Thursday, November 29, 2012

My stance on various ASOIAF conspiracy theories, Part 9

Thursday is theory day now. 

This is the ninth article of the series. Since there are a lot of theories floating out there and I'm asked often enough what I think of them, I thought I write it down. You can then laugh about me when I am totally proven wrong by "The Winds of Winter" or something like that. Rules are as follows: you put a question about any theory or plot element (really, let's stress "theory" a bit for the sake of interesting questions) either in the comments of any theory post or by mail ( and I will answer them in an upcoming post. And if you now ask "Stefan, isn't this a shameless rip-off of Sean T. Collin's "Ask me anything"?", I would tell you to shut up, because you are right.

Prepare for part 9. Spoilers for "A Song of Ice and Fire", obviously.

What the heck happened to Mance?
The Pink Letter claims that Mance Rayder was abused, stuffed naked into a cage to sit in the winter storm and has the hides of his "washer women" for warmth, which makes for a treatment ripe to create the next Reek. Now, as discussed already concerning the Pink Letter, said piece of correspondence doesn't need to be a real deal. It could have been written by Stannis or even Mance himself. I still don't believe that it was Mance who wrote it, though, and Stannis seems evenly unlikely, especially since he's not the type for the empathy necessary to write in convincing Ramsay-style. If the letter comes from Ramsay, that means that he tells the truth about Mance, because he can't very well lie about it if he doesn't know it. And since the preview chapter of "The Winds of Winter" doesn`t talk about Mance at all, he can't be in Stannis' camp. So, my bet would be on him sitting in a cage, swinging back and forth and freezing his balls off, provided Ramsay didn't cut them off like Theon's. 

What will happen to the Freys? 
In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, Catelyn Stark - often dubbed Un-Cat for her being not the person she was before at all - sets out to kill every living Frey out there for their involvement in the Red Wedding Conspiracy. I'm not quite sure yet if she grasped that not all Freys did partake, or if she cares if she did, but Merret Frey in the "A Storm of Swords" epilogue showed clearly what she was going for. Since Walder Frey seemed so intent to keep his many children together and to strengthen his house, many have come to believe that in some sort of poetic justice the man that outlived so many wives will be around a while longer and be the last Frey standing, or rather, the last gouty Frey sitting around in a chair. But it would be too poetic almost, especially for a universe like Martin's. In Merret Frey's chapter, we got an intriguing inside-look to the mind of Frey (really, if you don't remember, reread it at once), and the death of old lord Walder will stirr up the Frey balance more than anything. Generally, many Freys are in for some hard times, not only because winter is coming but also because their benign overlord will soon withdraw his supporting hand. I have pity on the Freys. Their despised throughout the realm, and when "A Dream of Spring" comes finally around, there won't be half as many as there are now. 

What happened to Rickon?
There was much speculation about where Osha took Rickon after they parted ways with Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor. Some speculation pointed to White Harbor, but with the events unfolding as they were, it became increasingly unlikely that they headed for any civilized place at all. Some wild guesses were made, and Skagos was around them, of only because it's a rather big spot on the map we know practically nothing about besides the fact that cannibals live there. Now, cannibals don't need to defy reason, so if Osha knows something about the place (and there is some evidence she does in the fact that she chooses to go there), it might be safe on account of scaring the shit out of everybody. If I'm not mistaken, people see Skagos as wildling territory, too, although most wildlings might differ. While Osha most likely isn't from there (she belonged to Mance, after all, and he didn't seem to have an impact on Skagos), she might know her way around. For Rickon, that means that a toddler is running through cannibal infested territory. Given his already wild and precarious state of nature, this can't be healthy. When he returns to the North with Davos (and if he does), he will still be a very confused child that needs to be nurtured back into civilization, Westeros' Mogli, so to speak. Not really pretty, but beats being dead.


  1. How long has Rickon been on Skagos? The timeline from the end of COK until the point in DWD when Davos heads to find him is difficult to figure out. I was assuming a year at most

  2. Which would be around a fifth of his live. That leaves an impression.