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Ran

[Pre-ADwD Spoilers] "New" POV 1 - Spoilers for ADwD

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The Boltons aren't new. The flayed man sigil is not new, right? And yet Eddard Stark doesn't even think of them during GoT does he? And now it's like the Dreadfort and the Boltons were something spit straight out of Hell and weren't there yesterday. No one noticed this house of horrors operating, business as usual this whole time? Ned Stark will NOT tolerate oathbreakers, beware men of the Night's Watch. But go ahead Mr. Bannerman, flay people.

The Boltons were not flaying people- openly, at least- before the Starks went south. In ACoK, Theon recalls that once upon a time the Boltons had done such things, but "supposedly all that had ended a thousand years ago." In AGoT, Robb mentions a room in the Dreadfort that is alleged to contain skins of Bolton enemies, and eight-year-old Bran's first response is "that's just a story."

It's pretty clear that they did have a sinister reputation- duh, Dreadfort and all- but they were loyal to Winterfell (Roose Bolton was on the Trident with Ned, for example) and didn't go around torturing people where anyone couild find out.

I

t's getting to the point where the bastion of honor, this domain of down-to-earth and hearty folks up in the North that we were first introduced to has become a cesspit of disgusting people and I'll end up rooting for the Others to tear down the Wall and march over them, obliterating them. Cold justice.

That's not a good thing.

Really? See, I take the opposite view- I view it as just an extension of Martin's hostility to fantasy expectations. Realistically, why would northern lords prove themselves kinder/more honorable/whatever than their southron counterparts? Especially with winter coming and de facto anarchy atm. Life is not a song. ;)

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The conflicts and manuevers in the North are interesting. I wonder where it fits in the big picture. Is is just to devestate the north before the Others invade? I really hope we see more activity with the Others in ADWD, hopefully invading by the end of the book.

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Contra Maia's comment on Jul 13 3008, I think Theon's pretty broken here. He has Stockholm Syndrome. At this point he not only will say anything but will think anything his captor wants him to. I'm not sure he can recover at all from this.

I don't know what that means for the broader plot. If Theon is mentally broken, what does that do to the Ironborn? Nothing? They don't care much for him after all. There is one possible implication: he will not expose the fake Arya Stark, in my opinion. Rather, he will confirm her as real because that's what Ramsay wants.

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Contra Maia's comment on Jul 13 3008, I think Theon's pretty broken here. He has Stockholm Syndrome. At this point he not only will say anything but will think anything his captor wants him to. I'm not sure he can recover at all from this.

I don't know what that means for the broader plot. If Theon is mentally broken, what does that do to the Ironborn? Nothing? They don't care much for him after all. There is one possible implication: he will not expose the fake Arya Stark, in my opinion. Rather, he will confirm her as real because that's what Ramsay wants.

I'm not sure about him not exposing Arya. I don't think Ramsey even realizes his bride could be fake, and i think theon will probably inadvertantly give away the fact that something isnt right about her, that she isnt familiar, or is jeyne poole. he may even volunteer the information "for his lord" thinking that he would want to know. or he might be so out of it to say, Jeyne? where's Arya? before anyone can say any different.

Edited by Burgundia

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It's getting to the point where the bastion of honor, this domain of down-to-earth and hearty folks up in the North that we were first introduced to has become a cesspit of disgusting people and I'll end up rooting for the Others to tear down the Wall and march over them, obliterating them. Cold justice.

I think this is as bad as thinking everyone in a story is good and noble. ASOIAF is littered with villains, yes, but there are also good and decent folk to be found. The Liddle (if that's what he was) treats Bran and Company with generosity, and Lady Smallwood does the same for Arya. Beric Dondarrion is fairly honorable even with his enemies, and Ser Davos sticks out his neck to protect a bastard boy who really is nothing to him. With some thought I could come up with another dozen examples of folk both high and low who show kindness and charity.

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I had a sudden idea last night.. sadly don't have the books nearby to confirm this..

but seeing how Ramsay has molded Theon into Reek... I wonder if the first reek was the original... or if he is another of Ramsay's pet projects, and what his original identity was

Well, to hare off into wild speculation, Reek could be a corruption of Ric, a diminutive of Domeric. Which, if so, would make Roose Bolton much, much scarier and creepier than even his bastard son, Ramsay.

I think that the Boltons are there to show the reader that as awful as they may have felt Theon was, there are worse people out there. What Ramsay has in mind for Theon's assistance down the road, I cannot guess. But I do not think that the Bastard of Bolton is any real match to the cold, calculating and terrifying Lord Roose.

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I don't think the Bolton's will care that Arya isn't really Arya.

So long as they have someone who looks like Arya, and keeps saying "I'm Arya Stark" like a trained parrot, and while there are no Stark's around to contradict her claim to Winterfell, then what does it matter?

The Bolton's will have a claim to Winterfell that is, for all intents and purposes, unassailable. With Sansa disappeared to the Eyrie, Bran and Rickon presumed dead, and Robb being...well you know, there isn't anyone to contest the claim. It's all about appearences being one thing and the reality being something much different.

Edited by DizoakiusMaximus

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So long as they have someone who looks like Arya, and keeps saying "I'm Arya Stark" like a trained parrot, and while there are no Stark's around to contradict her claim to Winterfell, then what does it matter?

There will be Stark around to contradict her claim to Winterfell, very soon. It is Sansa. She is older sister, too. With Arryn's army.

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In the POV, Ramsay states to Reek (Theon) that he is going to retrieve his bride and start a war. I found this intriquing as who is he starting a war with. The only options are Stannis, Vale and Manderly, he is already at war with Ironborn and basically some of the other northern houses. Anyone care to put their spin on this statement.

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In the POV, Ramsay states to Reek (Theon) that he is going to retrieve his bride and start a war. I found this intriquing as who is he starting a war with. The only options are Stannis, Vale and Manderly, he is already at war with Ironborn and basically some of the other northern houses. Anyone care to put their spin on this statement.

Craggomans(sp.)

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Good call.

But everyone makes too much of a fuss about how impossible it is to assail the Neck, it's going to be some fantastic shit when the Reeds and their people wreak havoc on the Boltons and their allies.

I like how we know they're not standing around idle, either. They're killing the ironborn who hold Moat Cailin if nothing else.

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Guest Other-in-Law

In the POV, Ramsay states to Reek (Theon) that he is going to retrieve his bride and start a war. I found this intriquing as who is he starting a war with. The only options are Stannis, Vale and Manderly, he is already at war with Ironborn and basically some of the other northern houses. Anyone care to put their spin on this statement.

He doesn't say he's going to "start" a war:
“Since you ask so nicely, how can I deny you?” Ramsay Bolton smiled. “I ride to war, Reek. And you will be coming with me, to help me fetch home my virgin bride.”

The obvious answer is that he's going to ride against the ironmen at Moat Cailin, but there's a lot of suspicion that he's going to try to bump off his father, who'll be riding up to Moat Cailin from the other direction.

Edited by Other-in-Law

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Good call.

But everyone makes too much of a fuss about how impossible it is to assail the Neck, it's going to be some fantastic shit when the Reeds and their people wreak havoc on the Boltons and their allies.

I like how we know they're not standing around idle, either. They're killing the ironborn who hold Moat Cailin if nothing else.

with ironborn around Reeds don't have numbers or equipment for anything other than guerilla warfare (they only have swamps to do their killing)

open war is not an option

i think they will bent their knees for the time being but play significant role later since they can close the North to let's say Lord Bolton's southern reinforcements

As for Theon, i think he'll eventually get in the hands of some Stark loyalist and he'll have a lot to tell about Bolton scams (arya, "dead" princes, sacking of winterfell) and maybe to help prove Bran or Rickon's identity

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I was looking at the actor who is playing Theon in the series (the brother of Lily Allen I believe), and he reminded me of someone, the look in his eye. Then it occurred to me it was a young Malcolm McDowell who he reminded me of. Then I thought about it some more and it occurred to me that Theon's journey is looking similar (definitely not exact) to the character that MM played in a Clockwork Orange. I have to admit I could never watch that movie all the way through, but I know the story. I'm not sure if Theon starts out quite as violent as the character in a Clockwork Orange, but it seems like at the point of this new POV chapter, he is at that place where he was a bringer of violence and is now very meek and mild. I'm sure this is not a new theory, but it's new to me. Anyone else see a similarity?

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There seems to be a lot of speculation that Ramsay plans to commit patricide. From what we know of Roose Bolton, I think he's too smart to fall into some trap of Ramsay's making. In fact, I suspect that Ramsay is the one who is in danger from Roose, once fake Arya is married and pregnant. I doubt that Roose plans to keep someone intractable and unpredictable like Ramsay alive longer than necessary.

However, I do wonder which "war" Ramsay is riding to. The obvious choice is the Ironmen in the Neck, but there is also Stannis on the Wall. Not sure that he has the troops to be taking on Stannis though...

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There seems to be a lot of speculation that Ramsay plans to commit patricide. From what we know of Roose Bolton, I think he's too smart to fall into some trap of Ramsay's making. In fact, I suspect that Ramsay is the one who is in danger from Roose, once fake Arya is married and pregnant. I doubt that Roose plans to keep someone intractable and unpredictable like Ramsay alive longer than necessary.

That's true enough. I assume both Roose and Ramsay have their plans regarding the other. Ramsay's advantage is that Roose has more reason to stay his hand for the moment than Ramsay does, because of the need to produce a Bolton heir to Winterfell. But that may not be enough for him.

However, I do wonder which "war" Ramsay is riding to. The obvious choice is the Ironmen in the Neck, but there is also Stannis on the Wall. Not sure that he has the troops to be taking on Stannis though...

He mentions needing Theon's aid to "help me fetch home my virgin bride." Jeyne Poole is with Roose Bolton's forces south of Moat Cailin, so I would assume that he's going to lead part of the assault on Moat Cailin. From there, it appears that he goes to Winterfell, from the Del Ray videos released yesterday. And it seems as if he's settled in there a while, since the selections suggest a series of murders committed by some faction trying to undermine Ramsay:

This one could not be waived away as some drunken tumble or kick of a horse. The dead man was one of Ramsay's favorites, a squat, scrupulous ill-favored man-at-arms called Yellow Dick. ... By midday most of Winterfell had heard, mainly from the lips of Ramsay Bolton, whose boy Yellow Dick had been. "When we find the man who did this," Lord Ramsay promised, "I will flay the skin off of him and cook it crisp as crackling and make him eat it. Every bite."

That's from a little bit more than halfway through the book. Of course, that doesn't preclude Ramsay doing something on the way to Moat Cailin or on the way from MC to Winterfell. And it's hard to know when the move against Roose Bolton takes place; is Ramsay the kind who make a swift stroke, hoping to catch his father off-guard? If so, then Roose is probably already dead by the time that Yellow Dick buys it in the quotes above.

Edited by Peter Dyckman-Campbell

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I'd be really surprised if Roose Bolton would be assassinated by his freak son. That man is too cold and too calculating to fail to see that coming.

But it's really funny how he now is about to go down the same path Vargo Hoat went down. A path he analyzed with such merciless clarity in ASoS during his supper with Jaime. Hoat bet on the wrong horse (Stannis), and he, Bolton, also bet on the wrong horse (Tywin). I'm pretty sure that Tywin's death is going to make the consolidation of Bolton power in the North much more difficult. Without Tywin - or rather the specter of Tywin looming as unyielding as Casterly Rock down in King's Landing - I doubt that most of the Northern lords will subject to Bolton authority. Stannis is still out there as an alternative, and without the mean old lion of Casterly Rock even a small Stark boy could become a powerful force and figurehead against traitorous usurpers from the Dreadfort.

Roose most certainly is not able to keep his involvement in the Red Wedding a secret. Maybe people don't know that he murdered Robb Stark personally, but they have to know that he had something to do with the whole affair. And the Bolton reputation has to be as bad as the Frey reputation down in the south after this betrayal.

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I agree, I don't see many in the North being very favourable to the Boltons. Too many people died, because of his betrayal.

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First post ever, so please go easy on me.

Just a thought about what purpose Ramsey has in mind for Theon;

Asha doesn't want him back, but the Damphair DOES. The Damphair thinks of himself in his youth as foolish and stupid, but then he died and rose again, harder and stronger. He also has a tremendous following on the Iron Islands. He might see a parallel between himself and Theon and try to champion him as Balon's rightful heir, and a godly man to sit the Seastone chair, as he hates Euron so much.

I like this. It would also make Aeron's POV more relevant, and it is very poetic in a way. I think George has a lot in mind for Theon, not just in terms of plot, but thematically aswell. Theon's an excellent character.

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