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Yeade

Le Grande Northern Conspiracy, Parte the Fourth

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Seeing as the third thread's been locked, I thought I'd take the liberty of starting another. First, the links to the previous topics:

The northmen inside and outside Winterfell. Conspiration?

The Great Northern Conspiracy, Reexamined

The Great Northern Conspiracy, Part 3

Additionally, I wrote a seven-part essay summarizing some of the most widely speculated features of the theory: The North Remembers. This is by no means comprehensive, however. For that, I highly recommend Bran Vras's The Winterfell Huis Clos.

If you find the above amount of reading daunting--understandably so!--towards the end of the last thread, I attempted to describe a rough chronology of events in the interests of figuring out what core elements of the GNC proponents can generally agree on.

Following the Red Wedding and shipwreck of Robb Stark's kingdom, I think there's a veritable sea of hatred and resentment on the parts of the northmen and riverlords towards the Lannisters, Boltons, and Freys, for obvious reasons. However, with their armies scattered and leaderless, their kin held hostage for their good behavior, the defeated separatists grudgingly submit to the authority of the Iron Throne, backed as it is by the Lannister-Tyrell coalition. Then the situation changes. By the end of AFFC, Tyrion's put a crossbow bolt through the powerful and feared Lannister patriarch, Lord Tywin, leaving Cersei to rule in King's Landing and consolidate her family's gains in the War of the Five Kings. She, of course, proceeds to drive House Lannister into the ground, breaks the alliance with the Tyrells, and essentially abandons her allies, the Boltons and Freys, to their own devices, as the crown hasn't the wherewithal to dispatch another army of conquest or occupation north. At this point, I believe the Stark loyalists smell blood in the water.

Initially, there are a number of independent conspiracies to take simple revenge, IMO. Lady Stoneheart and the Brotherhood Without Banners hang Freys willy-nilly in the riverlands; Manderly, possibly supported by the Umbers, with whom he's been in communication with since the harvest feast in ACOK to construct the fleet Davos spies in ADWD, plots to betray the Boltons. Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover are guests of Howland Reed at Greywater Watch, presumably, sitting on the knowledge that Robb named Jon his heir. They contact their kin in the North, Alysane and Robett, with word of Robb's decree and to make plans for the retaking of Deepwood Motte from the ironborn.

Where these independent actions begin to resemble a concerted effort to restore the Starks to power is as the various groups of conspirators meet.

UnCat rides into the Neck with Jack-Be-Lucky and Lem Lemoncloak prior to Jaime's arrival at Riverrun. Once there, Jaime gives Tom o' Sevens, the BWB spy, time for a private talk with Edmure, who's another witness to Robb's decree and sent shortly thereafter to negotiate with his uncle. The Blackfish disappears before Riverrun surrenders, but two fairly high-ranking men from the garrison choose to take the black. Several of the more plausible candidates for the hooded man in Winterfell--Hallis Mollen, Harwin, Ser Kyle Condon--also would've had to pass through the Neck on their journeys north, with the attendant possibility that they took counsel with Reed.

Meanwhile, in the North, a Locke is present at Manderly's court when Davos has his audience. At Barrowton, prior to Ramsay's wedding to fake!Arya, Manderly has opportunity to speak to the Hornwoods, Cerwyns, and Tallharts. There are rivers of bad blood between those houses and the Boltons--Lady Hornwood's fate, Cley Cerwyn and Leobald Tallhart's deaths in the sack of Winterfell, the additional losses at Duskendale, including Ser Helman Tallhart. On the road to Winterfell, Alysane joins the northern clansmen in Stannis's march, who are otherwise out of the loop, and Manderly encounters Mance Rayder with his six spearwives looking for a way to infiltrate the castle and steal Ramsay's bride for her brother, Jon Snow. Flint and Norrey show up at the Wall with a tail of guards in time for Alys Karstark's wedding but, as even Jon suspects, probably not to attend it. Lady Dustin and the Ryswells, for their blood ties to the Boltons, are the last northmen in Winterfell to be approached about any pro-Stark conspiracy, after Manderly already has the other houses on his side, but by Theon's last ADWD chapter, it's done.

At the end of ADWD, the pieces are in place but, realizing much can go wrong, the conspirators are hedging their bets when it comes to Stannis and the Stark heirs, IMO. Of the remaining Starks known to the GNC, Jon's actually the safest option, having been on the Wall since AGOT with no indication that he'll ever leave. Or at least he was until the Ides of Marsh, lol. Bran's current location is a mystery, though the hill clans are likely aware he and his company were headed to the Wall, thanks to the unnamed Liddle early in ASOS. Rickon's on Skagos, and Manderly has taken steps to see that he is retrieved. If and when the GNC's successfully ousted the Boltons and Freys, then the conspirators can worry about the Stark succession. Until that time, it makes sense to me for the northmen to wrangle together as many Starks as they can find. Which in the end may even include Sansa, should the Blackfish powwow with the Royces in the Vale, who might know what Alayne Stone's true identity is courtesy of Myranda, Lord Nestor's daughter.

As for Stannis, it's certainly in the northmen's interests to ally with him, at least at the moment. However, besides Manderly and the treacherous Karstarks, not one of the northern houses has sworn to him, IIRC, and it's been argued that Manderly doesn't expect to survive to make good on his promise to Davos, which isn't exactly a binding vow on his heir, Wylis, witnessed by the old gods or the new. Whether the northmen will push for another King in the North or not depends, I think, on their mood once a Stark is again in Winterfell. It's quite probable, IMO, given that the Iron Throne's sanctioned travesties against them like the Red Wedding. That Stannis hasn't the force to gainsay them and the southerners soon look to be too embroiled in another round of civil wars to mount any immediate resistance will only encourage a second declaration of northern independence.

Beyond this, the common speculations are that either Jon will be crowned King in the North or Rickon will hold the titles, titles with Jon as his de facto regent, acting as supreme allied commander in the war for the dawn. Funny thing is that I feel Jon, of all the characters, is most likely to respect Stannis's claim to the Iron Throne, if for no other reason than that his pragmatism won't allow him to turn away anyone with swords to offer in the fight against the Others. That Jon defers to Stannis won't change the reality that it's Jon who'd hold the power, though. That it's Jon who the northmen follow, not Stannis, as is his perceived right as king of all Westeros. In many ways, this would simply be status quo so far as the North is concerned, the edicts of the Iron Throne obeyed only because the Starks say so, but my understanding of Stannis's character is that he'd take this at best as a slight, at worst as treason, not easily forgiven. What's more, gods forbid Jon disagree with Stannis about how to conduct the defense of the realm. Melisandre, for one, could become a point of contention between the two in her fanaticism. After all, she seems to believe Bloodraven and Bran, avatars of the old gods, are in league with the Great Other.

Anyone want to make revisions? I also suggested that contentious but related issues, like whether the GNC is a petty and unproductive way for the northmen to treat with Stannis (link), be folded into this topic. Ditto any relevant analyses of the situation in the riverlands or even the Vale.

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I'd actually like to expand into the Riverlands, which is where the end of the last thread was heading.

Some food for thought:

1. Two Riverrun men decide to take the black after the castle falls.

2. The Blackfish seems to protest too much about Jon to Jaime.

3. Riverrun still flies the Stark standard.

4. The Brotherhood, at least one faction, seems to using the Neck as a hideout; highly unlikely Reed is unaware.

5. Tom O'Sevens has infiltrated Riverrun.

6. We have prisoners at the Twins and Edmure's westward caravan, ripe for the taking.

7. We still have stragglers from Robb's army in play somewhere.

8. Where is Brynden Tully? Probably not going to the Wall if he already sent dudes. Going west to free Edmure's? East to get the Vale involved?

9. UnCat has Robb's crown.

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I'd actually like to expand into the Riverlands, which is where the end of the last thread was heading.

Some food for thought:

1. To Riverrun men decide to take the black after the castle falls.

2. The Blackfish seems to protest too much about Jon to Jaime.

3. Riverrun still flies the Stark standard.

4. The Brotherhood, at least one faction, seems to using the Neck as a hideout; highly unlikely Reed is unaware.

5. Tom O'Sevens has infiltrated Riverrun.

6. We have prisoners at the Twins and Edmure's westward caravan, ripe for the taking.

7. We still have stragglers from Robb's army in play somewhere.

8. Where is Brynden Tully? Probably not going to the Wall if he already sent dudes. Going west to free Edmure's? East to get the Vale involved?

9. UnCat has Robb's crown.

Saw a recent thread speculating that 20,000 went south with Robb Stark and circa 4,000 returned with Roose Bolton.

16,000 missing or dead Northmen, some certainly will have been slaughter in Roose's retreat, some more at the red wedding, the Lannister mop up operations, desertions, BWB, wastage along the way..

Surely there's a reasonable number of Northmen left from all those incidents, stragglers here and there. I'm not sure it would even approach half of the number missing or dead, but it may still be a few thousand.

I'd speculate on the greatest number being 'found' by Howland Reed. I'd also speculate on some being in King's Landing as 'sparrows' and I'd suppose on a number getting back to the north by different ways and means. Certainly some will have 'turned cloak' and be serving the Lannisters or Tyrells by the end of ADWD.

I'm not sure of them being any sort of fighting force, any large group would have been engaged by the likes of Lord Tarly and there's unlikely to be any number of horsemen either.

The questions are 'where are they?' And 'can they still play a role?'

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I

2. The Blackfish seems to protest too much about Jon to Jaime.

This always bothered me. I thought there was more to this than simply hating him for being Ned's bastard or not trusting him like Cat didn't trust Theon

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I think the Cerwyn men were killed when Lannister soldiers raided them as they crossed a river in SoS. They got positioned to die the same as the men sent to take Duskendale. With so many balls in the air, it seems like the dynamics in Westeros will be quite different by the end of Winds. The Riverlands are primed for a bloodbath and revolution. Manderly and co. are consolidating against Bolton in the North. The Anti-frey agenda is in fullswing. Sansa has been placed into power in the Vale (or close to power), and she has the ability to bring in the loyalties of the Thelords and the Mountain Clans (through marriage with Tyrion), Cersei's government is failing. The Tyrell army seems set to be wiped out by the Sparrows, Aegon landing.

I feel like there's a good chance that Winds may set up a ravaged, yet united, pro-Stark alliance throughout most of the 7 Kingdoms. The only x-factor in my mind is what will happen with the Others and the wights. It seems like the Lannister, Frey, Tyrell, Bolton alliance is set to fail, with the Lannisters, Tyrells, and the Golden Company set to rip each other apart. The Freys and Boltons are likely being targetted by practically every house in the North and the Riverlands.

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There is no conspiracy, the lot of you are delusional. Face it, Winter Has Come and taken the Starks with it; the Starks are no more!!!!!

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This always bothered me. I thought there was more to this than simply hating him for being Ned's bastard or not trusting him like Cat didn't trust Theon

Someone (Yeade?) pointed out that Brynden probably wouldn't have heard about Jon one way or the other from Catelyn. Why would she talk to the Blackfish about Jon at all? If anyone was telling Brynden about Jon, it would've been Robb, when they were discussing Robb's choice of heir. And Robb would've only said good things. So yeah, I'm calling "the Blackfish doth protest too much" on this.

There is no conspiracy, the lot of you are delusional. Face it, Winter Has Come and taken the Starks with it; the Starks are no more!!!!!

:rolleyes:

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Great post as always, Yeade. There are so many interesting bits in the GNC! I remember that in the original one by Eyron I we talked a bit about

Lyra and Jory Mormont, and I think they may be acting actively in the conspiracy. Both were, as far as we knew, at Bear Island. But then Lyanna Mormont sends that reply to Stannis - such a brilliant Jon & Stannis scene! - And Jon thinks why is Lyanna, a 10-year-old, replying to Stannis. think Lyra and Jorelle may be playing quite an important part in the communications network in the background.

As to Stannis and a Stark rule being restored in the North, I think that may be [one of the] "$64,000 Questions" and it will define Stannis once and for all: he will either see it as treason (iron that will break before it bends), or he'll reach some sort of agreement with Jon/GNC, bending and forming a mighty alliance. And I wish I had any idea which way Martin will go, because I can see it going either way.

And let's not forget all the free folk who are already on the south side of the Wall, with Sigorn, Alys and some 200 Thenns well on their way to Karhold. And "Karhold remembers".

Ah, and there are two ships from Pyke's fleet - so to speak - on Skane. Will Davos run into them? He could find Rickon and decide to take him to Eastwatch...

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To expand on Apple Martini's list:

Desmond Grell and Robin Ryger, Riverrun's master at arms and captain of guards, respectively, choose to take the black after the castle's surrender. Jaime orders a dozen of Gregor Clegane's men, led by Raff the Sweetling, to escort the two to Maidenpool, presumably to set sail for Eastwatch, threatening dire consequences unless the prisoners arrive unspoiled. (Jaime VII, AFFC)

Common speculation says Grell and Ryger have been tasked by the Blackfish, after he takes counsel with Edmure, to either inform Jon he's been named King in the North by Robb or judge his suitability for the crown. Once Grell and Ryger are at the Wall, they need not actually join the Night's Watch, instead staying as guests much like Flint and Norrey, who may also be at Castle Black to assess Jon's leadership potential. There wouldn't be much the Lannisters can do to object, if they even care what two old former Tully retainers get up to so far north.

Anyways, Grell and Ryger have not yet arrived at the Wall in ADWD, but I have no idea whether they've had enough time to reasonably make the long voyage. One wrinkle I think I suggested a couple threads back is that they might have stopped in White Harbor to shelter from the autumn storms or resupply. Then again, they could be sunk at the bottom of the Narrow Sea for all we readers know.

Ser Brynden Tully is still loyal to the King in the North and supposedly impugns Jon's character to Jaime to deflect Lannister attention away from Robb's intended heir. (Jaime VI, AFFC)

The previous installments include several rounds of back and forth about whether it's likely that the Blackfish, as Robb's closest adviser, would've been privy to Robb's decision to will his kingdom to his bastard half-brother. Which all came to no conclusion, lol, simply because too little is known about what Robb discusses with his bannermen leading up to the Red Wedding. Catelyn is the lone POV on Robb, but I get the sense that he may be holding councils, though perhaps informal ones, without her knowledge about matters she wouldn't be glad to hear of. He plans to send her away to Seagard, care of Jason Mallister, for example, and she's the only one surprised to learn of it (Catelyn V, ASOS). His decree naming Jon heir could've been similar--already pretty much a done deal by the time he sees fit to inform her of it earlier in the same chapter.

However, if the Blackfish suspects Jon is now his king even before he speaks with Edmure, why does he continue to hold the besieged Riverrun? Couldn't he have swam to freedom as he ultimately does at any time? Does he just not have a plan until Tom o' Sevens, via Edmure, offers the assistance of the Brotherhood Without Banners? Edmure would be able to confirm the contents of Robb's decree, as well.

The various activities of Lady Stoneheart's faction of the Brotherhood Without Banners boil down to three potential operations against the Lannisters and Freys, IMO: gatecrashing Daven Lannister's wedding to his Frey stoat at Riverrun (Jaime V, AFFC), freeing the Red Wedding hostages while they're en route to King's Landing, and/or rescuing Edmure from
his
captivity while he's on the road to Casterly Rock (Jaime VII, AFFC).

UnCat perhaps has the support of Howland Reed and his guests, Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover, in all this given her foray into the Neck (Jaime IV, AFFC). And, thanks to Tom, the Blackfish could've made contact with his unfortunately undead niece after his escape from Riverrun. Finally, Brienne is maybe delivering Jaime, commander of the Iron Throne's forces in the riverlands, into UnCat's unforgiving hands.

Basically, UnCat's been very, very busy, lol. As Lady Gwynhyfvar and nenya~ track the movements of Lady Stoneheart and her merry band, I'd be interested to see who the BWB could've talked to and what intelligence they might've gathered. What's more, Thoros tells Brienne that UnCat never rests, continuing to make trips while her men are asleep (Brienne VIII, AFFC).

ETA: As a related aside, studying the map, if I were charged with exchanging a group of valuable prisoners from the custody of the Freys at the Twins to the Lannisters, I would first march them to captured Seagard, then either put them on a ship or take them down the coast to the westerlands before moving any to King's Landing rather than risk passage through an area known to be plagued by murderous outlaw bands and a monstrous pack of killer wolves.

While Lady Stoneheart's group is clearly of interest, whatever happens to the other BWB faction? Surely, Ned Dayne doesn't go home to Starfall, all the way south in Dorne? Are he and the rest still roaming the riverlands? Maybe they, too, can be found in Greywater Watch or on the Quiet Isle along with seemingly every other person who disappears in the region. :laugh:

Potentially hundreds of northern stragglers, remnants of Robb's army unable to recross Moat Cailin, are at large in the riverlands.

The twenty thousand figure for Robb's original host with roughly four thousand returning north in Roose Bolton's has been confirmed (Theon II, Reek II, ADWD). Either a great many more men are killed at the Red Wedding and in the preceding battles than I ever realized or Reed, Mormont, and Glover could in fact gather a sizable force of northmen. A more expert opinion is needed here, methinks.

As an addition, a closer examination of the riverlords may be enlightening.

I'm really only familiar in passing with the Mallisters, Vance, Piper, the feuding Blackwoods and Brackens. Plus, while I know there's a death list of Freys somewhere on these boards, lol, another one with more details on who's alive and where, who's in what place in the line of succession could be helpful for this thread. It's been suggested that Lord Walder may very well attend the Red Wedding 2.0, if it happens, a theory that's gained more credence with the death of his wife at Catelyn's hands in the TV series, the added twist being that it's him marrying, not Daven ("I'll find another," no?). The resulting implosion of House Frey in internecine conflict would be a great boon to the GNC. There's also some speculation about the Rosby inheritance, which Perwyn, Olyvar, and Roslin stand to take, renouncing their father's family and thus saving them from the coming bloodbath.

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So, I dug up the big damn list of Freys compiled separately by The hairy bear and Roose Bolton's Pet Leech a couple years back. Lord Walder's twenty-two(!) sons are noted in brackets, with the line of succession in the center, daughters after sons but before more distant male relatives. Deaths are marked by an 'X'; if it's murder, the perpetrator(s) and/or circumstances are listed to the left. Five Freys are not likely to inherit on account of being affiliated with the septons or maesters and, in the case of Aegon Bloodborn, apparently running off to become an outlaw, lol.

           WALDER FREY, Lord of the Crossing
Oxcross          X  --SER STEVRON FREY [1]
Lady Stoneheart   X    --SER RYMAN FREY
          1       --EDWYN FREY
          2        --WALDA FREY
          3       --WALDER FREY, called BLACK WALDER
Lady Stoneheart   X       --PETYR FREY, called PETYR PIMPLE
          4        --PERRA FREY
Red Wedding      X    --AEGON FREY, called JINGLEBELL
          5    --WALTON FREY
          6       --STEFFON FREY, called THE SWEET
          7       --BRYAN FREY
          8       --WALDA FREY, called FAIR WALDA
          X    --LADY MAEGELLE VANCE
          9       --WALDER VANCE
         10       --PATREK VANCE
         11       --MARIANNE VANCE
         12  --SER EMMON FREY [2]
Brave Companions  X    --SER CLEOS FREY
         13       --TYWIN FREY
         14       --WILLEM FREY
         15    --SER LYONEL FREY
Rickard Karstark  X    --TION FREY
         16    --WALDER FREY, called RED WALDER
         17  --SER AENYS FREY [3]
          O    --AEGON FREY, called AEGON BLOODBORN
Wyman Manderly      X    --RHAEGAR FREY
         18       --ROBERT FREY
         19       --JONOS FREY
         20       --WALDA FREY, called WHITE WALDA
Wyman Manderly      X  --SER JARED FREY [4]
Red Wedding      X    --SER TYTOS FREY
          O       --ZACHERY FREY
         21       --ZIA FREY
         22    --LADY KYRA GOODBROOK
         23       --WALDER GOODBROOK
         24       --JEYNE GOODBROOK
          O  --SEPTON LUCEON (FREY) [5]
         25  --SER HOSTEEN FREY [6]
         26    --SER ARWOOD FREY
         27       --ANDROW and ALYN FREY
         28       --RYELLA FREY
         29       --HOSTELLA FREY
Wyman Manderly      X  --SYMOND FREY [7]
         30    --ALESANDER FREY
         31    --BRADAMAR FREY
         32    --ALYX FREY
         33  --SER DANWELL FREY [8]
Lady Stoneheart   X  --MERRETT FREY [9]
Big Walder      X    --WALDER FREY, called LITTLE WALDER
         34    --AMEREI FREY, called AMI
         35    --LADY WALDA BOLTON, called FAT WALDA
         36    --MARISSA FREY
          X  --SER GEREMY FREY [10]
         37    --SANDOR FREY
         38    --CYNTHEA FREY
         39  --SER RAYMUND FREY [11]
          O    --ROBERT FREY
         40    --MALWYN FREY
         41    --SERRA and SARRA FREY
         42    --CERSEI FREY, called LITTLE BEE
         43    --JAIME and TYWIN FREY
         44  --LOTHAR FREY, called LAME LOTHAR [12]
         45    --TYSANE FREY
         46    --WALDA FREY
         47    --EMBERLEI FREY
         48    --LEANA FREY
         49  --SER JAMMOS FREY [13]
         50    --WALDER FREY, called BIG WALDER
         51    --DICKOS and MATHIS FREY
         52  --SER WHALEN FREY [14]
         53    --HOSTER FREY
         54    --MERIANNE FREY
         55  --SER PERWYN FREY [15]
Red Wedding      X  --SER BENFREY FREY [16]
         56    --OSMUND FREY
         57    --DELLA FREY, called DEAF DELLA
          O  --MAESTER WILLAMEN (FREY) [17]
         58  --OLYVAR FREY [18]
         59  --WENDEL FREY [19]
         60  --COLMAR FREY [20]
         61  --WALTYR FREY, called TYR [21]
         62  --ELMAR FREY [22]
         63  --LADY PERRIANE HAIGH
         64    --SER HARYS HAIGH
         65       --WALDER HAIGH
         66    --SER DONNEL HAIGH
         67    --ALYN HAIGH
         68  --LADY LYTHENE VYPREN
         69    --SER DAMON VYPREN
         70    --ELYANA VYPREN
         71       --RICKARD WYLDE
         72  --LADY MORYA BRAX
         73    --ROBERT BRAX
         74    --WALDER BRAX
         75    --JON BRAX
         76  --TYTA FREY, called TYTA THE MAID
         77  --LADY ROSLIN TULLY
         78  --ARWYN FREY
         79  --SHIREI FREY

Hosteen and Aenys's chances of survival have dropped precipitously since they crossed the Neck, and Emmon is of course a prime target for the Red Wedding 2.0, should it come to pass. If Lord Walder kicks the bucket, I'd expect Edwyn and Black Walder to duke it out alongside their respective supporters, though I admit I'm not sure who those might be.

No matter how murderously productive Lady Stoneheart, Manderly, and the rest of the Freys' numerous enemies are, however, I can't quite imagine House Frey going the way of the Reynes of Castamere. Especially as, according to the appendix, a couple of Lord Walder's grandsons are across the Narrow Sea. More likely, IMO, that everyone with ties to another house through marriage or blood will ditch the Frey name while the remaining immediate heirs to the Twins and their sons of age die.

One thing I never before noticed is that the Vance-Freys, of uncertain relation to the two main branches, are pretty high up in the line of succession. With, I think, Lady Gwynhyfvar's find last thread of the Brotherhood Without Banners receiving intelligence from Lord Vance's maester and Jaime's disappearance from Raventree after following Karyl Vance's advice, the Vances are definitely worth another closer look.

Finally, I searched for and found tze's excellent post about the Rosby-Freys.

Walder Frey's fifth wife was Bethany Rosby, and there's an excellent chance one of their children is [Gyles Rosby's] ward. (That would explain why Falyse calls the ward "that ill-born wretch"--being a member of House Frey isn't a socially positive thing post-Red Wedding). The Frey/Rosby children are Roslin, Olyvar, Perwyn, Benfrey, and Willamen. Willamen's a maester and Benfrey died at the Red Wedding, so neither of them can be the ward/heir. The fact that the remaining three are Roslin (married to Edmure at the Red Wedding), Perwyn (not permitted to be present at the Red Wedding, said to be a decent guy in comparison to his relatives), and Olyvar (Robb's squire, wanted to stay with Robb even after the Jeyne marriage) seems likely to be very, very relevant, given the ties there to House Stark.

Roslin can't be the ward, and Perwyn showed up briefly at the siege of Riverrun in AFFC (so it's possible, but not likely, that he's the ward), but Olyvar vanished without a trace pre-Red Wedding. Given his love of Robb, he's likely to be a Stark loyalist, and his sister was treated rather shabbily by the rest of House Frey, so he'd be primed to throw over House Frey in favor of House Stark. (It certainly wouldn't hurt that Perwyn, his only remaining full brother, wasn't at the Red Wedding and seems likely to have opposed it. We know from Merrett Frey that the Freys side with full siblings more than half siblings, so if Olyvar becomes Lord Rosby and throws over Lord Walder, Perwyn would probably side with him.)

If Olyvar (or Perwyn, depending) is the ward/heir, it could have a number of interesting implications for a Stark-led resurgence. House Rosby is incredibly wealthy (and the North needs money), they'd be an excellent ally to anyone wanting to storm King's Landing, and there might be a reason why the ward refused to let Falyse Stokeworth enter Rosby (maybe he's doing something there, or hiding someone there, that he didn't want publicly known?).

The Rosby inheritance keeps getting mentioned, so presumably it'll play some role in the future. That there's a connection between House Rosby and the only Freys who would probably be willing to side with the resurgent Starks seems unlikely to be a coincidence.

I think crackpot theories about, say, the Blackfish hiding out at Rosby would be, well, crackpot, lol. Still, looking at the map, Rosby isn't that far from Duskendale, where Robb lost a third of his foot. (How many men is that?) Stragglers from the defeated northern army is a possibility, I guess.

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Just a thought here, nothing imaginative or brilliant: there should be a bunch of Frey uniforms/livery available if Manderly and Stannis take out the Frey forces in Winterfell and environs. Should be good for gaining entry to the Twins if a takeover there is in the plans. Both punishing the Freys and securing free access are good reasons to do that.

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One thing I never before noticed is that the Vance-Freys, of uncertain relation to the two main branches, are pretty high up in the line of succession. With, I think, Lady Gwynhyfvar's find last thread of the Brotherhood Without Banners receiving intelligence from Lord Vance's maester and Jaime's disappearance from Raventree after following Karyl Vance's advice, the Vances are definitely worth another closer look..

Here are all the mentions of the Vances that I've found so far

The Vances are listed under Edmure's friends/companions in the appendix of Storm:

—SER RONALD VANCE, called THE BAD, and his brothers, SER HUGO, SER ELLERY, and KIRTH (Storm, Appendix, p. 960)

Another quote regarding the Vances and Edmure:

Edmure did not take that well. The next day he avoided her entirely on the march, preferring the company of Marq Piper, Lymond Goodbrook, Patrek Mallister, and the young Vances. (Storm, Catelyn V, p. 517).

There was a Vance that was killed in the Red Wedding, but it's not clear which one:

One of the Vances was hamstrung by Black Walder as he was wrestling with Ser Harys Haigh. (Storm, Catelyn, p. 581).

And there are two Lord Vance's in attendance of Jaime's council at the Siege of Riverrun, but neither give any indication if they had family killed at the Red Wedding (unless I missed it).

Also, nice find on the Freys. I was just going to make a list of all of them and their locations, but there are just soo damn many of them.

eta: Oh! And in the appendix in Feast, Maester Jon is the youngest brother of the young Vances who were listed as Edmure's companions in Storm. They are listed as the Vances of Atranta. Karyl Vance is of Wayfarer's Rest.

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Just a thought here, nothing imaginative or brilliant: there should be a bunch of Frey uniforms/livery available if Manderly and Stannis take out the Frey forces in Winterfell and environs. Should be good for gaining entry to the Twins if a takeover there is in the plans. Both punishing the Freys and securing free access are good reasons to do that.

They'll be no need to for a takeover, you can't just chain up the Greatjon and expect him not to break free and rip apart the entire Frey garrison with his bare hands...

Besides his escape is foreshadowed in the Umber sigil.

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I dont know about the Stout and Cerwyn men. In all probability they joined up with Bolton.

“How many men have you brought my son?” she asked Roose Bolton pointedly.

His queer colorless eyes studied her face a moment before he answered. “Some five hundred horse and three thousand foot, my lady. Dreadfort men, in chief, and some from Karhold. With the loyalty of the Karstarks so doubtful now, I thought it best to keep them close. I regret there are not more.”

Bolton brings 3,500 men to the twins but takes 4,000 odd to MC(From the Theon chapter in ADwD). He added 500 men to his ranks - these might be the missing Stout and Cerwyn men. Or they might be survivors of Robb's 3,500 - but I find it unlikely that any of Robb's men would join up with Bolton.

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Thoughtful discussion! At long last, I thought it had fallen to the wayside. We have had a pretty silly summer so far.

I personally am always interested in timing in these books, and I think it's significant to Jon's storyline that many hidden/in transit/missing people stayed out of sight during Dance.

This includes as has been mentioned the two Riverrun men en route to the Nights Watch, the blackfish and of course man of mystery Howland reed. Doesn't prove anything the fact that these characters stay out of sight in dance, but it does seem to be building up to the revelation of a long brewing plot.

Also, Brynden Tully's tirade against Jon and his bastard blood was just too similar in structure and content to Manderly's fairly staged declaration to Davos to be pure coincidence. Digging up both quotes, will repost when I have them.

Oh and Yeade, your essay was just brilliant. I print them out and make them part of my commute reading. Great stuff!

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