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[TWoW Spoilers] Theon I


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Wow. Awesome chapter. I never was a Stannis fan, but I am beginning to be really impressed with him. Also, as some posters before me, I immediately thought Stannis is going to go Alexander Nevsky with Boltons' forces. Jeyne still claiming to be Arya will certainly have interesting implications. What if after Jon's supposed death and massacre at the Wall she ends up controlling Castle Black thanks to remainining wildlings?

Asha asking Stannis to behead Theon does seem strange, but I am not buying into any warging theories for now.

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I couldn't stop giggling and being all FUCK YEAH THIS IS MY KING. Stannis is awesome and he never changes. Every word he says is hilarious and badass at the same time.

And FUCK YEAH ASHA asking for the Northern way! Dead Frey! Unhorsed Frey! And I really hope Karstarks will burn.

And Stannis SIGNING IN BLOOD? How hardcore is this man? <3 Excuse me all the caps, but I'm super excited we got this.

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Its finally happened. I don't know whether to support Aegon or Stannis, the Dragon King or the Stag King. GRAAH! This isn't something that I can decide now, it will have to wait until the winter winds blow.

On the analytical side...

Stannis has discovered Arnolf Karstark's treachery, good. That removes the dagger at his back, and might give him control of the remaining Karstark forces. Some of the forces at Winterfell are not soldiers as we've been led to believe, meaning Roose Bolton's strength is not as great as it appears. And Roose is playing right into Stannis's hands, putting out smaller groups of men to fight and sending two groups of warriors who hate each other and will not attack together, robbing them of advantage of numbers. If Stannis plays it right he can win the Battle for the North.

Stannis thinks Davos is dead. That means either Davos hasn't reported back in, or he is heading right to Skagos to get Rickon before coming back to Stannis.

Theon can't be executed like that! Hopefully something will aid him, perhaps Bran will use the ravens to rescue him.

I think now that Wyman Manderly may secretly ally with Stannis and tell Ramsay that Stannis is dead. Ramsay would only be too happy to steal credit for it and they would leave Winterfell, allowing Stannis to ambush them and take Roose and Ramsay down. And all these hints towards Stannis being declared dead could set up that Ramsay's letter is a lie, through misinformation by his own forces.

And another chapter in the paperback edition of ADWD!? Damn it! That means I must find a store that sells one and read it, or order a copy just to read the chapter and send it back afterwards.


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Hello boys and girls, and welcome to the land of crackpot : )

I have been wondering about the fishy letter from Ramsay at the end of ADWD after reading this new Theon chapter.

Now, to my theory:

We have been thinking all the time about how it is a fake letter by Ramsay. I just had the thought that faking this information would do Ramsay no good. Clearly, if the information is wrong, there might still be the possibility that the wall will find the truth rather soon (for example, Stannis giving new orders via a raven, showing that he is still alive). Even more, I cannot imagine what faking this information will help Ramsay to get his bride and his reek back. Of course, there is always the chance that this letter is true from start to end, but just leave it at that for a minute...

Now, who else could be faking the letter?

Before we look at this question, kindly note that we have just received the information about how the raven system works: Under normal circumstances, a raven knows his home port to which it will return. So currently, as Stannis is encamped in a little village with a watchtower (which, most likely, was not integrated in the Raven System, as there would be no Maester to tend to the birds) people in his camp can only communicate FROM his camp TO a "raven port" (for example, Castle black, which just received this strange letter from "Ramsay"), but will not be able to receive new information in open field.

So, again who could be faking the letter? I have had a look at the original letter in ADWD and the new Theon chapter. It struck me as very interesting that there was a very similar wording within the letter and the conversation in the new Theon chapter.

The letter says: "And I want my reek."

Theon says to Stannis: "He wants his reek."

Now, although the wording is perfectly fine for Ramsay, have you ever wondered that Ramsay really spends so much time thinking about Reek? Surely, he loves playing his little games with his victim, and he would deffinitely enjoy having his Reek back, BUT - is he really that important to him? For all I understand, Ramsay would never be so obsessive about Theon back, at least compared to very important things like having "Arya Stark" back. So, who thinks "Ramsay wants his Reek?" Well, Theon. He is so afraid of Ramsay that it is the first thing that comes to his mind... Ramsay will go to war to get his reek back!

Which brings us to the interesting fact, that by listening to Theon, somebody might just not understand that Reek = Theon. He might think Reek is an object, an dear animal... whatever. Therefore, somebody who would forge a Ramsay letter just might use this wording 1:1.

So, Theon says these words to Stannis. Stannis faking a letter to Jon Snow would be totally out of character. Stannis has a grudging respect for Jon. Second, I can Stannis imagine doing almost everything except for openly lying. Third, what would he gain from this.

So, who has just been with Stannis and Theon a few seconds before they start this dialogue, and might be sneaking outside the door or simply be in hearing range?

No other than our dear Friend, ser Justin Massey, how appears quiet a lot in this chapter. He is also present when the king gets the explanation about the raven system.

Now, what do we know about ser Justin. Of all the knights accompanying Stannis, he is by far the most clever one. He smells defeat (as we learned in this chapter, on the black water, and as we also learned here and in Asha's last ADWD chapter, in the current campaign). He has been loyal so far (even mentioning to Stannis that he should go himself to buy sell swords), but the clever one's are seldom those who will stay to the bitter end in Westeros.

He is ambitious. All his appearance in ADWD are just about how he is being nice to Asha. Asha in ADWD and Stannis in this chapter come to the (rightful) opinion, that he has an eye on Pyke when doing this. Also, keep in mind that it is Ser Justin who remembers Stannis about the northfolk wanting Theon dead (who, coincidently is the OLDER son of Balon Greyoy). So in case the iron islands will be subdued at one point in the story and ser Justin is the new husband of Asha, it would be highly in his favor to have Theon dead).

He is in a very, very good position. Stannis has just made him a future player. In case Stannis will loose (which is a thought ser Justin has had more than once in the series), he will have the money from the iron bank to get a new army and continue the war for Stannis.

Also, he knows that "Arya" will be going to castle black (as Stannis just has told him) and could therefore mention the bride in his fake letter to Jon.

So, a possible conclusion of the story (in his mind) could be the following: Stannis dies, I get a big army, I fight for the claim of Stannis daughter. At one point, I will make peace with the throne and be named a high lord due to my new power. Keep also in mind, that he has a very powerful token in "Arya Stark". Sure, she is being sent to the wall, but she will stay more likely with the Southron court than with the nights watch (remember, she is a high lady and no recrute to the nights watch, and even Jon Snow cannot change this). Hell, ser Justin might even think about exchanging "Arya" for Asha (after Stannis is defeated and the Boltons capture her), as he is unfortunately not allowed to take her with him.

Now, so far this all is really convincing one way or the other. Unfortunately, there are a few things that make this more crack-potty than I want it to be:

1.) Why do it in the first place? If he really is convenienced that Stannis will loose, why fake a letter? He already has the order to go hiring the sell swords. Faking the letter to Jon does not help him. Sure, faking this letter to his queen might have given him the chance that he in his new position as a new man of power (who will be going to hire an army) might also be named new hand to the king princess, but the first man for this position after the fake death of Daavos is ser Axel.

Also, to have the fake letter not be exposed as what it is, he would additional have to make sure that there are no further ravens left that can fly from Stannis to the wall.

2.) Mance. Unfortunately, I cannot find any reason why the paragraph about Mance would appear in a fake letter from the Stannis encampement. Theon says in the beginning of his chapter that he was telling all the information to Asha when they met. Although Ser Justin might just have joined to listen to this conversation, he will not know that this is about Mance, as even Theon only knows the name Abel (although, it struck me as very odd that Ramsay would mention the whole you-are-a-liar-mance-is-alive thing. I really thought this is a lie that would mean nothing to him sitting south of the wall having his wedding party). Sure, ser Justin might have learned one way or another that Mance is still alive and unburnt (keep in mind that he has no high thoughts about the red god), but that is just very, very crackpotty.

Again, I find this all very unlikly. But, the reek wording still keeps me guessing. Help me guys :)

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Any chance Theon will show Stannis and his men the secret passage through the crypts?

Idk who wrote the letter or why. It could be one of these:

1.) stannis

2.) ramsay

I like the idea that Manderly returns to Ramsay telling him that Stan is has been defeated and the. Ramsay sends the letter. But how could Manderly fake that with no evidence and already under suspicion?

This is a confusing one. Maybe stannis did write the letter with help from Theon. Maybe disinformation so he can head to winterfell undetected? Maybe he fears there are spies at the wall for the Boltons?

It's not really stannis' style to lie but as this chapter seems to show TWOW will be a chess match between Roose Bolton and King Stannis. These two arent known for there swordsmanship but they are known for strategy and tactician. It's going to be fun reading the attacks and counter attacks because they freys aren't going to last long but Roose Bolton is Roose Bolton and he will not go down without a fight. Point being because the hour is late Stannis may do a few things out of character. Starting with performing an execution himself before the old guys. Hell if Stannis survives all this he may grow fond of the north and stay there. Stannis may become a true northman

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That was great. I wonder why Bran (or Bran + Bloodraven, there were two ravens remember) want Theon executed (I have no doubt that Bran isn't planning to save him, this isn't a fairy tale). But I bet it ties in to the whole first men sacrificing to the heart tree history. I suspect it will give the greenseers some kind of additional power to play with.

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Nice chapter. Although it didn't deliver any information I am really concerned about, but well... Some new thoughts on the letter. The line that was already mentioned was really strange:

Theon: "He wants his bride back. He wants his Reek."

Pink Letter: "I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want his wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek."

Theon actually quoted a part of the letter. Could this just be GRRM's way to tell us it was truly Ramsay who sent the letter, and Theon is able to 'look' into Ramsay's thoughts because he knows him so 'well'? Or are we to understand that someone else wrote it, and most likely someone who is working with Theon? Asha? The question is, how could she know about Mance?

Another thing I noticed: When Asha asks Stannis to kill Theon with a sword, she explicitly refers to it as a magic sword. Why did she (or GRRM) lay emphasis on the magic-part? I automatically thought about the letter, where it's said Ramsay has the magic sword.

While reading it, I thought Asha's plan was to save Theon's life (and to use him in the Kingsmoot) and somehow get her hands on that sword, maybe even try to lure Stannis into a trap and to kill him with it. It's no coincidence that the letter claims to have the sword and that Asha wants Stannis to go to an isloated place AND bring the sword, right?

Bran also has a role to play in this. He certainly knows what happend in Winterfell after Theon left. Maybe he even talked with Asha through some ravens/trees/dreams before her talk with Stannis, and it was his idea to bring him to the weirwoods? Maybe Bran even knows about Mance, and this is how Asha can compose the letter to Jon - to whatever ends?

I really wish the chapter had provided more news on the situation in Winterfell.

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I do not buy that Stannis faked this letter.

A.) Why give Bolton spies the fake information that he is dead. The Boltons in Winterfell will know that he is not dead beacuse... well ... they would have had to kill him.

B.) Does Stannis really know about Mance? I have had the feeling that this was done by Mel alone. Stannis was convinced that Mance had to die as an oathbreaker.

C.) Seems to be out of character for Stannis to fake his death. All the time in ADWD it is about him showing how he is powerful (marching on winterfell etc...).

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Wham, bam, thank you...........Stannis. :spank:

I think this might be just the thing. Before she truly becomes "nobody", Arya hears that an Arya Stark has come to Braavos. Hello. She investigates further and learns the things that are afoot. Perhaps even Jon's "death"? Would that motivate her to return? It might. She might realize that she is Arya Stark, blood of Winterfell, daughter of Eddard and Catelyn, and most certainly not nobody! And Arya Stark cannot be a faceless man, only "nobody" can. Cue, return to home. Nymeria-search-party. Road trip.

I think the true Arya Stark will continue to play the nobody, esp when she find out Jon is dead, but this time the Kindly Man will believe her. She will say "nobody" with a cold emotionless face. Her last remaining attachment to Winterfell is now dead.

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Something is up with the letter and I feel as if I'm missing something obvious.

I can't see asha just letting Theon, because she can use Theon in the kingsmoot on the islands. Idk the laws there. Isn't Euron already crowned king? Can they reverse the decision, lol.

Theon wants to die and he gets a feeling of belonging from the ravens, etc. I don't want him to die because even though he has done alot of bad, I was sympathetic towards him the entire time. Never truly being a Stark or Greyjoy. Maybe he's AA.

He has to answer for alot....but beheading him just like that would be a little anticlimactic

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I think now that Wyman Manderly may secretly ally with Stannis and tell Ramsay that Stannis is dead. Ramsay would only be too happy to steal credit for it and they would leave Winterfell, allowing Stannis to ambush them and take Roose and Ramsay down. And all these hints towards Stannis being declared dead could set up that Ramsay's letter is a lie, through misinformation by his own forces.

And another chapter in the paperback edition of ADWD!? Damn it! That means I must find a store that sells one and read it, or order a copy just to read the chapter and send it back afterwards.


This made me think that maybe Stannis meant to lure out the Bolton out of Winterfell to attack his encampment when Bolton find out Stannis is dead

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I suspect Bran will speak to both Stannis and Theon at the heart tree and Stannis will be shocked at this 'northern magic', maybe enough to think about his relationship with Meliasandre.

And there, with Bran speaking through a tree, Theon has proof that he didn't kill Bran and Rickon.

And if Manderley betrays the Boltons in battle, he can go before Stannis and tell him (If he's present, or at Winterfell afterwards) that he sent the Onion Knight to get Rickon.

But what would Stannis do with Rickon if he gets him? If Davos can bring Rickon with Shaggydog, without having to kill the direwolf to bring Rickon,then Shaggydog is proof to all the northern lords that Rickon is who he says he is.

Will Stannis see Rickon as the Heir to the King of the North? Or a Lord of Winterfell to rally the north behind Stannis?

I suspect and hope it's the latter, otherwise Stannis would have to kill Rickon.

And the Red Witch still wants royal blood, doesn't she?

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Well, except for Mance/spearwives being tortured and slipping out all the information, the letter could be some doing by Mance.

(As it mentions people like Melissandre and Val that Bolton does proably not know about/care about).

Again, the question would be WHY?

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