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James Steller

What were Ramsay and Roose going to do without the Hornwood crisis?

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There’s a strong debate for what exactly was the moment where the scales tipped against House Stark in the main series, but I think the Hornwood crisis was the beginning of the beginning of the end, if that makes sense. It was when Halys and Daryn both died in battle and left a bereaved widow with no clear sign of an heir. This gave Ramsay a chance to seize power within a vacuum and create enough chaos in the North so that Theon could take people unawares. That led to Ramsay becoming his confidant, betraying the Northmen and Ironborn, and then burning Winterfell.
What I wonder is; what was Ramsay going to do if Halys or Daryn hadn’t died? Ramsay is far from a cunning planner, don’t get me wrong. He clearly acts on impulse and seizes opportunities as they present themselves, but Roose clearly had a plan when it came to hedging his bets and keeping an eye on which direction the wind was blowing. And I don’t think Roose would have been so quick to betray Robb if he’d never married Jeyne Westerling (which he only did after what happened to Winterfell). I don’t know if Theon’s raid on Winterfell would still have worked if Ramsay wasn’t seizing Hornwood for himself, but I could be wrong. Maybe Ramsay would still have betrayed the Northmen with his Dreadfort men if Theon was besieged inside Winterfell?

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Posted (edited)

What Ramsay did was completely illegal, regardless of whether or not Halys and Daryn Hornwood were dead or alive. He abducted Lady Hornwood, married her by force, and starved her to death. Given who we're talking about, I'm fairly confident that Ramsay would have preyed upon Lady Hornwood regardless. Her husband and son were far away with most of the Hornwood bannermen. And before you say that he would have been cautious, allow me the chance to work up a big laugh of disbelief in response. Ramsay is a bestial idiot. If it wasn't for Theon, he'd have spent the rest of the War of the Five Kings sitting in Winterfell's dungeon.

And to be honest, Halys and Daryn were marked for death regardless of what happened. If they didn't die at Whispering Wood or Green Fork, there were many skirmishes and battles which could have claimed their lives, and even after all that, the Red Wedding would have taken them. Ruling out Bolton and Karstark troops, the only Northerners who survive Robb's war are Maege Mormont (and possibly her daughters if they're actually with her), Greatjon Umber, and the Glover brothers. The Hornwoods' number was up regardless. 

Edited by Floki of the Ironborn

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The Hornwood scandal turned the court of public opinion against Ramsay but that was not the tipping point for the downfall of the Starks.  That point was reached when Robb Stark disrespected Walder Frey and broke his oath to marry one of the Frey daughters.  Robb showed poor leadership.  He slapped Walder Frey in the face after that family had given him loyal support.  Add his bad judgment with regards to using Theon as his messenger to Balon and you can see it has nothing to do with the Lady Hornwood.   

The Starks failed to do right by Lady Hornwood because they were too busy dicking around in the south.  

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2 hours ago, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

The Hornwood scandal turned the court of public opinion against Ramsay but that was not the tipping point for the downfall of the Starks.  That point was reached when Robb Stark disrespected Walder Frey and broke his oath to marry one of the Frey daughters.  Robb showed poor leadership.  He slapped Walder Frey in the face after that family had given him loyal support.  Add his bad judgment with regards to using Theon as his messenger to Balon and you can see it has nothing to do with the Lady Hornwood.   

The Starks failed to do right by Lady Hornwood because they were too busy dicking around in the south.  

Robb didn’t wake up one day and plotted to betray his allies, though. It was the final domino in a line which began with Ramsay upsetting the balance in the North, destabilizing things enough for Theon to ride in and take them unawares.

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My personal question about the Hornwood business is whether or not Roose ordered Ramsay to take Lady Hornwood and the Hornwood lands by force. Or did Ramsay do it because he was left to his own devices?

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

My personal question about the Hornwood business is whether or not Roose ordered Ramsay to take Lady Hornwood and the Hornwood lands by force. Or did Ramsay do it because he was left to his own devices?

This is one of the great mystery's, I hope are going to be answered in winds. Some people would say that Roose would never risk something like that (due to his cautious nature). But at the same time Roose can pin the blame on Ramsay being an evil boy with a bastards nature. To me it looks like a 50/50 chance Roose ordered it. 

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3 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

My personal question about the Hornwood business is whether or not Roose ordered Ramsay to take Lady Hornwood and the Hornwood lands by force. Or did Ramsay do it because he was left to his own devices?

I don't think so. That, like the whole Winterfell operation, is too risky/stupid for something Roose would approve. It is Ramsay trying to prove to his father that he is a great son he can trust, but it is not something Roose himself would have done. It was stupid and ended in failure. If Ramsay had been advised by Roose, he would have likely not been surprised by Rodrik Cassel and his men. Ramsay would have died if they hadn't been stupid enough to allow him to live.

It is pretty clear that Roose is perfectly honest in his assessment of Ramsay when he offers Robb to punish him accordingly for his crimes ... unless he is not going to hold the fake Winterfell in Ramsay's favor.

Roose ended up betraying Robb because Stannis lost on the Blackwater and because Robb chose to marry Jeyne Westerling. Those things tipped the scales, but even as late as handless Jaime at Harrenhal things were not set in stone.

If some of those things hadn't changed, and Roose had decided to back the Young Wolf after all, he would have gladly handed Ramsay's shell to Robb for execution. It stands to reason that Ramsay would have written his father about the Hornwood and Winterfell operations ... but Roose would have told Robb about that when the met again before they returned North, and after Roose had properly prepared Ramsay he would have sung the same song.

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My take here is while Roose left Ramsay to seize opportunities, a lot was done at Ramsay's own initiative without the approval of Roose. In fact, with these actions Ramsay was pressuring Roose to betray Robb putting him in a very difficult position if the information start to leak.

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5 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

My take here is while Roose left Ramsay to seize opportunities, a lot was done at Ramsay's own initiative without the approval of Roose. In fact, with these actions Ramsay was pressuring Roose to betray Robb putting him in a very difficult position if the information start to leak.

We have to be careful with that kind of rationale, because it runs the risk of Roose Bolton turning into this worn-out dad whose out-of-control son is pushing him into doing whatever it takes to protect his son from the consequences he so richly deserves. That makes Roose seem way too pathetic for such a clever and cunning and feared man as his reputation is set up.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/1/2020 at 12:03 PM, James Steller said:

what was Ramsay going to do if Halys or Daryn hadn’t died? 

Probably nothing, continue to live the life of a lords bastard

On 6/1/2020 at 12:03 PM, James Steller said:

Ramsay is far from a cunning planner

I disagree. I mean hes certainly more improv then a planner but he is pretty cunning.

On 6/1/2020 at 12:03 PM, James Steller said:

I don’t know if Theon’s raid on Winterfell would still have worked if Ramsay wasn’t seizing Hornwood for himself, but I could be wrong. 

Yea, I dont see it making a difference

On 6/1/2020 at 12:03 PM, James Steller said:

Maybe Ramsay would still have betrayed the Northmen with his Dreadfort men if Theon was besieged inside Winterfell?

I don't understand your question, thats what happened. 

19 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

My personal question about the Hornwood business is whether or not Roose ordered Ramsay to take Lady Hornwood and the Hornwood lands by force. Or did Ramsay do it because he was left to his own devices?

Ramsays own devices, almost certainly. Its such an infamous tale which makes me think its Ramsay and not Roose

Quote

By the king's decree you are now a Bolton. Try and act like one. Tales are told of you, Ramsay. I hear them everywhere. People fear you."

"Good."

"You are mistaken. It is not good. No tales were ever told of me. Do you think I would be sitting here if it were otherwise? Your amusements are your own, I will not chide you on that count, but you must be more discreet. A peaceful land, a quiet people. That has always been my rule. Make it yours."

Furthermore the sack of Winterfell was done by Ramsay alone so we know he can think on his feet

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Roose ended up betraying Robb because Stannis lost on the Blackwater and because Robb chose to marry Jeyne Westerling. Those things tipped the scales, but even as late as handless Jaime at Harrenhal things were not set in stone.

Seemingly. Jaime told Roose that Lannisters lie, but so do Boltons.

Blackwater, Westerling and Tywins wrath (and Karstark) may have been additional weights on the scale but the driving force I think was Ramsays conquest.

(I do think Roose spent a lot of time calculating in his mind all the consequences of betrayal and loyalty and all the in betweens. I also think he ultimately chose wrong)

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If some of those things hadn't changed, and Roose had decided to back the Young Wolf after all, he would have gladly handed Ramsay's shell to Robb for execution.

Maybe. Maybe not. According to history, after Theon killed Winterfells army, populace and child lordlings Ramsay arrested him and brought the refugees to sanctuary under the Dreadfort. Its a convincing story that Roose asked Robb to think about when judging the lord of Hornwood for his marriage

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It stands to reason that Ramsay would have written his father about the Hornwood and Winterfell operations

Sure. Roose received a letter from his son with Theons dickskin as an attachment. It gave the whole rundown about missing Starks and found Freys.

19 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

We have to be careful with that kind of rationale, because it runs the risk of Roose Bolton turning into this worn-out dad whose out-of-control son is pushing him into doing whatever it takes to protect his son from the consequences he so richly deserves. That makes Roose seem way too pathetic for such a clever and cunning and feared man as his reputation is set up.

I dont think Roose cares about protecting his son, I think he cares about protecting the investments that his son created

Edited by Hugorfonics

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Wars always leave widows and often heirless too, if those heirs are of an age to go on war as well. Just look at the Glovers. The Glover men have been lucky to survive. It was out of the way perhaps, but a likely castle to take for Ramsay, but the Ryswell and Dustin are close. At least the brothers Ryswell seem quite supportive of Roose. Or what about House Cerwyn? Only Jonelle is left. Certainly Roose made sure that there would be a great many casualties at the Green Fork, against Tywin. 

And there's the raven bringing Winterfell news about Ned's death. Who the hell took a shot at that? Riverrun was cleared of enemies, and the Twins could not know which raven is for Winterfell or the Wall or even what the message is from the ground. Nor would Walder Frey plot at this point in time, since he stood to get a Queen for a daughter out of it at the time. It was someone watching Winterfell itself who must have taken a shot at the bird. There were no Ironborn yet. And that only leaves Ramsay Bolton and his men. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2020 at 4:19 PM, sweetsunray said:

Wars always leave widows and often heirless too, if those heirs are of an age to go on war as well. Just look at the Glovers. The Glover men have been lucky to survive. It was out of the way perhaps, but a likely castle to take for Ramsay, but the Ryswell and Dustin are close. At least the brothers Ryswell seem quite supportive of Roose. Or what about House Cerwyn? Only Jonelle is left. Certainly Roose made sure that there would be a great many casualties at the Green Fork, against Tywin. 

And there's the raven bringing Winterfell news about Ned's death. Who the hell took a shot at that? Riverrun was cleared of enemies, and the Twins could not know which raven is for Winterfell or the Wall or even what the message is from the ground. Nor would Walder Frey plot at this point in time, since he stood to get a Queen for a daughter out of it at the time. It was someone watching Winterfell itself who must have taken a shot at the bird. There were no Ironborn yet. And that only leaves Ramsay Bolton and his men. 

To be fair, Cley Cerwyn was alive and well until Ramsay’s surprise attack on Winterfell’s besiegers. Also, now that I think of it, what was up with Medger Cerwyn? He has one 30-year old unmarried daughter and a 15-year-old son? Did GRRM choose that family dynamic at random or is there a plan in place for Jonelle Cerwyn?

Edited by James Steller

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14 hours ago, James Steller said:

To be fair, Cley Cerwyn was alive and well until Ramsay’s surprise attack on Winterfell’s besiegers. Also, now that I think of it, what was up with Medger Cerwyn? He has one 30-year old unmarried daughter and a 15-year-old son? Did GRRM choose that family dynamic at random or is there a plan in place for Jonelle Cerwyn?

To be fair, we don't know how many kids might have died young in between Jonelle and Cley.

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