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three-eyed monkey

The Stannis Plan and why he wrote the Pink Letter 2.0

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1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

I think Ramsay would be very eager to get after Reek in particular. Hosteen would be angry about his horse, and possibly Aenys. They would know they had to deal with Crowfood's boys first and then proceed to Stannis' location. I really don't see a situation where Ramsay lags behind so far that he misses the battle.

But let's just say he did, and he meets these victorious men returning from the battle without ever questioning who they are because they have Lightbringer, he doesn't care about Lightbringer, he wants Reek and Jeyne, and unless these men have both of the escapees then I think he would continue to Stannis camp. There he would have to be deceived once again by Stannis' men pretending to be Freys or whoever once more. And we got to wonder, why don't any of these guys just kill Ramsay or take him hostage?

You say there are several ways it could go down, but let's be honest here, this is not one of them.

You can also add that there would be freys that survive the battle and would be able to reach winterfell.

Where I think there is some flexibility is that ramsay might not be sure farya and reek fled to stannis. He might need time to torture mance/spearwives and some of crowfood's men in order to get that information. And if he loses 2 or 3 days then he won t be able to reach the CV...

Afterwards the only possible ruse stannis can use to enter winterfell is sending a small group of his men impersonating a frey vanguard that brings lightbringer with them and tell the boltons the story of stannis defeat and that stannis men told them that farya and theon were sent to the Wall (this sounds kind of forced). Then ramsay would write the PL based on the information from these false freys. Afterwards these fake freys can let stannis men inside winterfell...

On the whole I don t like any theory that has stannis masquerading his tropps as freys and fake a victory because when large groups os men fight there are always survivors. And any surviving person should be able to ride to winterfell within a very short amount of time (3 days marching= much less time riding). And the bad weather makes it impossible to chase or track people… I find it almost impossible for news of the fight in CV to not reach winterfell via some authentic frey.

1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Let's be clear on the timeline. Some things we know for sure.

Freys and Manderlys were preparing to march, using different gates as you said. The rescue had to go ahead immediately because they had to get Arya to Stannis before the Freys got there.

Jeyne and Theon jumped. Winterfell gates opened and the Freys rode out into Crowfood's pit, killing Aenys Frey and Hosteen's horse. Crowfood questions Jeyne and then sends them on their way to Stannis with Tycho and company.

They arrive in Stannis' camp. Theon says the Freys and Manderlys will come seperately and Ramsay will come too. He want's his bride. He wants his Reek. And the few green boys Crowfood has will not hold them long.

So the Freys' first foray ended abruptly and the delay gave Theon and Jeyne a chance to get clear. The question is what happened next?

What is garanteed is that the later the freys arrive the worse it will be for stannis. I would like to say that 3 days marching=1 day riding but I have no idea. If you are sugesting the freys will be even more delayed leaving winterfell and with bad weather they can arrive 3 or 4 day after theon to the CV? Poor stannis won t have any southerns left...

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1 hour ago, three-eyed monkey said:

Everything on the Ramsay theory is well, he could have taken prisoners and found out about the wildling princess, he could be trying to scare Jon into keeping quiet about Jeyne, he could be trying to brand Jon a liar, he could have lost a battle to Stannis but thought he won, Theon knew him so well he predicted what he would write in the letter, I mean it was signed Ramsay Bolton, it must be him because GRRM plays it straight, even if that means spoiling a major character death before we get to see it.

Everything on the stannis theory is well, he would ask jon for reek despite either jon not knowing who reek is or if he knows (because farya is already at the Wall) would make him question the veracity of the letter. And don t use the authenticity argument because jon has no idea how ramsay speaks so those words only serve to convince the reader and that isn t stannis goal.

Stannis doesn t care if his familly is put in danger and sent to essos with few guards because his familly was already in danger.

Stannis will devine that jon would ride alone to winterfell for some reason.

Stannis will win 2 major battles and in the meantime become a master manipulator that makes his ally break his vows for false reasons.

With few soldiers stannis will be important enough that the northman would respect his decision when he releases jon from his vows. Everybody will be waiting 1 month for jon to get to winterfell.

Somehow stannis got the impression that jon will chose to break his vows instead of dying honorably.

Somehown jon riding to winterfel as the LC of the NW responding to a threat made against the NW would mean he is deserting.

If you are so against supositions nearly nothing in the stannis theory holds.

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The more I talk about this the less I see the point of stanis winning winterfell and be in the position of writting the PL.

Whatever the theory we know from the last cold count to conquering winterfell stannis will need at least close to 6 days and therefore lose most of his Southern army. 

As far as we know rickon is lost for the foreseable future. Jon won t be riding to winterfell because of the attack.

So what is stannis position in winterfell under this condictions and how can he keep the north under his control when half the northerns at least know about robb's will and we have no idea how many know about rickon? Stannis is simply destined to be kicked out of winterfell and lose the north...

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10 minutes ago, divica said:

Everything on the stannis theory is well, he would ask jon for reek despite either jon not knowing who reek is or if he knows (because farya is already at the Wall) would make him question the veracity of the letter. And don t use the authenticity argument because jon has no idea how ramsay speaks so those words only serve to convince the reader and that isn t stannis goal

Jon does know how he speaks, he has read another letter from him. 

11 minutes ago, divica said:

Stannis doesn t care if his familly is put in danger and sent to essos with few guards because his familly was already in danger

This would be removing his family from danger, not only the others but also Ramsay or anyone wishing to retaliate against him. 

11 minutes ago, divica said:

Stannis will devine that jon would ride alone to winterfell for some reason

Well... He seems to have been correct but the theory doesn't depend on Jon riding to WF alone. 

12 minutes ago, divica said:

Stannis will win 2 major battles and in the meantime become a master manipulator that makes his ally break his vows for false reasons

I'm not sure what you are questioning here. You said yourself Stannis was in a position to win & it's been pretty clearly laid out in this thread that this is something right up Stan's alley.

13 minutes ago, divica said:

With few soldiers stannis will be important enough that the northman would respect his decision when he releases jon from his vows. Everybody will be waiting 1 month for jon to get to winterfell

The Northman are not going to be upset about Jon being released from his vows. This is preposterous. All the times Stannis offers to do this & all the times Jon mulls it over in his head, not one single time does he worry that the northern Lord's won't like that he has been released from his vows. 

15 minutes ago, divica said:

Somehow stannis got the impression that jon will chose to break his vows instead of dying honorably

No, Stannis believes Jon will choose to be absolved of his vows rather than die honorably or otherwise. 

16 minutes ago, divica said:

Somehown jon riding to winterfel as the LC of the NW responding to a threat made against the NW would mean he is deserting

Again, the theory isn't dependent on this. But again, if you don't believe people will see it that way, start that thread. 

17 minutes ago, divica said:

you are so against supositions nearly nothing in the stannis theory holds

You are placing contingencies on the theory that don't exist. It isn't necessary for Jon to ride alone, it isn't necessary for Jon to be deserting & pretty much every thing else you have said has been refuted. Just because you keep saying it doesn't make it so. 

Textual evidence has been provided for Stannis being willing to set up a plan like this, common sense says his family is safer away from Westeros, Jon has read a previous letter from Ramsay (this has already been pointed out), Jon needn't ride alone. 

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14 minutes ago, divica said:

The more I talk about this the less I see the point of stanis winning winterfell and be in the position of writting the PL.

Whatever the theory we know from the last cold count to conquering winterfell stannis will need at least close to 6 days and therefore lose most of his Southern army. 

As far as we know rickon is lost for the foreseable future. Jon won t be riding to winterfell because of the attack.

So what is stannis position in winterfell under this condictions and how can he keep the north under his control when half the northerns at least know about robb's will and we have no idea how many know about rickon? Stannis is simply destined to be kicked out of winterfell and lose the north...

Rickon being lost or Jon not being able to ride south says nothing against the theory & the fact that half the northerners know about Robb's will makes it all the more likely for them to support Jon as Lord of WF. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

This would be removing his family from danger, not only the others but also Ramsay or anyone wishing to retaliate against him. 

If that is true why did he leave his familly in CB? If stannis already defeated the boltons how would his familly be in danger in the north?

3 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Well... He seems to have been correct but the theory doesn't depend on Jon riding to WF alone.

Ok. He will divine that jon will ride to winterfell despite not having enough men to acomplish anything.

4 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Jon does know how he speaks, he has read another letter from him. 

How does including the reek line relate this letter to ramsay's first letter? How can that setence help someone conclude that it was the same person that wrote both letters?

6 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I'm not sure what you are questioning here. You said yourself Stannis was in a position to win & it's been pretty clearly laid out in this thread that this is something right up Stan's alley.

Wining in the CV yes. For the battle of winterfell it is another story. We have no idea what roose will do to unite the northern lords/soldiers with the boltons after theon left. We have no idea what strategy stannis has to infiltrate winterfell. As long as frey survivors can escape to winterfell most strategies are impossible. We have no idea how many people will try to sabotage roose if stannis gets to winterfell. I think what happens near winterfell is pretty much undecided and it will cost stannis.

The point is. When has manipulated and lied to his allies to make them do as he wishes? And when did he become such an acomplished manipulator?

11 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

The Northman are not going to be upset about Jon being released from his vows. This is preposterous. All the times Stannis offers to do this & all the times Jon mulls it over in his head, not one single time does he worry that the northern Lord's won't like that he has been released from his vows. 

Because at the time stannis had the power to do it.After this march stannis is a king only in name with very little personal power until sellswords from essos arrives. 

14 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

No, Stannis believes Jon will choose to be absolved of his vows rather than die honorably or otherwise. 

Despite jon having already denied him earlier and chosed the honorably route. Which of jon's actions can lead stannis to think he will break his vows in order to live?

16 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Textual evidence has been provided for Stannis being willing to set up a plan like this

Wich ally has stannis lied to  and manipulated in order to achieve his goals? 

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14 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Rickon being lost or Jon not being able to ride south says nothing against the theory & the fact that half the northerners know about Robb's will makes it all the more likely for them to support Jon as Lord of WF. 

It ways. Why write a story where stannis wins winterfell and then has no southerns loyal to him and no stark to suport him?

What is stannis suposed to do when jon doesn t arrive? How long are the northern lords in winterfell going to put up with stannis? 

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58 minutes ago, divica said:

How can that setence help someone conclude that it was the same person that wrote both letters

Stannis would think it would make the letter appear legitimate because he heard Theon say it. 

59 minutes ago, divica said:

Wining in the CV yes. For the battle of winterfell it is another story. We have no idea what roose will do to unite the northern lords/soldiers with the boltons after theon left

And since we don't know there isn't much reason to think Stannis couldn't have won right? Especially if he has infiltrated the castle & has the Manderlys on his side. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

The point is. When has manipulated and lied to his allies to make them do as he wishes? And when did he become such an acomplished manipulator

When he agreed to carry around the false Light bringer in order to make his allies believe he is what Mel claims. When he had Rattleshirt burned instead of Mance, when he has allowed Mel to burn men alive but made sure they were guilty of some other crime first in order to appease both sides of the fence. Probably more if we look closely. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

Because at the time stannis had the power to do it.After this march stannis is a king only in name with very little personal power until sellswords from essos arrives

Stannis has no more or less power than he did before. All King's are only a King in name unless people believe they are King's. All Stannis needs is for the northern Lord's approval which he will have. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

Despite jon having already denied him earlier and chosed the honorably route. Which of jon's actions can lead stannis to think he will break his vows in order to live

When has Jon been given the opportunity to choose between death & being Lord of WF? He hasn't. He was given the opportunity to choose between being Lord of WF or remaining a member of the NW. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

Wich ally has stannis lied to  and manipulated in order to achieve his goals

See above. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

It ways. Why write a story where stannis wins winterfell and then has no southerns loyal to him and no stark to suport him

I'm not saying this is the story being written but this theory is not contingent on these things happening. 

As to why this story would be written, I would imagine the same reason Robb won all his battles & lost the war, the same reason Theon took WF only to have no one support him & have it taken from him, the same reason Renly had massive support but died anyway. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

What is stannis suposed to do when jon doesn t arrive? How long are the northern lords in winterfell going to put up with stannis

Again, this doesn't negate the theory. If things don't work out the way Stannis planned them that doesn't mean Stannis didn't plan them that way. 

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Sorry I didn't get to read through everything. If this was brought up earlier ... i apologize.

For Stannis writing the Pink Letter to get Jon to become Warden of the North ....... what happens to a conversation between Wyman and Stannis after Stannis takes Winterfell?

Wyman: Hey Stannis, what you up to?
Stannis: Oh, I'm just writing a Prank Letter to Jon Snow.
Wyman: What for?
Stannis: I need a Stark to be in control of Winterfell, but Jon Snow dun want it. I have to trick him to come here.
Wyman: Don't you have Arya Stark?
Stannis: I prefer a male.
Wyman: Won't baiting Jon Snow to abandon his duties in the NW increases his chance of being executed?
Stannis: Well, let's hope not.
Wyman: Well, if you are looking for a male true-born Stark, we spotted Rickon Stark. Your man Davos is alive and I sent him on a mission to fetch him. If you are not in a rush of establishing a male Stark in Winterfell, we can have both Arya Stark and Rickon Stark here in a few weeks if you wait.
Stannis: Davos is alive? And you are sending me a true-born male wolf?? Sheeeeet Fatman, that's all you had to say!

 

And to all the Ramsay PL camp ... if you believe Ramsay actually wrote the Pink Letter, whether if he was deceived or not about the battle ... Team Ramsay would have to admit that Mance is captured and the spearwives were skinned alive. I really really hope George didn't skin our warrior princesses :(

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I would like to follow the argumentation line, that the most plausible solution is that Ramsay wrote the letter. I would even go so far to say, it doesn't matter if the battle at the crofter's village already happened or what its outcome was.

All the information in the letter (Wildling princess, Mance and his Spearwives came from CB to rescue fArya) can be provided by the surviving Spearwives and/or Mance. Mance would also know that the NW calls Val the "Wildling princess", And about Stannis' Family and Melisandre. Mance may have shared all this with his Spearwives too.

Based on this, Ramsay would know: fArya and Theon (who fled with fArya) are on their way to CB. Independent of Stannis he would panic, as blowing up the true identiy of fArya would be the worst scenario for the Boltons, worse even than losing a battle outside Winterfell. So he writes this aggressive letter to Jon, trying to provoke a reaction in the hope that fArya is send back to him.

As I said: Independent of the Battle of Ice, this is what I would expect Ramsay to do. Even Roose would know about the consequences of blowing up fArya's fake identity.

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3 minutes ago, Greywater-Watch said:

I would like to follow the argumentation line, that the most plausible solution is that Ramsay wrote the letter. I would even go so far to say, it doesn't matter if the battle at the crofter's village already happened or what its outcome was.

All the information in the letter (Wildling princess, Mance and his Spearwives came from CB to rescue fArya) can be provided by the surviving Spearwives and/or Mance. Mance would also know that the NW calls Val the "Wildling princess", And about Stannis' Family and Melisandre. Mance may have shared all this with his Spearwives too.

Based on this, Ramsay would know: fArya and Theon (who fled with fArya) are on their way to CB. Independent of Stannis he would panic, as blowing up the true identiy of fArya would be the worst scenario for the Boltons, worse even than losing a battle outside Winterfell. So he writes this aggressive letter to Jon, trying to provoke a reaction in the hope that fArya is send back to him.

As I said: Independent of the Battle of Ice, this is what I would expect Ramsay to do. Even Roose would know about the consequences of blowing up fArya's fake identity.

Fake Arya is "send back to him".Really?

Have you thought this through?

Is Ramsay really that thick?

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1 minute ago, redriver said:

Fake Arya is "send back to him".Really?

Have you thought this through?

Is Ramsay really that thick?

I just put myself in Ramsay's mind. Or in Roose's mind, if you want. fArya must return, best if Jon doesn't even have the opportunity to have a closer look at her. If the word about fArya's real identity is spread in the North, the Boltons are in real big trouble.

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2 minutes ago, Greywater-Watch said:

I just put myself in Ramsay's mind. Or in Roose's mind, if you want. fArya must return, best if Jon doesn't even have the opportunity to have a closer look at her. If the word about fArya's real identity is spread in the North, the Boltons are in real big trouble.

So the solution is to send a letter advertising the fact?

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1 minute ago, Greywater-Watch said:

Which fact?

That his bride has left him.

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This is coming from someone who argued that Stannis wrote the Pink Letter for a very long time.

The Pink Letter is a badly executed plot device and the reason is that ADwD was published prematurely. When the publication date was announced, GRRM was still not done with the story. The book was published on a very quick schedule but it still needed lots of work, especially in the north.

According to the Pink Letter:

  • Stannis dies off-screen,

  • Stannis should normally execute Theon (the Public Enemy No. 1 in the North) but he is reported to have fled (again off-screen).

If the Pink Letter is all true, then it is awful story telling because an important character like Stannis should not die off-screen nor should Theon’s survival take place off-screen. If the Pink Letter is partially or fully false, we have no way of telling which part is true and which part is false with the published material at hand, which is why people are coming up with legions of crazy theories.

If the Pink Letter is all false and Stannis already defeated the Boltons and took Winterfell, again it is awful storytelling. Because in this case, Stannis should inform Castle Black about his victory as he did before and the raven carrying that letter should arrive not long after the one that brought the Pink Letter. In this case, Jon’s assassination and the whole climax at the Wall is reduced to a matter of timing. If only the news of the victory of Stannis arrived before the Pink Letter, Jon would not have been assassinated! How is this good storytelling?

Jon is a major character. He made certain choices throughout ADwD which culminated in this huge climax of ADwD. Jon now has to deal with the consequences of his choices in TWoW (in addition to other troubles GRRM will surely inflict on him). If Stannis has this quick victory and takes Winterfell, GRRM will be taking away from the gravity of Jon’s arc in ADwD.

Regardless of how much of it is true, the Pink Letter as it stands does not do justice to the northern subplots. In order for the Pink Letter to work properly, we need additional chapters which GRRM left to TWoW. Chronologically and sequentially, the first Theon and Asha chapters from TWoW should have been provided within ADwD.

What really happened and why the Pink Letter was written as it is? I don’t think we can answer these questions with only the published ADwD. After a lot of detective work on SSM’s, TWoW sample chapters etc. and on many different posts, here is what I pieced together:

Stannis could cover 20 miles a day at the beginning of his march. Then the winter storm came and they could only cover 2 miles a day before the march halted. That is when Benjicot Branch told them that they are 3 days ride from Winterfell. The winter storm is still raging. Did Branch mean they are 6 miles away from Winterfell based on their final speed before they stopped or did he mean they are 60 miles away from Winterfell based on their initial speed where there was no storm. This oversight is just one of the issues pointing why ADwD was published prematurely.

The rest is going into TWoW spoilers:

Spoiler

My guess is that the crofters village is around 60 miles away from Winterfell. However, no army can cover 60 miles in 3 days under this winter storm. That means the Freys will not arrive just 3 days after we saw them leaving Winterfell in ADwD. They are a southern army not suited to march efficiently in this winter storm and the TWoW sample chapter shows that they have to march even slower and more carefully than normal due to the traps set by Crowfood which claimed Aenys Frey. There will be many days, maybe even a couple of weeks, before the Freys arrive to the crofters village. That means Ramsay will have more than enough time to torture Mance and the spearwives to learn what he could from them and then to catch up with the armies heading to battle.

Spoiler

Meanwhile, Theon’s first TWoW chapter takes place and then we have the Asha chapter where Theon is brought before the weirwood tree for execution. He confesses the truth about the boys he killed. The Liddles in the camp confirm that Bran survived Winterfell and was spotted on the way to the Wall. Also the survivors from the Battle of Winterfell that are in the camp confirm that it was Ramsay who sacked and burned Winterfell. All the Northmen believe that no one can lie before the heart trees. But even then, Theon is still guilty of treason and murder. That is when Theon asks to take the black. The Northmen grudgingly raise their voices in favor. Stannis spares Theon and sends him to the Wall along with Massey’s party.

Spoiler

Many days pass before the Freys arrive. On the other hand, the host of Stannis suffers even more during this long wait before the battle. Cold count skyrockets. The Northmen do not care about dying because that is what they came for. But there are many people like Massey who lost their faith. There are heated discussions among the many factions. They started blaming each other for being Boltons spies even before the Karstark treachery was revealed and now, it will only be worse. Cannibalism is rampant. But after the burning of those 4 cannibals, people who are eating the dead have lost their faith as well. The morale in the camp gets worse and worse. Soon the desertions start. Specifically, Lord Peasebury (who is eating the dead just like his men) takes his men and flee. Karstarks will also flee at the first opportunity after seeing their leaders executed and that no one in the camp trust them anymore.

Spoiler

The Freys finally arrive and the Battle on Ice starts. The host of Stannis is easily broken from the many weak links. Many of them start fleeing all over the place and the Freys start chasing them. This is when the ice breaks as foreshadowed. Many Freys and the broken men of Stannis are drowned in the lake. However, there is still a significant Frey reserve intact, which was left to defend against a possible Manderly backstabbing. Stannis has very few fighters left at this point. The rest all died, drowned or deserted. They start fighting a hopeless fight against the Frey reserves. Finally the Manderlys are spotted on the horizon and this is where the narrative for the Battle on Ice ends. The POV for this battle, i.e. Asha, naturally thinks that with the Manderlys joining the fray, they will easily finish them off. This is the end of the first Asha chapter of TWoW.

Spoiler

This is where ADwD should have ended on the Battle on Ice front. These Theon and Asha chapters covering all these stuff should have been provided before Jon’s final chapter in the book. Chronologically and sequentially, these Theon and Asha chapters belong here. With these two chapters, the readers are led to believe that the Pink Letter seems legit. But only on second thoughts people might suspect that the Manderlys might attack the Freys instead of Stannis. And that is how we can expect Stannis to survive, not because of a meta-textual reason that he cannot die off-screen.

Spoiler

As for the what happens next, we should delve into TWoW proper. Manderlys attack the Freys as expected. After the Freys are done, the Manderly commander steps forward and gives Stannis a letter from Davos, explaining his fate and secret mission. Stannis makes a deal with the Manderlys and retreats to Wolf’s Den for hiding before Ramsay comes to the battlefield. Because of the deserters and broken men surviving the battle, their tracks are easily covered in this winter storm.

Spoiler

Ramsay finally comes to the battlefield and sees the victory even though all the Freys are slain. He does not mind that. He finds no clues about Stannis, fArya and the Reek from the battlefield. He starts hunting the deserters and broken men from the army of Stannis. This is the “seven days of battle” he will be talking about in the Pink Letter. For seven days, Ramsay hunts down, tortures, questions and kills these people all over the place. From the southron men he captures, he catches the terms “wildling princess and the wildling prince” as mentioned in the Pink Letter. There is no other source from which Ramsay can pick up these terms. Ramsay learns from the men he captures that Stannis sent fArya and Reek away from the camp many days before the battle and Reek asked to take the black which was granted. Coupled with the stuff he learned from Mance and the spearwives, that is where he is convinced that they were sent to Castle Black and Jon is involved in all this.

Spoiler

Finally, Ramsay comes across a corpse wearing the garbs and armor of Stannis, still with the fLightbringer. It will not be hard for him to think that the last remaining men of Stannis betrayed and killed him. He takes fLightbringer and returns to Winterfell to write the Pink Letter. At this point, we have the perfect explanation for why Ramsay wrote the Pink Letter as he did. This way, everything in the Pink Letter (such as the wildling princess or fArya and Reek) are accounted for.

Spoiler

Though in fact, the corpse and the head armored with the gear of Stannis will be Arnolf Karstark who is described with a striking resemblance to Stannis. All of this stuff will be revealed in the next Asha chapter in Wolf’s Den. The Manderly agent (maybe even Robett Glover himself) will regularly bring these news to Stannis at Wolf’s Den.

Spoiler

Stannis will be hiding at Wolf’s Den for a long time until the conflict between Jon and Ramsay is built up. This has to be so because GRRM should not take away from the gravity of Jon’s arc as I mentioned before. In order to make justice to the story, Stannis should be out of sight and presumed to be dead for a long time. Only in the upcoming Battle of the Bastards, Stannis will appear and reveal that he is actually alive, by leading the Manderly knights and saving Jon once again.

 

Edited by Mithras

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10 hours ago, three-eyed monkey said:

If you read my post again you'll see that's what I said. The term wildling princess comes from Stannis. The black brothers would have just thought of her as a wildling until Stannis showed up and started calling her a princess. Stannis' men and those at the Wall use the term. I doubt anyone in winterfell thinks of her like that.

Jon told Stannis several times that Val is no princess, even the wildlings do not consider her a princess, but Stannis doesn't want to hear it because he wants her to have marital value. He wants to bind peace between the wildlings and the north by marrying her to his Lord of Winterfell. The term princess is to appease the north, who think in such terms, not the wildlings who don't.

No, it doesn’t. The quote I provided from ASoS Samwell II is the very first time “wildling princess” appears, and Sam very clearly says it’s the black brothers who call her that. 

And more, the second time it appears, it’s Stannis who says it, and he says, “this wildling princess”, and not “the wildling princess”. To me it reads like, “this so-called wildling princess”, indicating IMO that he’s the one who picked up on how the crows were referring to Val, and has adopted it, in no small part because it suits him. 

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Let's be clear on the timeline. Some things we know for sure.

Freys and Manderlys were preparing to march, using different gates as you said. The rescue had to go ahead immediately because they had to get Arya to Stannis before the Freys got there.

Jeyne and Theon jumped. Winterfell gates opened and the Freys rode out into Crowfood's pit, killing Aenys Frey and Hosteen's horse. Crowfood questions Jeyne and then sends them on their way to Stannis with Tycho and company.

I’m not sure we know this for sure. Maybe, maybe not. 

The Freys start getting ready to leave as soon as Roose gives the order. I suspect it will take the Manderlys a little longer to prepare b/c of Wyman’s injuries. And we know that while Crowfood is questioning fArya, the portcullis on the main gate, from where the Freys will leave, was rising. But we still don’t know how long after that the both the Manderlys and Ramsay rode out.

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They arrive in Stannis' camp. Theon says the Freys and Manderlys will come seperately and Ramsay will come too. He want's his bride. He wants his Reek. And the few green boys Crowfood has will not hold them long.

So the Freys' first foray ended abruptly and the delay gave Theon and Jeyne a chance to get clear. The question is what happened next?

I think Ramsay would be very eager to get after Reek in particular. Hosteen would be angry about his horse, and possibly Aenys. They would know they had to deal with Crowfood's boys first and then proceed to Stannis' location. I really don't see a situation where Ramsay lags behind so far that he misses the battle.

But let's just say he did, and he meets these victorious men returning from the battle without ever questioning who they are because they have Lightbringer, he doesn't care about Lightbringer, he wants Reek and Jeyne, and unless these men have both of the escapees then I think he would continue to Stannis camp. There he would have to be deceived once again by Stannis' men pretending to be Freys or whoever once more. And we got to wonder, why don't any of these guys just kill Ramsay or take him hostage?

You say there are several ways it could go down, but let's be honest here, this is not one of them.

Sorry, late for work now and can’t get into all of this last bit properly. I will come back to it later. As to the bold: 

- he doesn’t question who the men are because he sees they are “allies” (Karstark, for instance)

- he doesn’t care about Lightbringer, but it can be presented as “proof” that Stannis has been defeated/killed. 

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3 hours ago, Greywater-Watch said:

?? Should he have written: My bride is still with me, but please send her back????

What is your point?

He shouldn't be sending stupid letters in the first place.

Which is okay.He didn't.

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