Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Bolton Snow

Pink letter, Melisandre and Clydas

Recommended Posts

So I've just finished a complete reread of the whole series. The pink letter is something that has always bothered me. The whole thing is so confusing and there are massive discussions online about who may have written it, and I feel like there is just so much speculation and vagueness that we simply won't know until Winds.

One thing that really stuck out to me this time though is Clydas. When he brings the letter, he is visibly trembling and has gone white as a sheet. Now why would Clydas react so emotionally to this? The letter proclaims Stannis' death, and makes a lot of threats against Jon, Selyse, Shireen etc. But why would he have such a strong reaction? The Watch has faced much worse, on multiple occasions. 

Now in Melisandre's one chapter, she mentions that she has powders up her sleeve. One for lust, one for truth, one that can kill a man outright, and one for FEAR. I feel like she is behind this. She told Jon to look to the skies, and along comes a raven that compels him to march south. Maybe the whole letter is a glamour, and she forced Clydas to forge it, by instilling fear into him using her powder?

I don't know if this has been discussed before but it was just something I noticed. What do you think?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mel and Clydas wouldn’t know that Theon and Arya managed to escape. Whoever authored that letter knew.  They have to be inside Winterfell or in Stannis’ camp.  

Share this post


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

So I've just finished a complete reread of the whole series. The pink letter is something that has always bothered me. The whole thing is so confusing and there are massive discussions online about who may have written it, and I feel like there is just so much speculation and vagueness that we simply won't know until Winds.

One thing that really stuck out to me this time though is Clydas. When he brings the letter, he is visibly trembling and has gone white as a sheet. Now why would Clydas react so emotionally to this? The letter proclaims Stannis' death, and makes a lot of threats against Jon, Selyse, Shireen etc. But why would he have such a strong reaction? The Watch has faced much worse, on multiple occasions. 

Now in Melisandre's one chapter, she mentions that she has powders up her sleeve. One for lust, one for truth, one that can kill a man outright, and one for FEAR. I feel like she is behind this. She told Jon to look to the skies, and along comes a raven that compels him to march south. Maybe the whole letter is a glamour, and she forced Clydas to forge it, by instilling fear into him using her powder?

I don't know if this has been discussed before but it was just something I noticed. What do you think?

 

I've thought of this before but the major issue with this is the language/tone of the Pink Letter.  It is undoubtedly Ramsay's voice.  If Mel was forging the letter, would she really need to include a reference to "Reek".  First, we are unaware that anyone, including Mel or Jon would even know what Reek means besides for Ramsay or someone else in Winterfell with Ramsay.  Second, even if Reek was well-known to Mel and Jon, what purpose does it serve by including him in the letter?  The letter is already clearly a very good Ramsay interpretation, I don't think adding Reek does much to strengthen it.  

But there's definitely something going on with Clydas since I do believe the letter is described as being unopened.  So why would Clydas be so afraid unless he knew what was in the letter?

It's all so confusing.  I can't wait for the explanation for this.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Mel and Clydas wouldn’t know that Theon and Arya managed to escape. Whoever authored that letter knew.  They have to be inside Winterfell or in Stannis’ camp.  

Hmmm, I would have always expected it to be Marsh...

Who do you think it is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

But there's definitely something going on with Clydas since I do believe the letter is described as being unopened.  So why would Clydas be so afraid unless he knew what was in the letter?

It's very possible that the letter was tempered with. Opened, read and resealed. The only description of the letter that we get is its seal and leaves out everything else, like the spiky hand for instance. So what's inside the letter is written in a hand that Jon recognized, leaving the seal to be the thing that's been off.

Maybe Clydas was afraid of his own brothers. Maybe they bullied him into doing something he didn't want to do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Mel and Clydas wouldn’t know that Theon and Arya managed to escape. Whoever authored that letter knew.  They have to be inside Winterfell or in Stannis’ camp.  

We don't know what Melisandre knows, or thinks she knows. She knows Alys is fleeing a wedding, how? Does she get a general sense of the person's thoughts/feelings? I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that she could see Ramsay, and feel his thoughts and fury at his "Reek" and bride escaping. This raises another point: why would Ramsay assume Reek had reached Castle Black (or was about to be sent there)?

Now I'm not saying this is it, quite the contrary. My point is that it's just so confusing and anything is possible. Especially with Melisandre in play. Maybe her knowing Alys was fleeing a wedding was an outright guess that somehow paid off, because she knew Arya was due to be married, and she just went with it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Bloodraven's Spider said:

Hmmm, I would have always expected it to be Marsh...

Who do you think it is?

Lol. He doesn't have the cranial capability to do it 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

Lol. He doesn't have the cranial capability to do it 

Actually he does. Bowen Marsh is high on my list of suspects of people who might be behind the Pink Letter. He's narrow minded and craven, but not dumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

Actually he does. Bowen Marsh is high on my list of suspects of people who might be behind the Pink Letter. He's narrow minded and craven, but not dumb.

His plan to save the world is to lock the doors of a giant wall and sit on his ass. And being the accounts guy, counts worse than not nerd Jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Bloodraven's Spider said:

Hmmm, I would have always expected it to be Marsh...

Who do you think it is?

Marsh!  Bowen is one of the good guys.  He gets a lot of negative comments from some folks but he’s not bad.  Any issues he had with Jon would have been addressed face to face between them.  Ramsay and Stannis had the means.  Mance is clever enough and could write something false without hesitation. 

Share this post


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

His plan to save the world is to lock the doors of a giant wall and sit on his ass. And being the accounts guy, counts worse than not nerd Jon

Okay, let’s examine his plan to seal the gates. His mission is to prevent the White Walkers from getting through. Sealing the gates will help him accomplish that.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Marsh!  Bowen is one of the good guys.  He gets a lot of negative comments from some folks but he’s not bad.

My cue to exit the conversation. This is what I mean by poor loyal Marsh, honorable Slynt, kind Boltons and hospitable Freys. Hospitalizing Freys more like. 

1 hour ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Okay, let’s examine his plan to seal the gates. His mission is to prevent the White Walkers from getting through. Sealing the gates will help him accomplish that.  

Politely asking, are you for real? Sure. The Others would go back home to wherever they came from when they find the doors shut. Knock Knock. Seems like nobody's home. Shrug. Ba bye. Back to Heart of Winter. We'll try in the next millennia. Or leave a calling card

I've not fought an Stark hatred argument for more than a week, seems like eternity, and now you. This is isn't happening. Im pinching myself 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Ramsay wrote the Pink Letter.  He has all of the knowledge needed to write that letter.  He tortured Mance and the spearwives and they confessed. 

No he didn't. We know what Ramsay's writing style is, long and spiky letters. The Pink Letter does not have that writing style. There is also zero chance that Roose would have allowed that letter to be sent, and half of Ramsay's boys are spying for Roose. This letter was written specifically to get a rise out of Jon, at a very conveniant moment for Bowen Marsh. I'm not saying that he wrote the Pink Letter, just that he benefits the most from it on a short term basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

Lol. He doesn't have the cranial capability to do it 

Bowen Marsh may not have acted alone: he is indirectly allied with the Boltons (in that he has expressed support for the Lannisters on multiple occasions, and the Boltons are allied with the Lannisters). Of course, that would mean that Ramsay is part of the pink letter writing conspiracy, and the whole theory has come about because people aren't buying that Ramsay wrote it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

His plan to save the world is to lock the doors of a giant wall and sit on his ass. And being the accounts guy, counts worse than not nerd Jon

I did say Marsh is narrow minded, but that doesn't make him completely stupid. His plan to keep out the White Walkers is doomed obviously. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the man. Jon did, and look at him.

Share this post


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

I did say Marsh is narrow minded, but that doesn't make him completely stupid.

Ohkaaay... 

4 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

His plan to keep out the White Walkers is doomed obviously

Obviously. Yeah. Hope @Widowmaker 811 is convinced

4 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

But it would be a mistake to underestimate the man. Jon did, and look at him.

Jon didn't underestimate him. He didn't expect treachery and assassination. He underestimated the level of bigotry and bias. He was like Ned. Saw too much good in others. 

4 hours ago, dbergkvist said:

Bowen Marsh may not have acted alone: he is indirectly allied with the Boltons (in that he has expressed support for the Lannisters on multiple occasions, and the Boltons are allied with the Lannisters). Of course, that would mean that Ramsay is part of the pink letter writing conspiracy, and the whole theory has come about because people aren't buying that Ramsay wrote it.

Speculation. Pure speculation 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Ramsay wrote the Pink Letter.  He has all of the knowledge needed to write that letter.  He tortured Mance and the spearwives and they confessed. 

An angry, frantic Ramsay Bolton scribbled that note.  The anger was barely contained. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

No he didn't. We know what Ramsay's writing style is, long and spiky letters. The Pink Letter does not have that writing style. There is also zero chance that Roose would have allowed that letter to be sent, and half of Ramsay's boys are spying for Roose. This letter was written specifically to get a rise out of Jon, at a very conveniant moment for Bowen Marsh. I'm not saying that he wrote the Pink Letter, just that he benefits the most from it on a short term basis.

It sounds authentically like Ramsay, but the tone is of someone lashing out in fury.  The tone is not actually that of a person who has won a great victory.  Nor does it include his trademark piece of human skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's worth considering the explanation Clydas himself gives:

Quote

 

Mully had not been wrong; the old steward was trembling, his face as pale as the snows outside. "I am being foolish, Lord Commander, but … this letter frightens me. See here?"
Bastard, was the only word written outside the scroll. No Lord Snow or Jon Snow or Lord Commander. Simply Bastard. And the letter was sealed with a smear of hard pink wax. "You were right to come at once," Jon said. You were right to be afraid. He cracked the seal, flattened the parchment, and read.

 

Addressing the Lord Commander simply as bastard is a great insult, and coming from the Dreadfort, it definitely means trouble. Clydas has been helping Maester Aemon for a while, so by this time he must have learned a few things about seals, and he can probably recognize the pink one as the Bolton seal, just as Jon can. Jon himself understands why such a letter would frighten Clydas.

In addition to the above, a simple steward may even worry if he himself could be accused of insulting the Lord Commander when taking a letter thus addressed to him - does it equal to calling your own Lord Commander a bastard?  

However, it is also totally possible that the letter has been tampered with, and it is also possible that Clydas is afraid of something more than what the single word on the scroll implies. 

On the topic of authorship... Yes, the most obvious purpose of the letter is to make Jon incensed - but why would Ramsay or any attacker warn Jon of the attack and why would an attacker want to prompt him to ride forth from Castle Black, thus both destroying the effect of surprise and failing to take advantage of the fact that Castle Black is indefensible from the south? According to the letter, Ramsay has demands to make - but why would he think that FArya and Theon are heading for CB? I suppose he knows his wife is not the real Arya Stark, so why would a fake Arya seek out Jon? (Unless it's something all damsels in distress do.)  More importantly, why does Ramsay think Theon wants to go to Jon? The demands in the Pink Letter sound like demands that simply cannot be expected to be met. 

On 1/28/2021 at 9:00 AM, SeanF said:

It sounds authentically like Ramsay, but the tone is of someone lashing out in fury.  The tone is not actually that of a person who has won a great victory.  Nor does it include his trademark piece of human skin.

Those are very good points. He is even boasting about flaying the wildling women, and yet... no proof offered.

The letter sounds like Ramsay, except for one point. As @bemused pointed out years ago, the Pink Letter contains the phrase black crows (referring to the men of the NW). It is a phrase that in this meaning is used by various wildlings all over the books (Osha, Mance, Craster, Ygritte, Rattleshirt etc.) and once by Jon (when talking to wildlings), but the only other time when the black brothers are referred to as black crows occurs in the Pink Letter. It seems that Ramsay is using a wildling phrase here, which is somewhat strange, even if we know that he has (or may have) some wildling captives. 

Edited by Julia H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...