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Bran Vras

Three theories on Roose Bolton (The fate of Domeric, Last day in Harrenhal, Lady Dustin)

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I like the idea that Roose killed Domeric, but agree with many previous posters in that there's a massive problem regarding motivation.

Roose strikes me as one of the most careful, calculating characters in the book-along with Tywin Lannister, Baelish, and Varys, he plays the Game best. I have a pet theory that he may have been in league with the Lannisters well before the Red Wedding and that he intentionally lost on the Green Fork (the battle Tyrion fought in). My guess as to motive on that would be the traditional Stark-Bolton rivalry; Roose saw an opening with the death of Ned Stark.

Anyway, the point is that I see Roose as a shrewd, cold, and virtually emotionless man fixated on playing the Game and perpetuating the Bolton lineage. Thus, murdering your firstborn son doesn't add up.

Regarding the theory that Roose killed Domeric because he mouthed off one time too many-I can't believe that, given that several times in DwD, Ramsay seems like he's on the verge of drawing his sword against his father.

My guess is that the Boltons are playing an extremely complicated game here and that it will become clearer in the next two books why Roose will coutenance Ramsay's survival and is apparently indifferent to the fate of Domeric and any future children he'll have with the Frey woman.

Maybe he's just a complete and utter nihilist and, as a previous poster said, only cares about his own lifetime and couldn't care less about anything else, even his lineage. But I don't believe that, given how well he's played the Game so far.

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Regardless of what Roose Bolton's motives and hidden agendas will finally be, I hope he is just a mortal man, not a vampire, white priest, Other ..

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I think Ramsay will kill Roose in the end. Probably after one too many comments similar to the "don't make me regret that I raped your mother" one. Roose thinks that all Ramsay's men are his, but it's quite possible that Ramsay has won the true loyalty, if not of all of them, then of *enough* of them to give him a shot at his father one day.

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Roose knew Theon is Ramsay's pet. Therefore, I count everything he said to Theon is just a message to Ramsay. And what message might that be?



1) Even your closest men are actually mine.


2) I can easily blame you on the Domeric's murder.



Now here is the devilish thing. Domeric was the bastard of Brandon Stark. Roose knew it and killed the boy himself at the right time where he can put the blame on Ramsay when he likes. Ramsay knows that he did not kill Domeric. From Roose's words he understands that Roose killed Domeric and he can blame it on Ramsay. All the things Roose told to Theon, knowing all of them will be transmitted to Ramsay, is just an ultimatum. Ramsay will either stop acting like a mindless butcher (at least hide his true nature) or die without no one to grieve.



Lady Dustin's words for Theon is another tricky story.


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Lord Bolton III: Lady Dustin

Lady Dustin is the sister-in-law of Roose Bolton. Consequently she knows him well. I think she knows even better than she ought to. When we first meet her, Roose returns from a short round trip from Barrow Hall to Barrowton, bringing back Theon that he had taken from Ramsay (Ramsay stayed in Barrowton since he is persona non grata in Barrowhall). She has a curious way to address Roose when he comes to see her:

Note the lack of politeness. No "My Lord", not even "Lord Bolton". Roose Bolton is a great Lord, and the Warden of the North. Lady Dustin should have addressed her liege lord properly.

The significance of this has just been highlighted a few page before. Here is Ramsay to Roose about the other Northern Lords

and there is the little lecture Roose gave Theon.

Hence we know Roose pays attention to the manner of speech of other people and to the way he is spoken to. Similarly, in Harrenhal, he tells Arya:

I see two explanations for this dialogue: either Lady Dustin and Roose are so intimate that they do not address formally to each other, like husband and wife do (yes, possibly lovers or former lovers) or Lady Dustin is so dominant in their association that she can talk down to him. Here is the rest of the dialogue, which seems to confirm this proximity (note that Roose speaks properly).

We never learn why Barbrey wanted to see Theon at that point. It seems clear that Roose and Barbrey have plotted something that involves him. I guess it is the role of "closest male relative of Arya Stark" that Theon will play for the marriage. But does it justify presenting Theon specifically to Lady Dustin?

I have no strong opinion yet on whether Lady Dustin is really an ally of Roose. It's often assumed that she is not, because of Domeric's death. I wouldn't be surprised if Roose told her that his former maester is responsible for the death, which would go well along the professed hate of Lady Dustin for the maesters. We hear Lady Dustin express displeasure at the way Ramsay treats "Arya" but she never blames Ramsay for the death of Domeric.

Note: Ramsay's mother, the lady of the Weepwater, looks alike Lady Dustin (both are tall and elegant unlike Fat Walda). But Ramsay himself does not look like her or his father (except for the eyes). That's a second lady who seems to have some power over Roose.

Is it possible that Lady Dustin bore a child by Brandon Stark? She tells us that he took her virginity, it sounds a bit like rape. But she submitted to him in the circumstance. She says her father wanted an alliance with House Stark and implies that she was turned down for Brandon and Ned by Rickard. Lady Dustin hates the Starks for refusing her and she wanted to rise by joining with a great house. She tells Theon that she hates the Starks for the same reason that Theon loved them.

Is she the woman that Bran sees coming out of the Black Pool asking the gods to give her a son to avenge her? Then turning her bastard son over to the Miller's wife for rearing. A bit like Mordred in the Arthurian Tales. Since she had Ramsey's son Domeric as ward, she could be the poisoner, making way for her own son Ramsey Snow

It's odd that Lady Dustin and the miller's wife both seem to have the same affect on Roose in the way they manage and control the situation regardless of their arrogance toward a high lord.

As to the speculation about bathing in blood; recall that part of Mirri Maaz Duur's ritual was bathing Drogo in blood. So I'm in agreement that Qyburn gave Roose something from the library that described the blood ritual for extending life and that Qyburn was also involved.

I am also guessing that the original Reek was either Qyburn or sent by Qyburn and that Lady Dustin was involved with Ramsey's upbringing directly or indirectly. I'm gessing that Lady Dustin has become a bit of a wood's witch herself.

It looks to me like she has been able to make her own bastard son by Brandon Stark, Lord of Winterfell.

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Is it possible that Lady Dustin bore a child by Brandon Stark? She tells us that he took her virginity, it sounds a bit like rape.

Whaat? Barbrey was clearly head-over-heels with Brandon. She wanted him so hard, the spark is still there after him being dead for 18 years. She actually hates him for rejecting her and betrothing Tully.

Is she the woman that Bran sees coming out of the Black Pool asking the gods to give her a son to avenge her? Then turning her bastard son over to the Miller's wife for rearing. A bit like Mordred in the Arthurian Tales. Since she had Ramsey's son Domeric as ward, she could be the poisoner, making way for her own son Ramsey Snow

Barbrey obviously hates Ramsay's guts. Both Roose and Theon specifically note this, and she is always on Ramsay's case. And her fondness for Domeric was made similarly clear.

Ramsay's mother, the lady of the Weepwater, looks alike Lady Dustin (both are tall and elegant unlike Fat Walda)

Ramsay's mother, the miller's wife, a lady? Perhaps in a sarcastic sense, but even then, there was nothing elegant about her, she simply was thin. Roose's second wife, Domeric's mum, Bethany Bolton/Ryswell, really could resemble Barbrey, considering they were sisters.

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The woman was healthy looking..not a lady , not a fairy. Roose says he was hunting ( vaguely familiar) ..but for what ..a fox ?..or just for a likely brood mare , to carry his experiment..Ramsay. The moment he saw her he wanted her.. dispassionate Roose ? I think he wanted her not from any feeling (even lust) but for baby carrying.



I think Roose wanted a son that he could let become a true Bolton. One who would not need to have his appetites or "amusements" restrained the way he would if he was legitimate. Roose says he understands what drives Ramsay..the anger and the pain..and I believe he does ..hence the leeching.But more than one other character realizes Roose is the more dangerous..and probably just as cruel.



There's a Stout at Manderly's court who says a man can deal with Roose ( as opposed to Ramsay) but that's the mistake . Roose has engineered this false belief by his leeching , his disciplined calm, his secrecy. But Ramsay can do what he cannot while he still needs men to trust him. I think he actually gets a vicarious thrill from Ramsays excesses.


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Whaat? Barbrey was clearly head-over-heels with Brandon. She wanted him so hard, the spark is still there after him being dead for 18 years. She actually hates him for rejecting her and betrothing Tully.

Barbrey obviously hates Ramsay's guts. Both Roose and Theon specifically note this, and she is always on Ramsay's case. And her fondness for Domeric was made similarly clear.

Ramsay's mother, the miller's wife, a lady? Perhaps in a sarcastic sense, but even then, there was nothing elegant about her, she simply was thin. Roose's second wife, Domeric's mum, Bethany Bolton/Ryswell, really could resemble Barbrey, considering they were sisters.

Barbrey still loves Brandon. Brandon never wanted that Tully marriage. He liked horses and the Ryswell girls. If it wasnt the southron ambitions of Rickard Stark, Brandon would certainly marry Barbrey. Barbrey loved Domeric too because Domeric was Brandon's bastard, a fact that her sister told her. More on Ramsay below.

The woman was healthy looking..not a lady , not a fairy. Roose says he was hunting ( vaguely familiar) ..but for what ..a fox ?..or just for a likely brood mare , to carry his experiment..Ramsay. The moment he saw her he wanted her.. dispassionate Roose ? I think he wanted her not from any feeling (even lust) but for baby carrying.

I think Roose wanted a son that he could let become a true Bolton. One who would not need to have his appetites or "amusements" restrained the way he would if he was legitimate. Roose says he understands what drives Ramsay..the anger and the pain..and I believe he does ..hence the leeching.But more than one other character realizes Roose is the more dangerous..and probably just as cruel.

I agree. Roose always suspected Domeric might be the bastard of Brandon. When he got the chance, he fathered a bastard and compared his two sons. What Ramsay turned out to be (his eyes and his psychopathic urges) made it clear that his wife betrayed him and Domeric was the bastard of his most hated liege lord. He manage to kill both his wife and his son. The problem is how much does Barbrey know about this?

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I agree. Roose always suspected Domeric might be the bastard of Brandon. When he got the chance, he fathered a bastard and compared his two sons. What Ramsay turned out to be (his eyes and his psychopathic urges) made it clear that his wife betrayed him and Domeric was the bastard of his most hated liege lord. He manage to kill both his wife and his son. The problem is how much does Barbrey know about this?

Interesting theory. However, in my eyes Roose was shown to be sympathetic towards Domeric. The things he told Theon, both his words and his tone, indicated even a certain longing for a peaceful and noble lifestyle that Domeric represented. It looked as if in him, Roose saw a different future for the Boltons, free of their ancestral cruelty and darkness. Ramsay's birth and Domeric's death were both perceived as fate by Roose, a sign that he cannot hope to escape the Bolton legacy.

If Domeric was a Stark bastard, and Roose knew about this and engineered his death, then his attitude towards the boy would have been very different, I think. Unless Roose is an amazing genius at acting and psychological games (which he isn't, really, as we see from his behaviour when shit hits the fan in DoD Winterfell).

As to who is more dangerous, Roose or Ramsay: hard to say, both have their strong points and weak points, but in the end Ramsay is simply more vicious, aggressive and implacable than Roose, which in my eyes makes him more dangerous and a more enduring villain. In D&D terms, Roose is Lawful Evil with emphasis on Lawful; Ramsay is Chaotic Evil with emphasis on Evil.

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Interesting theory. However, in my eyes Roose was shown to be sympathetic towards Domeric. The things he told Theon, both his words and his tone, indicated even a certain longing for a peaceful and noble lifestyle that Domeric represented. It looked as if in him, Roose saw a different future for the Boltons, free of their ancestral cruelty and darkness. Ramsay's birth and Domeric's death were both perceived as fate by Roose, a sign that he cannot hope to escape the Bolton legacy.

If Domeric was a Stark bastard, and Roose knew about this and engineered his death, then his attitude towards the boy would have been very different, I think. Unless Roose is an amazing genius at acting and psychological games (which he isn't, really, as we see from his behaviour when shit hits the fan in DoD Winterfell).

As to who is more dangerous, Roose or Ramsay: hard to say, both have their strong points and weak points, but in the end Ramsay is simply more vicious, aggressive and implacable than Roose, which in my eyes makes him more dangerous and a more enduring villain. In D&D terms, Roose is Lawful Evil with emphasis on Lawful; Ramsay is Chaotic Evil with emphasis on Evil.

I think all the words of Roose was for Ramsay. He is smart enough to realize Ramsay will get the Bolton name extinct if he does not change. He wanted the Bolton blood to continue which Domeric didnot have in his eyes. He wished an heir who is like himself, doing all sorts of cruel things but not showing it to anyone. Besides if he sacrifices Ramsay to the northren houses, all his betrayal to Robb and part in RW would have been diminished in the eyes of the north.

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I once bought a leather coat. The seller did the trick of putting the flame of his lighter against the leather, as proof of the leather quality. I did some research on leather burning. There is no way for leather, even dry, to go in flames like the book did in the hearth (the pages of the book burnt after the cover did). The burning of Walda's letter is there to underline that. Moreover, fire is a known enemy of books, and no librarian would think of making a book with such flammable covers.I conclude that the book contained some extraordinary material.Thanks, I did not think of that. I could say mystery explained without reservation, but, if a few line above, Lord Rickard designates, in Roose's mouth, Rickard Stark. Moreover, Alys Karstark is sixteen in ADwD. Domeric has been dead for a few years. It would not make sense to praise Domeric skills as a rider by comparing them with those of a much younger girl. So, I am not satisfied yet.I just did some research. I found three old threads devoted to the book burning (Bolton burns a book, Roose Bolton's book burning, ACoK Roose's Bolton burning book and Frey dishonor). Some people saw in it an expression of Roose's selfishness (he does not care about the value of books as shared cultural items). Some people think it contains coded messages. I believe neither explanation. Somebody said that it's a book that Rhaegar found and made him change his life at the famous Harrenhal tourney. I find plausible that Rhaegar examined Harrenhal's library when he came there. I realized that the thread you refer to is Does Roose Bolton even care?. Much of the suggestions you mention were mine (an embryonic version of this theory). So it's self referential. Please tell me if I am wrong.Yes, the proximity of Harrenhal to the Isle of Faces has been noted already. Another curious remark of Arya concerning the natural history of leeches: "There’s leeches in the Neck as big as pigs.”I had that in mind when I wrote the OP. It's possible that there is more to the hunting party than it seems. But I don't see it as an opportunity to communicate a secret message. The decision to hunt seemed to have been a sudden one. I don't like the idea of the book as a mean to convey a secret message. It works in spy novels set in the modern ages. The book in question is old, cumbersome, certainly precious. It's incongruous to use it as a support for sending messages. Interesting. Note that that Qyburn suggests sending the men to the Wall, but it's not clear that he wants to assassinate Jon Snow (Cersei finishes his sentence). It's possible that he has another scheme in mind.

An extraordinary material such as Human Skin? Given Harrenhal's somewhat disturbing history, it is plausible that unorhodox and disturbing practices would be carried out here. However I will also note that in another novel I read, somethin had been written on human skin and the scroll had crumbled oveer time. Also of note in his novel is that it was written in "brown ink" which was actually blood and faded quickly. Obviously I dont have factual evidence for this (as you will be pleased to hear!) as the noveo was foction but its relevant. i still likebthe idea that the book was made of.human though

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I also think Roose believed Domeric to be a Stark bastard ( Brandon's ).. we only have what Roose and Barbrey say to Theon to go on..But I'm betting that almost everything either one says is an intricate weaving of falsehood built around a nugget of truth... that Bethany was actually Brandon's love interest , and she needed to be married off quickly ( to be fair, she may not have known she was pregnant ). If all those young people rode a lot , Roose may not have any cause to be suspicious on the wedding night. Everyone knows a lot of riding is not the best way to preserve a hymen...And being Roose, he'd probably not doubt that Brandon would sleep with both sisters..he certainly believes a lord or lord's heir can take what he wants...



So Barbrey can tell her tale to him while pretending not to know about her sister... seeming to accept Roose's stories of the deaths of Bethany and her nephew.



For Roose's part , he pretends to have been as admiring of Domeric as everyone else seems to have been. But this supposedly proud father makes no comment on anything about "his son" that is a known Bolton trait, either in appearance or abilities..but he does equate his riding with that of Starks.


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I also think Roose believed Domeric to be a Stark bastard ( Brandon's ).. we only have what Roose and Barbrey say to Theon to go on..But I'm betting that almost everything either one says is an intricate weaving of falsehood built around a nugget of truth... that Bethany was actually Brandon's love interest , and she needed to be married off quickly ( to be fair, she may not have known she was pregnant ). If all those young people rode a lot , Roose may not have any cause to be suspicious on the wedding night. Everyone knows a lot of riding is not the best way to preserve a hymen...And being Roose, he'd probably not doubt that Brandon would sleep with both sisters..he certainly believes a lord or lord's heir can take what he wants...

So Barbrey can tell her tale to him while pretending not to know about her sister... seeming to accept Roose's stories of the deaths of Bethany and her nephew.

For Roose's part , he pretends to have been as admiring of Domeric as everyone else seems to have been. But this supposedly proud father makes no comment on anything about "his son" that is a known Bolton trait, either in appearance or abilities..but he does equate his riding with that of Starks.

:agree:

Those are some really good writing. The seemingly strong alliance between Barbrey and Roose is not as that strong.

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If Domeric was a bastard there is one character who he very much resembles from Roose's description of him and it isn't Brandon Stark.



"Domeric. A quiet boy, but most accomplished. He served four years as Lady Dustin’s page, and three in the Vale as a squire to Lord Redfort. He played the high harp, read histories, and rode like the wind."


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If Domeric was a bastard there is one character who he very much resembles from Roose's description of him and it isn't Brandon Stark.

"Domeric. A quiet boy, but most accomplished. He served four years as Lady Dustin’s page, and three in the Vale as a squire to Lord Redfort. He played the high harp, read histories, and rode like the wind."

We know Brandon had close companions (Kyle Royce, Elbert Arryn) in the Vale. So being a page of Lady Dustin for four years, do you think it is coincidence for Domeric to be a squire to Lord Redfort? Did she try to remove Domeric from Bolton influence and have him to make friends in the Vale and be a tourney knight as Brandon Stark?

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