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Yeade

Le Grande Northern Conspiracy, Parte the Fourth

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I am somewhat baffled. Do the posts below look familiar at all?

Does he need to? Did someone say he needs to? On both counts, the answer is: of course not.

The idea is based on quite a bit more than that, I assure you. Anyway, I hope I didn't imply that Manderly is making everything up as he goes. My point was simply that as the situation develops, Manderly is adapting whatever developments he can to suit his larger goals. Davos is one such development. The conspiracy itself is long in the planning and sure in its aim.

I guess it's a good thing that everyone in the books always does exactly what they say they're going to do.

No raised voices in this thread! A peaceful land, a quiet people...

Hmm, that was supposed to be a reply to the entire post, including the quotes contained within, seemed to just take yours out though. As far as I've seen this is like the one thread on the forums that largely avoids getting bogged down in relatively minor details and then arguing vehemently about it, it's a dangerous road to go down and then you end up getting like 6 pages on a minor point.

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No raised voices in this thread! A peaceful land, a quiet people...

Hmm, that was supposed to be a reply to the entire post, including the quotes contained within, seemed to just take yours out though. As far as I've seen this is like the one thread on the forums that largely avoids getting bogged down in relatively minor details and then arguing vehemently about it, it's a dangerous road to go down and then you end up getting like 6 pages on a minor point.

I shall make it my rule. He who snarks gently snarks best.

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I shall make it my rule. He who snarks gently snarks best.

Once a poster makes a passive aggressive comment "sorry, but you're wrong", etc (which isn't necessarily passive aggressive in itself but vast majority of the time is passive aggressive in in its context), it does sort of derail whatever the discussion was. The forums remember, Frey. Again, not really a personal attack on you, the quote just strangely only took your posts out of that little thread.

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Would you like to look through my posts and check out where I say the same thing.

Ok, so it doesnt matter how long it takes for Davos to return with Rickon, but it does matter that Davos has Rickon? So if Massey returns with 15000 sellswords before Davos returns with Rickon, the Northeners will still turn on Stannis and possibly get slaughtered?

The time it takes Davos to return is crucial.

Hell Stannis could be on the Iron Throne by the time Davos gets back, and be far too powerful to cross. That is irrelevant if they don't mean to turn on him

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I've just about completed my "GNC Locator" which is a comprehensive (I hope) database of all the characters associated with the GNC in both the North and the Riverlands (and them some...) Still a work in progress as far as adding notes and references, but I think I've accounted for all the major players and most of the minor ones as well... I used a pretty broad net in an attempt to see patterns emerge, I think I see some interesting things and am interested to know if others do as well. This database should be sortable, so you can view the list by House or by location. I'd appreciate any feedback, especially if I've missed anything or attributed anything incorrectly. Thanks to nenya for the help in fishing players, locations and references.

Awesome. Ever consider doing a GNC timeline? It'd be interesting to find out when Davos left for Skagos with the present day. Seeing as a few months seem to have passed with Stannis' march, it could indicate that Rickon may well have arrived, especially with the mysterious horn blowing around Winterfell.

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Once a poster makes a passive aggressive comment "sorry, but you're wrong", etc (which isn't necessarily passive aggressive in itself but vast majority of the time is passive aggressive in in its context), it does sort of derail whatever the discussion was. The forums remember, Frey. Again, not really a personal attack on you, the quote just strangely only took your posts out of that little thread.

My tone sounds much nicer in my own head, I swear.

Would you like to look through my posts and check out where I say the same thing.

Ok, so it doesnt matter how long it takes for Davos to return with Rickon, but it does matter that Davos has Rickon? So if Massey returns with 15000 sellswords before Davos returns with Rickon, the Northeners will still turn on Stannis and possibly get slaughtered?

The time it takes Davos to return is crucial.

Hell Stannis could be on the Iron Throne by the time Davos gets back, and be far too powerful to cross. That is irrelevant if they don't mean to turn on him

I didn't say it doesn't matter how long it takes. I said I don't know how long it will take, and neither does anyone else, Manderly included. The sellswords are a gigantic "if," frankly. So yeah, if Massey gets back before Davos (which is highly, highly unlikely, given the distances and logistical concerns involved), I expect Manderly and co. will have to improvise. No surprise there.

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My tone sounds much nicer in my own head, I swear.

I didn't say it doesn't matter how long it takes. I said I don't know how long it will take, and neither does anyone else, Manderly included. The sellswords are a gigantic "if," frankly. So yeah, if Massey gets back before Davos (which is highly, highly unlikely, given the distances and logistical concerns involved), I expect Manderly and co. will have to improvise. No surprise there.

I agree its unlikely, but if they are involved in this conspiracy (which I think they are, minus the turn on Stannis/crown a KITN) it matters what Manderley thinks at the time is possible, and with so many variables the Davos'/Rickon risk seems so unnescessary if they know they will never back Stannis.

In regards to the timeline, I think Davos leaves for Skagos probably the day after the Freys leave. So maybe two months have passed? That could be enough time for Davos to have returned, but that would assume that Rickon was easy to locate, easy to persuade to come with, Davos doesnt get imprisoned again(a habit of his) etc.

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I agree its unlikely, but if they are involved in this conspiracy (which I think they are, minus the turn on Stannis/crown a KITN) it matters what Manderley thinks at the time is possible, and with so many variables the Davos'/Rickon risk seems so unnescessary if they know they will never back Stannis.

Not sure if you're saying they do, but just to be clear: neither Manderly nor any other northern lord has any notion of Stannis' plan to procure an army of sellswords, so that certainly wouldn't factor into any of their decisions yet.

As for the risk of sending Davos after Rickon, certainly there is a risk. Everything everyone in the north is doing is enormously risky. But Manderly needs Rickon, so he can either send one plain-looking, highly capable man under the radar to retrieve him, or he can attract unwanted attention by sending some of his own men. I'm not sure how sending Davos is any more of a risk than sending anyone else. And if I were Manderly, I'd rather send a capable third-party agent than divert my own resources, especially if my missing men might generate unwanted questions. I tend to think that Manderly has some undisclosed reason to believe that Davos will be successful.

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Would you like to look through my posts and check out where I say the same thing.

And for the record, this is what I saw when looking through your posts:

And Manderley may not intend to give Rickon to Stannis, but Davos may have other ideas. Remember, we as readers know Davos will do as asked, Manderley doesn't.

Whether or not Manderley wants to give Stannis a hostage, he has. He cannot move against Stannis until Davos gives him Rickon. If he does, Davos may just hurt Rickon out of spite, or use him as leverage when declaring Shireen queen. He certainly isnt going to give Rickon to Manderley after he betrays Stannis.

And there is no difference between being in Stannis possesion or in the possesion of one of his men. There simply is not.

Are you saying that Davos will blow off Manderly entirely and take Rickon directly to Stannis? Because that is one hell of an interesting possibility. Stannis and Manderly are basically in the same place right now anyway, so he wouldn't really even have to go out of his way. Then again, Manderly only promised himself to Stannis on the condition that he be given Rickon, and if Stannis or Davos break faith and keep Rickon hostage, then they will drive a wedge between themselves and the northmen regardless of any conspiracy. And since the northmen greatly outnumber Stannis and Davos, I can't see such a plot ending well for them. Unlikely that they can count on those sellswords to save them, incidentally: Davos has been gone for a couple months, whereas Massey hasn't even left yet.

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Not sure if you're saying they do, but just to be clear: neither Manderly nor any other northern lord has any notion of Stannis' plan to procure an army of sellswords, so that certainly wouldn't factor into any of their decisions yet.

As for the risk of sending Davos after Rickon, certainly there is a risk. Everything everyone in the north is doing is enormously risky. But Manderly needs Rickon, so he can either send one plain-looking, highly capable man under the radar to retrieve him, or he can attract unwanted attention by sending some of his own men. I'm not sure how sending Davos is any more of a risk than sending anyone else. And if I were Manderly, I'd rather send a capable third-party agent than divert my own resources, especially if my missing men might generate unwanted questions. I tend to think that Manderly has some undisclosed reason to believe that Davos will be successful.

I was just bringing up the sellswords of an example why when Davos returns is crucial. I dont think Manderley knows about the sellswords, in fact I would say he certainly does not.

Lets take what happened to Jon. If he was going to be proclaimed KITN they may well now be screwed on that point. So Rickon becomes all the more important, yet now he is in Stannis's Hand's hands (say that ten times). This gives them far less control than if he remained in the North's hands. And for what? Because Davos is the only possible person who can retrieve Rickon,even though they could be openly exposed as defying the Throne and expose Manderley's ruse in his court regarding the Freys? They couldn't find anyone else? Or leave Rickon on Skagos which is still controlled by Northern bannerman until after the Boltons are defeated?

I would argue that if the GNC is true in regards to crowning a Stark, then Manderleys error in sending Davos has already been exposed as an error due to Jon being stabbed.

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And for the record, this is what I saw when looking through your posts:

Are you saying that Davos will blow off Manderly entirely and take Rickon directly to Stannis? Because that is one hell of an interesting possibility. Stannis and Manderly are basically in the same place right now anyway, so he wouldn't really even have to go out of his way. Then again, Manderly only promised himself to Stannis on the condition that he be given Rickon, and if Stannis or Davos break faith and keep Rickon hostage, then they will drive a wedge between themselves and the northmen regardless of any conspiracy. And since the northmen greatly outnumber Stannis and Davos, I can't see such a plot ending well for them. Unlikely that they can count on those sellswords to save them, incidentally: Davos has been gone for a couple months, whereas Massey hasn't even left yet.

I dont think Davos will blow off Manderley no, because I have read the books and know what kind of man he is. Wyman Manderley however has not read the books, so from his perspective he has no idea what Davos would do. He simply knows him as a smuggler Stannis kept, most likely didnt know his name or that he became Stannis' hand before he presented himself. He could not possibly know what kind of man he is.

But Manderley would know what a valuable hostage Rickon would make for Stannis, and in Davos position what would most people do with that hostage.Give him to his King or to Manderley?He would surely have to consider the possibility unless he is a complete fool, and weigh the risk.

Were Davos to do it, he would take Rickon to the nightfort anyway, not to Stannis army. But he wont.

Im just trying to make the point that we cant base our own knowledge of a character on how book characters treat them if they dont know them.

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Awesome. Ever consider doing a GNC timeline? It'd be interesting to find out when Davos left for Skagos with the present day. Seeing as a few months seem to have passed with Stannis' march, it could indicate that Rickon may well have arrived, especially with the mysterious horn blowing around Winterfell.

You can take a look at this awesome timeline and use the filter (wish I would have found it earlier when I was doing the BwB summary lol)

In regards to Davos, Stannis' march, and the horn blowing...according to this timeline, these are the dates (year 300):

??? - Stannis takes Deepwood Motte (edited for correction)

4/5 - Reek at Moat Cailin

4/10 - Manderly tells Davos to get Rickon (though we don't have an exact date of when he actually leaves)

5/3 - Reek at Barrowtown

5/18 - fArya's wedding

5/20 - Stannis marches to Winterfell

6/4 - Lady Dustin in the crypts

6/26 - Murders in Winterfell. Horn blowing outside Winterfell.

6/29 - Theon and Jeyne escape

Gonna leave at that for now (falling asleep at the keyboard). I'll take a closer look at everything else regarding GNC events on that timeline tomorrow.

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You can take a look at this awesome timeline and use the filter (wish I would have found it earlier when I was doing the BwB summary lol)

In regards to Davos, Stannis' march, and the horn blowing...according to this timeline, these are the dates (year 300):

4/5 - Reek at Moat Cailin

4/10 - Manderly tells Davos to get Rickon (though we don't have an exact date of when he actually leaves)

4/30 - Stannis takes Deepwood Motte

5/3 - Reek at Barrowtown

5/18 - fArya's wedding

5/20 - Stannis marches to Winterfell

6/4 - Lady Dustin in the crypts

6/26 - Murders in Winterfell. Horn blowing outside Winterfell.

6/29 - Theon and Jeyne escape

Gonna leave at that for now (falling asleep at the keyboard). I'll take a closer look at everything else regarding GNC events on that timeline tomorrow.

Cheers for that. Very interesting. If Davos left nearly immediately, you could almost claim that it's nearly impossible that he isn't back already with Rickon, with a month each way for the journey to Skagos. Now, obviously time would be eaten up by looking for Rickon and convincing him to come, but Skagos doesn't sound like the kind of place you could wander freely, so one could assume that once Davos reached Skagos, he would've been brought to the Skag lords, who presumably are hosting Rickon. Either way, two months seems ample time. This timeline has deffo made me think that Rickon has arrived near Winterfell with Robett Glover's men.

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I would say there's even more time based on Stannis and the Winterfell chapters.The march takes 34 days to the Crofter's village,then another 19 until Theon shows up.If you sync this with the snowstorm,it's at least 7 weeks from fArya's marriage until Theon arrives with fArya at the village.

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Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't Davos bringing Rickon to Manderly and/or Stannis at Winterfell be unnecessarily risky when Eastwatch is practically next door to Skagos and, so far as Davos knows, Stannis's family is being hosted on the Wall by Rickon's half-brother, who is Lord Commander there? Taking the heir presumptive to the North, who's a child besides, into an active warzone during winter seems like a terrible idea to me. Better that Davos stash Rickon someplace safer, then send word to White Harbor, preferably with proof that he's completed his mission or at least with assurances that Manderly can judge for himself whether Davos has kept his side of the bargain after the Boltons have been defeated.

If so, you can add Davos and Rickon to the growing list of people en route to Jon who haven't yet arrived. The Wall's kind of turning into Meereen at the end of ASOS/AFFC, lol, though hopefully GRRM will allow Jon to actually meet all these characters of consequence in TWOW rather than removing him from the Wall just as everybody begins to converge, like Dany flying off on Drogon leaves only Barristan in Meereen, with no queen, to greet Tyrion, Victarion, and the rest.

The consequences of Rickon first spending time with Jon instead of Stannis or anyone else who might wish to influence him are interesting to consider. I've theorized that Jon's resemblance to Ned, along with his prior connection to Rickon and the presence of Ghost, makes him the one authority figure that Rickon would heed, Osha aside. And I believe it's been speculated that the Skagosi, who suffered no losses in the War of the Five Kings, could send a representative or delegation. Ultimately, like the forces of the Vale, the Skagosi may be more instrumental in the war for the dawn than the game of thrones, IMO. Eastwatch, as one of the Wall's flanks and with dead things reported in the water at Hardhome, is a likely point of attack by the Others; I don't think it's a coincidence that GRRM has conveniently located an army there on top of having Jon send some two hundred giants and their mammoths as reinforcements in his last(?) ADWD chapter. In general, I feel any theory about events in the North from TWOW onwards, the GNC included, must account for the Others finally getting in on the action. So, for example, I doubt Stannis, the northmen, or the wildlings can play a role in the downfall of the Freys south of the Neck because they'll be otherwise occupied preparing for or fighting an invasion of ice zombies. Not that the Brotherhood Without Banners and riverlords necessarily need any aid in that respect...

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The timeline thing with Davos is interesting. His story does cut off pretty early in ADWD and I think it is possible that he could already be close to the action again. However, I wouldn't discount the possibility that extricating Rickon might take a little longer than the minimum. Davos does seem to get thrown into dungeons or held in captivity in some form an awful lot. Though perhaps it would be overkill to once again put Davos in that sort of situation. And having him have an actually easy time of it in a seemingly sinister setting would actually add a bit of humor to Davos's journey.

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Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't Davos bringing Rickon to Manderly and/or Stannis at Winterfell be unnecessarily risky when Eastwatch is practically next door to Skagos and, so far as Davos knows, Stannis's family is being hosted on the Wall by Rickon's half-brother, who is Lord Commander there? Taking the heir presumptive to the North, who's a child besides, into an active warzone during winter seems like a terrible idea to me. Better that Davos stash Rickon someplace safer, then send word to White Harbor, preferably with proof that he's completed his mission or at least with assurances that Manderly can judge for himself whether Davos has kept his side of the bargain after the Boltons have been defeated.

If so, you can add Davos and Rickon to the growing list of people en route to Jon who haven't yet arrived. The Wall's kind of turning into Meereen at the end of ASOS/AFFC, lol, though hopefully GRRM will allow Jon to actually meet all these characters of consequence in TWOW rather than removing him from the Wall just as everybody begins to converge, like Dany flying off on Drogon leaves only Barristan in Meereen, with no queen, to greet Tyrion, Victarion, and the rest.

The consequences of Rickon first spending time with Jon instead of Stannis or anyone else who might wish to influence him are interesting to consider. I've theorized that Jon's resemblance to Ned, along with his prior connection to Rickon and the presence of Ghost, makes him the one authority figure that Rickon would heed, Osha aside. And I believe it's been speculated that the Skagosi, who suffered no losses in the War of the Five Kings, could send a representative or delegation. Ultimately, like the forces of the Vale, the Skagosi may be more instrumental in the war for the dawn than the game of thrones, IMO. Eastwatch, as one of the Wall's flanks and with dead things reported in the water at Hardhome, is a likely point of attack by the Others; I don't think it's a coincidence that GRRM has conveniently located an army there on top of having Jon send some two hundred giants and their mammoths as reinforcements in his last(?) ADWD chapter. In general, I feel any theory about events in the North from TWOW onwards, the GNC included, must account for the Others finally getting in on the action. So, for example, I doubt Stannis, the northmen, or the wildlings can play a role in the downfall of the Freys south of the Neck because they'll be otherwise occupied preparing for or fighting an invasion of ice zombies. Not that the Brotherhood Without Banners and riverlords necessarily need any aid in that respect...

That's all fair enough, but I'd still think Davos would be heading to Manderly instead of Eastwatch. There's a reason Manderly is having quiet chats with a lot of Northern Lords in Winterfell: it's to inform them that he's got/nearly got Rickon Stark. The GNC doesn't exist to place Manderly as regent, nor anyone else, and I don't think the North are going to risk the losses they'd take fighting Bolton and the Freys, and perhaps then incurring the wrath of the Iron Throne, for anything less than a Stark. So why does all this matter if Rickon's safely at Eastwatch? Because nobody will believe Manderly. They're already aware of one fake Stark in fArya, even if not everyone is sure and noone has spoken outright, it seems pretty clear that the Northerners aren't idiots and know the girl is a fake. They need to see the boy with the hulking black direwolf and the grey eyes if they're willing to act.

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The timeline thing with Davos is interesting. His story does cut off pretty early in ADWD and I think it is possible that he could already be close to the action again. However, I wouldn't discount the possibility that extricating Rickon might take a little longer than the minimum. Davos does seem to get thrown into dungeons or held in captivity in some form an awful lot. Though perhaps it would be overkill to once again put Davos in that sort of situation. And having him have an actually easy time of it in a seemingly sinister setting would actually add a bit of humor to Davos's journey.

With regards to that we've just got to think about Skagos and what his reception would be. I maintain he isn't going to be skulking about the island: the second he lands, the Skags will be very much aware of him. Then we'll get the usual preamble 'who the hell are you', and then we'll see what's up with Rickon. I reckon he's more likely to be being fostered with the Skagossi Lords rather than just living there incognito with a semi-mythical wolf. And if Rickon is being fostered I'd say it would make everything speedy: "I'm Davos, was sent to fetch you, the North are retaking your ancestral home, so if you wouldn't mind coming with me, and if you Skags are intensely loyal to the Starks (which I suspect they might be because the Starks beat their asses down 100 years ago, and we've seen in the wildlings and clansmen that these cultures respect strength), there's a bunch of people we need to kill down there if you'd like to come along. Davos convinces them he's legit, throws in a pointless anecdote about just being a simple smuggler, and off they go! Except all of this will probably be told in recounting what happens seeing as Davos' next POV will probably be back on the mainland with Rickon

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With regards to that we've just got to think about Skagos and what his reception would be. I maintain he isn't going to be skulking about the island: the second he lands, the Skags will be very much aware of him. Then we'll get the usual preamble 'who the hell are you', and then we'll see what's up with Rickon. I reckon he's more likely to be being fostered with the Skagossi Lords rather than just living there incognito with a semi-mythical wolf. And if Rickon is being fostered I'd say it would make everything speedy: "I'm Davos, was sent to fetch you, the North are retaking your ancestral home, so if you wouldn't mind coming with me, and if you Skags are intensely loyal to the Starks (which I suspect they might be because the Starks beat their asses down 100 years ago, and we've seen in the wildlings and clansmen that these cultures respect strength), there's a bunch of people we need to kill down there if you'd like to come along. Davos convinces them he's legit, throws in a pointless anecdote about just being a simple smuggler, and off they go! Except all of this will probably be told in recounting what happens seeing as Davos' next POV will probably be back on the mainland with Rickon

I tend to think it will be more difficult to get the Skagosi to move given their past virtual isolation. Also, I think they would be highly suspicious of any plot to use Rickon. They don't know Stannis, and we have no idea what they think of Manderly. They would certainly want to protect their investment and they would need to be shown that they have something to gain from it all.

Given how long its been since we saw Davos I have also thought that his next POV will jump ahead and recount some of the events through flashback. But on the other hand GRRM seems to use this technique pretty sparingly.

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Heyo Winter Comin', my impression is that the Stark loyalists plan to oust the Boltons and kill as many Freys as they can regardless of who is later named the heir to Winterfell. After all, Manderly can't produce Rickon and Shaggydog now but has nevertheless probably swayed the Hornwoods, Cerwyns, Tallharts, Lady Dustin and the Ryswells to his side in betraying the Boltons. If the GNC is true, they're already taking Manderly's word that Rickon is alive and soon to be in friendly hands on faith, with a little fact-checking in the crypts.

What's more, even if Davos does bring Rickon to Winterfell, the only way Manderly or anyone inside the castle can confirm his identity is by heading out to meet him. Granted, I know there's been speculation about Crowfood(?)'s drums and horns in Theon's penultimate(?) ADWD chapter being a signal that Rickon is ready for inspection, but it seems to me like this plan relies on a lot of variables, such as Roose's cooperation in ordering not just the Freys to engage Stannis, that Manderly cannot be sure will fall into place.

OTOH, Stannis's presence at Winterfell gives the northmen some plausible deniability with the Iron Throne should the Boltons and Freys suffer, well, unfortunate accidents in the coming battle. This, plus the possibility that Harwin or another candidate for the hooded man in Winterfell has passed along information from the speculated riverlands conspirators that the Brotherhood Without Banners, Howland Reed, Maege Mormont, Galbart Glover, and/or the Blackfish intend to free the Red Wedding hostages, could be enough to assure the northern lords that the time to act against the Boltons is nigh, while Stannis is still viable as a distraction and potential scapegoat, even without the certainty that a Stark, whether Rickon or Jon or even Sansa, is in position to claim Winterfell.

Additionally, if Manderly is aware through the Glovers that Robb named Jon his heir, there's a degree of confusion about which of Ned's sons ought to be hailed as the new Lord of Winterfell. Jon is obviously preferable in the sense that he is an adult with command experience capable of ruling in his own right, but he could very well decline the offer, staying true to his Night's Watch vows. (Those Starks and their damnable honor!) Point is, in this scenario, the northmen would have to first inform Jon a decree legitimizing him as King in the North exists and ask him for his decision before what happens to Rickon can be decided.

The Boltons have to be dealt with either way, though, so I think that's the plan at this point, with all further discussion of kings and heirs tabled until Winterfell is again under the control of Stark loyalists. It would not be too late to send for Rickon and Shaggydog at the Wall then, IMO, or to break the news to Jon that he's been crowned by Robb. Or even to declare for Stannis if no suitable Starks are available, seeing as Davos could fail in his quest to find Rickon. I'm not really set on the idea that Rickon will reappear at Eastwatch, as I believe there are too many unknowns to reach a definite conclusion, but in the same vein I would challenge the notion that Davos must deliver Rickon to Manderly and/or Stannis outside Winterfell.

ETA:

Regarding the Skagosi, again, I feel there's a critical lack of information, unsubstantiated rumors of cannibalism aside. GRRM could tell the story of Davos's fun adventures on Skagos via reminiscences in his POV after he's retrieved Rickon and returned to the mainland but, while I'm generally in favor of anything that would shift the narrative pace into a higher gear than in AFFC/ADWD with the least number of chapters, I'm not sure that GRRM, the way he currently writes, can resist the temptation of describing in real-time a new and mysterious location down to the last detail. That's a rather unhappy prospect, IMO, because GRRM can't afford to dawdle much longer when it comes to plot progression or he's at serious risk of HBO revealing how ASOIAF ends (R+L=J, another Dance of the Dragons, AAR/PTWP and the Others, etc.) before he can.

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