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The Pink Letter Debate


Craving Peaches
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35 minutes ago, Sandy Clegg said:

As a thought experiment, if we assume Ramsay didn't write the letter then it had to be someone who knew Ramsay fairly well, or at least his style of speech, as the tone of the letter reeks of him (no pun intended). Now, Mance Rayder may be in Ramsay's vicinity observing him. So he could have picked up on some of his mannerisms. But the person who knows what Ramsay is truly like is Theon - to his cost, as we know. He also knows about events in Winterfell. Couldn't he have written it or helped the writer to make it seem authentic?

When saying Stannis wrote the letter I’ve always assumed this to be obvious, because, well, it is blatantly obvious. Some of the words are taken straight out of Reek’s mouth as I have shown in  quotes above. 

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1 hour ago, Sandy Clegg said:

As a thought experiment, if we assume Ramsay didn't write the letter then it had to be someone who knew Ramsay fairly well, or at least his style of speech, as the tone of the letter reeks of him (no pun intended). Now, Mance Rayder may be in Ramsay's vicinity observing him. So he could have picked up on some of his mannerisms. But the person who knows what Ramsay is truly like is Theon - to his cost, as we know. He also knows about events in Winterfell. Couldn't he have written it or helped the writer to make it seem authentic?

Where/how would Theon get pink wax, for instance? Yes, if Martin wanted him to be the author, he would find some somewhere; he’s not beyond facilitating some things to move the plot in the direction he wants. 
 

But let’s look at the letter from a different perspective, for argument’s sake. 
What purpose does it serve? 
 

The idea that Stannis wrote it b/c he wanted Jon to go to Winterfell doesn’t make sense to me. As I’ve said before, there are several things that can happen that will move things in a different direction entirely. There’s just no way Stannis can be certain the letter will work as he intended, and there are risks too. The same is pretty much true for every other proposed author: Mance, Theon, Mel, Littlefinger, and all the others. 
 

But what if we look at the letter from a plot perspective? What does it do? Everything is basically a huge mess when Jon receives the letter. He is trying to decide what to do, how to do it, etc. He is trying to save the free folk who went to Hardhome, and the situation there is dire. Winterfell is in the hands of the Boltons, and Stannis will engage them. There’s a lot of tension in the NW, mostly because some members can’t see the bigger picture because of their own bigotry and xenophobia. So, yeah, all of this is high stakes and tricky and complicated. 
Then he receives the letter, and he knows that some of it at least is true… And after a short exchange w/ Tormund, these are his immediate thoughts: 

“Jon flexed the fingers of his sword hand. The Night’s Watch takes no part. He closed his fist and opened it again. What you propose is nothing less than treason. He thought of Robb, with snowflakes melting in his hair. Kill the boy and let the man be born. He thought of Bran, clambering up a tower wall, agile as a monkey. Of Rickon’s breathless laughter. Of Sansa, brushing out Lady’s coat and singing to herself. You know nothing, Jon Snow. He thought of Arya, her hair as tangled as a bird’s nest. I made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell … I want my bride back … I want my bride back … I want my bride back …

  “I think we had best change the plan,” Jon Snow said.”

The letter serves a catalyst… it’s Jon choosing love & honour over duty - the right decision, imo. Doing the right thing can be very hard, especially when it requires you to go against the status quo, against established rules. 
But looking at the letter as a means to set up a confrontation between Jon & Ramsay and creating a situation where Jon has to make a choice, Ramsay as the author fits perfectly. 

 

 

 

 


 

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4 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Umm… from the Dreadfort Maester? Who is, you know, present in Stannis’ camp.

Are you talking about Theon or Stannis? They’re together but I don’t see Theon having that opportunity. As for Stannis, yeah. But then there are all the issues I already mentioned regarding Stannis as the author, and the wax is not one of those. 

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2 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Are you talking about Theon or Stannis? They’re together but I don’t see Theon having that opportunity. As for Stannis, yeah. But then there are all the issues I already mentioned regarding Stannis as the author, and the wax is not one of those. 

Stannis can and probably will ask for Theon’s help if he’s writing a letter posing as Ramsay. Also asking for Val and Aemon only makes sense for Mance and Stannis, not Ramsay.

Edited by Corvo the Crow
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19 hours ago, Darth Sidious said:

Stannis and Mance doesn’t know that Arya is really Jeyne. The writer does. He took great care to use “bride” instead of Arya. He knows that Jon will know soon enough. Ramsay wrote the letter. 

Mance was present during the feast where the Starks and the Baratheons took center stage.  Assuming that he may be more observant than the typical Northman, Mance would know that Jeyne isn't Arya.

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It was Mance. Theon or Whoresbane may have contributed. There's enough of the Bael the Bard story in the Pink Letter to suspect that it was a deliberate attempt by Mance to announce to the wildlings that he's not dead and enough wildling euphemisms to eliminate Stannis or Ramsay. Did the Sheildhall really get that excited that Jon Snow was going to get his sister back? Doubtful, I beleive they knew they were going to get Mance.

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17 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

It was Mance. Theon or Whoresbane may have contributed. There's enough of the Bael the Bard story in the Pink Letter to suspect that it was a deliberate attempt by Mance to announce to the wildlings that he's not dead and enough wildling euphemisms to eliminate Stannis or Ramsay. Did the Sheildhall really get that excited that Jon Snow was going to get his sister back? Doubtful, I beleive they knew they were going to get Mance.

Except that they don’t know Mance is/was alive. It is possible Jon told Tormund during their convo before going to the Shieldhall, but that’s it. Those assembled in the Shieldhall have no idea about it. 
 

“The wildling gave the letter a dubious look and handed it right back. “Feels nasty … but Tormund Thunderfist had better things to do than learn to make papers talk at him. They never have any good to say, now do they?”

  “Not often,” Jon Snow admitted. Dark wings, dark words. Perhaps there was more truth to those wise old sayings than he’d known. “It was sent by Ramsay Snow. I’ll read you what he wrote.”

  When he was done, Tormund whistled. “Har. That’s buggered, and no mistake. What was that about Mance? Has him in a cage, does he? How, when hundreds saw your red witch burn the man?”

  That was Rattleshirt, Jon almost said. That was sorcery. A glamor, she called it. “Melisandre … look to the skies, she said.” He set the letter down. “A raven in a storm. She saw this coming.” When you have your answers, send to me.

 

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16 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Except that they don’t know Mance is/was alive. It is possible Jon told Tormund during their convo before going to the Shieldhall, but that’s it. Those assembled in the Shieldhall have no idea about it.

I think the letter itself is the message from Mance to the wildlings that he did survive.

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59 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

It was Mance. Theon or Whoresbane may have contributed. There's enough of the Bael the Bard story in the Pink Letter to suspect that it was a deliberate attempt by Mance to announce to the wildlings that he's not dead and enough wildling euphemisms to eliminate Stannis or Ramsay. Did the Sheildhall really get that excited that Jon Snow was going to get his sister back? Doubtful, I beleive they knew they were going to get Mance.

That's where I'm leaning as well.  During Jon's meeting with the glamored Mance, Mance refers to Melisandre as the Red Witch and Jon as the bastard.

Melisandre calls Mance a False King to his face, so he may have enjoyed using that term in the letter to refer to Stannis.

And Mance using "bastard" to manipluate Jon would be a bit of turnabout as well.  Since Jon had previously used his status as a bastard to manipulate Mance into taking him into the fold.

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26 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

I think the letter itself is the message from Mance to the wildlings that he did survive.

Please, make it make sense. 
Jon doesn’t even tell Tormund, as far as we can see. Then they go to the Shieldhall, Jon reads the letter, huge commotion, he leaves and is stabbed. 
 

And it’s not like the free folk heard about Mance’s demise from someone. As Tormund says, ‘hundreds saw your red witch burn the man’. They saw Mance burn, and they have no reason to doubt what they saw with their own eyes. There is no indication that when ‘the Shieldhall went mad’, it was b/c Ramsay claims Mance is alive and in a cage. 
Even Tormund is unphased when Jon reads the letter to him and just assumes it’s a skin of lies. That’s because, again, they all saw what they saw. 
 

ETA: the same that applies to Stannis, applies to Mance. He can’t possibly know that the letter will: 

1. reach jon

2. not be read by others as well

3. have the effect he desires

Edited by kissdbyfire
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Usually the most obvius anwser is the correct one.

I think Ramsey wrote it.

The mention of Reek, does not make sense for Jon, Ramsey does not know what happened to his slave and wants him back but Stannis would not care to write about it, and I don't think Mace ever heard of Theon being mentioned that way.

The letter also is not summoning Jon, he is demanding the return of things Jon does not even have, like the fake Arya and Reek.

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27 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

And it’s not like the free folk heard about Mance’s demise from someone. As Tormund says, ‘hundreds saw your red witch burn the man’. They saw Mance burn, and they have no reason to doubt what they saw with their own eyes. There is no indication that when ‘the Shieldhall went mad’, it was b/c Ramsay claims Mance is alive and in a cage. 
Even Tormund is unphased when Jon reads the letter to him and just assumes it’s a skin of lies. That’s because, again, they all saw what they saw. 

They also believed that blowing a magic horn would cause the Wall to fall down.  The Wildlings would latch on to the idea that a Red Witch tricked them using her magic pretty easily.

My guess is that Tormund was being coy with Jon, Val probably already told him that the pitiful, crying creature they burned wasn’t Mance.  Which is why she showed no emotion when they burned false Mance.  Mance wouldn’t have begged for mercy and denied his kingship.

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So far Ramsay remains my first and only choice, it's not Stannis' style to send that kind of letter even less with the kind of writing in it, though I do believe he's still alive; and the way the letter talks about "Reek" sounds too much like that motherfucker. I doubt Mance would have even mentionned Theon in such a degrading way.

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27 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Usually the most obvius anwser is the correct one.

I think Ramsey wrote it.

The mention of Reek, does not make sense for Jon, Ramsey does not know what happened to his slave and wants him back but Stannis would not care to write about it, and I don't think Mace ever heard of Theon being mentioned that way.

The letter also is not summoning Jon, he is demanding the return of things Jon does not even have, like the fake Arya and Reek.

Theon met with Mance/Abel to plan their rescue of fake Arya.  Theon had Abel promise him that he wouldn’t let Theon fall back in Ramsay’s hands.  So presumably Theon gave a detailed description of his treatment by Ramsay and his time as Reek.

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9 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

They also believed that blowing a magic horn would cause the Wall to fall down.  The Wildlings would latch on to the idea that a Red Witch tricked them using her magic pretty easily.

Comparing the belief that  something magical will happen to something one sees w/ their own eyes is quite a stretch imo. 

9 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

My guess is that Tormund was being coy with Jon,

If that’s the case, then it’s very poor writing b/c Tormund reacted and responded exactly as one would expect him to. 

9 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Val probably already told him that the pitiful, crying creature they burned wasn’t Mance.  Which is why she showed no emotion when they burned false Mance.  Mance wouldn’t have begged for mercy and denied his kingship.

Maybe, but it’s an assumption. You’re assuming Val knew and that she told Tormund, and I see no evidence in the text to support either. Val stands there on the platform as if she’s carved of salt which shows stoicism, not knowledge. And I don’t recall anything in her interactions w/ Jon that would point to what you propose. If it’s not seeded in some way, it’s not a plot twist but an asspull, and I don’t really think that’s Martin’s style. 
 

But to each their own. :cheers:
 

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6 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

This is a good point. I think if Theon wrote it, it would be him writing it himself or writing on Mance's behalf, and not on Stannis' behalf. I just really feel that it wouldn't be Stannis' style. But Theon never brings up the possibility of writing a letter in his POV chapters, as far as I'm aware.

Stannis is perfectly willing to use underhanded tactics - just see how he dealt with Renly, or with Storm's End. FFS, he converted to Rhollorism solely so he could use Melisandre for her magic.

It is definitely his style.

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6 minutes ago, Aldarion said:

Stannis is perfectly willing to use underhanded tactics - just see how he dealt with Renly, or with Storm's End. FFS, he converted to Rhollorism solely so he could use Melisandre for her magic.

All of these things were at the behest of Melisandre (and to a lesser extent his wife) though. She isn't there to advise him this time. And with her gone we see he's not really that committed to the whole R'hlorr thing anyway.

He is deceptive in warfare too. But penning a fake letter to have Jon come doesn't seem like something he would do, to me. Also the language used in the letter sounds like someone who knew Ramsay well, as others pointed out. So if it was him, then Theon likely wrote it on his behalf.

I agree he is willing to use underhanded tactics. I just don't think the letter is the sort of underhanded thing he would do.

Edited by Craving Peaches
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9 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

Mance was present during the feast where the Starks and the Baratheons took center stage.  Assuming that he may be more observant than the typical Northman, Mance would know that Jeyne isn't Arya.

Mance would not risk his women to rescue a fake. He would have left the castle as soon as he saw.

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