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What is dead may never die

Theon Sample Chapter; The Letter sent to Jon (Spoilers)

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A simple scout would take 3 days to get back to WF.

A raven could get there in one ? less than one ?

The letter is not supposed to go to Roose , it's supposed ( hoped) to be going to Jon.

If Stannis is going ahead with his ploy , e.g. - to fake his death by letting apparent Bolton allies take his sword back to WF , claiming Stannis is dead ( maybe in the depths of the lake )..those forces would take 3 days to get to WF.

IF the raven takes the letter to Roose ..it sounds like Ramsay , and the bit about Stannis' death will serve to confirm the claims of Stannis' fake Bolton allies , when they get there ( all the more reason to trust them ).

The "seven days of battle " will just sound like one of Ramsay's boasts to Roose ( while to Jon , it might give some general sense of how much time he has ).

How much time is that? Six days? Some more? To do what?

Roose would expect Ramsay to go after Arya..he would not approve of such a letter being sent to Jon , but wouldn't be surprised if Ramsay sent it ( look at the way he had to remonstrate with Ramsay over Lady Dustin ). He knows Ramsay is reckless , and loves to intimidate. Roose would be relieved the letter came to him... but even if Ramsay did write it from the field , Roose would definitely not re-direct it.

I agree, that "seven days of battle" sounds like one of Ramsays boasts and that Roose would not redirect the letter.

I'm not convinced by your theory however.

Just tell me: If the letter is faked well enough to fool Roose (who is Ramsays father, who knows Ramsay quite well and has spies around him, who got all information about the inside of Winterfell i.e. about Abel, heads on the walls, the whereabouts of Ramsay, and so on) into believing the letter was indeed written by Ramsay - shoudn't it work even better on Jon? If even Ramsays very own father would believe the letter was written by Ramsay - how on earth should Jon be able to see through this as a clever ploy of Stannis? If even Ramsays own father would be fouled? Roose got a lot of information which could contradict the letter and give Roose clues about the ownership - Jon don't. Jon only got clues that all these boast could be true. Mance is south, Stannis and Lightbringer are south, "Arya" is south and there could be a battle between Stannis and his enemies easily enough (and battles can be lost). You yourself claimed that a code between Stannis and Jon seems unlikely to you - so how?

Fortune telling? Mind reading? Speaking ravens? Brans awesome weirwoodnetwork? Sheer luck?

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If the letter was not written in blood, that doesn't just speak against Ramsey being the author, it also tells us something about the forger.

Whoever wrote it knew how to write a pitch perfect letter in Ramsey's voice, knew about Reek, about him and Jayne being gone, about the spearwives, had access to pink wax, but she/he/they didn't write in blood. Why?

-They knew what Ramsey sounds like, but not what his letters look like. Mance?

-They were in a hurry. Fair enough, but the same could be said about Ramsey himself. Still, I think it's fair to say it rules out any truly elaborate plot, such as a NW conspiracy or Melisandre. Why would they take the trouble of somehow acquiring pink wax but not write in blood? It wouldn't even have to be human blood, a rat would do just fine.

-They wanted Jon to know the letter was fake.

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Dyntia..well , as I said before, this isn't necessarily my favourite Theory (but I like it more than some others )..it's just that after reading the Theon chapter , I can see a it as quite plausible ( I didn't at the end of ADWD ).

Seven Days of Battle.. Jon would certainly know how long it takes a raven to fly from WF to CB. He knows how long it would take a person afoot or ahorse to make the trip. He knows it's been snowing heavily to the south. He would be able to make allowances for that. He knows that battles simply do not go on for seven days , but a short siege and battle might... He knows the Boltons are inside WF... If it's true that Stannis lost , it's possible that Arya has been on her way since before the battle ( as much as seven days ) or got out some time during the seven days , ( in the confusion of battle )... Because the letter demands her back from Jon, he knows she's on her way to the wall... He knows , because of mention of the mysterious 'Reek" , that she's not alone ...So he knows she has a lead on Ramsay , but he doesn't know how much exactly, or how fast she ( and her party ) can travel...From these things he can form a rough best case / worst case scenario.

We know he's thinking of getting Mel to try to locate Ramsay in her fires.

He might well not know it's Stannis ,but we know he thinks he should have gone to Selyse first . I think it might be suspicious that he didn't , when he's always observed at least the outward forms of respect for her before.

But I think it doesn't matter if Jon knows for certain who wrote the letter.( He may know less , he may know more ) The most immediately important part is that Ramsay is on his way..if Jon can take care of him..all the rest can be sorted out after.

So , sheer brainstorming , then ( though he does plan to use Mel .. is that fortune telling ? ) , knowing what he knows and making reasonable guesses...Maybe he's adding two and two and only coming up with three and a half , but that's better than just throwing up his hands and doing nothing until it's too late.

ETA: Good point , y ddraig. Stannis was at CB when Jon recieved the betrothal letter ... and he has no compunction about writing in blood , since that's how he signed his agreement with Tycho... interesting that George wrote that.. ;)

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A simple scout would take 3 days to get back to WF.

An army would require 3 days, a scout considerably less, and the Boltons are Northmen, they can handle the snow.

A raven could get there in one ? less than one ?

So? I still don't understand what fooling Roose accomplishes, he isn't going to march his force out of WF to go party at the victory field.

The letter is not supposed to go to Roose , it's supposed ( hoped) to be going to Jon.

"3 Stannis wrote the letter - He's trying to sound like Ramsay , to fool ( trick ) Roose, not Jon , in case the raven flies to WF instead of to Jon."

How is sending the letter to Jon going to trick Roose?

IF the raven takes the letter to Roose ..it sounds like Ramsay , and the bit about Stannis' death will serve to confirm the claims of Stannis' fake Bolton allies , when they get there ( all the more reason to trust them ).

Why would Roose let his untrusty allies back into WF after ejecting them, particularly with all the familiar faces not in evidence (the Freys)? The same logic still applies to his resources in WF.

The letter doesn't specifically mention Stannis' head, just "your friends' heads".... and it might be true of a couple of spearwives.

Thin, especially considering Ramsay left WF before any of that could have been established. I think its pretty clear in the letter the reference is to Stannis.

On another note if Stannis was intending to fool Jon he'd be running a pretty big risk of the Queen and all the rest of his people on the wall panicking and doing something stupid like hitching the first ship to the Free Cities.

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This is my problem with the letter theories either leaving or going to Winterfell: An army of ravens muttering "murder" sits on the arms of a "laughing" weirwood tree when Ramsay and Fake-Arya wed. I do not think those ravens are going to allow any other ravens through. To me, the "laughing" weirwood face is Bran, knowing Bolton's bride is not Arya - and for some other mischief to bring on the host at Winterfell.

Dustin ordered the crypt opened, Winter Has Come, and some statues have no iron sword to hold their spirits. Worse - no Stark is in Winterfell - yet.

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This is my problem with the letter theories either leaving or going to Winterfell: An army of ravens muttering "murder" sits on the arms of a "laughing" weirwood tree when Ramsay and Fake-Arya wed. I do not think those ravens are going to allow any other ravens through. To me, the "laughing" weirwood face is Bran, knowing Bolton's bride is not Arya - and for some other mischief to bring on the host at Winterfell.

Dustin ordered the crypt opened, Winter Has Come, and some statues have no iron sword to hold their spirits. Worse - no Stark is in Winterfell - yet.

Correction: There are plenty of Starks in Winterfell and some are more dead than Others

;-)

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Correction: There are plenty of Starks in Winterfell and some are more dead than Others

;-)

I think you followed what I was getting at - I wonder if they will rise as stone?

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mbeuhner..I don't know why this is so difficult to understand. These possibilities have been put forth from the beginning of this thread if you've been following it.

1.- Stannis would like to warn Jon.

2.- He has a couple of ravens at his disposal.He knows these ravens have been trained to fly to WF. They are behaving strangely.

3.- Many readers suspect the ravens are being inhabited by Bran and BR. If so, there's a very good possibility they could be flown to CB instead of WF.

4.- If Stannis takes Theon to the weirwood and depending on what transpires , there's a good chance he may come to believe it's possible too.. but not be able to be 100% certain.

5.- Under these circumstances ,Stannis may decide a chance of warning Jon is better than no chance at all, even though the raven may fly to WF. It's a risk he has to take if there's a hope of giving Jon a heads up.

6.- Stannis is planning to try to turn events regarding a seige / battle in his favour by faking his own death. So if the raven does fly to WF, he doesn't want to tip his hand to Roose . Therefore he disguises the letter to sound like Ramsay.

It makes the whole scenario sound more complicated to lay these thoughts and reasonings out in a post ,than it would actually be for a person, or a character (Stannis) to think them . Internally , connections and possibilities and implications are realized quickly , one thought leads to another and so on.

The intention is to send the letter to Jon , but one that would mislead Roose if he gets to see it.

However quickly a scout can travel, it's quicker as the raven flies.

Why would Roose let his untrusty allies back in ? We don't know what men Stannis would send back with his sword..there might be Freys among them who believe Stannis is dead and some WH men, who could be in on the ploy..but likely there would be a good number of the Karstark men, who were only following orders to begin with and may not be so fond of the Boltons. Roose would have no way of knowing ( and no reason to suspect ) the Karstarks had turned. ( He doesn't know about Alys Karstark's change of fortune. Stannis does , and may have told the Karstark men. Even some of the few who accompanied Cregan to the wall declared for Alys, so it's reasonable some of the men Stannis has captured would willingly do the same and collaborate with him. )

GRRM often makes fine distinctions by the words he uses. I see a possible a distinction to be made between the use of "Stannis' head " and " your friends heads". Others do not. We'll just have to wait and see.

I don't agree that Ramsay would necessarily have left WF before there could have been a head or two on the wall. We didn't see him getting ready to leave with the Freys and Manderlys. Then there would have been delays with the spearwives , the consequent checking for "Arya", etc. Even if that weren't so ,the claim about the heads could be taken for another boast .

Stannis would be hoping Jon would somehow not be fooled , he would be hoping Selyse would not panic , both having Mel to look into the flames ( he doesn't know Mel is having difficulty in seeing him ). It's still a risk , but what if he did nothing and Ramsay somehow got his hands on them ?

Leaders have to be prepared to take risks , now and then. Stannis is accustomed to that.

ETA : evita mgfs .. the ravens have already let Karstark's map letter through, so I don't see why they wouldn't let more.

I do ,though ,feel there's more going on at WF than Stannis can possibly predict. (Northern conspiracy , possible supernatural shennanigans ).

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Good analysis. Those ravens are censoring the mail - they can read, write, as well as talk,( Not). But now I am busy finding the raven army in other chapters. I believe I find them in Bran's POV p 440 - "murder of ravens . . . singing their sharp cry . . . "

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:D I have to admit I like the idea of raven censors...How many ravens does it take to censor a letter ? ..My guess is four. Two to unpick the leg ties , break the seal and hold it flat ( I don't see why they can't have more than one skill) ..one to read the letter and one to wield the stick of charcoal for making redactions. ;)

ETA : Oops! Unless you count the murder to chorus " censored..censored " in the background.

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:D I have to admit I like the idea of raven censors...How many ravens does it take to censor a letter ? ..My guess is four. Two to unpick the leg ties , break the seal and hold it flat ( I don't see why they can't have more than one skill) ..one to read the letter and one to wield the stick of charcoal for making redactions. ;)

ETA : Oops! Unless you count the murder to chorus " censored..censored " in the background.

You made me laugh with those studious ravens who still retain a part of a children of the forest. Those ravens must learn to compartmentalize, they have so much going on.

You know, if you read the Hunger Games trilogy, these ravens remind me of the mockingjay. The names of children of forest remind me of Primrose, Katniss, Gale, Pita, et - and the tributes from the waterlands who fight with tridents remind me of fiercer counterparts of Jojen and Meera.

I am a little whacky tonight. I just followed an entire thread on Jojen Paste - the recipe's "even" in a Westerosi Cook Book :ack: . I am hoping to recover. :drool: But I think the thread convinced me - on my.

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mbeuhner..I don't know why this is so difficult to understand. These possibilities have been put forth from the beginning of this thread if you've been following it.

1.- Stannis would like to warn Jon.

2.- He has a couple of ravens at his disposal.He knows these ravens have been trained to fly to WF. They are behaving strangely.

3.- Many readers suspect the ravens are being inhabited by Bran and BR. If so, there's a very good possibility they could be flown to CB instead of WF.

4.- If Stannis takes Theon to the weirwood and depending on what transpires , there's a good chance he may come to believe it's possible too.. but not be able to be 100% certain.

5.- Under these circumstances ,Stannis may decide a chance of warning Jon is better than no chance at all, even though the raven may fly to WF. It's a risk he has to take if there's a hope of giving Jon a heads up.

6.- Stannis is planning to try to turn events regarding a seige / battle in his favour by faking his own death. So if the raven does fly to WF, he doesn't want to tip his hand to Roose . Therefore he disguises the letter to sound like Ramsay.

It makes the whole scenario sound more complicated to lay these thoughts and reasonings out in a post ,than it would actually be for a person, or a character (Stannis) to think them . Internally , connections and possibilities and implications are realized quickly , one thought leads to another and so on.

The intention is to send the letter to Jon , but one that would mislead Roose if he gets to see it.

However quickly a scout can travel, it's quicker as the raven flies.

Why would Roose let his untrusty allies back in ? We don't know what men Stannis would send back with his sword..there might be Freys among them who believe Stannis is dead and some WH men, who could be in on the ploy..but likely there would be a good number of the Karstark men, who were only following orders to begin with and may not be so fond of the Boltons. Roose would have no way of knowing ( and no reason to suspect ) the Karstarks had turned. ( He doesn't know about Alys Karstark's change of fortune. Stannis does , and may have told the Karstark men. Even some of the few who accompanied Cregan to the wall declared for Alys, so it's reasonable some of the men Stannis has captured would willingly do the same and collaborate with him. )

I do ,though ,feel there's more going on at WF than Stannis can possibly predict. (Northern conspiracy , possible supernatural shennanigans ).

Yes of course it makes sense that Stannis doesn't have ravens of his own and is also privy to the info that theon is called reek by ramsay.

And then he decides to act very unstannis like, especially when a northern army may march through his camp at any moment.

Not to mention he just sent the banker, Arya, and two Nights watch men to the wall, to whom he could've given all the warning he wanted to give.

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According to me it was ramsey who wrote the letter becuase although he is a monster but he is a cunning monster.

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There is a big flaw is having Stannis or Theon or any of that group forging the letter, none of them, not a one, know that Abel is Mance Rayder. I don't think Roose knew until he sent the Freys and Manderlys out, "his cool gaze searched the hall and rested upon Abel". It seems to me someone who knew who Mance was betrayed him to Roose just prior. Okay, just prior we have the Hooded Man encountering Theon. Is the Hooded Man on his way to a meeting with Roose? I believe that is the case, and that is where Mance's identity is revealed.

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Yes of course it makes sense that Stannis doesn't have ravens of his own and is also privy to the info that theon is called reek by ramsay.

And then he decides to act very unstannis like, especially when a northern army may march through his camp at any moment.

Not to mention he just sent the banker, Arya, and two Nights watch men to the wall, to whom he could've given all the warning he wanted to give.

I don't agree that Stannis would be behaving in an un-Stannis-like manner I think it's perfectly consistent with his devious defeat of Reny and taking of Storm's End and his out-of-the box thinking to go North to the wall in order to ultimately gain the Iron Throne. We know he's going to fake his own death. I don't know what , in the proposed scenario would be unlike him.

He doesn't have a lot of time, but the Bolton army is not coming any minute ( Freys delayed by the Umbers and having to regroup ) WH men , ( who left by a different gate, and didn't face the Umbers ) perhaps hanging back a bit to let Stannis deal with the Freys.. ) he certainly has enough time to go to the weirwood and write a letter.

I'm sure he's sent some communication to Jon via Tycho.. but that would have been before he'd know for sure Ramsay was after them ( and he just might catch up) ...and as I said it's much quicker as the raven flies. A raven would only have to take to a tree now and then to dry out and fluff up it's feathers , not slog a bunch of men and horses through deep snow.

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There is a big flaw is having Stannis or Theon or any of that group forging the letter, none of them, not a one, know that Abel is Mance Rayder. I don't think Roose knew until he sent the Freys and Manderlys out, "his cool gaze searched the hall and rested upon Abel". It seems to me someone who knew who Mance was betrayed him to Roose just prior. Okay, just prior we have the Hooded Man encountering Theon. Is the Hooded Man on his way to a meeting with Roose? I believe that is the case, and that is where Mance's identity is revealed.

I agree to your analysis

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MtnLion..You're thinking the HM is Alliser Thorne , right ?

I definitely think Thorne is up to something, somewhere ( probably closer to the wall ) but I don't think he can be the HM.I think Theon's attitude to the HM implies recognition( he never met Thorne) and that he equates the HM with the other ghosts in WF. We may just simply have to disagree on this point . Beyond that , I don't know if there could have been time for a meeting between the HM and Roose ,followed the Freys wanting a meeting about the deaths , arranging that, and possibly conducting other interrogations ( certainly some discussion taking place ) before Theon is brought in..Roose was in the hall listening to Abel when Theon left .

Perhaps it could work time - wise ,once we have more information, but we don't have it yet... I don't think Roose would have let Abel/Mance just wander around loose in the meantime. Roose is very canny and even if he didn't think Jon had sent Mance, would probably figure he was there to try to snatch "Arya" for his own reasons..( maybe to trade for his son , or his life) . I think if he'd been told ,he would have scooped up Mance and the spearwives right away ( after all, it was going to be a busy night ,what with BW and LW and all ). With the Bolton claim to WF resting on "Arya" , he wouldn't want to take the slightest chance she'd get away.

It seems to me he really was looking for Abel to have him just play some music and calm everybody down. He didn't stop the spearwives and Theon from leaving the hall, there were no extra guards on "Arya", the guards at the wall weren't watching for anything. It was only Jeyne's scream that gave them away.

OTOH , there really is no proof that Stannis doesn't know about Mance's survival ...and since we know he talked to Mance at length after his capture, he could even have known what alias Mance used when he made his little musical forays south of the wall.( I'm sure Mance must have used the same one every time ..that way, when he stopped at various holds to try to pick up news , he'd be welcomed , generally trusted and he'd be able to be sure things would go smoothly ). Mance wasn't shy about talking about his little ruse..it let people know how smart he was.

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MtnLion..You're thinking the HM is Alliser Thorne , right ?

I definitely think Thorne is up to something, somewhere ( probably closer to the wall ) but I don't think he can be the HM.I think Theon's attitude to the HM implies recognition( he never met Thorne) and that he equates the HM with the other ghosts in WF. We may just simply have to disagree on this point . Beyond that , I don't know if there could have been time for a meeting between the HM and Roose ,followed the Freys wanting a meeting about the deaths , arranging that, and possibly conducting other interrogations ( certainly some discussion taking place ) before Theon is brought in..Roose was in the hall listening to Abel when Theon left .

Perhaps it could work time - wise ,once we have more information, but we don't have it yet... I don't think Roose would have let Abel/Mance just wander around loose in the meantime. Roose is very canny and even if he didn't think Jon had sent Mance, would probably figure he was there to try to snatch "Arya" for his own reasons..( maybe to trade for his son , or his life) . I think if he'd been told ,he would have scooped up Mance and the spearwives right away ( after all, it was going to be a busy night ,what with BW and LW and all ). With the Bolton claim to WF resting on "Arya" , he wouldn't want to take the slightest chance she'd get away.

It seems to me he really was looking for Abel to have him just play some music and calm everybody down. He didn't stop the spearwives and Theon from leaving the hall, there were no extra guards on "Arya", the guards at the wall weren't watching for anything. It was only Jeyne's scream that gave them away.

OTOH , there really is no proof that Stannis doesn't know about Mance's survival ...and since we know he talked to Mance at length after his capture, he could even have known what alias Mance used when he made his little musical forays south of the wall.( I'm sure Mance must have used the same one every time ..that way, when he stopped at various holds to try to pick up news , he'd be welcomed , generally trusted and he'd be able to be sure things would go smoothly ). Mance wasn't shy about talking about his little ruse..it let people know how smart he was.

Super thinking, all. I will add that I think Mance knows Arya is a FAKE - he had been around the Starks and knew their 'look' - and Arya is said to look the most like Ned. When Jon and Mance first meet, he boasts of hopping over the wall and skipping down the kingsroad to Winterfell. He was even present the night Ned feasted Robert Baratheon, and he scoped out all - he is a clever Mance, more clever than Roose and Ramsay.

What's interesting is that Mance goes through with the rescue knowing it is not Arya - oh, never mind - he'd rescue any poor girl from a man who made her do things with a dog.

I wonder - those spearwives sure were looking for the crypts of Winterfell. I hope Mance is safe, hiding in the crypts.

Lady Dustin also seems to know the truth of the Mummer's farce, and she is the one responsible for opening the crypts. I noted the opening of the crypts is against the keep near a gargoyle, which marks the spot where Bran fell.

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MtnLion..You're thinking the HM is Alliser Thorne , right ?

I definitely think Thorne is up to something, somewhere ( probably closer to the wall ) but I don't think he can be the HM.I think Theon's attitude to the HM implies recognition( he never met Thorne) and that he equates the HM with the other ghosts in WF. We may just simply have to disagree on this point . Beyond that , I don't know if there could have been time for a meeting between the HM and Roose ,followed the Freys wanting a meeting about the deaths , arranging that, and possibly conducting other interrogations ( certainly some discussion taking place ) before Theon is brought in..Roose was in the hall listening to Abel when Theon left .

Yes, Alliser is in a dangerous position with Jon, and he knows it. He does have friends in Eastwatch, with the commander up at Hardhome, so it is easy to see him sheltering there after Jon sends him on his ranging. Slynt and Alliser were conspiring to rid themselves of Jon all along. There are a few notables that always refer to Jon as "bastard", and Alliser is one.

As far as recognizing Theon, let's take inventory of what he is wearing. It seems that he is wearing black and gold, and has his broach that identifies him as Ironborn. It would not take a genius to figure out that he is Theon when meeting him.

The hooded Man could be delivering messages to others inside Winterfell, but, and this is big, Theon would not survive the situation we see with the Hooded Man if he were to be a northerner. This is someone that is indifferent to Theon, and respects Ramsay's claim to Theon's life.

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Asha as author - now this is an interesting idea.

Firewareagle is right, though. This scheming seems unlikely for dear warriorprincess Asha. If the letter was in fact send by a Greyjoy, she's maybe the wrong one. Given four fingers are enough to write and you're able to keep your head on your shoulders in front of a weirwoodtree.

(No, there is no big theory behind this suggestion. Thinking about Asha as author of this letter and reading the counter-arguments here only made me wonder ...)

Missing a few fingers could affect a man's penmanship.....

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