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WeesesDog

Mance Rayder and Ramsay Bolton

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Posted (edited)

This is a theory I have posted before but I would like to expound upon it and add some background.

I Believe Mance will be the character to kill Ramsay Bolton and I think there is alot of evidence in the text to lead to this conclusion.

Mance Rayder-

Mance Rayder was fostered by the watch but eventually returned to his wildling roots. Qhorin described him as the best and the worst. He was a ranger and having been fostered would have been trained under a master at arms as he grew up and then would have honed his skills as a warrior beyond the wall as a ranger. We see when Jon locks up with him (as rattleshirt) Mance is more than a match for Jon. We have a foundling  trained from a young age to be a warrior. He united the Wildlings and in his spar with Jon showed himself to be a cool, measured fighter of considerable skill. In conclusion while Mance is a Wildling he is as well trained and battle tested as any knight in the 7 kingdoms. He also has honor while many would believe wildlingshave no honor.

Ramsay Bolton-

As pointed out by Roose, Ramsay received no training from a master at arms. He fights like a butcher. Ramsasy is sensitive to his upbringing. He was raised a peasant but in his eyes is a lord. Wildlings are often described as fighting with pure savagery as they are not as skilled and trained.

Ramsay in many ways epitomises the folk of Westeros thoughts of Wildlings. He is a savage.

Ramsay has no honor.

Mance in many ways while a 'wildling' displays the skill and honour folk would associate with a knight.

 

This creates a curious juxtaposition.

On the one hand we have the 'wildling' Mance. Yet he has been trained as a warrior and as we have seen in the books has a sense of honor like when he spared Jon.

Then we have the 'lord' Ramsay. Raised a peasant and fights like a butcher.He has no honour.

 

It is this mirror between the two that leads me to belive they will confront each other and Mance will cut him to pieces.

The 'lord' Ramsay is the savage and the 'wildling' Mance is the honourable warrior. I believe even if as the red letter states Mance has been in a crowcage he will goad Ramsay to a fight somehow. They will face off and the honourable 'wildling' will defeat the 'savage' lord

 

 

Edited by WeesesDog

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Posted (edited)

For me its the mirror image of the 'lord' Ramsay with no training and GRRM made explicit mention through Roose Ramsay had no training by a master at arms and fights like butcher.

Then Mance the 'savage wildling' who has recieved the training from a master at arms through the watch and is capable of beating Jon that leads me to believe they will confront each other.

GRRM loves these contrasts.

Ramsay is the 'lord' but he fights and acts like a savage. Mance is the 'savage' but he will fight and act like a lord.

I find it a curious contrast and its GRRM making Roose say Ramsay had no training made me suspicious. While Mance was trained and can even defeat Jon.

It think there is something parallel going on between the two characters and that they both have now met (maybe) leads me to believe they will confront each other. Like Bronn and Lyn but in reverse.

 

Edited by WeesesDog

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Mance has no  honor.  He not only broke his vows and left the watch but he fought against them.  He was insubordinate.  If any man ever deserved an execution, it is Mance.  Men like Mance and Jon are the opposites of Arthur Dayne.  Yes they have skill with the sword but they lacked Arthur's honor and dedication to duty.

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Posted (edited)

I like the logic of Ramsay and Mance as mirror images - GRRM does love juxtaposition and irony, so your prediction could fit with the author's sense of poetic justice.

But he has given us a number of ways that Ramsay's end could "fit" in the context of various story lines. 

  • Ramsay could be attacked and killed by his pack of hunting dogs. He hunted women for sport and then named his dogs after these poor tortured women.
  • The two Snows are also set up as a pair: Jon and Ramsay are the only characters in this generation to bear that surname. GRRM may have set them up as "brothers" who will fight to the death. This could also fit with the story of the Night's King, where two Stark brothers fought each other.
  • Theon's revenge. As you point out, this might be too obvious for GRRM to use. 
  • The King Cleon parallel. Like Ramsay, Cleon was a butcher who used a cleaver as a weapon. He is killed by his own soldiers but dug up and tied to a horse after a vision by the Green Grace of Astapor indicates he will lead Astapor to victory over the Yunkai'i. But there are other butcher kings in ASOIAF and the Cleon story may be intended as foreshadowing for someone other than Ramsay.
  • The Miller's boys parallel. Ramsay's mother was the wife of a miller. Ramsay has the idea to murder the miller's sons to make it look as if Bran and Rickon Stark have been killed. Ramsay's death could somehow tie back into the death of the miller's boys.
  • Lady Hornwood's revenge. Ramsay forced the widowed Lady Hornwood to marry him so he could steal her land and estate. He locked her in a tower where she starved to death after eating her own fingers. Some northern woman might stand in as a "reborn" Lady Hornwood, killing Ramsay in a gruesome way by way of avenging the death of Lady Hornwood. 
  • Speaking of northern women exacting revenge, one might imagine long odds that Lady Dustin will find a way to get revenge for the death of her nephew, Domeric Bolton.
  • fArya / Jeyne Poole's revenge. Ramsay has tortured his bride. His death might come about in a way that shows Jeyne exacting revenge. As her real name is Poole, we might see Ramsay drown in the pool of the Winterfell godswood. But it might be the real Arya who exacts revenge on behalf of fArya.
Edited by Seams

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On 6/12/2021 at 2:33 AM, Wolf's Bane said:

Mance has no  honor.  He not only broke his vows and left the watch but he fought against them.  He was insubordinate.  If any man ever deserved an execution, it is Mance.  Men like Mance and Jon are the opposites of Arthur Dayne.  Yes they have skill with the sword but they lacked Arthur's honor and dedication to duty.

A big point the story makes is that honor and morality have nothing to do with vows and oathkeeping. Jaime's most moral act is the hugest example of oathbreaking in the story, he saved thousands, maybe millions of people by breaking his vows, was that action amoral or dishonorable? I don't think so, and I'm willing to bet George doesn't either. Would Hitler's bodyguard be considered a villain today if he had killed him? I don't think so.

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Well, there is the theory that Mance has used glamour to pose as Ramsay and has him caged. In that capacity he was able to send the letter to Jon (which I personally believe was tampered at the Wall).

In Theon chapters there is mention how a capable swordman can hold against a hundred in the serpentine stairs of Winterfell. There is that.

In the end, it might be Theon who will let the dogs loose on Ramsay when Stannis takes Winterfell.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/12/2021 at 1:33 AM, Wolf's Bane said:

Mance has no  honor.  He not only broke his vows and left the watch but he fought against them.  He was insubordinate.  If any man ever deserved an execution, it is Mance.  Men like Mance and Jon are the opposites of Arthur Dayne.  Yes they have skill with the sword but they lacked Arthur's honor and dedication to duty.

Yes, if only we were all a little more like a man who stood by when a woman was raped, when several men were killed in gruesome ways, who helped a married man with kids start a war by abducting/seducing and impregnating a teenage girl in the name of a prophecy.

fuck Arthur Dayne.

Edited by Canon Claude

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On 6/13/2021 at 10:50 PM, CamiloRP said:

A big point the story makes is that honor and morality have nothing to do with vows and oathkeeping. Jaime's most moral act is the hugest example of oathbreaking in the story, he saved thousands, maybe millions of people by breaking his vows, was that action amoral or dishonorable? I don't think so, and I'm willing to bet George doesn't either. Would Hitler's bodyguard be considered a villain today if he had killed him? I don't think so.

I don't think that is really the point though...

It's not that oaths and vows have nothing to do with honor and morality, it's just that they aren't all the same thing.

Jaime killing Aerys is the definition of dishonorable, like literally it would be the textbook example.

Whether it is amoral is a different question, and that is important!

Jaime did what he thought was right, not his duty, and certainly not what was honorable. Much like how Ned kept Jon a secret:

Quote

"Tell me, Jon, if the day should ever come when your lord father must needs choose between honor on the one hand and those he loves on the other, what would he do?"
Jon hesitated. He wanted to say that Lord Eddard would never dishonor himself, not even for love, yet inside a small sly voice whispered, He fathered a bastard, where was the honor in that? And your mother, what of his duty to her, he will not even say her name. "He would do whatever was right," he said … ringingly, to make up for his hesitation. "No matter what."
"Then Lord Eddard is a man in ten thousand. Most of us are not so strong. What is honor compared to a woman's love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms … or the memory of a brother's smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

Aemon makes the mistake of conflating duty with what is right here, and this tells us a lot about his character, but the distinction is important.

The danger here is trying to see the world in absolutes. Life is complicated and people have to decide what they believe is right when faced with hard choices. exploring these choices is what makes for such a good story.

Ned would rather die than betray his honor, but will give up his honor for the sake of his loved ones.

Jaime trying to argue that all vows are meaningless because he swears so many is neither honorable nor moral. Pretending none of it matters because the choices are hard is also a mistake.

While it's a mistake to see the world as white and black, it's also a mistake to think morality is completely relative.

Quote

"Honor," she spat. "How dare you play the noble lord with me! What do you take me for? You've a bastard of your own, I've seen him. Who was the mother, I wonder? Some Dornish peasant you raped while her holdfast burned? A whore? Or was it the grieving sister, the Lady Ashara? She threw herself into the sea, I'm told. Why was that? For the brother you slew, or the child you stole? Tell me, my honorable Lord Eddard, how are you any different from Robert, or me, or Jaime?"
"For a start," said Ned, "I do not kill children.

Just because everyone makes mistakes, life is complicated, and there are hard choices doesn't mean one can just throw up their hands and pretend none of it matters.

The oaths matter, the duties matter, the lives of innocents matter, love matters, and so does trying to do what is right, even when the choices are difficult.

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On 6/10/2021 at 11:45 AM, WeesesDog said:

This is a theory I have posted before but I would like to expound upon it and add some background.

I Believe Mance will be the character to kill Ramsay Bolton and I think there is alot of evidence in the text to lead to this conclusion.

Mance Rayder-

Mance Rayder was fostered by the watch but eventually returned to his wildling roots. Qhorin described him as the best and the worst. He was a ranger and having been fostered would have been trained under a master at arms as he grew up and then would have honed his skills as a warrior beyond the wall as a ranger. We see when Jon locks up with him (as rattleshirt) Mance is more than a match for Jon. We have a foundling  trained from a young age to be a warrior. He united the Wildlings and in his spar with Jon showed himself to be a cool, measured fighter of considerable skill. In conclusion while Mance is a Wildling he is as well trained and battle tested as any knight in the 7 kingdoms. He also has honor while many would believe wildlingshave no honor.

Ramsay Bolton-

As pointed out by Roose, Ramsay received no training from a master at arms. He fights like a butcher. Ramsasy is sensitive to his upbringing. He was raised a peasant but in his eyes is a lord. Wildlings are often described as fighting with pure savagery as they are not as skilled and trained.

Ramsay in many ways epitomises the folk of Westeros thoughts of Wildlings. He is a savage.

Ramsay has no honor.

Mance in many ways while a 'wildling' displays the skill and honour folk would associate with a knight.

 

This creates a curious juxtaposition.

On the one hand we have the 'wildling' Mance. Yet he has been trained as a warrior and as we have seen in the books has a sense of honor like when he spared Jon.

Then we have the 'lord' Ramsay. Raised a peasant and fights like a butcher.He has no honour.

 

It is this mirror between the two that leads me to belive they will confront each other and Mance will cut him to pieces.

The 'lord' Ramsay is the savage and the 'wildling' Mance is the honourable warrior. I believe even if as the red letter states Mance has been in a crowcage he will goad Ramsay to a fight somehow. They will face off and the honourable 'wildling' will defeat the 'savage' lord

 

 

Neither of these men are honorable. Ramsey is a sadistic person who not only lack honor but he also lack morals. Mance is not a sadist but he also lack honor. He is a sworn brother of the night’s watch and deserted his vows.  
 

The man who had honor was Qhorin. He is the man whom Jon Snow should have admired. Instead, his emotional imbalance pushed towards the outlaw, Mance.

Some believe Mance and Arthur are the same man, separated only by time. Arthur, so the reasoning goes, survived the tower of joy fight and went north. I don’t think so. They are very different in character.  
 

 

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7 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I don't think that is really the point though...

It's not that oaths and vows have nothing to do with honor and morality, it's just that they aren't all the same thing.

Jaime killing Aerys is the definition of dishonorable, like literally it would be the textbook example.

Whether it is amoral is a different question, and that is important!

Jaime did what he thought was right, not his duty, and certainly not what was honorable. Much like how Ned kept Jon a secret:

Aemon makes the mistake of conflating duty with what is right here, and this tells us a lot about his character, but the distinction is important.

That depends in what you consider honor, honor is subjective, Victarion thinks killing his wife after she had sex woth (or was raped by) Euron is honorable, fictional samurai believe is dishonorable to not kill yourself aftter being defeated, honor, at least in my opinion, is personal, and I think that Jaime killing Aerys was honorable, he sacrificed the people's perception of him in order to save millions (yes, including himself, but it's not uncommon to chose death over dishonor in Westerosi society). In the same way I think Jaime (and the other KG) not stopping Aerys from raping Rhaela was dishonorable.

Duty and what is right can (and should) be synonyms. Was not Jaime's duty as a knight to protect the innocent? and even if he wasn't a knight, wouldn't it be his duty as a human being? to save millions of lives? I think we are touching on an important part of Jon's ADWD arc here. He thinks his duty as a 'hero' is to protect the innocent, to save maidens, for example, that's why  he interferes with the business of the North by wedding Karstark to the Thenns, and why later he sends Mance after Arya, could you really call yourself a good and honorable person if you had the chance to prevent the rape and torture (an maybe even murder) of a girl and you did nothing? what if you could prevent the incineration of millions of people? would a person that did nothing in those situations be good and honorable?

I don't think so, and there's no shadow of doubt in me.

 

Quote

The danger here is trying to see the world in absolutes. Life is complicated and people have to decide what they believe is right when faced with hard choices. exploring these choices is what makes for such a good story.

Ned would rather die than betray his honor, but will give up his honor for the sake of his loved ones.

Jaime trying to argue that all vows are meaningless because he swears so many is neither honorable nor moral. Pretending none of it matters because the choices are hard is also a mistake.

Yes, I agree with this last bit, I'm not saying. And taking vows while having no intention of keeping them is neither honorable nor moral. BUT delegating morality and honor to vows is a mistake. Vows can have good effects in society, like codifying the rules of proper behavior, but the moment those vows get in the way of doing actual good, or even create harm, those vows need to be disobeyed. In other words, breaking vows by itself is not necessarily amoral or dishonorable (from my POV) what matters is the context and the content of those vows.

 

Quote

While it's a mistake to see the world as white and black, it's also a mistake to think morality is completely relative.

Absolutely nothing is absolute :P

Nah, of course morality isn't completely relative. 

 

Quote

Just because everyone makes mistakes, life is complicated, and there are hard choices doesn't mean one can just throw up their hands and pretend none of it matters.

The oaths matter, the duties matter, the lives of innocents matter, love matters, and so does trying to do what is right, even when the choices are difficult.

Yeah, absolutely! but the way in which the oaths matter (at least in my opinion) is as guides, not as rules, and the act done by breaking the oaths, should be a harmful act on itself not just considered wrong because it was part of an oath. Cheating on your partner is equally wrong weather they are your boyfriend/girlfriend or your spouse, the breaking of the marriage vows doesn't make it worse, and if Jaime had been a random dude who heard Aerys' plans and decided to stop him, he would be celebrated, and not considered dishonorable, that's IMHO the problem with vows and 'outsourcing' morality.

 

We rarely agree, but damn I like talking to you.

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14 hours ago, CamiloRP said:

Yeah, absolutely! but the way in which the oaths matter (at least in my opinion) is as guides, not as rules, and the act done by breaking the oaths, should be a harmful act on itself not just considered wrong because it was part of an oath. 

I'm not so sure... I think there might be something fundamentally worthy in keeping your word, honesty.

Whether it outweighs whatever the consequences are is obviously situational, but breaking ones word is inherently wrong even if doing so might be right for other reasons.

14 hours ago, CamiloRP said:

We rarely agree, but damn I like talking to you.

Cheers!

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I think this dilemma breaks down to Kohlbergs Stages of Moral Development: https://www.thoughtco.com/kohlbergs-stages-of-moral-development-4689125

Not everyone reaches the last stage, there are even adults with an lower moral stage than some kids, this depends on the person itself. There is a test for children to determine if they passed a specific stage, which is a little story:
 

Quote

A man has a very sick wife, and he wants to buy medicine which could heal her completely. But it is so expensive he simply can't afford it!

So he goes to the pharmacy at night and breaks in, to grab the medicine and with it he heals his wife completely and they life a long and happy life after it.

I told it a kid once, which gasped at the "breaks in" part of the story. It simply wasn't ready to morally put ones life above a law.

 

I guess Jamie did reach stage 5, Ned on the other hand probably was in stage 4.

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18 minutes ago, TheSamsa said:

I think this dilemma breaks down to Kohlbergs Stages of Moral Development: https://www.thoughtco.com/kohlbergs-stages-of-moral-development-4689125

Not everyone reaches the last stage, there are even adults with an lower moral stage than some kids, this depends on the person itself. There is a test for children to determine if they passed a specific stage, which is a little story:
 

I told it a kid once, which gasped at the "breaks in" part of the story. It simply wasn't ready to morally put ones life above a law.

 

I guess Jamie did reach stage 5, Ned on the other hand probably was in stage 4.

And the Faceless Men are in stage 6! :D

Quote

Stage 6: People develop their own principles of morality even if they conflict with society’s laws. These principles must be applied to every individual equally.

 

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On 6/15/2021 at 1:28 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

Neither of these men are honorable. Ramsey is a sadistic person who not only lack honor but he also lack morals. Mance is not a sadist but he also lack honor. He is a sworn brother of the night’s watch and deserted his vows.  
 

The man who had honor was Qhorin. He is the man whom Jon Snow should have admired. Instead, his emotional imbalance pushed towards the outlaw, Mance.

Some believe Mance and Arthur are the same man, separated only by time. Arthur, so the reasoning goes, survived the tower of joy fight and went north. I don’t think so. They are very different in character.  
 

I very much hope Mance turns out to be Arthur Dayne, in which case he would not be dishonorable at all but be serving some greater purpose that is yet to be revealed. To clarify, I believe there definitely *was* a real Mance Rayder who was a wildling child raised at the Wall. He went on a ranging and was attacked by a snowbear. He may have died right there and been substituted for Arthur Dayne, who *had* to wear the black & red cloak to maintain his glamor. When the Watch refused to let him keep it he had no choice but to leave or be found out. 

OR the real Mance really did desert (dishonorably) and was then killed (this was an honorable thing to do since he was a deserter) and Ser Arthur simply took on his name, no glamor required. 

In either case, Ser Arthur himself would have never taken the Black, thus never broken an oath. His noble purpose was to unite the wildlings to help humanity survive the Long Night or something along those lines. Ser Arthur was known for being able to get the smallfolk on his side; he was a natural leader as is Mance. He continues to wear red and black because the oath he did swear was to the Targaryens. He should have killed Jon on more than one occasion, but I suspect he knows who Jon is. He went to Winterfell and risked his life to save the lady Arya instead of taking his spearwives south and tasting some Dornishman's wife, as he easily could have done. He is the best swordsman we have seen in the story: he defeated every single wildling who challenged him, and when he fights Jon in the yard (Jon who is considered a very good swordsman) he beats the crap out of him without breaking a sweat - notably choosing a very large sword that Jon assumes is too big and heavy for an effective fight. We see this fight from Jon's perspective and he just can't believe how fast and strong "Rattleshirt" is, and how he is beating him when Jon should have the advantage (he has a shield when Mance doesn't). He keeps thinking "he'll get tired and slow down" but it never happens. This very much reminds me of Jaime's line about how Ser Arthur could have defeated three knights of the current kingsguard "with his left hand while taking a piss with the right."

Lastly I just want to point out that, if Mance really is just Mance, he still could be upholding his vows. Keep in mind that Bloodraven was Lord Commander for quite some time, and he could have ordered Mance to "desert" and unite the wildlings much as Qhorin ordered Jon to pretend to join them. Mance would then still be following orders (though it's questionable how binding those orders are given that BR himself deserted. Would orders given by a LC before he deserted still count after he was gone? Don't know, though the 3 TOJ kingsguard apparently think they need to continue obeying Rhaegar even after he is dead). In any case, Mance very well may still be defending the realms of men in his current role. (But I do still hope he will get to be the literal Sword in the Darkness when Ramsay's men chase him into the crypts where Dawn is hidden ;) ).

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