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Yeade

Le Grande Northern Conspiracy, Parte the Fourth

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Snowfyre Chorus... Yup. I've certainly discussed it.. :D ... and linked to the thread a few times , as I don't want to totally derail this thread.. but here it is again ( OP in four parts , posts # 1 ,30 , 93 and 132. ) ..




http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/93982-benjen-is-a-leader-of-the-gnc-and-the-hooded-man/?hl=%2Bbenjen+%2Bleader



Some people don't accept it at all, some think there could be a secret passage , but don't see it as being central to what's going on with the GNC. I happen to think it's integral to their plan , but strongly suspect it can only be found and opened by a Stark - like the Black Gate and NW brothers( but I think Benjen is there to do it ).

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This would not be a huge piece in the bigger picture of the GNC, but has anyone given any thought to whether there might be an undisclosed, secret entrance to Winterfell via the crypts? (Apologies if this is already addressed in the material above. Haven't had the time to give it all a thorough review - though what I've read is damn impressive!)

My distinct impression of Lady Dustin's tour of the crypt (with Theon) was that she had some unstated motive for wanting access. And in re-reading AGoT, I noticed two pieces of info we're given early on that seem intriguing. One is that we are repeatedly reminded of the many lower levels of the crypts which our POV characters have not explored. The other was an observation by Bran during his trip down with Maester Luwin and Osha that the crypt passage extends below, and then well beyond, the outer walls of Winterfell.

Assuming the lady of Barrow Hall would have more than just a passing familiarity with northern burial grounds and customs, I wondered whether her request to Theon (and her warning that he speak no word of it) might serve some purpose other than simply a chance to bad mouth dead Ned...

There are two possibilities from the books about this. The first is from AGoT where Bran mentions a secret way to get inside one of the walls. The second is the possibility Lady Dustin knew of a secret entrance that Brandon used to sneak her into Winterfell. These seem all the more possible considering Maester Luiwin talked about secret entrances to Winterfell (I can't remember if this was just in the show or if it was in the books as well).

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Snowfyre Chorus... Yup. I've certainly discussed it.. :D ... and linked to the thread a few times , as I don't want to totally derail this thread.. but here it is again ( OP in four parts , posts # 1 ,30 , 93 and 132. ) ..

Excellent. Thanks for the link, bemused!

There are two possibilities from the books about this. The first is from AGoT where Bran mentions a secret way to get inside one of the walls. The second is the possibility Lady Dustin knew of a secret entrance that Brandon used to sneak her into Winterfell. These seem all the more possible considering Maester Luiwin talked about secret entrances to Winterfell (I can't remember if this was just in the show or if it was in the books as well).

Yes! I actually reread a couple of Theon's ADWD chapters just to see if I could "map" Bran's description of that passage using Theon's description of Winterfell's various gates... and couldn't quite figure it out. Hadn't directly considered how the Barbrey-Brandon liaisons might relate - but it would certainly fit. Very interesting...

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Joe Pine, I think maybe we'll have to agree to disagree in our speculations about TWOW. The northmen should hear of the Others in the wake of Stannis's likely victory at Winterfell, IMO. If GRRM truly intends for the Others to play a major role in the series, people cannot continue to be ignorant of the coming ice zombie apocalypse and, as the region most at risk, I figure the North will be the first to learn of the danger.

As I said, I feel knowledge of the Others would change the northmen's political outlook, making them reluctant to undertake another expedition south when defenses at home need to be shored up. While Stannis may have some notion of winning the riverlords to his cause by marching against the Freys, I not only believe this won't be necessary, on account of Lady Stoneheart, the Blackfish, Howland Reed et al. beating him to the punch, but he will have no power to move the northmen if they don't wish to be moved. Why, besides out of a possibly nonexistent sense of honor or gratitude, would the northern lords have to tread carefully around Stannis's entitlement? He wants their fealty as the rightful king of Westeros, but they can refuse him with essentially no consequences given his military and political weakness.

I'm fascinated by how the Wall could be breached. I'm of the view that it will be broken in one place, not vanished or magicked away.

My impression is that the Wall's magical anti-zombie wards, which might be of the same type as the ones protecting Bloodraven's cave, are the real problem so far as the Others are concerned. These force the Others to either move around the Wall's flanks, where they could potentially be bottlenecked against the sea provided the defenders have the numbers, or mount no doubt costly assaults on the Wall itself in an attempt to scale it and win a foothold at the top or on the southern side. Additionally, since the Wall's fantastical dimensions are impossible per science, magic is probably at work in maintaining its structural integrity. Which means the Wall could physically break apart should the wards fail.

Personally, I'm hoping for magical shenanigans, courtesy of Stannis and Melisandre, at the Nightfort that causes a fatal breach in the Wall's defenses. It's been speculated that Jon's revival/resurrection/whatever could convince Melisandre that she's backing the wrong man as Azor Ahai, but I think she's just as likely to grow desperate in her attempts to make Stannis into her prophesized savior. She may end up in denial about her doubts out of a genuine commitment to her cause (fanatic), not to mention a recognition that she can't publicly change her tune after proclaiming Stannis her god's chosen to all and sundry.

My feeling is that [Jon] won't lead the Night's Watch again; he broke the oath, after all, and he will end up in Winterfell.

Setting aside the rather contentious question of whether Jon's an oathbreaker or not, lol, keep in mind that Bowen Marsh and his co-conspirators, who together perhaps number only four, plotting to assassinate Jon does not automatically mean Giant, Iron Emmett, Dolorous Edd, and all the other men Jon assigns to garrison the Wall's newly reopened castles throughout ADWD hold a similarly low opinion of Jon's leadership. In fact, I've argued that Marsh has unwittingly done Jon a favor by precipitating a bloodbath at Castle Black with the wildlings poised to come out on top after Jon's sent the most competent and trustworthy of his men away, leaving a collection of his diehard political enemies and the useless dregs of the Night's Watch to get killed. How very convenient!

Um... This is all kind of off-topic, isn't it? Now, I know there are folks who have questions about the GNC, and I'd really like to see some serious challenges from them, being of the mind that healthy debate is a boon to any theory. Is it so intimidating to post in this thread? (Ser Creighton? falcotron? sertravisredbeard? Bueller?) New perspectives are always welcome here! Really! ^_^

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Harle.. Maester Luwin only speaks of a passage in the show.. He knew nothing of one in the books , otherwise he would surely have suggested using it to help Bran and Rickon escape. But I was pleased that they had him mention it in the show , because in the books ,the idea of it's existence is suggested by Bran's thoughts about the passage in the inside wall and that he knows there are other secrets about the construction of WF. ( Even though Bran doesn't really know of it , it lets the readers know a passage could exist ). That they used it in the show says to me that they needed to hint at it .



ETA: ( I had an interruption )..I don't think Brandon can have known about the passage either.. or if he did ,the knowledge died with him. But I think it was forgotten long ago - maybe at the time of the She-wolves , when suddenly the head of the House and his likely successors were all killed - or even before that. ( Anyway , I've come to believe that Brandon and Barbrey were never an item ..that it was in fact , Bethany, the eldest Ryswell daughter , that he was involved with .. but that would really take this OT..) ;)



Snowfyre Chorus.. Bran's passage doesn't lead outside, but seems to be a way to move men/supplies to the battlements on the opposite side of the castle yard , which might be quite congested during a siege or battle.. It's in the inside wall ..the outer wall was raised later.



Just for fun... http://medieval.stormthecastle.com/essays/secrets-of-medieval-castles.htm


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Joe Pine, I think maybe we'll have to agree to disagree in our speculations about TWOW. The northmen should hear of the Others in the wake of Stannis's likely victory at Winterfell, IMO. If GRRM truly intends for the Others to play a major role in the series, people cannot continue to be ignorant of the coming ice zombie apocalypse and, as the region most at risk, I figure the North will be the first to learn of the danger.As I said, I feel knowledge of the Others would change the northmen's political outlook, making them reluctant to undertake another expedition south when defenses at home need to be shored up. While Stannis may have some notion of winning the riverlords to his cause by marching against the Freys, I not only believe this won't be necessary, on account of Lady Stoneheart, the Blackfish, Howland Reed et al. beating him to the punch, but he will have no power to move the northmen if they don't wish to be moved. Why, besides out of a possibly nonexistent sense of honor or gratitude, would the northern lords have to tread carefully around Stannis's entitlement? He wants their fealty as the rightful king of Westeros, but they can refuse him with essentially no consequences given his military and political weakness.

Yeade I guess there's no right answers until we see TWOW. Different viewpoints are good. I think I need to reread and see what foreshadowing or hints there is for the GNC knowing the threat from the Others. My feeling from my recollection is that all focus is on Stannis and Roose, but see where you're coming from.

My impression is that the Wall's magical anti-zombie wards, which might be of the same type as the ones protecting Bloodraven's cave, are the real problem so far as the Others are concerned. These force the Others to either move around the Wall's flanks, where they could potentially be bottlenecked against the sea provided the defenders have the numbers, or mount no doubt costly assaults on the Wall itself in an attempt to scale it and win a foothold at the top or on the southern side. Additionally, since the Wall's fantastical dimensions are impossible per science, magic is probably at work in maintaining its structural integrity. Which means the Wall could physically break apart should the wards fail.Personally, I'm hoping for magical shenanigans, courtesy of Stannis and Melisandre, at the Nightfort that causes a fatal breach in the Wall's defenses.

Good points. My first thought was if Mel revives Jon she sets off the wall being breached. Again I need to see what's there to support that.

It's been speculated that Jon's revival/resurrection/whatever could convince Melisandre that she's backing the wrong man as Azor Ahai, but I think she's just as likely to grow desperate in her attempts to make Stannis into her prophesized savior. She may end up in denial about her doubts out of a genuine commitment to her cause (fanatic), not to mention a recognition that she can't publicly change her tune after proclaiming Stannis her god's chosen to all and sundry.Setting aside the rather contentious question of whether Jon's an oathbreaker or not, lol, keep in mind that Bowen Marsh and his co-conspirators, who together perhaps number only four, plotting to assassinate Jon does not automatically mean Giant, Iron Emmett, Dolorous Edd, and all the other men Jon assigns to garrison the Wall's newly reopened castles throughout ADWD hold a similarly low opinion of Jon's leadership. In fact, I've argued that Marsh has unwittingly done Jon a favor by precipitating a bloodbath at Castle Black with the wildlings poised to come out on top after Jon's sent the most competent and trustworthy of his men away, leaving a collection of his diehard political enemies and the useless dregs of the Night's Watch to get killed. How very convenient!Um... This is all kind of off-topic, isn't it? Now, I know there are folks who have questions about the GNC, and I'd really like to see some serious challenges from them, being of the mind that healthy debate is a boon to any theory. Is it so intimidating to post in this thread? (Ser Creighton? falcotron? sertravisredbeard? Bueller?) New perspectives are always welcome here! Really! ^_^

Good points on whether the NW are in any shape united about deposing Jon.

And you're right it has strayed off-topic, I think I'll leave off from any more post GNC Winterfell/Wolfswood/Wall speculation.

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I found something interesting in my re read of ACoK. It seems to indicate the existence of a passage in the godswood.(Also if this has been discussed before then I'm sorry)



This is in the Bran chapter where WF has just been attacked by the IronBorn. Bran is in a wolf dream and Bran/Summer knows there is something wrong and tries to look for a way out of the godswood.



"The wind brought the faintest whiff of a man-smell he did not know. Stranger. Danger.

Death.

He ran toward the sound, his brother racing beside him. The stone dens rose before them, walls slick and wet. He bared his teeth, but the man-rock took no notice. A gate loomed up, a black iron snake coiled tight about bar and post. When he crashed against it, the gate shuddered and the snake clanked and slithered and held."


Then a very weird/creepy whisper tells him that he is locked - This whisper comes from a voice he cannot hear and a scent he cannot smell.



Snarling, he paced back and forth in front of the gate, then threw himself at it once more. It moved a little and slammed him back. Locked, something whispered. Chained. The voice he did not hear, the scent without a smell.


Now who is that someone and why is it trying to tell Summer that this door is locked?? I see 2 possibilities here - its either Bran or its BloodRaven. But wouldn't Summer recognize Bran?? From the above passage it seems that Summer does not know the whisperer. Another argument against the whisperer being Bran is that technically we are in Bran's POV. He is Summer and an outside whisperer implies its not him.

Then that whisper comes again and tells Summer/Bran something very interesting.



The other ways were closed as well. Where doors opened in the walls of man-rock, the wood was thick and strong. There was no way out. There is, the whisper came, and it seemed as if he could see the shadow of a great tree covered in needles, slanting up out of the black earth to ten times the height of a man.


So that whisper tells Summer/Bran that there is another way out - what way? Bran/Summer assumes the whisper means the Sentinel tree which goes to the rooftops. But why tell this to a wolf?? A wolf cannot climb and Summer was not able to use the Sentinel. I think BloodRaven was trying to tell the wolves a way out but Bran's brain/mind(which was in Summer) interpreted it as meaning climbing out(understandable since Bran loves to climb).


It may be that I am completely wrong - but it seems to me that someone(BloodRaven) was telling Summer/Bran that there is another way out of Winterfell which they do not know of.


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I found something interesting in my re read of ACoK. It seems to indicate the existence of a passage in the godswood.(Also if this has been discussed before then I'm sorry)

This is in the Bran chapter where WF has just been attacked by the IronBorn. Bran is in a wolf dream and Bran/Summer knows there is something wrong and tries to look for a way out of the godswood.

"The wind brought the faintest whiff of a man-smell he did not know. Stranger. Danger.

Death.

He ran toward the sound, his brother racing beside him. The stone dens rose before them, walls slick and wet. He bared his teeth, but the man-rock took no notice. A gate loomed up, a black iron snake coiled tight about bar and post. When he crashed against it, the gate shuddered and the snake clanked and slithered and held."

Then a very weird/creepy whisper tells him that he is locked - This whisper comes from a voice he cannot hear and a scent he cannot smell.

Snarling, he paced back and forth in front of the gate, then threw himself at it once more. It moved a little and slammed him back. Locked, something whispered. Chained. The voice he did not hear, the scent without a smell.

Now who is that someone and why is it trying to tell Summer that this door is locked?? I see 2 possibilities here - its either Bran or its BloodRaven. But wouldn't Summer recognize Bran?? From the above passage it seems that Summer does not know the whisperer. Another argument against the whisperer being Bran is that technically we are in Bran's POV. He is Summer and an outside whisperer implies its not him.

Then that whisper comes again and tells Summer/Bran something very interesting.

The other ways were closed as well. Where doors opened in the walls of man-rock, the wood was thick and strong. There was no way out. There is, the whisper came, and it seemed as if he could see the shadow of a great tree covered in needles, slanting up out of the black earth to ten times the height of a man.

So that whisper tells Summer/Bran that there is another way out - what way? Bran/Summer assumes the whisper means the Sentinel tree which goes to the rooftops. But why tell this to a wolf?? A wolf cannot climb and Summer was not able to use the Sentinel. I think BloodRaven was trying to tell the wolves a way out but Bran's brain/mind(which was in Summer) interpreted it as meaning climbing out(understandable since Bran loves to climb).

It may be that I am completely wrong - but it seems to me that someone(BloodRaven) was telling Summer/Bran that there is another way out of Winterfell which they do not know of.

I always assumed that it was Summer hearing Brans thoughts

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Yeade that's a pretty interesting point about Jon being attacked being a good thing for him. It could prove to be a simple way to weed out the malcontents and get everyone who's thinking correctly about the real threat. Plus i want some of Selyse's knights go down, especially whichever Florent is still there. That dude's an ass. I'm also curious to see some of those wildling warriors in action.



There could easily be secret entrances to Winterfell. It did seem like there were repeated heavy hints about that in the first two books. Since Winterfell wasn't featured at all in the next two, but whenever the action returns to it in Dance a character we wouldn't have assumed addresses it, we can guess something in future can happen involving them. I don't know if Brandon would have snuck Barbrey into Winterfell for secret trysts though. It doesn't seem like the Wild Wolf would care about who he hooks up with. Apparently he wasn't shy about that kind of thing.

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I think I need to re-read and see what foreshadowing or hints there is for the GNC knowing the threat from the Others.

You misunderstand me. I don't think the Others are a factor in the current or past plans of the speculated conspirators; I think word of the coming ice zombie apocalypse will spread throughout the North after Stannis's likely victory at Winterfell in TWOW. Either Stannis will break the bad news himself--as an explanation of what he was doing at the Wall in the first place and a statement of his commitment to the realm as its rightful king, his ultimate path to the Iron Throne--or the northmen will learn of it from Flint and Norrey, the mountain clansmen who show up at Castle Black in time for Alys Karstark's wedding, with whom Jon's met to discuss his wildling resettlement initiative (Jon XI). Alys and her husband's small army of Thenns are also potential sources of information on the Others. If Jon's conscious and still Lord Commander, however improbable that sounds, lol, he might send ravens to the northern lords appealing for reinforcements, too, once the hostile Boltons have been removed from power.

[T]hat's a pretty interesting point about Jon being attacked being a good thing for him. It could prove to be a simple way to weed out the malcontents...

I find that many readers are so focused on events at Castle Black that they forget how much Jon's done to strengthen the Wall's defenses throughout ADWD. Mixed garrisons of black brothers, wildlings, and even Stannis's men are spread all along the Wall, and the two posts directly adjacent to Castle Black are held in force by wildlings, with Tormund's people (minus the fifty volunteers for the Hardhome ranging who accompany him) at Oakenshield and Morna White Mask at Queensgate. Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd are at Long Barrow with upwards of sixty spearwives, Giant commands at Icemark, and Devyn Sealskinner is en route to Greenguard, ditto hundreds of giants and mammoths to Eastwatch. A contingent of builders and maybe wildlings is probably at the Nightfort, as well, preparing it for Selyse, though she seems content enough to overstay her visit at Castle Black.

Given the distances involved--about ten to fifteen miles between castles if they're evenly spaced--it just doesn't seem realistic to me that everybody on the Wall will instantaneously start a free-for-all brawl because a possibly very small group of dissidents attempts to assassinate Jon in the courtyard of Castle Black. In the ensuing chaos, would anybody think to send a raven anywhere? And, even if word does get out, I imagine the commanders Jon appointed would want some clarification, seeing as the last they heard the Lord Commander had successfully negotiated a ceasefire with the wildlings.

Assuming, then, that the Ides of Marsh isn't capable of bringing down the whole Wall, what purpose does it serve? If the parallels with Caesar's assassination hold, Jon has a fair shot at becoming Octavian/Augustus, IMO. He'll most likely be revived/resurrected/whatever sometime after the infighting among the various factions at Castle Black is over (civil wars) but could still have a solid base of support in the other castles, led by men he handpicked for their positions, many survivors of the Fist of the First Men, and filled with wildlings, who have all but proclaimed him king. It seems to me that Jon may have the beginnings of a personal army here (Roman Empire).

Besides this, of course, are the magical reasons why Jon must be forced to spend quality time warging in Ghost. He should establish a line of communication with Bran and/or Bloodraven for intelligence on the Others, which he is sorely lacking now. In general, as a frontrunner for supreme allied commander of humanity's forces in the war for the dawn, Jon needs to learn how best to utilize the magical resources (skinchanging, greenseeing, even Melisandre) at his disposal, IMO.

Er. But I digress! So far as the GNC is concerned, the bottom line is that I don't feel Jon remaining Lord Commander of the Night's Watch can be entirely ruled out as an option despite the end of ADWD. A lot of folks have speculated that Jon may technically be free of his vows due to his (near-)death experience. While I personally can't see Jon accepting such a semantic argument, others who have a vested interest in crowning him could very well make the case for him. Leading to much awkwardness, especially if Stannis is around...

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First, Heyo Winter Comin' asking about when the Boltons learn of Stannis's march on Winterfell reminded me that not much analysis has been done, at least in these GNC threads, about what Roose may or may not know. His motivations in betraying the Starks for the apparent reward of the rule of the North are hard to divine, and what he has planned as his next move, given that he's fully aware Manderly at the very least is looking to backstab him at the earliest chance, is equally mysterious.

tze proposed a characteristically brilliant alternative theory to the usual explanations that Roose is a self-serving opportunist. Whether Roose is purposely leading House Bolton to destruction for the sake of avenging Domeric's death on Ramsay or not, though, he probably still doesn't want to be around when the wrath of the other northern lords descends upon his hated bastard with extreme prejudice, lol. So, a quick and quiet exit stage right to the Dreadfort? Where he can expect to withstand a siege for years until either he dies or his enemies are forced to the negotiating table, unable to continue hostilities in the face of winter. Maybe slipping away while everyone's preoccupied with Stannis? Or does Roose await the outcome of that battle?

Ok, before I get caught up with the last two pages, I just wanted to throw in a thought. I think Tze's theory is really interesting. Looking at it from another angle, Roose seems to be a lot like the Freys in that he likes to throw in with the winning side. He's also ambitious and I'm sure was looking forward to his takeover as Warden of the North. But. I think when Theon witnesses the argument with Roose, Ms. Dustin, et. al and sees that Roose is afraid, I think we can safely guess that Roose realizes that he's about to be on the losing side.

I wonder if Roose hasn't been holding Ramsay in reserve (maybe planning to get revenge on him, but also hanging on to him) for just such an occasion? Roose distances himself from the Freys. He's all but told Ramsay to watch out for Barbary Dustin. Could Roose be building Ramsay up in order to later take his place, or put his own heir in Winterfell once Ramsay is taken down? And now that things are starting to go pear-shaped with Barbary Dustin, does he think he can throw Ramsay to her in order to get in good with whoever is left standing? And do we think that Roose might ever envision joining the GNC, if he suspects it exists and if that will save his skin?

Everyone seems to think the Boltons control the Hornwood lands but Manderly seized the Hornwood castle to prevent just that, way back in Clash of Kings I think

So who controls the Hornwood lands now? Could Manderly be using the Hornwood lands for something? Could they shelter supplies, reserves, etc?

Edit for spelling. i think my keyboard has an imp living in it.

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So who controls the Hornwood lands now? Could Manderly be using the Hornwood lands for something? Could they shelter supplies, reserves, etc?

Manderly had to give up the Hornwood lands as part of him bending the knee, now I know he hadn't fulfilled other parts of the agreement (he brought no hostages to Winterfell) but If he still had Hornwood garrisoned I think It would have been mentioned and Manderly didn't mention Hornwood in his list of lands to Davos either.

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It seems to me that Manderly left Hornwood, but maintained control basically over everything south of it (and even around of it). He mentions the headwaters of Broken Branch and Sheepshead Hills which I suppose are the hills around Hornwood where Broken Branch streams. I have no idea about how the Hornwood lands originally looked, but to me it seems that Manderly still holds at least some of them.


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It seems to me that Manderly left Hornwood, but maintained control basically over everything south of it (and even around of it). He mentions the headwaters of Broken Branch and Sheepshead Hills which I suppose are the hills around Hornwood where Broken Branch streams. I have no idea about how the Hornwood lands originally looked, but to me it seems that Manderly still holds at least some of them.

I'd say that the Hornwood lands at the moment are messy at best right now, seeing as white Harbor are housing refugees from the region, and that Manderly at least at one point held Hornwood. Probably a lot of minor border skirmishes between Hornwood men and Boltons.

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Ok, before I get caught up with the last two pages, I just wanted to throw in a thought. I think Tze's theory is really interesting. Looking at it from another angle, Roose seems to be a lot like the Freys in that he likes to throw in with the winning side. He's also ambitious and I'm sure was looking forward to his takeover as Warden of the North. But. I think when Theon witnesses the argument with Roose, Ms. Dustin, et. al and sees that Roose is afraid, I think we can safely guess that Roose realizes that he's about to be on the losing side.

I wonder if Roose hasn't been holding Ramsay in reserve (maybe planning to get revenge on him, but also hanging on to him) for just such an occasion? Roose distances himself from the Freys. He's all but told Ramsay to watch out for Barbary Dustin. Could Roose be building Ramsay up in order to later take his place, or put his own heir in Winterfell once Ramsay is taken down? And now that things are starting to go pear-shaped with Barbary Dustin, does he think he can throw Ramsay to her in order to get in good with whoever is left standing? And do we think that Roose might ever envision joining the GNC, if he suspects it exists and if that will save his skin?

So who controls the Hornwood lands now? Could Manderly be using the Hornwood lands for something? Could they shelter supplies, reserves, etc?

Edit for spelling. i think my keyboard has an imp living in it.

Ah, but the GNC isn't really centred on Ramsay's actions. The northerners hate him for killing Lady Hornwood, and survivors from the sack of Winterfell are with Stannis, but it's questionable whether any of the northerners in Winterfell are aware Boltons sacked it, besides Manderly. Now manderly by this stage has almost definitely told them, but there's already enough indicators that a GNC was already in place before Manderly had his quiet talks in Winterfell. More likely that they were to persuade the last few holdouts, and coordinate plans, etc. my essential point is that the GNC is centred on restoring a Stark to Winterfell and punishing the Freys and Boltons for the Red Wedding. Roose can't really palm that off to Ramsay. So I think both Roose and Ramsay are gonna geddit.

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I reread the chapter where Jaime visits Raventree and I agree it's curious how Lord Tytos and Lord Bracken both lost people at the RW. They seem to be so busy pointing the finger at the other (as in, ' no, I haven't seen the Blackfish, but you should really take a hostage from him') that it made me wonder if they were using their long-standing feud as a distraction for some other purpose. But maybe they only just care about getting revenge on each other. Could they both find ways to support the north, while arguing that the Lannisters have their children as hostages, so of course they aren't up to anything?



This may have already been discussed, but the other thought I had is that Bran sees through the Winterfell heart tree pretty quickly after starting his training. I wonder if it is because it is at his home and one of his strongest ties, and if this might be any indication of how Bloodraven might continue to be tied to Raventree. His plans for Bran are probably to protect against the Others, but beyond that would Bloodraven have any personal investment in a GNC because of Raventree? He undoubtedly sees through the tree there, and his raven network is at large in the area. Surely Bloodraven and Reed are in contact? And if this is the case, and the BWB are in the Neck, then might he be helpful from time to time?


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Yeah Heyo I think most of the northern leaders wanted revenge for the Red Wedding, but Manderly's been spreading the news with the specifics about the sack of Winterfell. This would probably convince any more skeptics about the Boltons true intentions.



Bracken and Blackwood using each other to distract Jaime about where the Blackfish is would be interested, and would make me think less of Jonos Bracken a bit. But I doubt those two would be working together for anything.


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Yeah Heyo I think most of the northern leaders wanted revenge for the Red Wedding, but Manderly's been spreading the news with the specifics about the sack of Winterfell. This would probably convince any more skeptics about the Boltons true intentions.

Bracken and Blackwood using each other to distract Jaime about where the Blackfish is would be interested, and would make me think less of Jonos Bracken a bit. But I doubt those two would be working together for anything.

There's a quote by Catelyn near the end of GoT where she notes Bracken and Blackwood agreeing with each other so It's not out of the realms of possibility.

"Aye" said Lord Bracken. "Gregor Clegane laid waste to my fields, slaughtered my smallfolk, and left Stone Hedge a smoking ruin. Am I now to bend the knee to the ones who sent him? What have we thought for, if we are to put all back as it was before?

Lord Blackwood agreed, to Catelyn's surprise and dismay.

Funnily enough Bracken was one of the first to bend the knee and put everything back like it was before, so maybe they both have buried the hatchet until their common enemy is done for.

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There was a suggestion that the Blackwoods didn't bend the knee until that last moment because they basically wanted to look better than the Brackens.



Are we sure Bloodraven can see through the tree at Raventree Hall? It is dying/dead.


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I reread the chapter where Jaime visits Raventree and I agree it's curious how Lord Tytos and Lord Bracken both lost people at the RW. They seem to be so busy pointing the finger at the other (as in, ' no, I haven't seen the Blackfish, but you should really take a hostage from him') that it made me wonder if they were using their long-standing feud as a distraction for some other purpose. But maybe they only just care about getting revenge on each other. Could they both find ways to support the north, while arguing that the Lannisters have their children as hostages, so of course they aren't up to anything?

This may have already been discussed, but the other thought I had is that Bran sees through the Winterfell heart tree pretty quickly after starting his training. I wonder if it is because it is at his home and one of his strongest ties, and if this might be any indication of how Bloodraven might continue to be tied to Raventree. His plans for Bran are probably to protect against the Others, but beyond that would Bloodraven have any personal investment in a GNC because of Raventree? He undoubtedly sees through the tree there, and his raven network is at large in the area. Surely Bloodraven and Reed are in contact? And if this is the case, and the BWB are in the Neck, then might he be helpful from time to time?

I think if Bloodraven has personal investment in the GNC it has to do with Jon Snow. The Raventree connection is interesting though. I'm not sure if I think Bracken and Blackwood are working together although the quote shearstone offers certainly shows that it's possible. If nothing else, BR could certainly be observing events there. One point- Bracken's hostage hasn't been sent yet and Blackwood's was abandoned with Jaime's tail at Pennytree when he took off with Brienne. Hoster (and the Paege and Piper hostages) could be free now for all we know.

There was a suggestion that the Blackwoods didn't bend the knee until that last moment because they basically wanted to look better than the Brackens.

Are we sure Bloodraven can see through the tree at Raventree Hall? It is dying/dead.

That was kind of my reading of it, although as I said-- that quote from Catelyn certainly suggests an alternative.

I'm not sure about the tree. My reading of it is that it's on it's way to being petrified. I assume it still has a face though. We'd need to know if BR needs some kind of life flow (sap, blood?) to inhabit something or if its the material that makes it possible. For example, how about the weirwood face on the Black Gate under the Nightfort? Something speaks through that even though it's made of "dead" wood. Just throwing it out there...

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