother Umber with him."

Keep in mind that Greatjon Umber is a prisoner of Frey.

Great balls of fire I have given meself a head ache. I should have kept it simple because you merely wanted to know about Mance's skull.

 

 

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On 2/26/2019 at 6:07 PM, redriver said:

Hopefully we are,did not mean to offend you.I'm trying to maintain the Socratic approach I mentioned earlier,but obviously failing miserably.

You didn’t, it’s all good. It’s just that work is so fucking crazy and hectic at the moment... and I have so little time to spend here... and worse, most topics are dull, silly, nonsensical, or a combo of all those things. Finding an interesting one is such a joy. Like this one, or @three-eyed monkey‘s ones on the PL.  And if I have to go back and re-read every pertinent passage from all the books before I can post, well, I won’t be able to. That’s why the pointed questions, like, “what are you thinking” etc.  :)

On 2/26/2019 at 6:16 PM, Clegane'sPup said:

This is would be disastrous.  Mors (Crowsfood) price for joining up with Stannis is the skull of Mance. And a pardon for Hothor (Whoresbane).

Would it? I’m not so sure... :dunno:

 

23 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Yeah this is a big point against Mors and Mance working together, unless it's a ruse to hide the alliance from Stannis.

Or Stannis is in on it, and it’s simply just for show. Or Mors actually meant it, and later they came to some sort of understanding? There are a few possibilities here...

Quote

It's a point worth discussing. The story is that Mors hates the wildlings because they stole his daughter, as well as the fact that Umbers have a history of dealing with wildling raiders who cross the Bay of Seals and plunder Umber lands. Seems straight forward, but two things strike me about this.

The first is that if Mance wants to move the free folk south of the Wall then it makes sense that he needs an alliance with the Umbers, given their geographical location.

:agree:

Also worth keeping in mind, Mance is not stupid. 

Quote

The second is Val, if she is Crowfood's daughter then maybe she is involved in vouching for Mance or an alliance with the free folk. Maybe her pending return is enough to appease Crowfood. I don't know, just throwing it out there.

I don’t think Val is old enough to be Mors’s daughter. True, we never get an age for Val, not even a ballpark guess, but still. For Val to be Mors’s daughter, taken some 30 yrs ago, she must have been old enough to take in the first place. So, at least 12/13 or thereabouts? Which would make her 40+ now, and I don’t see it. It would be weird for Jon to not think about her being “that” much older IMO.

Quote

Another interesting question about this comes from Stannis point of view. It really depends on whether you believe Mors is aligned with Stannis outside Winterfell or whether you think he is operating under another agenda, that being a northern agenda. If he is aligned with Stannis then has Stannis met Mors' demands, as in sent him a skull and said it was Mance, or promised him Mance's head when all is done?

I think Mors is aligned w/ Stannis. As far as I can tell, Stannis really took Jon’s advice(s) to heart. That’s where everything else points to... from not trying to take the Dreadfort, to going to the mountain clans, to leaving the FF at CB... And we have Mors sending Theon, Jeyne, and Tycho to Stannis...

I think the skull demand was dealt w/ using common sense... “Listen, I cant promise you that, but I can promise you you won’t have to face family on the battlefield, and that we will give the Boltons their comeuppance”, that sort of thing. 

Quote

Or if we want to go further, has Mance agreed to sacrifice himself for the sake of his people and an alliance with the north? I know some will find that suggestion to be unlikely but I believe it could tie into the "true king" theme. I think Mance knows that the only way the free folk can stay south of the Wall without bleeding is if they seal a peace with the north, and Mance's head might well be the price of that peace. I believe Mance sees Jon as the solution to the problem. The North will follow the son of Eddard Stark but the free folk don't follow names, they follow the Man, and Jon did kill the boy to let the Man be born. Jon can be what Mance never could, someone both the North and the free folk would choose to follow.

I very much agree here. The one bit I don’t so much is Mance deciding he’d have to sacrifice his life to make it all work. Mind you, I think he’s totally capable of doing just that, but I have a feeling he [rightyly] thinks it hasn’t come to that yet. 

Jon is now the de facto “king” of the Free Folk. And when he rallies the north to fight the WWs, he’ll be Jon Snow, King of Winter. How perfect is that? ;)

 

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I don't believe for a moment that Mance did not plan for what might happen if he gets the free folk past the Wall.

Completely agree, there’s no chance in hell he didn’t think things through. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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8 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Would it? I’m not so sure... :dunno:

If part of Mors terms for joining with Stannis is Mance's skull and Mors is provided with Rattleshirt's skull --- meh --- come see come saw.

What will be will be.

Shyte I am so confused about Umbers and their nicknames and where they are nothing matter right now.

 

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3 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

If part of Mors terms for joining with Stannis is Mance's skull and Mors is provided with Rattleshirt's skull --- meh --- come see come saw.

Yeah, that’s kind of lame. But I wasn’t thinking that... more along the lines of, it’s perhaps too outrageous a demand to be made when life as they know it is on the line? Bravado? A bit of both? Or, as @three-eyed monkey proposed, a ruse? 

As with so much else, we simply don’t have enough [actual] info to be sure of anything... :dunno:

3 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

What will be will be.

“Que sera, sera” (sp?), Doris Day voice. 

3 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Shyte I am so confused about Umbers and their nicknames and where they are nothing matter right now.

 

Ugh, I’m confused by basically 76.4%  of the names... and of the 76.4% I’m confused about, 98.7% are Targaryen. Aemon, Aegon, Aemond, I, II, III, IV, V... etc etc etc. 

 

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3 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Yeah, that’s kind of lame. But I wasn’t thinking that... more along the lines of, it’s perhaps too outrageous a demand to be made when life as they know it is on the line? Bravado? A bit of both? Or, as @three-eyed monkey proposed, a ruse?

Would you celebrate? What is lame?

A Dance with Dragons - Jon IV    "Your Grace, might I know if the Umbers have declared for you?"    "Half of them, and only if I meet this Crowfood's price," said Stannis, in an irritated tone. "He wants Mance Rayder's skull for a drinking cup, and he wants a pardon for his brother, who has ridden south to join Bolton. Whoresbane, he's called."/

 

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15 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

A Dance with Dragons - Jon IV     "Your Grace, might I know if the Umbers have declared for you?"    "Half of them, and only if I meet this Crowfood's price," said Stannis, in an irritated tone. "He wants Mance Rayder's skull for a drinking cup, and he wants a pardon for his brother, who has ridden south to join Bolton. Whoresbane, he's called."/

Stannis didn't meet with Umber or Karstark. Karstark accepted Stannis' request via raven. Sir Richard and Ser Justin brought back terms from Umber.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon IV   Your Grace would do well to accept his terms."   Stannis ground his teeth. "He informs me that Umber will not fight Umber, for any cause."   Jon was not surprised. "If it comes to swords, see where Hother's banner flies and put Mors on the other end of the line."/

Before the above takes place the lead in is interesting in that Sigorn and Rattleshirt (Mance) are in attendance at Stannis' meeting. I find that Jon IV chapter very interesting considering  "The Bastard of Bolton has gone south, taking Hother Umber with him. On that Mors Umber and Arnolf Karstark are agreed. That can only mean a strike at Moat Cailin, to open the way for his lord father to return to the north."

A Dance with Dragons - Jon IV   "Sir Richard and Ser Justin have returned," said Devan. "Will you come, my lord?"   The wrong-way rangers. Massey and Horpe had ridden south, not north. Whatever they had learned did not concern the Night's Watch, but Jon was curious all the same. <snip>     In the King's Tower, Jon was stripped of his weapons and admitted to the royal presence. The solar was hot and crowded. Stannis and his captains were gathered over the map of the north. The wrong-way rangers were amongst them. Sigorn was there as well, the young Magnar of Thenn, clad in a leather hauberk sewn with bronze scales. Rattleshirt sat scratching at the manacle on his wrist with a cracked yellow fingernail. Brown stubble covered his sunken cheeks and receding chin, and strands of dirty hair hung across his eyes. "Here he comes," he said when he saw Jon, "the brave boy who slew Mance Rayder when he was caged and bound." The big square-cut gem that adorned his iron cuff glimmered redly. "Do you like my ruby, Snow? A token o' love from Lady Red."/

As an aside Theon went missing at the end of CoK. Theon shows back up before the Jon IV chapter in DwD as Reek. Reek describes the two lords Ramsey is entertaining. One of which is Karstark. Is it possible the other lord is Hothor?

A Dance with Dragons - Reek I    At the high table the Bastard of Bolton sat in his lord father's seat, drinking from his father's cup. Two old men shared the high table with him, and Reek knew at a glance that both were lords. One was gaunt, with flinty eyes, a long white beard, and a face as hard as a winter frost. His jerkin was a ragged bearskin, worn and greasy. Underneath he wore a ringmail byrnie, even at table. The second lord was thin as well, but twisted where the first was straight. One of his shoulders was much higher than the other, and he stooped over his trencher like a vulture over carrion. His eyes were grey and greedy, his teeth yellow, his forked beard a tangle of snow and silver. Only a few wisps of white hair still clung to his spotted skull, but the cloak he wore was soft and fine, grey wool trimmed with black sable and fastened at the shoulder with a starburst wrought in beaten silver./

Look at the Jon IV chapter again --- "The Bastard of Bolton has gone south, taking Hother Umber with him."

Keep in mind that Greatjon Umber is a prisoner of Frey.

Great balls of fire I have given meself a head ache. I should have kept it simple because you merely wanted to know about Mance's skull.

 

 

The northern lords at the Dreadfort were Arnulf Karstark and Hother Umber. Hother, or Whorsebane, is in Winterfell with Roose and seems to be on the side of the Boltons but I doubt he is truly loyal. As you say, Greatjon is still a hostage and the hostages are the reason the North have not yet openly reacted to the Red Wedding.

So Stannis wants to win the north to his cause against the Lannisters. He sees the north as a part of his kingdom, the 7K, whose loyalty he needs to gain and whose swords he needs to use, along with his sellswords, for his push south.

The Lannisters see the north as theirs, as enforced by their Warden, Roose, and allies such as the Freys.

The North, however, clearly have ambitions of their own. It was Greatjon Umber who declared the North independent under Robb. And Lord Wyman was really invested in the idea, promising to build the North a fleet and mint northern currency. Lord Wyman's loyalty to the Starks has been made crystal clear, not simply by his words to Davos but also by his actions in Winterfell. But what about the Umbers? Are they really split between Stannis or Roose? I don't think so.

The north remembers, and lots of northern houses lost members at the Red Wedding, so revenge is certainly top of the agenda. But Stannis is also offering justice for that atrocity, as Davos told Wyman. The problem is that Stannis wants the north to kneel to him and it seems that most of the north would rather not. Stannis is just a southron king with a foreign god. If the north want to be independent, then they need to be rid of Stannis and Roose. The best way to do that is to leave them fight each other and then eliminate the weakened victor, and I believe that is what they are striving to do.

I think Arnulf Karstark is genuinely loyal to Roose. I'm not so sure about Lady Dustin and the Ryswells, but maybe they are. Mors has apparently sided with Stannis and Hothor with Roose, but I think the Umbers are secretly with Lord Wyman and supporters of northern independence under Robb's heir. I think it's the same for the northern clans. They are happy to march with Stannis against the Boltons and Freys and to rescue Ned's little girl, but I doubt their loyalty goes deeper than that. The Liddle told Bran things were better when there was a Stark at Winterfell. And the letter from Lyanna Mormont to Stannis declared that house Mormont also supports a Stark king, and Robbet Glover's involvement with Lord Wyman suggests the Glovers are in too.

So where does Mance and the free folk fit into all this? Stannis lets them past the Wall and expects them to kneel, but they will not and if they are knelt as Selyse suggests then they will rise again with blades in hand. Mance, like the northern clans, is working with Stannis to a degree, it was that or burn, but if the free folk are to settle south of the Wall then Stannis needs to go. Given the choice between King Stannis or King Jon, I believe Mance and the free folk would clearly choose the latter.

Mance has motive to co-operate with the northern agenda. Given that the spearwives are not all they appear to be, they are not what was requested by Mance, and at least one on them, Rowan, gives us a clear hint she is a northerner, I think there has to be a chance that Mance is co-operating with them.

14 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

If part of Mors terms for joining with Stannis is Mance's skull and Mors is provided with Rattleshirt's skull --- meh --- come see come saw.

Yeah that's what I meant. Did Stannis send him a skull, like rattleshirts, or did he promise Mors the real skull at some time in the future? But as Stannis already burned "Mance" then I guess it he would have to send somone's skull to keep up the pretense.

15 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I don’t think Val is old enough to be Mors’s daughter. True, we never get an age for Val, not even a ballpark guess, but still. For Val to be Mors’s daughter, taken some 30 yrs ago, she must have been old enough to take in the first place. So, at least 12/13 or thereabouts? Which would make her 40+ now, and I don’t see it. It would be weird for Jon to not think about her being “that” much older IMO.

She could have been snatched from the cradle for all we know. But as I said I think she would have been talking long enough to have made a habit of saying my lord. There is nothing definitive to confirm or debunk it along the lines of her age as far as I recall. I'm not sold on the idea but I can't rule it out as it seems to me that she could serve a purpose in some sort of unity between the north and free folk.

15 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Jon is now the de facto “king” of the Free Folk. And when he rallies the north to fight the WWs, he’ll be Jon Snow, King of Winter. How perfect is that? ;)

Very.

15 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I very much agree here. The one bit I don’t so much is Mance deciding he’d have to sacrifice his life to make it all work. Mind you, I think he’s totally capable of doing just that, but I have a feeling he [rightyly] thinks it hasn’t come to that yet. 

I'd like to see Mance ride off and live the rock'n'roll lifestyle on the road but this is George. We like Mance so he's as good as dead.

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