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OberynBlackfyre

Rickon, the Black Wolf.

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I remember a quote from ACOK when the Reeds meet the wolves, paraphrasing "One wolf was strong but did not know his full potential (Bran's before he opened his third eye) and the other was mad with rage". I'm almost certain Rickon will be quite savage and if not as mad as Aerys then maybe a little like Viserys, except stronger.

Thank you for finding that quote, I know something like it was said but didn't want to take the time to find it. I think this explains exactly how Rickon was feeling, and also what he will do when he comes to power as The Black Wolf.

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Personally I think Rickon will end up having little to no consequence to the story. Why else is his direwolf called Shaggydog (as in: story.). Now Davos' trip to Skaagos is a different matter, but Rickon himself? Useless.

You think Rickon is useless? Really? He's a legitimate male heir to the Starks. A male heir grows up. He feels obligated to avenge his father's death, his brother's death, to right the wrongs done to his family. He represents a potential threat, someone who can become a dangerous enemy. Why else does Jaime Lannister make sure that Robb didn't sire an heir on Jeyne? Why did Tywin wipe out House Reyne and House Tarbeck completely? Why did Robert fear Daenerys? Robb's death set the stage for Rickon to be of great significance to the North. And I think the OP theory is spot on to where Rickon's character is heading. Westeros is in store for a long Winter and Rickon has plenty of time to thrive and grow before he takes lead of the North.

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in my opinion bran will not be the lord of Winterfell. he is a greenseer and will pursue that area before he sits in a castle doing nothing. when he was the lord of Winterfell he did not like it. Rickon being the next eldest male would then inherit the title.

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I think people are overestimating the possibility of Rickon turning into a little psycho. His fear and aggression — manifested in Shaggydog's fear and aggression — seems to be the result of losing family members and lacking structure, not being a sociopath. I think that if Osha stays with him and provides him some stability, even if it's only just by virtue of having her as a constant, he'll turn out OK. He might actually end up being rather tough and hard to spook, which could be assets.

As for his ultimate purpose, I think it's twofold:

1. Carry on the male line of the Starks and become the new family figurehead. I think Bran's out of commission, tree or no tree; Robb's dead; and Jon will have other things going on.

2. Bring Skagos into the fold and into the storyline, when Davos goes to retrieve him. If Skagos is willing to fight for Rickon, there's a virtually untapped wealth of fighters right when the North could use it the most.

I've also said before that it's significant in some way that Rickon, like his siblings, is a warg. Whether that unfolds in a small way (Shaggydog proves he's a Stark!), a medium way (Skagosi worship wargs and will fight for Rickon's claim!) or a large way (Rickon wargs a dragon!) remains to be seen.

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I think people are overestimating the possibility of Rickon turning into a little psycho. His fear and aggression — manifested in Shaggydog's fear and aggression — seems to be the result of losing family members and lacking structure, not being a sociopath. I think that if Osha stays with him and provides him some stability, even if it's only just by virtue of having her as a constant, he'll turn out OK. He might actually end up being rather tough and hard to spook, which could be assets.

I agree with this completely. We meet Rickon when he's a toddler. Toddlers are pretty much mini psychopaths. It's that stage where they are just learning right from wrong and just starting to learn their own strength. Rickon and by extension Shaggydog truly present as the very typical toddler in the throes of their terrible twos (which doesn't last for just their second year). Nymeria, Grey Wind, Summer and Ghost all grew and changed as their owners grew and changed. Shaggydog may have been wild when Rickon was a toddler, but he certainly started calming down when Rickon was presented with a bit of structure. There really isn't any reason to think that Rickon will continue to be a sociopathic toddler when he was already growing out of it by the time we see him depart with Osha.

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Just for reference, here's Jojen's actual quote from COK:

"The black one is full of fear and rage, but the grey is strong...stronger than he knows...can you feel him sister?"

I'm not sure what your argument is here, but Rickon's a small child who's just lost his father and sisters and has had his brother and mother leave him. He's not really emotionally and mentally equipped to deal with that kind of thing yet. I can't say I begrudge him a little "fear and rage" at that moment, and I don't think it makes him a Joffrey or a Ramsay.

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I'm not sure what your argument is here, but Rickon's a small child who's just lost his father and sisters and has had his brother and mother leave him. He's not really emotionally and mentally equipped to deal with that kind of thing yet. I can't say I begrudge him a little "fear and rage" at that moment, and I don't think it makes him a Joffrey or a Ramsay.

Not really putting forth an opinion, just adding the actual quote since folks were discussing it and I thought it'd be helpful to have the exact wording. As it happens, I agree with you - Rickon may be "filled with fear and rage," but he's not a sociopath. What he feels is different than what he is.

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Not really putting forth an opinion, just adding the actual quote since folks were discussing it and I thought it'd be helpful to have the exact wording. As it happens, I agree with you - Rickon may be "filled with fear and rage," but he's not a sociopath. What he feels is different than what he is.

Completely agree too. I think people overlook the small, but important details about Rickon's character from the first and second book. But I thought it was pretty obvious that he loved his family and the fear and rage came from seeing them leave one by one, especially Robb's departure when Rickon hid in the crypts to protest. He didn't exactly want to be parted from Bran either at the end of COK, since if I recall correctly Osha had to tap him with her sword to get him moving.

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You think Rickon is useless? Really? He's a legitimate male heir to the Starks. A male heir grows up. He feels obligated to avenge his father's death, his brother's death, to right the wrongs done to his family. He represents a potential threat, someone who can become a dangerous enemy. Why else does Jaime Lannister make sure that Robb didn't sire an heir on Jeyne? Why did Tywin wipe out House Reyne and House Tarbeck completely? Why did Robert fear Daenerys? Robb's death set the stage for Rickon to be of great significance to the North. And I think the OP theory is spot on to where Rickon's character is heading. Westeros is in store for a long Winter and Rickon has plenty of time to thrive and grow before he takes lead of the North.

And none of that's going to matter if he dies is it now. All the names of the direwolves are symbolic imo (having trouble thinking of what Greywind could mean if i'm honest.). Shaggydog just strikes me as being foreshadowing for Rickon's eventual uselessness to the plot.

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And none of that's going to matter if he dies is it now. All the names of the direwolves are symbolic imo (having trouble thinking of what Greywind could mean if i'm honest.). Shaggydog just strikes me as being foreshadowing for Rickon's eventual uselessness to the plot.

If the Names matter (which I agree) I dont see how "Shaggydog" indicates that he is useless to the plot. Something that is shaggy is wild, unkept, and rugged. A dog is loyal and obedient. I put forth that "Shaggydog" is a way of pointing towards Rickon - brought up in the wild, fending for himself will be a fierce but loyal Warden of the North (a tougher environment than most of Westeros) to whoever it is that wins the iron throne.

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Spin-off series, the adventures of Rickon, Osha and Davos. Skagos Style!

I know you're joking, but I would actually read this.

I think people are overestimating the possibility of Rickon turning into a little psycho. His fear and aggression — manifested in Shaggydog's fear and aggression — seems to be the result of losing family members and lacking structure, not being a sociopath. I think that if Osha stays with him and provides him some stability, even if it's only just by virtue of having her as a constant, he'll turn out OK. He might actually end up being rather tough and hard to spook, which could be assets.

I think Rickon is going to be harsher than Eddard and Robb were. Both were taught how to rule well, and could be hard if circumstances required, but they weren't really hard or cruel or callous men. I don't think Rickon is cruel per se, but his fear and anger must leave some traces. Also, he doesn't get the benefit of a benevolent teacher like Robb had in Eddard and Eddard in Jon Arryn and perhaps Lord Rickard. I'm sure Osha will do what she can for Rickon, but her pov as a wilding woman has to make a difference in RIckon's upbringing as opposed to that of say, Robb and Jon.

As for his ultimate purpose, I think it's twofold:

1. Carry on the male line of the Starks and become the new family figurehead. I think Bran's out of commission, tree or no tree; Robb's dead; and Jon will have other things going on.

2. Bring Skagos into the fold and into the storyline, when Davos goes to retrieve him. If Skagos is willing to fight for Rickon, there's a virtually untapped wealth of fighters right when the North could use it the most.

:agree:

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think people are overestimating the possibility of Rickon turning into a little psycho. His fear and aggression — manifested in Shaggydog's fear and aggression — seems to be the result of losing family members and lacking structure, not being a sociopath.

I think these feelings of fear and helplessness, experienced in young age, often led leaders to future excessive cruelties, like Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great (or first Ming). And Rickon had it much worse! Scared people can be very cruel, overcompensating for feeling small, and just simply out of fear.

I can see Rickon as a part of bittersweet ending - there is a Stark in Winterfell, but he's kind of a monster. Not on Joffrey/Ramsey level, and scarier than both, but with bouts of extreme cruelty, paranoia, moments of agression where he turns on his friends, just scary/unstable dude to be around.

It would take pretty much a miracle and much more calm and passive personality for him to be stable, honestly. Traumas like these, and untreated ones, basically have to lead to serious consequences, and I don't think they will be pretty.

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If the Names matter (which I agree) I dont see how "Shaggydog" indicates that he is useless to the plot. Something that is shaggy is wild, unkept, and rugged. A dog is loyal and obedient. I put forth that "Shaggydog" is a way of pointing towards Rickon - brought up in the wild, fending for himself will be a fierce but loyal Warden of the North (a tougher environment than most of Westeros) to whoever it is that wins the iron throne.

The term shaggydog story means a story with no satisfying conclusion. As in Rickon's arc will be a shaggydog story.

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I have to agree with an earlier post about him being too young to be of any consequence.

I'm also worried about arya in this regard, but far more so rickon.

He may well become a rallying point for the north but I can't (though id love too!)see the series going long enough to see him come of age.

It's been 2 years so far, GRRM would have to speed things up ALOT to get ten years of winter...

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The term shaggydog story means a story with no satisfying conclusion. As in Rickon's arc will be a shaggydog story

To be honest, I find this kind of logic to be faulty.

Yes, the direwolf names may have some greater significance and there is a definite bond between the wolves and their masters, but I think the names say much more about the characters than their actual significance to the plot: Arya admires strong, independent women, so she named her's Nymeria. That's it. That doesn't mean Arya is going to lead a host of people to settle in Westeros.

Similarly, how could you expect (if Rickon is to play a more important role in the story later on) that Rickon would give his direwolf some hugely symbolic name, like Ice-Eyes or something? That would be ridiculous: the kid was three years old when the story began. What kind of name do you expect a three-year old to give a direwolf pup? I can imagine an older, rougher Rickon re-naming him or simply calling him 'wolf' instead. And wouldn't it be just like GRRM to make the direwolf with the silliest name and his master to be the fiercest and most dangerous of them all?

So I don't put much stock into that argument concerning Rickon.

That said, I doubt he'll be of any great importance to the actual story in TWOW and ADoS: as others have said, he's simply too young and without the timeskip, it would be highly surprising if he reached a sufficient age in the last two books to take up a more prominent role. At most, he'll serve as a figure for the North to rally around (with Bran possibly being remembered as the Stark that went beyond the Wall and never returned) and I really like the idea of him getting Skagos to join the fray.

However, I have a sneaking suspicion we'll see an epilogue of sorts once the main storyline is finished, many years later. Rickon being the POV character would be a distinct possibility and him being a harsh, cruel and vengeful Lord of Winterfell (or King in the North), with a terrifying black direwolf at his side, seems almost too strong an image for GRRM to pass up. While I doubt he'll turn out to be a full-blown psychopath just because of his and Shaggydog's behaviour right now, there's not a chance he'll forget about what happened to his family: from Rickon's perspective, he lost his father, his mother, his eldest brother (and any other possible siblings that may die or never return) and his home when he was only a child, all thanks to the Lannisters, the Ironborn and other players in the game.

I can definitely see Rickon becoming a bitter ruler, caring solely about the North, with nothing but enmity for all southron lords and Ironborn. And yes, I believe GRRM will either hint at this or show it directly before the books are done.

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To be honest, I find this kind of logic to be faulty.

Yes, the direwolf names may have some greater significance and there is a definite bond between the wolves and their masters, but I think the names say much more about the characters than their actual significance to the plot: Arya admires strong, independent women, so she named her's Nymeria. That's it. That doesn't mean Arya is going to lead a host of people to settle in Westeros.

Similarly, how could you expect (if Rickon is to play a more important role in the story later on) that Rickon would give his direwolf some hugely symbolic name, like Ice-Eyes or something? That would be ridiculous: the kid was three years old when the story began. What kind of name do you expect a three-year old to give a direwolf pup? I can imagine an older, rougher Rickon re-naming him or simply calling him 'wolf' instead. And wouldn't it be just like GRRM to make the direwolf with the silliest name and his master to be the fiercest and most dangerous of them all?

So I don't put much stock into that argument concerning Rickon.

Just because I believe the names have significance it doesn't mean that they have to map exactly to their counterparts. If Arya becomes a great female warrior then that will fulfill the symbolism of the name Nymeria. And it's not really about what name Rickon would be likely to give his wolf. It's symbolism, so it's meaning takes place out of the story, so to speak. Not sure if I'm explaining that right.

Well anyway, it was just that someone didn't get why Shaggy's name might mean Rickon has no impact on the plot and I simply explained why I believed that.

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Yeah for all those stating that shaggydog is going to have some sort of foreshadowing only due to name, I don't really think you are getting the essence of GRRM' s writing. He's a troll, and people who take him literal will continue to be trolled.

Why take Rickon to Skagos which has the most fierce men of the north, and forget about him? Has GRRM really failed to tie a loose end on ANYONE?? I think not. I agree it may come in some sort of epilogue, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

For those saying that timing will not allow him to grow up......we have a WHOLE session of Winter to go through people. It was team years summer, do you think that it means it will be s six month winter?? No. Not at all.

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