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Yeade

Le Grande Northern Conspiracy, Parte the Fourth

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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.

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...

I'll have to reread Jaime's chapters in Dance to see how the Riverlords phrased their grievances to Jaime about the hostages in the Twins, but one could perhaps make the argument that Jaime has been led to the BWB right at this moment because that was the moment when all hostages were either freed or in transit, removing the last blockade for a GRNC. Bracken and Blackwood may well have had a little chat after the siege regarding Bracken holding off for a week or so on sending his daughter and on retrieving Jaime's squires. Bracken could well have sent men to tail Jaime to retrieve them once everything started moving.

It's interesting looking at the Bracken and Blackwood Great Bastards, Bittersteel and Bloodraven. Neither of them ever gave up their particular fight, even after both losing. The Bracken created the GC to continue the Blackfyre cause, while Bloodraven was imprisoned, freed and sent to the NW and now watches over the realm for reasons unknown....I'm not as shit hot as tze or the other detailed posters, but I can see a simplistic connection with the Bastards; the Bracken lost but will continue to fight again, while the Blackwood lost and watches to gather information, just like Tytos with Jaime.

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I'll have to reread Jaime's chapters in Dance to see how the Riverlords phrased their grievances to Jaime about the hostages in the Twins, but one could perhaps make the argument that Jaime has been led to the BWB right at this moment because that was the moment when all hostages were either freed or in transit, removing the last blockade for a GRNC. Bracken and Blackwood may well have had a little chat after the siege regarding Bracken holding off for a week or so on sending his daughter and on retrieving Jaime's squires. Bracken could well have sent men to tail Jaime to retrieve them once everything started moving.

It's interesting looking at the Bracken and Blackwood Great Bastards, Bittersteel and Bloodraven. Neither of them ever gave up their particular fight, even after both losing. The Bracken created the GC to continue the Blackfyre cause, while Bloodraven was imprisoned, freed and sent to the NW and now watches over the realm for reasons unknown....I'm not as shit hot as tze or the other detailed posters, but I can see a simplistic connection with the Bastards; the Bracken lost but will continue to fight again, while the Blackwood lost and watches to gather information, just like Tytos with Jaime.

Regarding hostages- I have made that case here :)

That's a very interesting parallel between the Brackens and Blackwoods of the past and present. It would seem to imply that Jonos Bracken isn't done fighting, but is regrouping.

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It's interesting looking at the Bracken and Blackwood Great Bastards, Bittersteel and Bloodraven. Neither of them ever gave up their particular fight, even after both losing. The Bracken created the GC to continue the Blackfyre cause, while Bloodraven was imprisoned, freed and sent to the NW and now watches over the realm for reasons unknown....I'm not as shit hot as tze or the other detailed posters, but I can see a simplistic connection with the Bastards; the Bracken lost but will continue to fight again, while the Blackwood lost and watches to gather information, just like Tytos with Jaime.

The Bracken / Blackwood squabble is a great one, seeming to go way back. Each being the maternal houses of the great bastards is such a good detail, both seemed loyal to the Tullys though.

I think it's something that will develop further in the later books. Are either in the GNC? It was the last siege after even Riverrun is surrendered. Was it a ploy to tie up the occupying Lannister/Tyrell troops, somewhere Jaime had to go to sort out the siege? And taking his attention off the BwB or other activity?

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The Bracken / Blackwood squabble is a great one, seeming to go way back. Each being the maternal houses of the great bastards is such a good detail, both seemed loyal to the Tullys though.

I think it's something that will develop further in the later books. Are either in the GNC? It was the last siege after even Riverrun is surrendered. Was it a ploy to tie up the occupying Lannister/Tyrell troops, somewhere Jaime had to go to sort out the siege? And taking his attention off the BwB or other activity?

As much as I'd love to think its an elaborate ploy, there's a lot of problems. Namely, the siege had been going on for six months, while Tywin was still alive. They had no reason to believe Jaime would be sent. However, Bracken's line about not fighting for a lost cause, and keeping the same faith with the Crown as with Robb, could indicate that the Crown is now a lost cause with Tywin's death. Could be a good way to indicate that Bracken will change loyalties the second it becomes viable for him to do so.

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As much as I'd love to think its an elaborate ploy, there's a lot of problems. Namely, the siege had been going on for six months, while Tywin was still alive. They had no reason to believe Jaime would be sent. However, Bracken's line about not fighting for a lost cause, and keeping the same faith with the Crown as with Robb, could indicate that the Crown is now a lost cause with Tywin's death. Could be a good way to indicate that Bracken will change loyalties the second it becomes viable for him to do so.

That's one level for the Brackens, the current game of thrones, balancing themselves on their loyalty to the Lannister/Baratheon iron throne with their previous loyalty to the Tullys.

What's the connection with Bittersteel? Is there still one through the Golden Company?

Would any grand plot for (f)Aegon use the Brackens in the Riverlands? Certainly not helpful to Stannis or the North's interests and it seems to add another complexity to the 'game of thrones' part of the story without doing much else. Maybe similar to Aegon's landing in the Stormlands.

As for the Blackwoods, they held out under Jaime intervened. Were they merely taking another piece of the old grudge with the Brackens or did they serve the Tullys/Stark cause or act in some way under BloodRaven's instructions.

Interesting, but not likely to tie in too well for the GNC.

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I thought of a funny scenario today. it's mostly just a fantasy on my part, though. It'd be a funny encounter in the books.



People have theorized that the BWB is possibly cooperating with remnants of the Northern army in the Neck, which also means that there's only a couple of degrees of separation of the plotters in Winterfell.



There aren't really any actual witnesses to the Red Wedding left, besides the Freys that are dying left and right. It's still conceivable that if he is captured or confronted by Wyman Manderly or other loyal Northerners, Roose Bolton might still try to weasel his way out of admitting his prominent role. He'll say he was confronted with a bad choice, and that the North still needed leadership after Robb was betrayed, so he accepted Tywin's offer of the Wardenship and begrudgingly let Freys come with him. He'll still insist his hands are "clean".



So I'd like to see a re-enactment of the Merrett Frey trial, only with Roose being the defendant. He can deny, deny, deny, until the gathering of the Brotherhood and the loyal Northerners insist that they have a witness he hadn't thought of. To make it even more awesome, he should be wearing the actual pink armor Catelyn saw him stab Robb in. I think the look on his face would be priceless when Lady Stoneheart shows up to accuse him. Anybody confronted with her is pretty horrified and shocked, but his face upon looking at her would be one who knows that his goose is cooked. It'd be great.



I know lots of things would have to happen in order for this scenario to play out, but it would be hilarious and awesome. You know that whenever the shit goes down in Winterfell Roose is going to keep blaming everything he can on his son and the Freys, and the only way he'd actually admit any guilt is if he has to answer to Stoneheart.


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When winter comes, the Northmen will crush all the Southrons. They are the only ones used to the cold, and can still fight in it.mipadditionally, the south cannot invade the north.

But I seriously cannot wait for a hypothetical meeting between Jon, Mel, the wildlings, Northmen, and a conquered Lannister army in KL. imagine Tormund, Mance, and Val nearby LF, Mace, and Cersei and Margaery. Itd be priceless.

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Yep seeing Jon with his court face the southerners will be pretty good. I would sooooo trust Val, Tormund, Mance, Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd more than any of those southern jokers. I'd guess Mace and Littlefinger would actually piss themselves having to be confronted by Jon and company.


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Yep seeing Jon with his court face the southerners will be pretty good. I would sooooo trust Val, Tormund, Mance, Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd more than any of those southern jokers. I'd guess Mace and Littlefinger would actually piss themselves having to be confronted by Jon and company.

Littlefinger is powerless against an enemy he cannot bribe.

As soon as the first southron soldier died (impaled on Tormund's Member, no doubt) Mace would write the southron cause off as lost and try to defect via marriage again, but this too would be futile because Margaery is a brunette and thus of zero interest to Jon.

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I can imagine Margaery as getting "married" aka stolen by Tormund or one of his sons-that too would be hilarious.

Cersei: So, Val, I see you understand the best weapon a woman has...

Val: Oh you noticed my knife? Thats good, I thought all southron women were weak.

Cersei:....

I also seriously think that Mance, Iron Emmet, Jon, and possibly other wildlings are more than a match for Jaime Lannister, Loras Tyrell, or Robert Strong.

Heck, imagine Wun Wun and Robert Strong.

Also, the Faith woukd probably go berserk

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As much as I'd love to think its an elaborate ploy, there's a lot of problems. Namely, the siege had been going on for six months, while Tywin was still alive. They had no reason to believe Jaime would be sent. However, Bracken's line about not fighting for a lost cause, and keeping the same faith with the Crown as with Robb, could indicate that the Crown is now a lost cause with Tywin's death. Could be a good way to indicate that Bracken will change loyalties the second it becomes viable for him to do so.

I think Brackens and Blackwoods made a secret agreement. They both know that winter has come and their harvest is ruined. This siege gave them a very good excuse to do nothing but healing their wounds. Normally I would expect Jonos to kill all the Blackwoods if necessary and take their castle. Yet he was whoring all the time. When Jaime came, they appeared to be bargaining about some terms which I believe they agreed long ago. Their loyalty to Iron Throne is highly questionable. I gave no chance that they will send their hostages to KL.

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I thought of a funny scenario today. it's mostly just a fantasy on my part, though. It'd be a funny encounter in the books.

People have theorized that the BWB is possibly cooperating with remnants of the Northern army in the Neck, which also means that there's only a couple of degrees of separation of the plotters in Winterfell.

There aren't really any actual witnesses to the Red Wedding left, besides the Freys that are dying left and right. It's still conceivable that if he is captured or confronted by Wyman Manderly or other loyal Northerners, Roose Bolton might still try to weasel his way out of admitting his prominent role. He'll say he was confronted with a bad choice, and that the North still needed leadership after Robb was betrayed, so he accepted Tywin's offer of the Wardenship and begrudgingly let Freys come with him. He'll still insist his hands are "clean".

So I'd like to see a re-enactment of the Merrett Frey trial, only with Roose being the defendant. He can deny, deny, deny, until the gathering of the Brotherhood and the loyal Northerners insist that they have a witness he hadn't thought of. To make it even more awesome, he should be wearing the actual pink armor Catelyn saw him stab Robb in. I think the look on his face would be priceless when Lady Stoneheart shows up to accuse him. Anybody confronted with her is pretty horrified and shocked, but his face upon looking at her would be one who knows that his goose is cooked. It'd be great.

I know lots of things would have to happen in order for this scenario to play out, but it would be hilarious and awesome. You know that whenever the shit goes down in Winterfell Roose is going to keep blaming everything he can on his son and the Freys, and the only way he'd actually admit any guilt is if he has to answer to Stoneheart.

And.....the hostages! The Greatjon will have a few things to say.

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I think Brackens and Blackwoods made a secret agreement. They both know that winter has come and their harvest is ruined. This siege gave them a very good excuse to do nothing but healing their wounds. Normally I would expect Jonos to kill all the Blackwoods if necessary and take their castle. Yet he was whoring all the time. When Jaime came, they appeared to be bargaining about some terms which I believe they agreed long ago. Their loyalty to Iron Throne is highly questionable. I gave no chance that they will send their hostages to KL.

And that makes some sense in terms of how the siege was conducted and how it was settled. They could both be loyal to Riverrun and the Tullys, but individually, not as fellows or side-by-side, everyone expects them to have another squabble, it wastes the time of KL having to settle it.

But what does it hide, BwB activity? GNC co-ordinating moves? I'm not sure, it attention from elsewhere though.

But with both families, there's the background of Bittersteel and Bloodraven, their parts in the Blackfyre rebellion, another factor in how far apart they are from each other. Could the feud be over egged by both families to suit their agenda? So much of that is back story or within dunk and egg.

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I think Bracken and Blackwood used the siege as an excuse to maintain their forces, and to slow down Jaime. But better yet, it gave Bracken excuse to keep his army, which he can use to free the hostages later. Blackwood, who had his forces with him, can join him in that endeavor.

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I think Bracken and Blackwood used the siege as an excuse to maintain their forces, and to slow down Jaime. But better yet, it gave Bracken excuse to keep his army, which he can use to free the hostages later. Blackwood, who had his forces with him, can join him in that endeavor

Agreed about the preservation of forces.

Don't forget the Riverrun garrison was allowed to go free, minus their arms and armor. Since the BwB can most likely provide arms and armor for them, my belief is they will be a force to be reckoned with, under command of the Blackfish, on the Riverlands western border very soon.

Bracken and Blackwood seem largely unharmed, the garrison of Seagard must also be mostly intact, until recently under siege by Black Walder Frey.

Plus, we know that prior to the RW,

Apart from her brother Edmure's modest retinue of friend, the lords of the Trident had remained to hold the Riverlands while the king retook the north.

ACoK, chapter 45

Meaning that most of strength of the Riverlands had been left behind in their own holdings. Since most of the lords (except the few mentioned above) seemed to have capitulated immediately after the devastating victory of the Red Wedding, the lasting effect of that event on the Riverlands may have been a hollow victory. That is, the leader of the region was savagely murdered with his own men, while his supporters in the region were left largely untouched. In proving their loyalty to the Lannisters, the Freys have likely signed their own death warrants since Robb's instinct in leaving his southern lords to keep their own lands (after learning the devastating lesson of leaving his flank in the North exposed to the Ironborn) has led to the strength of the riverlands being left more intact than that of either the North, the West or the Crownlands.

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Agreed about the preservation of forces.

Don't forget the Riverrun garrison was allowed to go free, minus their arms and armor. Since the BwB can most likely provide arms and armor for them, my belief is they will be a force to be reckoned with, under command of the Blackfish, on the Riverlands western border very soon.

Bracken and Blackwood seem largely unharmed, the garrison of Seagard must also be mostly intact, until recently under siege by Black Walder Frey.

Plus, we know that prior to the RW,ACoK, chapter 45

Meaning that most of strength of the Riverlands had been left behind in their own holdings. Since most of the lords (except the few mentioned above) seemed to have capitulated immediately after the devastating victory of the Red Wedding, the lasting effect of that event on the Riverlands may have been a hollow victory. That is, the leader of the region was savagely murdered with his own men, while his supporters in the region were left largely untouched. In proving their loyalty to the Lannisters, the Freys have likely signed their own death warrants since Robb's instinct in leaving his southern lords to keep their own lands (after learning the devastating lesson of leaving his flank in the North exposed to the Ironborn) has led to the strength of the riverlands being left more intact than that of either the North, the West or the Crownlands.

I just realised something when thinking about Riverlands leadership; they've never been under the command of the Blackfish. He was with Robb at the Whispering Wood and Riverrun, then went with him to the Westerlands. Edmure has always been in command of the Rivelords, for better or worse, trying to repel the Lannister's and the Battle of the Fords. Now the Riverlords, if they're still loyal to the Tullys, are under command of the Blackfish himself, a very competent war leader. Hmmm.....

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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.

Good instincts on Hosteen and Aenys. Get a chance to read Theon's TWoW POV yet?

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Side note: thinking about it, if the GNCs know that Jon is a King, not just a mere Lord of Winterfell via Robb's Will, etc, then it places more, not less, importance on securing Rickon asap. I mean, they really need a pure Stark heir for Winterfell (since Jon is technically a Targaryen) while the realm is secured and someone loyal to the Starks given guardianship over Winterfell if need be. Especially since Sansa and Arya are 'at large' and the future of Winterfell remains in doubt while under threat by Bolton/Baelish/Lannister marriage arrangements for them.



If Jon is going to be King, then he won't have time nor resources to be keeping an eye on Rickon as well as the Wall, the Ironborn, southron chaos, etc – worse, family safety concerns would be a huge distraction and liability in wartime. So I think the GNC is not only trying to install Jon as guardian of the North (and/or in waiting for Rickon) but crucially, helping to set up some crucial pieces for him, so that when he takes command there are fewer roadblocks, family challenges and logistical headaches.


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So in this context, the Blackfish is setting up the Cyvasse board in the Riverlands ready for a re-taking of those lands under a Stark banner, as is Manderly the North, etc. They can't surely be holding out for a small boy (Rickon)? Nor an outsider's marriage to a female Stark. Has to be Jon.


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So in this context, the Blackfish is setting up the Cyvasse board in the Riverlands ready for a re-taking of those lands under a Stark banner, as is Manderly the North, etc. They can't surely be holding out for a small boy (Rickon)? Nor an outsider's marriage to a female Stark. Has to be Jon.

Only Manderly knows about rickon; remember his maester is a lannister and he does not trust him. Woukd you send out a letter with information that important?

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