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Ran

[TWoW Spoilers] Theon I

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George has posted the first sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, featuring Theon and picking up where he left off. Some details to explain how he got to Stannis's camp, the situation there and what followed Bolton sending the Freys and Manderlys out, and quite a bit more.

Including what sure seems to be the intervention of a certain young greenseer at the end, to get Theon moved to the islet with a weirwood on it. Hrm....!

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I'm excited to actually see some of Stannis's famed tactical brilliance in action. It sounds like he has plans for when the Bolton forces come...of course, if some of those are Manderly soldiers, everything's going to be up in the air, innit?

An interesting POV from Theon. He seems to be somewhere between Reek and his old self now. I guess not giving a crap whether you live or die can make you a pretty amusing fellow.

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This is very interesting. Jeyne is continuing to pose as Arya instead of being immediately revealed as I assumed she would, which will make things interesting later. And with Jon "dead," I don't think there is anyone at Castle Black who can identify her.

Also noteworthy is the dismissal of Asha's unconsummated marriage despite her lack of virginity (significant for a certain other unconsummated marriage). I'm not at all surprised Justin wants to marry her, either.

And that ending does sound like Bran. Good chapter -- and I'm glad it wasn't Damphair!

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Pure trivial detail here, but we finally get an answer to the question of raven logistics. I've speculated that the ravens could go between two locations -- seeing two seats as their "Home" and going back and forth between them -- and... well, not really. Most ravens are one-way birds. I'm not sure George has fully considered the logistics of having to ferry all these birds back to their "home" to be able to use them again.

On the other hand, there are ravens that can go to two locations. And, quite rarely, ravens that can remember 3, 4, even 5 locations, but those come along "once in a 100 years". Linda guesses that these are the ravens which still carry a part of a "dreamer", one of the children skinchangers, as they seem to retain a shadow of their consciousness and intelligence.

Other stuff... a reminder that Bittersteel swore he'd see a Blackfyre on the Iron Throne. More fuel for the fodder. Jeyne still keeping up the idea that she's Arya, because Theon quite rightly notes it's her safest course (and his, too). And then Stannis uncovering Arnolf Karstark's treachery, that's useful. I'm pretty sure the Freys are going to get slaughtered when Manderly turns his cloak and joins up with Stannis.

So, what is Bran going to be able to do when Theon's brought to the island? Clearly he really, really wanted them to go there. Will he try to communicate? Hrm...

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Pure trivial detail here, but we finally get an answer to the question of raven logistics. I've speculated that the ravens could go between two locations -- seeing two seats as their "Home" and going back and forth between them -- and... well, not really. Most ravens are one-way birds. I'm not sure George has fully considered the logistics of having to ferry all these birds back to their "home" to be able to use them again.

On the other hand, there are ravens that can go to two locations. And, quite rarely, ravens that can remember 3, 4, even 5 locations, but those come along "once in a 100 years". Linda guesses that these are the ravens which still carry a part of a "dreamer", one of the children skinchangers, as they seem to retain a shadow of their consciousness and intelligence.

Other stuff... a reminder that Bittersteel swore he'd see a Blackfyre on the Iron Throne. More fuel for the fodder. Jeyne still keeping up the idea that she's Arya, because Theon quite rightly notes it's her safest course (and his, too). And then Stannis uncovering Arnolf Karstark's treachery, that's useful. I'm pretty sure the Freys are going to get slaughtered when Manderly turns his cloak and joins up with Stannis.

So, what is Bran going to be able to do when Theon's brought to the island? Clearly he really, really wanted them to go there. Will he try to communicate? Hrm...

Which island? The Iron Island?

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After not reading any of the ADWD preview chapters for years, I read this one immediately. All it did for me was tell me that the editing decisions on ADWD were probably mistakes.

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The island -- more correctly the islet, in a lake -- is the one next to the village where they're at. There's a carved weirwood there, which Asha and Aly Mormont visited. Here's the description:

The crofter’s village stood between two lakes, the larger dotted with small wooded islands that punched up through the ice like the frozen fists of some drowned giant. From one such island rose a weirwood gnarled and ancient, its bole and branches white as the surrounding snows. Eight days ago Asha had walked out with Aly Mormont to have a closer look at its slitted red eyes and bloody mouth. It is only sap, she’d told herself, the red sap that flows inside these weirwoods. But her eyes were unconvinced; seeing was believing, and what they saw was frozen blood.

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Interestingly... if Justin gets there and finds Jon dead, he might take "Arya" on to Braavos with him, I would think. Where the real Arya is, although she might be gone by then since she was going out on apprenticeship.

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Damn, this was a tiny taste but man it was a sweet read. Really rekindled my excitement.

I'm a little murky on the details; I assume this takes place before Ramsay sends the letter to Jon about having killed Stannis and taken Lightbringer for himself.

I have to wonder, why is Bran urging Theon to the islet, though? And why does Asha want him to go there so bad? The vibe I got from the scene was Asha does not intend to let them kill Theon at all. Is that what you guys got?

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It could be after the pink letter. I always thought the fact that Ramsey demanded the return of his Reek meant that the battle had not happened and the letter was a ploy.

Bran can probably speak easier through the birds if next to a weirwood, or just speak through the weirwood itself. It's this that makes we wonder if Bran could also intervene for Brienne since a weirwood stump is in the bwb home

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I'm just glad that Stannis got Karstark!

Is the timeline normal now? Do we know if this happened before or after Jon received Ramsey's letter?

Regardless --- Squee!!! :D

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My hands were shaking just reading this. A THEON CHAPTER! the gods are good.

Stanny is alive! (but we already knew that)...it just feels good to be reassured

I doubt Theon is going to actually get killed, it seems to obvious...but who knows.

good stuff !

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What if it takes place before the letter?

Manderely engages Stannis, but instead treats with him and tells him of Davos' promise to obtain Rickon. He returns to Winterfell- with Lightbringer- and reports that he has destroyed Stannis' army.

Unlikely, I know, but just a thought.

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For those who don't recall, the last action we saw from Winterfell at the end of ADwD (well, before Ramsay's "Pink Letter" to the Wall) was that Bolton was sending out the Manderlys and Freys to finally come to grips with Stannis, as the Freys had drawn swords against Manderly and they were at one another's throats. It appears that they ended up running into Mors Crowfood's forces, which had been creating a great deal of noise to provoke the attack. Now we learn that the Freys rode right into a trap tat Mors had prepared, Ser Aenys Frey is dead, and it was apparently a debacle.

Interestingly, at least at this point Crowfood is still not in direct contact with Stannis, and is apparently keeping station somewhere near Winterfell. Did the Manderlys never go through to attacking when the Freys fell into the trap? But now it looks like a new effort's being prepared -- Freys and Manderlys, and Ramsay Bolton behind. Theon even gives a guess at the force Roose will send out, about half his numbers -- it'd be interesting to tally up the Frey, Manderly, and Bolton contingents to see how many Bolton men will be following Ramsay in that scenario. I'll have to check the book.

Regarding why Asha opts for the islet, I think it has to be the bird keeping on about "Tree, tree, tree" putting it into her head. Not directly, not as if Bran went in and put it in her head, but basically he just nudged it enough. Mostly, yes, from her perspective I think it's a gamble that maybe when it comes to it, Stannis will stay his hand. I wonder if she means to put forward some proposal connected to Tycho's dealings with her, given that he's ransomed her men. I can only assume that the Iron Bank has agreed to lend money to Asha for the purpose of dethroning the notorious reaver-king Euron (bad for business, as far as the Iron Bank would be concerned), and obviously Theon ties quite directly into these plans (as we saw in ADwD, when she thought of the story of the ironborn claimant to the throne who was deliberately kept out of the kingsmoot, and so was able to overturn the result).

As far as timeline goes, George makes it clear in his comment that this chapter takes place before some of the ADwD chapters -- e.g., it's before Jon's final chapter.

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I had a thought that maybe bran told jon something in the two hour meeting before he was killed thur the ravens. Looks like bran is going to really start useing ravens all over the place now. Maybe Bran gave him alot more info. I guess I can hope

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