Art Parkinson, Isaac Hempstead Wright and Owen Teale talk “Oathbreaker” and the future

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We have a few more interviews rounded up for our readers today, examining “Oathbreaker” and the aftermath of the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Isaac Hempstead Wright and Art Parkinson hint at what’s in store for the Stark brothers in season 6, and the departing Owen Teale talks about his time with Game of Thrones.

For those doubting what they saw with their own eyes on Sunday night’s new episode of Game of Thrones, Art Parkinson has some bad news: Rickon Stark’s beloved Shaggydog is definitely dead.

“Uh, yeah, I’d say so,” the actor told The Huffington Post. “It was a little bit disappointing because, you know, looking at the dogs we had on set… and that you’d never really get to hang out with them again. When I read that Shaggydog was dead, I was definitely a little upset.”

HuffPo asks if we’ll find out why Rickon is still in the North, and Parkinson evades spoilers, replying “Yeah, I’d say you will find out, but again, there’s not too much I can give away at the minute.”

Parkinson discusses working with Iwan Rheon and the direwolves in the interview, and ultimately says, “I think if Rickon does go down, there will definitely be a fight in it. Rickon’s quite a tough character, so I would definitely expect a fight.”

He adds, on the subject of what to expect from his character this year, “It’s definitely going to be an interesting season, and to keep an eye out for the little details.”

As for season 6, we can also expect “Dangerous times,” as Parkinson tells the Hollywood Reporter while discussing the developments of “Oathbreaker” and his “very new, feral Rickon.” The young actor shares some of Rickon’s mindset from the moment Shaggydog’s severed head was revealed.

“I think he’s a little bit wary of the situation and taking his surroundings into account. When Shaggydog’s head is brought in, then I think he’s…not afraid, but more anger that’s built up. There’s some shock for a minute, and then it’s pure anger.”

He speaks of Rickon’s predicament and describes the interactions between Rickon and Ramsay as an “intense relationship.”

“Rickon has a lot of fight in him, so he’s someone who will stand up for himself and try as hard as he can against him,” Parkinson tells THR. “[Iwan Rheon] is brilliant. It’s great whenever you have someone you’re able to work off of, someone who’s so intimidating staring down at you. It really gets you into the mind-set of Rickon.”

There’s much more in the article so check out the complete interview at the Hollywood Reporter.


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Art’s co-star and onscreen brother Isaac Hempstead Wright speaks with the Hollywood Reporter this week as well. It’s been a big season for Bran Stark so far, with him stepping into the past each episode he appears in, and it seem as though his story will keep dropping these huge moments throughout the season.

The actor explains, “Every single vision, you’re learning something new, and you’re seeing a real bombshell. That’s what we’ll see in the next few episodes. There are no visions where we’re like, ‘Oh, well, cool, we kind of already knew that anyway.’ Every time it’s like, ‘Oh, wow! That’s extraordinary!’ There are a couple of visions coming up that I’m really excited to see”

In “Oathbreaker,” Bran witnessed his father taking part in the legendary fight at the Tower of Joy and saw that the events didn’t go down quite as he always heard or assumed they did. Hempstead Wright shares his perspective on the event:

Yeah, as far as he’s known, his father has been nothing but completely honorable and kind and generous and a good man. So Bran’s watching this fight, expecting it to go one way, with his father coming in to save the day. And there’s this great line where Bran says something like: “But father wins! I’ve heard the story a thousand times!” And clearly someone’s been lying. Bran sees that it was a dirty backstabbing, and that’s quite shocking for Bran. It’s a totally different side to his father that he hadn’t quite been exposed to before. All the sudden, here he is. His hero isn’t all that he’s quite cracked up to be, necessarily. It also raises some questions. There’s no arguing the fact that Ned was a good man, so whatever forced him to fight in that dishonorable way clearly must have been something quite enormous. It raises the question of why he did that, and what does it mean for the rest of us?

The new ability Bran demonstrates at the Tower of Joy may affect the dynamic between Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven. Not only can Bran look into the past, but he may be able to change it, if he’s able to reach out and speak to people as shown by Bran calling out to his father in the episode. Hempstead-Wright says, “I think it suddenly presents a bunch of new challenges for the Raven. He’s not only just trying to keep this teenager under control, but now he has a sort of time-traveling teenager to keep under control.”

There are more details and thoughts on the issue in THR, so check it out at the source!


Thorne

One of this week’s casualties, Owen Teale who played the hated Ser Alliser Thorne, talks with Vulture. The actor discusses the mechanics of the hanging, including the show’s deliberate choice to show the men hanging with a shorter rope so they would be strangling on their nooses rather than breaking their necks. The choice of a slower execution method was meant to send a message, apparently.

As I remember, the speech that I give to Jon Snow, explaining the way I’ve lived my life — ‘I fought, I lost, and now I will rest’ — he seems at peace about that. But when the moment comes, and you’re dangling, you can’t help but fight to live. It’s important to see them suffer before they actually die, because as Jon Snow sees it it’s insurrection. It’s treason, what they’ve committed. It’s important to see them suffer, as a message to anybody else who might be thinking of doing the same.

On being Alliser Thorne and part of Game of Thrones as a whole, Teale says:

I didn’t enjoy being him. I couldn’t wait until the end of the day to go off and have a drink with Kit [Harington], and have a laugh. But maybe I miss it. Maybe it’s not Alliser I miss, but the size of what we were doing, the sets, the sense of collaboration. It’ll be interesting to see what Jon Snow will do next. Part of his vision and part of his fight was to beat down the old regime, and now that it’s gone he’s got nobody to blame. He’s on his own.

Visit Vulture to read more of Teale’s thoughts on his time with Game of Thrones!

247 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Well, my hope for the idea of the Umbers in the northern conspiracy just went to the trash, shit.

      RIP Shaggydog 🙁

      Jon, time to kick some Bolton, Umber and Karstark ass.

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    2. I think if Rickon does go down, there will definitely be a fight in it. Rickon’s quite a tough character, so I would definitely expect a fight

      So we will see a fight sence between Ramsey and Rickon????!!
      I don’t know but he can’t be with Osha all that time without learning one thing or two from her
      Osha is a Wilding and we all know how the Wilding girls are good with weapons, I hope he’s hiding some knives or something under his sleeves
      And I hope the showrunners show us how wild Rickon is ?

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    3. What the fuck is a Lommy?:
      Well, my hope for the idea of the Umbers in the northern conspiracy just went to the trash, shit.

      I don’t believe in that conspiracy, but if there’s a masterplan behind bringing Rickon there and he’s in on it – maybe he actually sacrificed Shaggydog willingly for that greater mission. It’s at least possible.

      Also it sounds very much like Rickon will at one point attack Ramsay with something from his surroundings (“keep an eye out for the little details”). Reminds me of Sansa and that corkscrew.

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    4. I’m so very excited to see what twists and turns Bran’s new incredible powers will bring about. Also it’ll be interesting to find out which Northern houses will align with Team Jon/Sansa.

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    5. What the fuck is a Lommy?,

      Your display name always cracks me up. Also, don’t let Art doctor your tin foil hat!

      “Uh, yeah, I’d say so,” is not exactly “I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season” and we know how that turned out. SD may be a goner and the Umbers a PoS but it won’t be because of what Art said.

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    6. Show is obviously going to reveal Jon´s parentage this season but they have to show Rhaegar Targaryen so non-book readers would understand the true political situation Jon will find himself in.

      Since they went from showing little Starks in the yard straight to TOJ i doubt they will go back to the previous events before that. Shame.

      Nonbook readers and casual viewers won´t distinguish Rhaegar from Viserys if you ask me.

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    7. Just remember guys, actors are supposed to lie.

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    8. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      Show is obviously going to reveal Jon´s parentage this season but they have to show Rhaegar Targaryen so non-book readers would understand the true political situation Jon will find himself in.

      Since they went from showing little Starks in the yard straight to TOJ i doubt they will go back to the previous events before that. Shame.

      Nonbook readers and casual viewers won´t distinguish Rhaegar from Viserys if you ask me.

      They didn’t cast Rhaegar.

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    9. I do not believe anything these actors say in interviews anymore! Dead, dead dead my foot! Check out my theory at the end of the Oz post. I don’t buy this Umber betrayal thing at all. It just doesn’t make sense.

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    10. coronaprince: there’s a masterplan behind bringing Rickon there and he’s in on it – maybe he actually sacrificed Shaggydog willingly for that greater mission.

      You mean like Sansa´s master plan? The one in which she got bent over by Ramsey?

      Rickon will be “in on it” alright … he´ll be the one getting bent over this time by Lord Karstark.

      Starks better leave conspiracys to other people and just stick to dying the least painfull way possible.

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    11. The kids personalities are mirrored in their direwolves. Shaggydog was the wildest and meanest of them all. I’m completely excited to see how Rickon turns out. I bet he’s going to have an interesting season. I just don’t know which side he’s on or what he’s capable of.

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    12. Tycho Nestoris:
      What the fuck is a Lommy?,

      Your display name always cracks me up. Also, don’t let Art doctor your tin foil hat!

      “Uh, yeah, I’d say so,” is not exactly “I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season” and we know how that turned out. SD may be a goner and the Umbers a PoS but it won’t be because of what Art said.

      lmao. my favorite quote in all the series, like seriously.

      true dat, hoping the northern conspiracy happens.. also, Smalljon didn´t bend the knee, humm…

      and I´m thinking “Shaggy” head is just a random black wolf head, hopefully.

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    13. It was a war. It was either kill him that way or be killed. When you fight literally the best swordsman of your time, you use any tactics to win. Especially since your sister’s life is at stake.

      Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Once they know Jon is Rhaegar’s son. That is all the audience needs to know and he could be Daeny’s nephew. Rhaegar was loved by many, only Robert hated him and audience knows this. He did that out of spite since Lyanna never really loved him. Besides casting Rhaegar could be enormously tough. The guy’s got one helluva reputation to go by.

      Nymeria the wolf,

      It makes perfect sense.

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    14. Wheither or not the plan is good doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. I think this might be an amalgamation of the old Mance spy role. I think Rickon thinks he will save Sansa. I don’t think SD is dead. Someone said what if Rickon warns into Ramsey’s Alpha dog and eats him! That would be pretty awesome!

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    15. Wow, he says “feral” twice in the interview. I shouldn’t be excited, but I’ve always wondered if I was reading Rickon wrong when I thought he was tending toward madness, especially the way everyone professed their love for him when rumors went flying about “the gift” and other things. So I wouldn’t say the feralness was brand new information, but it seems that this season will really leave no doubt as to his nature.

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    16. Now I’m wondering if he’s gone particularly “feral” from warging too long. Feral does seem a particularly interesting choice of wording, given that Stark gift. Would it not be awesome to see Ramsay’s own hound (or hounds) turn on him and tear him to shreds? Okay, no, I couldn’t watch that, but I almost would like for it to happen offscreen.

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    17. I just dont like the idea of changing the past. It means nothing has really happened for real. Bran can as easily change it if he wants. I hope they do not make it possible to change the past, just influence the future. Leave the past be. I do not want a situation where Ned’s head is back in its place.

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    18. Shaggydog is not dead, dammit.
      He just…isn’t.
      He was sent on a secret mission north of the Wall.
      While on said secret mission, he meets a lady direwolf, they fall in love, have lots of direwolf puppies, and live happily ever after.

      So, there.

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    19. Baromen,

      I agree. I hope Rickon gets more screen-time this season than he ever did in the whole show thus far, about time he comes into play~
      …That is if nothing bad’s happening to him, which I hope not.

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    20. Sue the Fury:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      You can click the Art Parkinson links and found out for yourself, Jack.

      It was more of a surprise rhetorical question. Haha has been gone for just as long and not a single mention of her by the interviewer or Art.

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    21. I never really bought this theory that the Umber’s betrayal is a con (to me that makes less sense in the show’s context than them straight up betraying Starks), but Art saying “It’s definitely going to be an interesting season, and to keep an eye out for the little details.” Sure, that could mean anything or nothing at all, but I don’t see why one would need to pay that much attention to details if his storyline will be as straightforward as “Smalljon gives him to Ramsay -> Ramsay sends Pink Letter and torments him & Osha -> before the battle Ramsay flays them and puts them on the burning crosses.”

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    22. “When did you find out you’d be coming back?”

      “I think it’s a couple months ago now. We started talking about it and the storyline that I’d have, and they finally said, “Yeah, we’ll definitely be bringing you back.” It was exciting.”

      This makes no sense. Filming ended in December, so how did Art find out he was coming back just a couple months ago?

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    23. Jack Bauer 24: It was more of a surprise rhetorical question. Haha has been gone for just as long and not a single mention of her by the interviewer or Art.

      *Osha

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    24. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      Show is obviously going to reveal Jon´s parentage this season but they have to show Rhaegar Targaryen so non-book readers would understand the true political situation Jon will find himself in.

      I’m okay with some Rhaegar action, especially if they get Chris Hemsworth to play Rhaegar. That shouldn’t be hard, right? They could just sneak him in for a scene or two. Harrenhal, here or there. I’d be good with that.

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    25. I have a bad foreboding for Rickon.. I hope Im wrong. I really want to see how he grows up and what type of young man he will become. If SD is really dead Im going to just be sick… I was so excited when the Starks all got a Direwolf and that they were an extension of their characters. I just HATE that the Starks are getting annihilated one by one.. seriously its not been fun being a Stark fan. I mean what other family has lost more prominent family members? Its enough to make you not want to invest into their characters bc they are destined to be killed off. Anyone else hear of any news of Gendry? Is he coming back at all or is he going to be rowing off into the sunset forever? Talk about loose end needing tying up…. Can we get The Hound back too? I want to see him and Arya sparring verbally again. That was great fun.

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    26. Alexandre Laframboise:
      Baromen,

      I agree. I hope Rickon gets more screen-time this season than he ever did in the whole show thus far, about time he comes into play~
      …That is if nothing bad’s happening to him, which I hope not.

      Nothing to fear Karstark is there to protect Rickon from Ramsey and show him some “love” …

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    27. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Shaggydog is not dead, dammit.
      He just…isn’t.
      He was sent on a secret mission north of the Wall.
      While on said secret mission, he meets a lady direwolf, they fall in love, have lots of direwolf puppies, and live happily ever after.

      So, there.

      With Lulu’s Giant Ice Penguins, right?

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    28. Ginevra: I’m okay with some Rhaegar action, especially if they get Chris Hemsworth to play Rhaegar.That shouldn’t be hard, right?They could just sneak him in for a scene or two.Harrenhal, here or there.I’d be good with that.

      Lol.. now you should be their casting agent!! I would like to think that either of the Hemsworths would be nice EYE CANDY for us girls…. honestly.

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    29. I don’t understand why some people think that it’s all a plot and Shaggydog is not dead. Umber would be stupid if he’s a Stark supporter and he gives Rickon to Ramsay. Now he’s just a prisoner while he could have rallied the North…

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    30. Moka,

      Because fucking Ramsay in the ass would be one of the five best possible things to happen on the show.

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    31. J Lee:
      I’m so very excited to see what twists and turns Bran’s new incredible powers will bring about. Also it’ll be interesting to find out which Northern houses will align with Team Jon/Sansa.

      As far as I know house Mormont and Hornwood im sure besides the wildlings there has to be moore?

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    32. Parkinson discusses working with Iwan Rheon and the direwolves in the interview, and ultimately says, “I think if Rickon does go down, there will definitely be a fight in it. Rickon’s quite a tough character, so I would definitely expect a fight.”

      I don’t think this is suppose to leave any doubt in our minds that Rickon is going to be a little bit harder to control then Ramsey thinks. Im in the camp that he can warg any time he wants and will warg into Ramsey’s dogs to tear his ass to pieces. That would just be great redemption for all the other folks he’s fed to his dogs.

      Ginevra- I think we can just fast forward those scenes.. lol. (inside joke).

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    33. Ginevra: They asked Art if Osha was like a mom, and he said she was more like a mate who bossed him around.

      Was that in another thread or link bc I didn’t see that mentioned?

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    34. I’m just wondering why we didn’t get cannibals riding unicorns?

      But really, I agree the fight with BA Arthur Dayne and Ned Stark didn’t depreciate Ned’s honor in any way. He tried to battle the greatest swordsman who ever lived. Better than Inigo Montoya, better than Lan Mandragoran, better than Mad Fucking Mardigan! Howland Reed stabbed Dayne from behind. That’s not dishonorable that’s survival. Reed and Stark lived to fight another Day. Dayne…saw his last dawn. But there is always another to take up the mantle when a legend falls. Enter Darkstar!!!

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    35. I’ll watch Owen Teale in anything now. I’m a fan. Thorne’s time had come, but he presented such a good challenge for Jon. So in that sense, it’s disappointing to see him go.

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    36. Someone on reddit posted this about the Umbers giving Rickon to Ramsay, as a potential mummer’s farce. Its really good and i believe it 100%. Art said Shaggydog is dead, but do we really have to believe him? I mean they all said Jon was dead and was never coming back and lied about for 10 months! That supposed head of Shaggydog looked smaller than a regular direwolf’s. He even points it out in this post.

      Have a read at it if you will:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/4imdm8/spoilers_main_how_everyone_needs_to_chill_about/

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    37. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Shaggydog is not dead, dammit.
      He just…isn’t.
      He was sent on a secret mission north of the Wall.
      While on said secret mission, he meets a lady direwolf, they fall in love, have lots of direwolf puppies, and live happily ever after.

      So, there.

      Oi Hai. Where you been? 😉 It is always a nice thing to know we are missed. And ummmm… *shuffles feet* I kinda sorta think that Shaggy has crossed that Rainbow Bridge. 🙁 On the bright side, drinks at the local pub on me?

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    38. Ice Spider: Im in the camp that he can warg any time he wants and will warg into Ramsey’s dogs to tear his ass to pieces.

      I like it. I want it to happen and I want the camera to show it…because that is necessary violence.

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    39. I think Rickon will die, because Sansa needs to become the Queen in the North, but he will die fighting, like a wolf, like a real Stark until the end.

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    40. Ice Spider: Was that in another thread or link bc I didn’t see that mentioned?

      There were two Art interviews, and it was in this one: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/game-thrones-rickon-stark-spoilers-892031.

      What’s Rickon’s view of Osha? Does he view her as a mother figure?

      I think he feels she’s more of a friend, but a friend who gets to tell him what to do. (Laughs) I think it’s less than a mother-son relationship, but it’s definitely more than just being his mate.

      In addition to your fight quote, I thought this one was particularly foreboding for Ramsey:

      It would be a very dangerous plan to put a very valuable person like Rickon so close to a psychopath like Ramsay. Do you think Rickon would be brave enough to handle a challenge like that?

      I think Rickon, since he’s come back, is a lot stronger emotionally and is much more of a mature character. I think he’s able to handle pretty much anything thrown his way at the moment.

      Badass! “Little man.” I’ll show you “little man.”

      And this one, too, seems like he’s ready to unleash the whirlwind:

      Rickon returns to Winterfell, but it’s not the home he once knew. What’s going through his mind as he’s handed over to Ramsay?

      I think he’s a little bit wary of the situation and taking his surroundings into account. When Shaggydog’s head is brought in, then I think he’s…not afraid, but more anger that’s built up. There’s some shock for a minute, and then it’s pure anger.

      Pure freaking anger.

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    41. Is this Rickon’s biggest season yet?

      I’d say it’s one of his biggest seasons. It’s definitely great to get back into Game of Thrones and re-embrace the character. It WAS very enjoyable.

      Is this some kind of acknowledgement that his role is over? It WAS enjoyable or am I just reading into this too much?

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    42. Ice Spider: Lol.. now you should be their casting agent!! I would like to think that either of the Hemsworths would be nice EYE CANDY for us girls…. honestly.

      I am with you Icey Lady and Ginevra I will swoon when swooning is called for and one Rhaegar Targ could do that, for me it MIGHT be a Chris Pratt who fills that roll, but any Hemsworth will do.

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    43. Guys chill out, this is the season that was promised, the balm season for our hearts after all the betrayal, greed and violence.

      That was not Shaggydog.
      The Umbers are messing with Ramsay.
      It will all be okay.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Ginevra,

      Yes… I’m guessing Ramsey is going to try his stupid tricks on Rickon and Rickon is NOT going to have any of it and is going to unleash hell on Ramsey… at least that is what Im hoping for .. it may cause him his life but it would make for interesting storyline.

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    45. Connor,

      I read it. People are just in denial. Rickon will die, I”m sure. Better to accept that now that to create theories.

      It makes no sense for the show to have the Umbers betray Ramsay. He needs an army. Without the Umbers, he has only Karstarks vs wildlings, the Vale, the northern houses loyal to the Starks,….

      It would be just too easy for Sansa and Jon.

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    46. Art can not tell if Shaggy was alive so this means nothing. If he had volunteered the info it would be different. He said that he can not say what he has been doing in the North, that Rickon is though and we mentioned keeping eye on little details. I am not saying this will happen, just that it is not disproven yet.

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    47. I must have missed the bit when Ned did anything dishonorable…..did he make Howland stab Dayne? Is he a magical puppet master or did he just use mind control?

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    48. mau,

      I honestly don’t give a shit who was right or not. It was just a theory, I thought it was a pretty good one, that is all. And I wish it were true, who knows.

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    49. Nymeria the wolf,

      Re I don’t buy this Umber betrayal thing at all. It just doesn’t make sense.

      I am in the rabbit hole. Jon only just (3 days by my count) let a few thousand wildlings through the wall. Many were women and children. Many fighters died at Hardhome as well. I find it unlikely the wildlings that were let through are raiding. The wildling fighters who did pass the wall are with Edd.

      1) Does SJ really need troops to help busting up women and children or the Edd crew for that matter?
      2) Neither Ramsay nor SJ mention Bran. Ramsay as a test of SJ’s loyalty (as SJ doesn’t know that Ramsay knows Bran is alive) and SJ to strengthen his gift/trustworthiness.
      3) Ramsay knows Rickon has been free for some time. Yet, he doesn’t ask SJ (and SJ doesn’t offer) how long Rickon has been at Last Hearth or the circumstances by which he found Rickon or what he’s been doing there. It’s logical to think that Ramsay would wonder why SJ is coming to him now if Rickon has been a ward since his escape from WF. Ramsay could easily catch Umber in a lie here.
      4) The whole premise of the betrayal is that the GJ is no longer in power/dead. Ramsay isn’t at all concerned that GJ suddenly died of “natural” causes as soon as the wildlings were let through and Roose was murdered?

      EDIT: Did the NW take the weapons of the wildlings who passed the wall? If not, why didn’t they think of that?

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    50. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      Show is obviously going to reveal Jon´s parentage this season but they have to show Rhaegar Targaryen so non-book readers would understand the true political situation Jon will find himself in.

      Since they went from showing little Starks in the yard straight to TOJ i doubt they will go back to the previous events before that. Shame.

      Nonbook readers and casual viewers won´t distinguish Rhaegar from Viserys if you ask me.

      I’m sure someone has thought of this already but now that he’s older why not bring back Harry Lloyd to play Rhaeger for a flashback scene? That would help tie off loose ends pretty well.

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    51. Connor,

      Well, I give a shit, not because I want you to be wrong, but I’m irritated by this denial theories about Stannis still being alive, Myrcella being poisoned by Doran, Cersei lying to Jaime about the necklace,…

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    52. JCDavis: I am with you Icey Lady and GinevraI will swoon when swooning is called for and one Rhaegar Targ could do that, for me it MIGHT be a Chris Pratt who fills that roll, but any Hemsworth will do.

      Lol.. yes Pratt is nice candy too… at least there are a few options for the casting dept.

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    53. mau:
      Connor,

      Well, I give a shit, not because I want you to be wrong, but I’m irritated by this denial theories about Stannis still being alive, Myrcella being poisoned by Doran, Cersei lying to Jaime about the necklace,…

      Somebody here said Fat Walda is still alive because the camera cut away.

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    54. mau,

      I didn’t think Stannis was still alive at all, and I doubted that Doran helped poison Myrcella as well. But I apologize for coming off as rude, not my intention.

      I guess I am in denial a little bit lol. Let’s just wait how things turn out in the episodes to come rather than theorize about it and fight about it. I just hate the Starks getting beaten down all the time is all. I definitely do not want Rickon to die, but it might happen after all, sadly.

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    55. We get it, Ramsay is an asshole. I’m not interested at all in what he does to Rickon. Ramsay needs to do something new because he has outstayed his welcome in my opinion. His shocking deeds aren’t shocking anymore.

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    56. Pigeon:
      I must have missed the bit when Ned did anything dishonorable…..did he make Howland stab Dayne? Is he a magical puppet master or did he just use mind control?

      I know, right? I didn’t get that either. I do see that the battle at the Tower of Joy has been twisted as the years have gone by, but it is pretty clear that Howland stabbed Dayne from behind, Ned was on the ground looking like he was counting prayers on his rosary.

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    57. mau:
      Connor,

      I read it. People are just in denial. Rickon will die, I”m sure. Better to accept that now that to create theories.

      It makes no sense for the show to have the Umbers betray Ramsay. He needs an army. Without the Umbers, he has only Karstarks vs wildlings, the Vale, the northern houses loyal to the Starks,….

      It would be just too easy for Sansa and Jon.

      Really? RELAX.. Im not really in any camp if he lives or dies… but I just don’t get why you are so uptight about it? I am just asking nonchalantly and why is it so hard for you to believe that they could betray Ramsey? In your own words.. “it makes no sense for the Umbers to betray Ramsey”? Why? I think it makes perfect sense since the whole world as they know it is in total chaos and no one trusts anyone so Im not sure why it can’t be possible for them to try and betray Ramsey. Even his own Father said that if he acts like a rabid dog that he would be treated as such.. I don’t think they are getting into any alliance with Ramsey thinking they are going to gain much in their favor… Really he doesn’t have Sansa so his claim to holding the North is really flimsy, and his Father was the Warden of the North (which he just killed) not him.. Roose gained control of the North with his alliance with Tywin and the whole Red Wedding debacle and since both Roose and Tywin are dead who’s to say that alliance will even be honored anymore. But like I said back on Rickon’s comments .. I don’t care if he lives or dies. I am going to appreciate how the story unfolds and take it for what it is.. entertainment.

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    58. JCDavis: I know, right?I didn’t get that either.I do see that the battle at the Tower of Joy has been twisted as the years have gone by, but it is pretty clear that Howland stabbed Dayne from behind, Ned was on the ground looking like he was counting prayers on his rosary.

      Well he did kill him after Dayne was already bleeding out with a knife through his neck and then never told the accurate depiction of what happened.

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    59. Connor,

      I don’t want him to die, but I think he will.

      Sansa and Jon won’t die. Davos won’t die. Even maybe Tormud will survive. So the battle needs that bitter-sweet result, or it will be just ultimate victory for the Starks and GoT doesn’t like that.

      Rickon’s death can provide that without much damage to the plot. He will then make a room for Sansa to rule WF.

      Also lord Manderly will be in S6 and I’m sure he will betray Ramsay and not lord Umber. To have 2/3 of his supporters turn on him is just too much.

      Lord Umber is cool, because they don’t want cartoonish villain with Ramsay. He will be his version of Tormud. He hates the wildlings and that’s why he betrayed the Starks. I don’t think there is something more about him.

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    60. Pigeon:
      I must have missed the bit when Ned did anything dishonorable…..did he make Howland stab Dayne? Is he a magical puppet master or did he just use mind control?

      Ned did strike after Dayne was backstabbed, although that may have been in mercy for a quick death.

      When Bran says, “Father beat him… I know he did. I heard this story a thousand times,” that implies that Ned bragged about defeating Dayne. That sounds completely unlike Ned, though, even without the circumstances. I can picture him reluctantly confirming, when asked, that he defeated Dayne with Reed’s help, and I can see why he wouldn’t want to dishonor the reputation of the man who saved his life. But it wasn’t the moment of shining glory and honor that Bran was expecting, and so I can also see how Bran’s image of his father might be cracked.

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    61. Ice Spider,

      You are talking about potential Umbers’ betrayal of Ramsay from the story perspective. I’m talking from the perspective of story construction.

      Ramsay has 3 lords supporting him. Karstark, Umber, Manderly.

      Jon and Sansa will have the Vale, wildlings, Mormonts and other minor houses of the North.

      Lord Manderly will betray Ramsay, just like in the books. To have Umber betray him as well would make everything too easy for Jon and Sansa. It would be 5 to 1 maybe against the Boltons.

      Ramsay needs to look as someone strong if his defeat is going to mean something.

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    62. Not buying the conspiracy theory. That would be too brilliant a twist which I put beyond the desires, or time constraints, of the show writers. Martin, maybe, in the books. Ramsey is D/D’s new favorite. I think he now gets a full season of screwing, torturing or killing Osha and Rickon. A feral this or angry that means nothing when you’re being flayed.

      Also not sure why Isaac thinks Ned is somehow the backstabbing cheat. He fought, he lost, he was going to rest. Until Howland did the trixy thing. He never bragged. He simply said he would have died without Reed, which is true. Though he did beat Ser Gerold, the Captain, which is no small feat itself.

      Agree that changing or influencing the past doesn’t work. Time travel crap that potentially impacts future events never works. Think Terminator. Too many paradoxes and cause/effect loops that ruin things logically. Bran could make the whole story disappear, if that were not the case, simply by influencing one or two main events. Heck, he could I nterrupt himself before he climbs the tower to see Jaime/Cersei, etc, and never be a cripple. Dumb idea and hope they don’t try to do that.

      I’m steeling myself for more missed Stark reunions, more Stark doom, and more bad guys winning for now. And then an ultimately unsatisfying demise for Ramsay. After all he’s done, nothing short of a a Direwolf mauling will placate me. And there aren’t many left.

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    63. Bodog:
      Ice Spider,

      Ya’ll need to chill….I’ve seen you both on here and you two always write interesting posts….just roll with it and let’s see what happens.

      Lol.. Im chill no worries.. I was the one saying that everyone needed to chill… I just find it interesting when others think differently they get attacked bc it doesn’t fit anyone’s particular thinking.. I mean I KNOW that there are probabilities of the storyline going in a certain direction bc of spoilers and the content in the books- but really if someone wants to think that there is a great Northern Conspiracy and they want to envision this great conspiracy then who are we to be killjoys? In the end the show is going to be what it is and the story will unfold as it’s suppose to and no matter what we say on here it isn’t really going to change all of that. My whole point is that everyone should RELAX and let people think what they want. If you are right then great … you were right.. if you were wrong then oops pie in the face insert foot. 😉 But Im relaxed mane… REEEEEEEEEELAXED .. lol 😉

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    64. mau,

      But you are basing this ASSUMPTION on the fact that the Manderly’s will be the ones to betray Ramsey bc it happened in the book and my point is that we don’t know if D&D will actually STAY with that storyline or use the Umbers.. it matters not who betrays Ramsey.. the fact that one of the houses that is in “alliance” with him now will ultimately betray him. I have only read the third book and am going to get book 4 & 5 this weekend. So Im not privy to some of the stuff you are. I just know that D&D have switched a lot of things up in the show from the books and do you KNOW FOR SURE they will have the Manderly’s be the actual house that betray’s Ramsey? I just don’t know for sure.. but we will all see …. and Im salivating here waiting for it to unfold.

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    65. Sadly l think Rikon will get a curtain call this season. A bit worried about Kits interview about Jon now being frightened of death,will this make him withdraw from involvement in the conflict or will the red letter change that. Best first 3 episodes of the series.

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    66. JCDavis,

      Shaggy is frolicking in the snow with Mrs. Shaggy and the pups.

      That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

      Oh, and you missed me. *blushing* Thanks!!!

      Drinks in local pub sounds awesome!

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    67. Ginevra: Ned did strike after Dayne was backstabbed, although that may have been in mercy for a quick death.

      When Bran says, “Father beat him… I know he did.I heard this story a thousand times,” that implies that Ned bragged about defeating Dayne.That sounds completely unlike Ned, though, even without the circumstances.I can picture him reluctantly confirming, when asked, that he defeated Dayne with Reed’s help, and I can see why he wouldn’t want to dishonor the reputation of the man who saved his life.But it wasn’t the moment of shining glory and honor that Bran was expecting, and so I can also see how Bran’s image of his father might be cracked.

      I agree that Ned probably struck the killing blow to Dayne for mercy’s sake. I thought the look on his face when Howland stabbed him in the back was disgust but I could be wrong. And if we know anything about Ned he was “basically” a good guy. Yes he had flaws and YES he may have allowed this part of the story to be changed to save Howland Reed’s honor but this goes hand in hand with GRRM’s thought process on all of the major character’s arc’s that no one is really all good or all bad.

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    68. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      JCDavis,

      Shaggy is frolicking in the snow with Mrs. Shaggy and the pups.

      That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.?

      Oh, and you missed me.*blushing*Thanks!!!

      Drinks in local pub sounds awesome!

      Hey any drinking going on with WoTW followers and I want to be a part of it… 😉 Lol.. any chance you all are close to Tampa Florida? I keep trying to get everyone together for a watch session… I would be willing to travel to make that happen!! Maybe for the season finale?

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    69. mau,

      Jon and Sansa will have Vale? Seems to me the Vale will save their asses in the last minute. Typical Littlefinger move to join battle at the last minute and to turn the sides. With Rickon out potentially, the Boltons and large armies in the North. The Umbers, karstarks have the largest armies. Perfect scenario for walkers. Putting himself and Sansa to rule the North. But hopefully Sansa will show him what she learned and stab him literally or figuratively speaking.

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    70. Ice Spider,

      It is not an assumption.

      “Fletcher”: He is a fat nobleman in his 60’s. He has distinctive rugged features, a Northern accent, and a distinguished air. Our source says he has a stirring speech during which he unexpectedly shifts political allegiances.

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    71. mau:
      Ice Spider,

      It is not an assumption.

      “Fletcher”: He is a fat nobleman in his 60’s. He has distinctive rugged features, a Northern accent, and a distinguished air. Our source says he has a stirring speech during which he unexpectedly shifts political allegiances.

      Okie.. well like I said you may be privy to information I am not. I don’t have as much time as I would like to know all the casting’s that have taken place nor can I read all these articles.. there just is NOT enough time in a day for all of that.. but if you are confident its a Manderly only that betrays and that Umbers can’t betray him as well or form an alliance with the Manderly’s then so be it.. like I said it matters not to me. I just want it to be written well and acted well and for it to contain some sort of twisted torture for Ramsey.. well not really ..but kinda!! lol I’m liking the whole Rickon warging into Ramsey’s dogs and tearing him to pieces.. even though that prob will never happen! Wishful thinking though.. like sugarplums dancing in my head!!

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    72. Ice Spider,

      That sounds lovely, but I’m on the other side of the country. I think we’ll have to relegate ourselves to e-drinks. 🙁

      I hope you find some folks in your area to get together for a watch party, though. I’d love nothing more than if some of the folks I enjoy so much here were all in the same area.

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    73. I find it hard to believe that Rickon will die. Killing Starks isn’t exactly new and won’t have any more shock value. It’s not as if we need one more Stark death for Jon/Sansa to attempt revenge on House Bolton. And if Rickon’s plot purpose is to act as bait for Jon/Sansa to attack Winterfell, this purpose is served by fArya and Mance in the books, which means Rickon’s book purpose is something else.

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    74. I find it hard to believe that Rickon will die. Killing Starks isn’t exactly new and won’t have any more shock value. It’s not as if we need one more Stark death for Jon/Sansa to attempt revenge on House Bolton. And if Rickon’s plot purpose is to act as bait for Jon/Sansa to attack Winterfell, this purpose isn’t there in the books, which means Rickon’s book purpose is something else.

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    75. mau,

      Am I getting you confused with someone else, or were you the person saying someone close to the show had told you things, and one of them was Rickon wasn’t even with the Umbers.

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    76. Bodog:
      Ice Spider,

      or how about NH?

      I love NH.. .lived there briefly back in 1986. Beautiful. I think if we could get some folks to meet up and see where the middle ground would be Im game for driving for that.. I know Im all the way down here so I would have to prob travel North.. but how fantastic would that be to have a finale with all of the posters on here?

      What say you Ginevra? Would you be down?

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    77. mau,

      There is denial and denial. There is no point in confusing Stanis’ or Marcela’s death with Rickons fate. But at the moment we who don’t want Rickon to die can only hope. It is a fair and plausible expectations.

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    78. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Ice Spider,

      That sounds lovely, but I’m on the other side of the country.I think we’ll have to relegate ourselves to e-drinks. ?

      I hope you find some folks in your area to get together for a watch party, though.I’d love nothing more than if some of the folks I enjoy so much here were all in the same area.

      Well I understand anyone in the Western part of the US prob wouldn’t be able to do that since we are East Coasters.. but I would be willing to go a bit West too.. I guess it would have to depend on who decided to meet up and where we all lived.. I just think it would be EPIC!!!

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    79. Ice Spider,

      It would be awesome…like a WotW family reunion, plus, we could have all the staff there and ply them with well-deserved alcohol.

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    80. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Ice Spider,

      It would be awesome…like a WotW family reunion, plus, we could have all the staff there and ply them with well-deserved alcohol.

      NOW you are getting into the spirit of it.. HELL YES.. lets get this off the ground. What say all you WoTW followers?? Games of Thrones watching event or no for season finale?

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    81. Geralt of Rivia,

      Exactly my thoughts. Even if the Manderleys change sides JonSansa have only a few minor northern lords with obviously little to contribute, then the leftovers of Willings who should be physically exhausted by all the wars. LF cannot be counted as he is probably coming to late. So the maths do not add up. The Boltons are in a far better position both logistically and in terms of preparation…

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    82. umuckurlife:
      I’ll watch Owen Teale in anything now.I’m a fan.Thorne’s time had come, but he presented such a good challenge for Jon.So in that sense, it’s disappointing to see him go.

      I agree.

      Owen Teale was amazing, and he seems exactly the guy I would enjoy having a drink with at the end of the day. I hate that he played an “unredeemed villain”, but he wouldn’t have been Ser Alliser Thorne if he had a change of heart. Definitely going to miss him and he has a new fan in me.

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    83. The wolves will come again:
      I find it hard to believe that Rickon will die. Killing Starks isn’t exactly new and won’t have any more shock value. It’s not as if we need one more Stark death for Jon/Sansa to attempt revenge on House Bolton. And if Rickon’s plot purpose is to act as bait for Jon/Sansa to attack Winterfell, this purpose isn’t there in the books, which means Rickon’s book purpose is something else.

      I think that the theory is that Rickon must die in order for Sansa to be the Warden of the North.. as most think she is going to be. She is a major POV and Rickon is not. So that is why they believe Rickon is a goner.. he is an easier sacrifice and needs to be out of the way for Sansa to be able to next in line for ruling the North.

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    84. Ginevra,

      I don’t think Ned ever bragged about killing Dayne. Bran even tells Jojen in the TV show that Howland saved Ned’s life during the rebellion. According to season 3 Bran, it sounds like Ned was telling tell the truth. He probably just never gave the kids a blow by blow description of the fight. Also if Ned ever did talk about the fight is was probably very rare because it involved Lyanna, and we know Ned didn’t like to talk about her.

      I don’t see any dishonor in anything Howland/Ned did at TOJ. If your in a sword fight to the death and you don’t want to be stabbed in the back, don’t turn your back on an opponent.

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    85. Ice Spider,

      If Rickon has to die he could die under other circumstances and not because of Ramsay. He could fight against the White Walkers or someone else. There are two seasons left. He does not deserve to be Ramsey’s victim however feral and wild he will prove to be….

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    86. dothrakian raven:
      Ice Spider,

      If Rickon has to die he could die under other circumstances and not because of Ramsay. He could fight against the White Walkers or someone else. There are two seasons left. He does not deserve to be Ramsey’s victim however feral and wild he will prove to be….

      I didn’t write the books so Idk Rickon’s fate. BUT… Im in the camp that I would prefer him sticking around. I like dangerous men in Westeros..esp dangerous STARKS.. but if I was a betting girl (Im not) I would bet he’s prob a goner.

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    87. The Karstark guy has been already in 2 episodes and I am sure he will be in more than 3 as I think the Umber guy. If I remember well the casting info was saying something about 2 or 3 episodes for them but it can’t be possible. It has to be at least 4 if they will be Ramseys main strategical alliances…

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    88. The Quiet Wolf:
      Ginevra,

      I don’t think Ned ever bragged about killing Dayne. Bran even tells Jojen in the TV show that Howland saved Ned’s life during the rebellion. According to season 3 Bran, it sounds like Ned was telling tell the truth. He probably just never gave the kids a blow by blow description of the fight. Also if Ned ever did talk about the fight is was probably very rare because it involved Lyanna, and we know Ned didn’t like to talk about her.

      I don’t see any dishonor in anything Howland/Ned did at TOJ. If your in a sword fight to the death and you don’t want to be stabbed in the back, don’t turn your back on an opponent.

      I think Dayne assumed he killed Reed so him turning his back on him wasn’t an issue. He obviously just didn’t KILL him dead… lol.. I just don’t like Howland Reed anymore bc that is not how HONORABLE men kill their opponents. But Bronn would be dead a long time ago if he was honorable and I kinda sorta like him so Im gonna have to just be divided on my thoughts on fighting dishonorably.. 😉

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    89. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I had a theory that he wasn’t with them, because I knew that they were on Ramsay’s side (and I thought that Rickon won’t die), but I never said that someone close to the show had told me things about Rickon.

      But someone did tell me that the Umbers were on the Bolton’s side months ago. But nothing about Rickon. And that person even told me the reason for this alliance(the wildlings).

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    90. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      Show is obviously going to reveal Jon´s parentage this season but they have to show Rhaegar Targaryen so non-book readers would understand the true political situation Jon will find himself in.

      Since they went from showing little Starks in the yard straight to TOJ i doubt they will go back to the previous events before that. Shame.

      Nonbook readers and casual viewers won´t distinguish Rhaegar from Viserys if you ask me.

      Only a problem if it’s really Jon’s parentage we’re about to see. I’m confident that the Tower of Joy is about Dany’s past and thus the Stark side of the story would be far more important than establishing who Rhaegar is.

      This would also explain why the reveal was saved for a later episode. It will be a big shock when the number one fan theory will be shot down. R+L=J is nothing but a red herring.

      And I think this is why Ned is suddenly shown in quite a bad light. Maybe he did something less gracious in order to hide Dany. Something that Jon had to pay for. His parents aren’t Rhaegar and Lyanna but they can still be big names like Brandon Stark or perhaps even Robert Baratheon. The first would make him an heir instead of a bastard. The second would make a contender for the Iron Throne. Personally, I’d love it if Robert was Jon’s father. That would explain why all those Robert’s bastards were killed in season 2 and the one (Gendry?) was shipped off. To highlight the position Jon will be in if he indeed is a Baratheon.

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    91. dothrakian raven,

      I think it is possible. Ramsay won’t appear in E4. In E5 he will probably have scenes with Rickon and Osha. And there is another character for him to interact with. Bolton general or something like that. He was shooting for 2 months, so he can’t be in E9 only.

      So I think Ramsay will be in E1, E2, E3, E5, E7 and E9. probably E8 as well with Rickon again and maybe that general again.

      ————————–
      Mark Tankersley will be playing a general in the upcoming season. According to his agency’s website, the actor has had “two months of filming General Bolton on Game of Thrones – Season Six.”

      http://watchersonthewall.com/season-6-casting-update/

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    92. Ice Spider,

      I think honor in westeros is more of a perception than an actual characteristic. Pod backstabbed to save Tyrion at the Battle of Blackwater. Craster-wife backstabbed to save Jon from that Nights Watch mutineer. Theon backstabbed the Bolton soldier to save Pod 2 eps ago. It’s just a part of fighting with melee weapons in a fantasy story… hard to say HR did something out of the ordinary in that regard.

      Now if HR = High Septon

      then I most certainly won’t like him either.

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    93. I haven’t read everything so pardon me if this has been suggested…

      I’ve been seeing people saying that the Umbers wouldn’t risk turning Rickon over to Ramsey. However, who’s to say that the Umbers don’t believe Rickon to now be Lord Stark and bannermen of his. They may have pledged their allegiance to Rickon and were ordered by him to ‘gift’ him as part of a plan to overthrow Ramsey. Yeah, Rickon doesn’t have much to stand on in order to be deserving of such power, but perhaps the loyalty runs that deep. Gotta come up with anything to see Rickon in less peril and Shaggydog alive. 🙂

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    94. I may be wrong but the Umbers to me have their own agenda,Smalljohn’s reasoning makes sense about wildling attacks they may not like the Boltons but need their support. However is it possible Greatjohn is still alive, although possibly a captive of Walder Frey,and may be released later this season when Walder finds out about the killing of Roose and Walda.

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    95. Ice Spider: I love NH.. .lived there briefly back in 1986. Beautiful. I think if we could get some folks to meet up and see where the middle ground would be Im game for driving for that.. I know Im all the way down here so I would have to prob travel North.. but how fantastic would that be to have a finale with all of the posters on here?

      What say you Ginevra? Would you be down?

      I’ve always wanted to go to New England, but my travel budget this year is mostly spoken for. I know next year seems a million miles away, but I would be game to considering next year or somewhere within a handful of hours.

      One of our vacations spots is in your neck of the woods, actually. We haven’t booked yet, but we want to do Disney, Epcot, and Hogwarts (and Diagon Alley!) one last time before the girls are too cool to hang with us. We should be shooting for four to six days in December, the week before Christmas.

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    96. MakeThemBurn: Only a problem if it’s really Jon’s parentage we’re about to see. I’m confident that the Tower of Joy is about Dany’s past and thus the Stark side of the story would be far more important than establishing who Rhaegar is.

      This would also explain why the reveal was saved for a later episode. It will be a big shock when the number one fan theory will be shot down. R+L=J is nothing but a red herring.

      And I think this is why Ned is suddenly shown in quite a bad light. Maybe he did something less gracious in order to hide Dany. Something that Jon had to pay for. His parents aren’t Rhaegar and Lyanna but they can still be big names like Brandon Stark or perhaps even Robert Baratheon. The first would make him an heir instead of a bastard. The second would make a contender for the Iron Throne. Personally, I’d love it if Robert was Jon’s father. That would explain why all those Robert’s bastards were killed in season 2 and the one (Gendry?) was shipped off. To highlight the position Jon will be in if he indeed is a Baratheon.

      Dany is the Mad King’s daughter just like Bran is Ned’s son
      It’s a FACT.

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    97. I get that we’ve been attached to the Starks since the first episode/chapter, but they certainly aren’t the only family with multiple casualties in this story. Of course, if you count the past – Ned’s dad, brother, sister then yes. But let’s see…..Ned, Robb, Catelyn. Talisa if anyone cares. I still find it a little hard to not feel like Robb brought about his own downfall through ignorance, like him as I did, but that’s besides the point. So did a lot of others. So the last Stark death was Season 3.

      But all the Baratheons are gone, Stannis, Robert, Renly, Selyse, Shireen. Lannisters – Tywin, Joffrey, Myrcella….all the Martells, Oberyn, Doran, Trystane. Boltons, Roose, Walda, baby. Targs, Aemon and Viserys. So it’s not exactly like they’re always killing Starks – they’re just killing everyone.

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    98. Ice Spider: I think that the theory is that Rickon must die in order for Sansa to be the Warden of the North.. as most think she is going to be.

      When Bloodraven said to Bran on Sunday, “You won’t be here forever. You won’t be an old man in a tree,” it looks like Rickon isn’t Sansa’s only competition.

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    99. Making the 8: But really, I agree the fight with BA Arthur Dayne and Ned Stark didn’t depreciate Ned’s honor in any way.

      Ned bordered on being a moral absolutist. It would have gnawed at him that he struck down Dayne in anger (although Ned probably gave Dayne a more pleasant end by decapitation than choking to death on his own blood would have provided), and it would have bothered him that his liegeman had backstabbed Dayne and yet Ned owed his life to that backstabbing.

      After all, it’s not suppose to wind up like that!

      Clob: Yeah, Rickon doesn’t have much to stand on in order to be deserving of such power, but perhaps the loyalty runs that deep

      Loyalty never runs that deep. People always ask: what have you done for me lately? And the Starks have done nothing good for the Umbers lately. Jon’s treason against the North almost certainly was the final straw. Remember, the Northerners near the Wall (and the Umbers are among those) have lost many people and much land over the years to Wildlings: and now a Stark bastard just led the barbarians through the gate.

      One recurring motif in SoI&F is that no good deed goes unpunished: and punishment often is doled out to whole families, not just the individual transgressors.

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    100. Pigeon:

      But all the Baratheons are gone, Stannis, Robert, Renly, Selyse, Shireen. Lannisters – Tywin, Joffrey, Myrcella….all the Martells, Oberyn, Doran, Trystane. Boltons, Roose, Walda, baby. Targs,Aemon and Viserys. So it’s not exactly like they’re always killing Starks – they’re just killing everyone.

      House Reyne. Nothing sucks quite so much as being wiped off the map.

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    101. Ice Spider: I think that the theory is that Rickon must die in order for Sansa to be the Warden of the North.. as most think she is going to be. She is a major POV and Rickon is not. So that is why they believe Rickon is a goner.. he is an easier sacrifice and needs to be out of the way for Sansa to be able to next in line for ruling the North.

      I don’t know that I totally buy the idea that Sansa will become the Wardeness of the North… yet. I don’t think her book version is anywhere near as close to it either.

      She’s still fartin’ around at the Eyrie and thinking about boys as far as we know – including TWoW teaser chapter

      The way the show has taken her I suppose that’s a likely best result for her though. The changes between her book and show storylines so far really make it difficult to foresee how the endings can match up.

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    102. It’s a valid point except for the Baratheons. Those fools killed each other.

      Also, jon was killed 😉 bran was broken and sansa suffered fates perhaps worse than death. Now Rickon meets Ramsay. It’s not necessarily about death. And forgive team stark for feeling a bit disenfranchised.

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    103. Glad to hear that Rickon was going to go down fighting – he’s been with the Umbers for 5 years or so, probably learned to fight with the sons, and got some good lessons from Osha. Hes got a mind of his own. He’s not a little boy anymore.

      Loved Teales talk about how he didn’t like his character much – now thats the sign of a good actor. Also fun to see his relationship with Kit

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    104. Wimsey:
      Loyalty never runs that deep. People always ask: what have you done for me lately?

      Not all people. The Starks. The Mormonts. The Manderlys. I can’t see them asking that. The Mormonts and Manderlys have been loyal Stark Bannermen for hundreds of years – Stark men through and through. Do they throw that away on a whim and a psycho? The Umbers were always lumped in with these Houses.

      While I do believe that it is a genuine betrayal, I must admit that I would love to see a more convincing explanation. How do the Umbers even know that Jon will be leading a band of Wildlings through the North to raid or that Jon let the Wildlings through the Wall? While the plot of this season is fantastic, I would like to see a bit more story-building so that we aren’t left with question marks at every turn.

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    105. ash:
      Glad to hear that Rickon was going to go down fighting –he’s been with the Umbers for 5 years or so…

      5 years!? I’d say it’s a year or two at most. I know it’s hard to determine time passage on a show like this, but the entirety of the published book series so far has spanned only between 2 and 3 years.

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    106. The Quiet Wolf,

      And it could just be that D&D were so interested in expounding on the difference between received or transmitted history and actual history that they shaded the dialogue to heighten their point. Based on their Inside the Episode conversation it appears that they were going for more of there was a difference in what Ned said and what he did … they said something about Ned being completely ready to let go of his honor for something he thought more important … the purpose was to puncture his mythology …so it sounded a deliberate choice on the part of D&D to have the story having been Ned defeated Dayne … at least at this point in the story

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    107. Ginevra,

      Well I would love to get a meeting going for the end of the season but if you are here next year let me know. Would you be able to get away on a family trip? I know how time flies by when you are on vaca.

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    108. Ice Spider,

      Yes, I would, especially if just for a night! My husband and brother and almost-sister-in-law are all going, so they could easily watch the kids, but I would never want to miss Epcot, which Anne and I love equally, or Hogwarts, which Thomas and I love so much more than the girls.

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    109. Watchers of no Trailers:
      Ice Spider,

      I think honor in westeros is more of a perception than an actual characteristic.Pod backstabbed to save Tyrion at the Battle of Blackwater.Craster-wife backstabbed to save Jon from that Nights Watch mutineer.Theon backstabbed the Bolton soldier to save Pod 2 eps ago.It’s just a part of fighting with melee weapons in a fantasy story… hard to say HR did something out of the ordinary in that regard.

      then I most certainly won’t like him either.

      I agree that the perception of honor is questionable for MOST Westerosi folk …BUT … Ned for the most part SHOWED his honor by his actions. I don’t ever think we could imagine seeing Ned stabbing ANYONE in the back to win a fight. The only other character I can compare to Ned as far as showing true honor is Jon. And as his “son” that makes sense since he was raised by Ned.

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    110. Ginevra: When Bloodraven said to Bran on Sunday, “You won’t be here forever. You won’t be an old man in a tree,” it looks like Rickon isn’t Sansa’s only competition.

      I think that Bran’s mission for NOW is not to be the next BR but I think once this war is over that he will inherit the role as he is being groomed for it. Who knows for sure? I am just speculating but it seems less likely that Bran will be the next Warden of the North and more likely to be Sansa. Of course that could just be me projecting that onto her since I would love to see her rule. I think that all the things she endured would make her a very capable leader.

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    111. Clob: I don’t know that I totally buy the idea that Sansa will become the Wardeness of the North… yet.I don’t think her book version is anywhere near as close to it either.

      The way the show has taken her I suppose that’s a likely best result for her though.The changes between her book and show storylines so far really make it difficult to foresee how the endings can match up.

      I don’t know if she will either (become the Wardeness – thanks for the correct term) but I think the majority of ppl believe she has more chances to being the next Warden(ess) than Rickon or Bran. Of course Im sure I will be corrected if that is wrong. And rightly so I should be!!

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    112. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      Show is obviously going to reveal Jon´s parentage this season but they have to show Rhaegar Targaryen so non-book readers would understand the true political situation Jon will find himself in.

      Since they went from showing little Starks in the yard straight to TOJ i doubt they will go back to the previous events before that. Shame.

      Nonbook readers and casual viewers won´t distinguish Rhaegar from Viserys if you ask me.

      They’ve pretty thoroughly established the Robert/Rhaegar/Lyanna dynamic through exposition. I don’t see how showing Rhaegar would be of any particular value.

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    113. Darkrobin:
      The Quiet Wolf,

      And it could just be that D&D were so interested in expounding on the difference between received or transmitted history and actual history that they shaded the dialogue to heighten their point.Based on their Inside the Episode conversation it appears that they were going for more of there was a difference in what Ned said and what he did … they said something about Ned being completely ready to let go of his honor for something he thought more important … the purpose was to puncture his mythology …so it sounded a deliberate choice on the part of D&D to have the story having been Ned defeated Dayne … at least at this point in the story

      I think it’s actually a great idea for show-only folks to be introduced to the idea of , as you put it, puncturing the mythology surrounding Ned.

      While many of us have been spending years thinking about R+L=J, and all the implications, many show-only people have not, and some really have no clue about Jon’s parentage (assuming we’re all correct). In addition to it making Jon the child of a Targaryen, it means Ned spent all the years of Jon’s life lying. He lied to his wife, and made her believe he cheated on her, he lied to all his children, and he lied to Jon. He lied to lots of other people about it, but c’mon, his wife and children? Sure, it was for a noble reason, but the fact remains he lied for years and years.

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    114. Ginevra: The Mormonts and Manderlys have been loyal Stark Bannermen for hundreds of years – Stark men through and through. Do they throw that away on a whim and a psycho?

      Well, Jorah threw it away quite easily! As for the Manderly’s, I would never think that they are blindly loyal: they are loyal while it suits them. One of the biggest flaws with the putative Northern Conspiracy conjecture is that it assumes blind loyalty to and love for the Starks. However, the Starks do not have a really good track record in recent years: and a lot of people probably would be very dissatisfied with them and/or with the general system at this point.

      And, again: this isn’t Tolkien! GRRM (and B&W) have focused on trying to make people real: and real people never are so blindly loyal. The Northern Houses would, like all Houses in comparable societies in our world, be constantly vying for power and status. The Starks are great while the Starks are great: but just as loyalty has to be earned, loyalty can be forfeit, too. At this point, the Starks many blunders would be costing them a lot of loyalty. And Jon letting the Wildlings into the North is a huge blunder.

      Ginevra: How do the Umbers even know that Jon will be leading a band of Wildlings through the North to raid or that Jon let the Wildlings through the Wall?

      That probably is supposed to be a Grimmsian distortion of what happened. The report that Jon brought them back mutated through tellings into a report of him leading a Wildling army through the Wall. That certainly is consistent with real history: this would be a world in which the news that did get around would probably be very second hand, and thus “mutated” from the original version.

      But I also do not think that the series should show the learning these things. The important point is that they know: and that it probably has put Rickon in great danger, and Shaggy Dog in the great void. Too much detail would distract from the story.

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    115. Clob: I know it’s hard to determine time passage on a show like this, but the entirety of the published book series so far has spanned only between 2 and 3 years.

      It is not hard. Jaime spent nearly a year in captivity. Sansa was tormented by Joffery for years. The Crown is bankrupt from fighting Joffery’s wars for years.

      Now, people wishing to force a model of “it’s only been 18-24 months since the start of season 1” (if only to then complain about how people must have jetpacks to travel the great distances they do so quickly under that model) keep suggesting that maybe the “just said that.” However, the show never refers to events from prior seasons as having happened recently: events almost always are said to be years ago, or sometimes months or weeks ago if it is the beginning of Season X and the event was the end of Season X-1. Heck, even Baby Sam finally has hit his growth spurt: they now have a young toddler (or toddlers) playing him.

      Now, it is true that less time elapses in the books: but, to be honest, GRRM does not allow for as much time as would be required for people to get around as much as they do in that sort of world.

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    116. Ice Spider: Really he doesn’t have Sansa so his claim to holding the North is really flimsy, and his Father was the Warden of the North (which he just killed) not him.. Roose gained control of the North with his alliance with Tywin and the whole Red Wedding debacle and since both Roose and Tywin are dead who’s to say that alliance will even be honored anymore. But like I said back on Rickon’s comments .. I don’t care if he lives or dies. I am going to appreciate how the story unfolds and take it for what it is.. entertainment.

      I’ll go you one step further – the alliance with the late Tywin is definitely dead. Once Roose wed Sansa to Ramsey, LF (who set the thing up) then used it to have Cersi authorize him to take the Vale troops to deal with the Boltons. At least that’s what I think I remember from last season.

      Now what has happened after that – after Cersi’s arrest and imprisonment, I have no idea. We haven’t really been made privy to any attempts by Tommen, Kevan or the Small Council to rule or gather information regarding alliances/conflicts. Heck, it fell to Cersi to exposition the updated situation in Dorne.

      And who knows what Walder Frey will think when hearing about the deaths of Roose, Walda and the baby. Or if he even has the wherewithal to help even if he wanted.

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    117. “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” Or I might add think that chivalry is appropriate in life-or-death struggle. ..

      How did people really think a little crannogman saved Ned at the TOJ … likely from Dayne?

      What Ned told Bran in the books per Bran’s recollection:

      “‘The finest knight I ever saw was Ser Arthur Dayne … and he would have killed me but for Howland Reed.’ Father had gotten sad then, and he would say no more. Bran wished he had asked him what he meant.”

      It appears that the conversation must have gone differently for show Bran and show Ned.

      I found thoughts on how that happened from a 2012 thread … there were the HR warged into … posts or other fanciful ideas like that but a few people had it right …

      “My answer? He stabbed Dayne with his spear at the right time, probably from behind, that’s all it takes.”

      We are the ones who mythologized Ned … did Ned ever give a blow-by-blow of the fight? He did not appear to give one to Bran in the books.

      I think D&D had a point to make and structured the scene to make the point … to contrast Ned’s honor in this situation and his honor at the end in KL … to demythologize Ned. They had show Bran remember what they wanted him to remember. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is their adaptation and it makes for a good story and does make a good point.

      “History is written by the victors.” How much do we really know about the history we think we know?

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    118. Nymeria the wolf: GJ was killed along with Robb at the RW!

      In the books, the Smalljon is killed at the Red Wedding. The Greatjon joins the bedding party, misses the massacre and ends up taken prisoner. Last heard from: stewing in a dungeon at the Twins.

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    119. Darkrobin: “History is written by the victors.” How much do we really know about the history we think we know?

      And someone once added something to the effect of “… and then mythologized by the priests.”

      I will be stunned if this is not just the first taste for Bran. In particular, look for Bran to learn what really happened at the end of the last “Long Winter”: and look for the stories that Bran knows to be an even bigger distortion of the truth than this was.

      But as for Ned, remember, he had to live with a lie even if it was essentially “fan-fiction” by Ned’s friends and family that he could not debunk for fear of shaming a friend. That would be hard for him.

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    120. Dolorous Methuselah: And who knows what Walder Frey will think when hearing about the deaths of Roose, Walda and the baby. Or if he even has the wherewithal to help even if he wanted.

      He’ll probably say “Walda? Which Walda? The Fat Walda? You say dogs ate the Fat Walda? I didn’t know that the Boltons had that many dogs.”

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    121. Wimsey: Well, Jorah threw it away quite easily! As for the Manderly’s, I would never think that they are blindly loyal: they are loyal while it suits them. One of the biggest flaws with the putative Northern Conspiracy conjecture is that it assumes blind loyalty to and love for the Starks. However, the Starks do not have a really good track record in recent years: and a lot of people probably would be very dissatisfied with them and/or with the general system at this point.

      I’m about 50/50 on the Boltons. If they change sides I think it will be very late in the game. Now for the Manderlys I’d put it as good odds that they will end up on the Stark side. Same for the Mormonts.

      I’ve been thinking on the Rickon/warg theory. I don’t know. It would make some sense but I’m afraid it might go something like he tries it once and Ramsey somehow survives and thereafter takes steps to neutralize the recurrence of it. Just speculation though. I could be way way off.

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    122. Wimsey,

      I agree. And agree with your comments about Ned in old[er] age becoming more moralistic and that contributing to his death. What did Varys say …

      “You are an honest and honorable man, Lord Eddard. Ofttimes I forget that. I have met so few of them in my life.” He glanced around the cell. “When I see what honesty and honor have won you, I understand why.”

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    123. Personally not surprised, that was Shaggydogs head, and the Umbers have fully knifed the Starks and “switched sides”

      Makes sense though, Karstarks fully onside, Umbers in via necessity

      As far as a big player suddenly switching sides, I think there’s potentially more to come from the Manderly’s to do an “inverse Umbers” if you like

      Shaggydog dying doesen’t bode well for Rickon, glad to hear we’ll see some of the feral/pseudo wild Rickon. I figured they killed Shaggydog when they captured him but interesting to know he didn’t realise until SD’s head was placed on the table

      Interesting to hear about the shortened rope, it was fascinating they did that close-up and after all the talk they all did have startled and shocked looks on their faces etc which of course lacks dignity

      Noticed Owen said he had to get into a joyless mindset to approach the role, so makes sense if he doesen’t miss the part but I would imagine he’ll still miss being part of the project.

      Owen Teale has been one of the standout actors. More in his Curtain Call, but everyone goes on about the central actors but this is a great example of how where one of the peripheral characters are so well cast it supports the integrity of the story building

      As for Bran, looks like his arc goes from most boring to the most exciting. I enjoy his chapters in the books because they explore the backstory and flesh out the lore.

      Looks like we could get really spoiled as far as flashbacks

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    124. Wimsey,

      Re walda and roose jr
      Wimsey be reasonable. Frey conspired to kill Robb (and countless others) because Robb broke a betrothal. You really think he’s going to jokingly wave off his grandson/WF heir being eaten by dogs?

      I will add that at this rate Frey likely gets iced by his son(s) before he ever finds out.

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    125. Wimsey: He’ll probably say “Walda? Which Walda?The Fat Walda?You say dogs ate the Fat Walda?I didn’t know that the Boltons had that many dogs.”

      🙂
      Though Walder Frey is all about being treated with honor and respect by the other houses. Particularly as that is manifested by marriages of members of his vast brood of descendants to those houses.

      Heck, if the newly freed from his vows, Jon Snow sent a raven saying “I’m the new “Stark” in town and would love to marry one of your daughters or granddaughters,” Frey might just go for it. (not that Jon would or should ever do that of course).

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    126. One last thing, obviously I don’t think Ned would have ever talked about it, rather it is other people who have pumped up the story of how he beat Dayne etc

      But it is nice how it goes into how Brans romanticised idea of things is being dispelled, similar to Sansa in the books

      A good reminder that things aren’t all as they seem, eg the entire narrative of Roberts rebellion (not just Lyanna’s “kidnapping” but also I do think the Mad King had some justification in being paranoid as there is a big Grand Maestar conspiracy)

      The thing goes into POV though, from Howland Reeds perspective, he wouldn’t be dishonourable at all, the wild area he’s from is all about cunning and the Southron notions of chivalry mean nothing, that’s the point, it’s all about street smarts

      This makes me rather excited for the role Howland Reed plays going ahead, he may just be a master politician

      Not to mention that girl saved Jons life by stabbing Karl in the back, then Jon stabbed him through the mouth from behind, and of course Pod saved Tyrions life a similar way, Grey Worm prevented Ser Barristan getting his throat cut a similar way etc

      Of course if you are a Targ fan you’d love the fact that Dayne could not get outfought

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    127. Can understand why Rickon is there plotwise, is giving a sense of urgency and tension to the build up to Bastardbowl

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    128. Ghosts Lunch,

      I figured they killed Shaggydog when they captured him but interesting to know he (Rickon) didn’t realise until SD’s head was placed on the table

      1) Rickon went to Last Hearth willingly. This is the first I heard that he was captured.
      2) that head looked fresh

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    129. Dolorous Methuselah: Now for the Manderlys I’d put it as good odds that they will end up on the Stark side. Same for the Mormonts.

      But would the Manderly’s fall in on the Wildlings side? The Wildlings are the big issue here. The Mormonts might be more believable: whereas other Northerners suffer greatly because of Wildlings, they suffer because of the Iron Born. So, their hatred of the Wildlings will be much less personal than it will be for the other Northerners.

      As for the Manderly’s, it might depend on who reaches them first. They might feel obliged to aid the rest of the North against the Wildlings even if Wildlings do not hurt them as much as they hurt other Northern houses. And they might feel that if Starks have truly sided with Wildlings, then the Starks are even worse than the Boltons.

      Ghosts Lunch: I figured they killed Shaggydog when they captured him but interesting to know he didn’t realise until SD’s head was placed on the table

      The Umbers did not capture Rickon and Osha: Rickon and Osha fled to the Umbers after leaving Bran & Co. What their treatment was, we do not know: I think that most of us assumed that they had been treated as guests, but perhaps the Umbers pragmatically locked them up. Osha, at any rate, would have been kept under heavy guard if they realized that she was a Wildling given the Umbers’ hatred of the Free Folk. I suspect that it was learning that Rickon’s half-brother let the Wildlings into the North that cost ShaggyDog his head. (The head looked pretty fresh: and it certainly had not been siting around for somewhere between 1-2 years.)

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    130. I didn’t see ToJ Part I as “dirty” or dishonorable in any way. Of course you attack your opponents from behind or the flanks if you outnumber them! Why would Bran think this, and why would uber-honest Ned lie about it? Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. “Howland Reed and I managed to kill the greatest swordsman of that age” is sufficiently awesome to impress your kids.

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    131. Connor:
      Someone on reddit posted this about the Umbers giving Rickon to Ramsay, as a potential mummer’s farce. Its really good and i believe it 100%. Art said Shaggydog is dead, but do we really have to believe him? I mean they all said Jon was dead and was never coming back and lied about for 10 months! That supposed head of Shaggydog looked smaller than a regular direwolf’s. He even points it out in this post.

      Have a read at it if you will:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/4imdm8/spoilers_main_how_everyone_needs_to_chill_about/

      Jesus H Christ! Shaggydog is ‘brown bread’, an ex-direwolf, gone to meet his maker, etc and all the other good shit that came from the famous 1970’s Monty Python parrot sketch. The wolfs head (re stage prop) had probably shrunk a bit also in the meatime 😀

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    132. Bodog,

      I miss Major Leonard Keep’s restaurant, found it when I was dating my wife and we rented a cabin in Conway,maybe North Conway, then when we got married so we would shoot up from New Haven just to go there for lunch or dinner; until one day we went and discovered it closed. :>(

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    133. Ice Spider: I think Dayne assumed he killed Reed so him turning his back on him wasn’t an issue. He obviously just didn’t KILL him dead… lol..I just don’t like Howland Reed anymore bc that is not how HONORABLE men kill their opponents. But Bronn would be dead a long time ago if he was honorable and I kinda sorta like him so Im gonna have to just be divided on my thoughts on fighting dishonorably..

      From HR POV, it’s kill or be killed, he was wounded, he sees his friend and Lord on the ground defenseless as Dayne was coming with the killing blow, he did what he had to do to save Ned.
      No dishonor, it’s war, if Ned died, no Bran,Sansa,Arya, or Rickon etc.
      All I read from the books and watched from the shows (all more than twice) Ned always said he be dead if not for Howland Reed, Bran doesn’t realize if Ned died the world would be ice now; since he’s not around.

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    134. Wimsey,

      I duno. I think the “use the Wildlings as bogeymen to motivate behavior” may be running its course. Heck, at this point most houses, especially houses in the North are likely to have gotten messages from Maester Aemon, Lord Comander Mormont, Stannis and Jon Snow about the White Walkers. And the Manderleys being on the coast/in a port will likely have gotten word via ships that trade up north. And most if not all Northern houses loss men at the Red Wedding. And I don’t think its a secret that the Boltons participated in that.

      Moreover (book info so I’ll spoiler tag it):

      The Manderleys owe pretty much their entire existence to the Starks who saved them from being wiped out years ago and gave them White Harbor. Moreover, if they follow the books where Manderleys were killed at the Red Wedding and they are only pretending to follow the Freys/Boltons/Lannisters because a son or son’s of Lord Manderly is being held hostage. Once he is freed by the Lannisters they were free to follow their true loyalties.

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    135. Ginevra: When Bloodraven said to Bran on Sunday, “You won’t be here forever. You won’t be an old man in a tree,” it looks like Rickon isn’t Sansa’s only competition.

      And honestly no competition Sansa would willing vacate the seat, and screw LF in the process.

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    136. The Blood of Winterfull,

      I think we may get the ghost of winterfell story line from rickon. That’s promo that line ‘you like playing games young man’ then by bastard bowl everything goes shit. Osha is burned and rickon somehow escapes severly injured

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    137. GrailKing,

      I seriously don’t get why Bran thinks this is dishonourable. Yes, it was two on one, but it started as six on two. Was that dishonourable? Yeah, some back stabs can be dishonourable, such as Trystane Martell (though he was an idiot to turn his back to a Sand Snake) or Areo Hotah. They were just straight murders. But was Jon dishonourable to take out the ‘fookin legend’ from behind? Very similar situation. Should he have tapped him on the shoulder and said ‘turn hell-hound, turn’? And he also seems to think Ned is dishonourable; for what exactly? He didn’t even do it. Maybe he thinks Ned didn’t tell the story truly, but from all we know of Ned, he never told the story – he just told the outcome and aftermath. If Bran heard the story thousands of times, it wasn’t from Ned. I know, that’s book canon, but show-Ned isn’t the tell-all type either.

      I loved the ToJ scene, but I thought Bran’s reaction was silly.

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    138. “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” Or I might add think that chilvary is appropriate in life-or-death struggle. ..

      How did people really think a little crannogman saved Ned at the TOJ … likely from Dayne?

      What Ned told Bran in the books per Bran’s recollection:

      “‘The finest knight I ever saw was Ser Arthur Dayne … and he would have killed me but for Howland Reed.’ Father had gotten sad then, and he would say no more. Bran wished he had asked him what he meant.”

      It appears that the conversation must have gone differently for show Bran and show Ned.

      I found thoughts on how that happened from a 2012 thread … there were the HR warged into … posts or other fanciful ideas like that but a few people had it right …

      “My answer? He stabbed Dayne with his spear at the right time, probably from behind, that’s all it takes.”

      We are the ones who mythologized Ned … did Ned ever give a blow-by-blow of the fight? He did not appear to give one to Bran in the books.

      I think D&D had a point to make and structured the scene to make the point … to contrast Ned’s honor in this situation and his honor at the end in KL … to demythologize Ned. They had show Bran remember what they wanted him to remember. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is their adaptation and it makes for a good story and does make a good point.

      “History is written by the victors.” How much do we really know about the history we think we know?

      I agree with Wimsey that Ned, as a few, or a more than few, people do as they age, become more moralistic and that ended up killing him (that with a few assists from our cast of KL characters, but ultimately Ned was responsible for his own demise, as was Cat, as was Rob …)

      I think nothing less of Ned or Howland Reed … war is hell … and you do whatever you have to to survive … Dayne would not have surrendered … he would have kept trying to fight on if he was wounded … in the heat of the moment, having to decide in a split second, what were the realistic options? Lyanna was dying. If they had played “fair” – whatever that is – they would have died, or she would have died before they got her … and that doesn’t do that much for the story we’ve been following since the ’90’s in some cases does it?

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    139. The Blood of Winterfull: Dany is the Mad King’s daughter just like Bran is Ned’s son
      It’s a FACT.

      It’s not a fact. It’s a popular theory.

      There are many clues in the books that Dany has been lied to about her past. Ones the author is constantly reminding the readers about. The Dornish lemon trees, the house with the red door etc. Looking back and being lost is her entire theme. She’s constantly thinking how “when I look back I’m lost” and told that “to go forward, you must go back” and “remember who you are”. Also the images she saw in the book version of the House of the Undying make sense only if we accept the fact that she indeed is r+l. Most people think her visions were about Jon but no one seems to question why on earth she would see visions of some random person in her own story. Because she didn’t. Those are HER visions. She’s a half-Stark and the son of Rhaegar and that is why Robb looks at her with appealing eyes, that is why Rhaegar looks straight at her when talking about a third child, that is why Dany smells Lyanna’s blue rose. She’s the child of three as in one of Rhaegar’s children.

      I’m retracting from the theory that Jon is Brandon Stark’s son. The man is a nobody only the book snobs know. He is Robert Baratheon’s bastard son. This would tie the happenings from season 2 with Joffrey killing off Robert’s bastard children and Gendry being shipped off to safety to what happens later on the show. Melisandre goes on and on about the importance of King’s Blood and all of it makes sense once we realise it led us to the rise of King Jon Baratheon. This would also bring closure to the story of Rhaegar and Lyanna as half-Stark Daenerys has to forgive Robert for slaughtering her Targaryen family in order to allow Jon to rule. Jon’s claim rests on the legitimacy of the Usurper. And when looking back is Dany’s theme, being a bastard is Jon’s. The all-knowing Tyrion told him in the beginning of the story to wear his bastardhood as a badge of honor and that’s exactly what going to happen. Jon IS a bastard, but he’s the bastard of Robert which makes him his heir.

      Thematically everything makes sense this way. The only counter argument I’ve seen on and on and on is the timeline. There is no solid timeline. Ned was the only point of view character who knows what happens. Curiously he only thinks about Rhaegar, for the first time in many years, when Dany is mentioned. The dream of the Tower of Joy makes him stay in King’s Landing to try to persuade Robert not to assassinate Dany. It’s very sketchy of people to rely on a timeline created by unreliable narrators. It’s very clear that those choose to believe in this timeline because they want R+L=J to be true. I don’t think the clues of R+L=D could be more obvious but I do understand why people are so fixated on Jon. Since he’s a bastard, everyone’s intrigued about his parents from the very first pages. Dany’s conflicting and strange backstory is much more elaborate and thus doesn’t raise as much suspicion, in a pure GRRM fashion.

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    140. Nymeria Warrior Queen: Shaggydog is not dead, dammit.
      He just…isn’t.
      He was sent on a secret mission north of the Wall.
      While on said secret mission, he meets a lady direwolf, they fall in love, have lots of direwolf puppies, and live happily ever after.
      So, there.

      L O L !!! OMG I’m reading this at like 2 AM where I am and laughing like crazy, I bet my neighbors think my love life is improving or something. Or that I got my hands on some really good meds, at least. Ha. Good thing I didn’t read this about Shaggy earlier in the day, I had a bunch of stuff to do and I would have been grumbling under my breath all day. Dead my foot. Another dead one? I’m with NWQ. No way, he’s got a home and a bunch of spirited puppies just like she said. Just like Gendry does, somewhere in the little village near Hot Pie. So … double there.

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    141. Ice Spider: I don’t know if she will either (become the Wardeness – thanks for the correct term) but I think the majority of ppl believe she has more chances to being the next Warden(ess) than Rickon or Bran. Of course Im sure I will be corrected if that is wrong. And rightly so I should be!!

      I don’t think Rickon need to die so Sansa become the Wardeness
      I think it’s okay to Sansa to rule till Rickon be old enough
      Just like Petyr and Sweet Robin

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    142. Ice Spider: I think Dayne assumed he killed Reed so him turning his back on him wasn’t an issue. He obviously just didn’t KILL him dead… lol..I just don’t like Howland Reed anymore bc that is not how HONORABLE men kill their opponents. But Bronn would be dead a long time ago if he was honorable and I kinda sorta like him so Im gonna have to just be divided on my thoughts on fighting dishonorably..

      I don’t get this shit. It’s war. How is a 6 on 2 fight ‘honorable’ to begin with? It’s like saying that on the battlefield you must win ‘honorably’ only, make sure you have even numbers of troops or we’ll poo poo your win?

      It’s war. It wasn’t some duel or sporting event.

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    143. MakeThemBurn: It’s not a fact. It’s a popular theory.

      There are many clues in the books that Dany has been lied to about her past. Ones the author is constantly reminding the readers about. The Dornish lemon trees, the house with the red door etc. Looking back and being lost is her entire theme. She’s constantly thinking how “when I look back I’m lost” and told that “to go forward, you must go back” and “remember who you are”. Also the images she saw in the book version of the House of the Undying make sense only if we accept the fact that she indeed is r+l. Most people think her visions were about Jon but no one seems to question why on earth she would see visions of some random person in her own story. Because she didn’t. Those are HER visions. She’s a half-Stark and the son of Rhaegar and that is why Robb looks at her with appealing eyes, that is why Rhaegar looks straight at her when talking about a third child, that is why Dany smells Lyanna’s blue rose. She’s the child of three as in one of Rhaegar’s children.

      I’m retracting from the theory that Jon is Brandon Stark’s son. The man is a nobody only the book snobs know. He is Robert Baratheon’s bastard son. This would tie the happenings from season 2 with Joffrey killing off Robert’s bastard children and Gendry being shipped off to safety to what happens later on the show. Melisandre goes on and on about the importance of King’s Blood and all of it makes sense once we realise it led us to the rise of King Jon Baratheon. This would also bring closure to the story of Rhaegar and Lyanna as half-Stark Daenerys has to forgive Robert for slaughtering her Targaryen family in order to allow Jon to rule. Jon’s claim rests on the legitimacy of the Usurper. And when looking back is Dany’s theme, being a bastard is Jon’s. The all-knowing Tyrion told him in the beginning of the story to wear his bastardhood as a badge of honor and that’s exactly what going to happen. Jon IS a bastard, but he’s the bastard of Robert which makes him his heir.

      Thematically everything makes sense this way. The only counter argument I’ve seen on and on and on is the timeline. There is no solid timeline. Ned was the only point of view character who knows what happens. Curiously he only thinks about Rhaegar, for the first time in many years, when Dany is mentioned. The dream of the Tower of Joy makes him stay in King’s Landing to try to persuade Robert not to assassinate Dany. It’s very sketchy of people to rely on a timeline created by unreliable narrators. It’s very clear that those choose to believe in this timeline because they want R+L=J to be true. I don’t think the clues of R+L=D could be more obvious but I do understand why people are so fixated on Jon. Since he’s a bastard, everyone’s intrigued about his parents from the very first pages. Dany’s conflicting and strange backstory is much more elaborate and thus doesn’t raise as much suspicion, in a pure GRRM fashion.

      So if Dany is L’s and R’s daughter
      Why Veserys keeps her? Why he sold his mother’s crown for her? She’s not his sister!, he even don’t know her in the first place!
      Veserys was there when she was born in the ship, he saw his mother died in front of him and turn mad after he sold his mother’s crown to feed his sister, seriously this theory doesn’t make sense at all
      She saw a lemon tree? So what?
      Dorn and most of Essos lands share the same geographical terrain

      Dany is not the only charectar in this story
      She can’t be TSwMtW / TPwP / AZ and all the prophecies leads to her!
      She can’t be the savior of Weastrose from WW, and by the way this theory piss me off the most, The First Men and The Children handled this situation a years a go without using any Valarian magic, why do they need it now? They have magic of thier own
      Also She can’t be the Queen of Essos and Westrose in the same time and sit in the World’s Throne
      She can’t do everything because she’s not a cartoonish character!
      It’s ridiculous!

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    144. Wimsey: The Northern Houses would, like all Houses in comparable societies in our world, be constantly vying for power and status. The Starks are great while the Starks are great: but just as loyalty has to be earned, loyalty can be forfeit, too. At this point, the Starks many blunders would be costing them a lot of loyalty. And Jon letting the Wildlings into the North is a huge blunder.

      Which leads again to a question I asked on another thread: I can almost buy that the houses are no longer blindly loyal or obligated to the Starks, especially since the older heads of the houses are dying off and their sons have different ideas of how to run things. What mystifies me is why the houses would be so willing to abandon the Starks in favor of the effing Boltons, especially Ramsay.

      Smalljon seemed to identify with Ramsay, via that remark about him considering the killing of his own father, if Greatjon hadn’t died first. But Smalljon seems way more competent than Ramsay, and somewhat more sane. Why would he be so willing to throw in with Ramsay, rather than trying to take over the North himself? Perhaps I’m forgetting or not realizing some form of power transmission, or misjudged how much power the Boltons have, but I’d love to know why no-one seems to be opposing Ramsay. (am I spelling Small/Great jon correctly? I’m too tired to look it up.)

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    145. mau: Sansa and Jon won’t die. Davos won’t die. Even maybe Tormud will survive. So the battle needs that bitter-sweet result, or it will be just ultimate victory for the Starks and GoT doesn’t like that.

      I agree with you 100%. This is not a secret ploy by the Umbers. Shaggydog IS dead. The Umbers have thrown their lot in with the Boltons. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” There’s nothing more complicated than that.

      There even is a historical analogue. The USA and the USSR teaming up against Nazi Germany.

      Besides, the surprise betrayal will come from the Manderlys, but it will only serve to balance out the two forces.

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    146. Thronetender,

      Why would he be so willing to throw in with Ramsay, rather than trying to take over the North himself?

      If he really is worried about the situation with the Wildlings, I’d say starting a civil war in the North against the Boltons wouldn’t be the wisest move, as it would supposedly put him in war on two fronts. And if your question is why doesn’t he team up with Jon then the answer is simply that he sees him just as a bastard who leads an army of goatfockers that raid his lands.

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    147. The Blood of Winterfull: So if Dany is L’s and R’s daughter
      Why Veserys keeps her? Why he sold his mother’s crown for her? She’s not his sister!, he even don’t know her in the first place!
      Veserys was there when she was born in the ship, he saw his mother died in front of him and turn mad after he sold his mother’s crown to feed his sister, seriously this theory doesn’t make sense at all
      She saw a lemon tree? So what?
      Dorn and most of Essos lands share the same geographical terrain

      Dany is not the only charectar in this story
      She can’t be TSwMtW / TPwP / AZ and all the prophecies leads to her!
      She can’t be the savior of Weastrose from WW, and by the way this theory piss me off the most, The First Men and The Children handled this situation a years a go without using any Valarian magic, why do they need it now? They have magic of thier own
      Also She can’t be the Queen of Essos and Westrose in the same time and sit in the World’s Throne
      She can’t do everything because she’s not a cartoonish character!
      It’s ridiculous!

      She’s not going to do everything. For one, she will never hold the Iron Throne. R+L=J is way too easy and brings nothing major to the story. It’s a red herring. Dany is Rhaegar’s third child and her name is the one Rhaegar screamed at the moment of his death. He didn’t scream “Lyanna”, he screamed “Visenya”, her birth name. Rhaegar was obsessed about prophecies and named his children after the three dragon heads who conquered Westeros: Aegon, Rhaenys and Visenya. Read Dany’s chapter in the House of the Undying and all of it makes perfect sense. All those silly theories about three dragon riders etc are just that, silly. The dragon has three heads refers to the Targaryens who conquered Westeros, the one Daenerys was named after. That is why the undead brought up the “child of three”.

      Jon clearly has a big part in the story but his future lies somewhere else. He is not linked with the Targaryens.

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    148. Josh L: I agree with you 100%. This is not a secret ploy by the Umbers. Shaggydog IS dead. The Umbers have thrown their lot in with the Boltons. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” There’s nothing more complicated than that…

      …Besides, the surprise betrayal will come from the Manderlys, but it will only serve to balance out the two forces.

      After reading all of the excellent debate in this thread, I believe that poor Shaggy has gone to the Rainbow Bridge and the Umbers are siding with the Boltons. Greatjon is dead. Smalljon is making a decision based on practicality: he is more worried about wildlings on his lands than historical allegiance to the Starks.

      We know there is a battle in the North. A battle needs to have players on both sides. The Umbers have made their choice. However, I suspect that things aren’t going to work well for Smalljon. I don’t think that he will live long enough to regret his decision.

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    149. Nymeria Warrior Queen: I think it’s actually a great idea for show-only folks to be introduced to the idea of , as you put it, puncturing the mythology surrounding Ned.

      Omitting isn’t quite the same thing as lying. I don’t care who you are and how open you are, there are things that you never tell people, but I wouldn’t call them lies. Ned did lie to Robert when pressed that Wylla was Jon’s mom, but I can picture him as trying desperately to never actually lie. I see him coming home with Jon and announcing, “This boy is my blood, and he will be raised here at Winterfell as such. I’m so very sorry, Catelyn. I swear by everything I am that this will never happen again.” And then let everyone reach their own conclusions.

      I’m picturing that the “promise me” included never telling anyone – including Catelyn with the possible exception of Jon when he was old enough to defend himself – of Jon’s true parentage, and so once he made that promise, it was more honorable to tell a couple of lies and huge omissions than to tell the truth and break that promise. I’m sure that the promise killed him, though: hence part of the reason for the nightmares.

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    150. Wimsey: Well, Jorah threw it away quite easily!

      I wouldn’t say easily. And he got thrown from the House for that.

      I didn’t mean blind loyalty. Betrayal begets betrayal, absolutely. But it would be illogical to betray for very little cause because betrayal feuds will last centuries.

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    151. “If Rickon does go down, there will definitely be a fight in it. ”

      This part of the interview does sound like Art is talking about what happens. We all thought it was likely so I’m not surprised. I just hope we don’t have to watch Osha getting tortured and flayed.

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    152. MakeThemBurn,

      Sure thing. We have precisely nothing, no clue that Jon could be Brandon’s son or even Robert. Doesn’t make any sense. Show alluded only to one theory and build up to it. Brandon was omitted for a reason, Robert’s heir come on. Where is your evidence for it?

      RLJ is too easy. Well, after 20 years of searching, analyzing and debating it. Sure is but it dosn’t make it wrong. George many years ago figured it out and he did it for a reason. Adds nothing major tothe story? Except that Jon could be her only relative, uniting Ice and Fire in blood, all the problems it created.

      Jon is not Ned’s son. That much is beyond doubt, Can’t be Brandon’s as he was dead, Robert no evidence. Only option is Rhaegar unless you believe Aerys spend a night with Lyanna. Maybe two kids were born at TOJ but again show never for one minute questioned Daeny’s parentage which is important. This way it would feel out of nowhere. Think what you want but you’ll see in few episodes where lies the truth.

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    153. WildlingKing,

      Re I’d say starting a civil war in the North against the Boltons wouldn’t be the wisest move, as it would supposedly put him in war on two fronts

      1) Most of the wildlings died at Hardhome. Many of the ones that passed the wall were women and children. There is no “northern/western front” for Umbers imo.
      2) ramsay will have 2 fronts though (jon/sansa north) and a big one in the south (lannister, frey, vale).

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    154. Thronetender: What mystifies me is why the houses would be so willing to abandon the Starks in favor of the effing Boltons, especially Ramsay.

      One, Small Jon makes it clear that he’s not abandoning the Starks in favor of the Boltons: he’s abandoning them both. That was a very important part of his gesture: instead of bent knees, Umber presented Bolton with a gift, as equals do to equals. The Umbers will not follow the Boltons as they did the Starks, but they will treat the Boltons as equals: and even then, for a price.

      Two, what good are the Starks anymore when faced with thousands of Wildlings? The Umbers need spears, swords and horses: and the Starks do not have any of those. The Boltons do have those. To carry on the WWII analogy, when Stalin was told that the repression of Christians in general and Catholics in particular might be causing the Pope to withhold his support for the Allies, Stalin supposedly retorted something to the effect of “How many tank divisions does the Pope command?” That’s about where the Starks are right now.

      Ginevra: Betrayal begets betrayal, absolutely. But it would be illogical to betray for very little cause because betrayal feuds will last centuries.

      But the Starks themselves have betrayed the North, or so many Northerners might feel. Ned’s and (especially) Robb’s wars have hurt the North greatly. They deprived a Northern Lord of proper vengeance for a murdered son because (insofar as can be told) Robb put Stark daughters above Karstark sons. And now Jon (a Snow via Starks) has just let the Wildlings into the North.

      This is the point at which people begin saying “enough is enough.”

      This came up a few times in a few ways during the off-season, but I think that too many people were dismissing how profound the effect of Jon letting the Wildlings into the North was going to be. The recent transgressions of the Boltons would be small potatoes compared to the centuries of transgressions by the Wildlings. And nobody believes that there are White Walkers actually lurking behind the Wall.

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    155. What games is Ramsay going to play with Osha and Rickon now???? I really hope Rickon learned to warg in other animals … it would be very useful to deal with the dogs. Hopefully, Ramsay will be busy gathering the northerners support, writing the Pink Letter and planning the war … so I hope he doesn’t have time to flay and torture Rickon and Osha. Maybe he sends Rickon to the kennel and surprisingly he controls the dogs … I don’t think Ramsay would let Rickon walk freely in Winterfell, so he couldn’t be the Ghost of Winterfell. I hope Rickon kills either Lord Karstark or Lord Umber.

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    156. Geralt of Rivia: RLJ is too easy. Well, after 20 years of searching, analyzing and debating it. Sure is but it dosn’t make it wrong.

      Also, what is “too easy” for fans is not necessarily “too easy” for Joe and Jane Reader. A well-told story should make sense to someone who reads (or watches) it once. You should not have to study a novel to understand the plot machinations, etc. I know that some fans feel that there should be some “reward” for paying much more attention than “casual” fans: for example, many Harry Potter fans were incensed that Joe and Jane Reader could have guessed Snape’s secret or the nature of Harry’s scar. But writers write for readers, not for fans: one general phenomenon for those few writers that get large fanbases is that they never anticipated just how obsessed their fans would be!

      As it stands, if Winter had come out before this season, then most readers would have read the revelation, pause and think: “oh! I should have seen that coming! That explains why Ned always spoke vaguely and why he was so guilt-ridden.” It both will make sense in light of what has been written, and cast some light on prior things that were written. Robert as Jon’s father or Brandon as Jon’s father would not do either of those things.

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    157. Mag: I really hope Rickon learned to warg in other animals … it would be very useful to deal with the dogs.

      They never developed Rickon as being able to warg on the show. (Or in the books, for that matter: he’s never a PoV character, and although it’s indicated that he shares many of Bran’s talents, we get nothing but indications.)

      So, I would not count on this: the show tends to fire guns only after they have been hung.

      As for Ramsay playing with Osha, well, I would not be surprised if he does. However, I also would not be surprised if Osha is much (much!) more than he anticipates, and that she is able to escape and tell Jon or Sansa what is happening.

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    158. The strange thing with Smalljon is that the alliance with Ramsay looked so false. He didn’t want to follow tradition and swear oaths or bend the knee … he was even rude about Roose and told Ramsay he knew he killed his father. But the treason to the Starks looked real with Shaggydog’s head and Rickon’s reaction … I believe Smalljon has a similar plan to Littlefinger’s plan. Maybe he wants Winterfell for himself. First, he takes care of the Wildlings and Starks … and afterwards he deals with Ramsay. The Umber’s army might be stronger and the other defeated houses wouldn’t intervene to defend Ramsay.

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    159. Geralt of Rivia,

      If folks aren’t R + L = J believers by now, I’d just hold my breath. They won’t likely be convinced today if all of the previous mountains of evidence have failed to sway them. We will have all the proof we need in eleven days (11 freaking days!!!).

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    160. Tycho Nestori,

      We as watchers can assume that the “Wildling threat” is not so massive that Smalljon would necessarily need help from Boltons, but apparently he himself has the idea that there are so much of them that they can’t beat them alone. And what comes to the Vale army, I doubt Smalljon or even Ramsay expects them – Littlefinger is supposed to be their ally after all. Even Lannisters and Freys are a very distant threat to Boltons for now, both having their own problems at the moment.

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    161. Wimsey:

      1. Ned’s and (especially) Robb’s wars have hurt the North greatly.

      2. They deprived a Northern Lord of proper vengeance for a murdered son because (insofar as can be told) Robb put Stark daughters above Karstark sons.

      3. And now Jon (a Snow via Starks) has just let the Wildlings into the North.

      4. This came up a few times in a few ways during the off-season, but I think that too many people were dismissing how profound the effect of Jon letting the Wildlings into the North was going to be. The recent transgressions of the Boltons would be small potatoes compared to the centuries of transgressions by the Wildlings. And nobody believes that there are White Walkers actually lurking behind the Wall.

      So I’ve obviously added some numbers to selected parts of what you said, so I can address them separately. If anyone would like to read Wimsey’s original post, just click his name.

      1. But wasn’t it Greatjon’s idea for Robb to go to war in the first place? I cannot imagine the Umbers holding that against the Starks.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff35SjsN7g0

      2. I completely get the Karstark betrayal. Absolutely. No further explanation needed. That seed was well sown. I’d like to have seen similar seeds planted for the Umbers.

      3. Okay, so let’s use an analogy. If the US found out that Canada (longtime BFF and ally) had started harboring known terrorists and we thought these terrorists were about to attack the US, what would be the wisest thing we could do? I’m thinking recon and diplomatic communications between our heads of state. I’m not thinking we bomb first and ask questions later.

      I would expect the same of House Umber under the scenario presented. Why didn’t they try to find out Jon’s plans and motivations? Why wouldn’t they suspect that the son of Ned Stark was unlikely to unleash terror on Westeros? Why wouldn’t they try to get more information from the other side of the story before attacking?

      4. Before the season began, I was shocked at the potential betrayal, but I reserved judgment thinking that the Umbers might be well explained within the storyline of the season. Perhaps Ramsay would frame the Wildlings for some horrific rape and slaughter of little Umber girls after Jon let them through the Wall. Perhaps they’d think of something more brilliant than I could possibly imagine. There is an explanation, yes, but it isn’t a very solid one, IMO.

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    162. I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but seems to me if the Umbers were going to betray the Starks they did it at the wrong time.

      They didn’t switch when all the stark men were believed dead, along with Ayra and Sansa in captivity. And Jon a lowly man of the nights watch.

      They waited until Ramsey takes control, have proof that Stark blood is not dead, with Rickon in hand. Sansa is on the run and Jon has an Army of wildlings at his disposal and Lord Commander. Doesn’t make sense, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

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    163. WildlingKing,

      That’s a fair point. The scene is so loaded with content and character motivation that, as a viewer, it’s hard to take anything at face value imo. That said, a scene giving context to the Umbers internal discussions (away from Ramsay and other ears) may have hurt the scene’s energy/power/mystery.

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    164. Ginevra,

      1. No, it wasn’t Greatjon’s idea, Greatjon’s idea was just to make him a King when they were already marching to war.

      2. The seed was Jon letting the Wildlings past the Wall.

      3. Comparing modern nations to feudal houses isn’t really that good analogy. Also, modern diplomacy in our world started to make progress as late at 17th century, in medieval setting it’s completely understandable for Umbers to react the way they have. And if they would negotiate with Jon, the terms would be “take the wildlings back to north of the Wall, or else.” Is there really need to go through that in the show?

      4. Umbers have hundreds years of experience of Wildling raiders raping and killing their people, now there is a whole army of them on their lands (or at the border of them). Seems like a plausible enough explanation for me for them to team up with Ramsay.

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    165. Wimsey: They never developed Rickon as being able to warg on the show.(Or in the books, for that matter: he’s never a PoV character, and although it’s indicated that he shares many of Bran’s talents, we get nothing but indications.)

      Gosh, I’m really picking on you today, Wimsey. Sorry about that. I do love debating with you, though.

      We don’t know much about Rickon, in the show or the books. Art said in his first interview, which you can read here, that we should keep our eyes open for little hints to come. Could that be hints of warging? And in his second interview, which you can read here, Art used “feral” twice in describing Rickon’s persona this season: “very wild” and “feral.” Beast-like. And when asked about the very dangerous situation he’s in right now as a prisoner of a psychopath like Ramsay, Art says, “I think he’s able to handle pretty much anything thrown his way at the moment.” That could be misplaced teen bravado, but I read it as, “I’m going to warg into your hounds and rip you to shreds.” I could be wrong.

      In the books, we do see that he and Shaggydog are incredibly alike in their personalities and emotions. I think that’s a hint. And Rickon has a greendream, the same greendream that Bran has: that Ned is dead and calling to them from the crypts of Winterfell.

      Right after Ned is executed in King’s Landing in A Game of Thrones, Bran tells Luwin about his greendream that his father is in the crypts of Winterfell, dead. So Bran, Hodor, and Luwin go way down into the crypts to check it out, where Ned would lie. Shaggydog attacks out of nowhere, Summer defends, and then we find little Rickon down there, too.

      “You let my father be,” Rickon warned Luwin. “You let him be.”

      “Rickon,” Bran said softly. “Father’s not here.”

      “Yes he is. I saw him.” Tears glistened on Rickon’s face. “I saw him last night.”

      “In your dream …?”

      Rickon nodded. “You leave him. You leave him be. He’s coming home now, like he promised. He’s coming home.”

      Bran had never seen Maester Luwin look so uncertain before. Blood dripped down his arm where Shaggydog had shredded the wool of his sleeve and the flesh beneath. “Osha, the torch,” he said, biting through his pain, and she snatched it up before it went out. Soot stains blackened both legs of his uncle’s likeness. “That … that beast,” Luwin went on, “is supposed to be chained up in the kennels.”

      Rickon patted Shaggydog’s muzzle, damp with blood. “I let him loose. He doesn’t like chains.” He licked at his fingers. –Pages 709 and 710.

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    166. Ginevra,

      People over the years came up with tons of theories to disprove RLJ. Jon mom is someone very important and noble otherwise no point of withdrawing this information from Jon. Ashara is not on the show and just imagine people’s reaction. Ashara Dayne is Jon’s mother? Who is Ashara Dayne? I would give anyone benefit of the doubt if they introduced her so audience knos. Thy only remined us of Lyanna and Rhaegar. If Jon wasn’t born at TOJby some miracle, I would go on and apologize to him but as things stands right now Jon was there seems very likely

      Although, I have sneaky suspicion that two babies were born at TOJ.

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    167. Connor:
      Someone on reddit posted this about the Umbers giving Rickon to Ramsay, as a potential mummer’s farce. Its really good and i believe it 100%. Art said Shaggydog is dead, but do we really have to believe him? I mean they all said Jon was dead and was never coming back and lied about for 10 months! That supposed head of Shaggydog looked smaller than a regular direwolf’s. He even points it out in this post.

      Have a read at it if you will:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/4imdm8/spoilers_main_how_everyone_needs_to_chill_about/

      I don’t care what anyone says… if this was a fake-out, Umber would not have brought the real Rickon Stark to Winterfell. Nobody recognizes him, so a decoy would have completely worked.

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    168. What the fuck is a Lommy?,

      I don’t buy it. That was the least convincing quote ever. Sounds like Kit or Carice trying to convince us Jon is staying dead. Far too much foreshadowing to the contrary…. Plus, imagine if your mechanic gave you that answer. Is my car safe to drive? “Uh, yeah, I’d say so…” Would that assure you in the slightest?

      I’m holding out hope

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    169. Mag,

      Yeah i get that he wont allow him to walk freely but Art mentions he is feral. By bringing rickon there, they can do the pink letter and may be develop rickon character to some one we like (With Ghost of Winterfell plot). And we dont know what his end game is at the books. So whatever it is we will be more attached to him rather than just being a stark. But yeah i see the practical difficulties. But this is the only thing i can see that would not be boring. Another toture session, i will just fast forward ie hell as repettitive

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    170. Wimsey,

      However, I also would not be surprised if Osha is much (much!) more than he anticipates, and that she is able to escape and tell Jon or Sansa what is happening.

      Yes, that makes sense. On the Umber issue, most of the Northern houses, except the Boltons, had their experienced fighting forces depleted during the War of the Five Kings. Roose saw to that through sending the detachment to Dukensdale and leaving the forces on the wrong side of the Ruby Ford (I think). The Starks saw the men left behind massacred by Ramsey at WF. The Karstarks scattered and roamed the Riverlands but all would have to go through Moat Cailin which the Ironborn and then the Boltons control. (Although on the show it seemed to be an easy matter for Brienne and Pod to avoid). The Umbers appear to know what Roose did (hence his references to Roose) but it is the lesser of two evils. I’m not saying that there is not a possibility of betrayal, but standing with the Boltons in the short run makes more sense.

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    171. One thing that kind of hurted me: tje fact that the Three Eyed Raven called HR Meera her father, and not Meera and Jojen their father. It felt like a clap in the face for the R +L=J+M theory. I don’t really suspect it to be true, but still 🙁

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    172. Josh L: I agree with you 100%. This is not a secret ploy by the Umbers. Shaggydog IS dead. The Umbers have thrown their lot in with the Boltons. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” There’s nothing more complicated than that.

      There even is a historical analogue. The USA and the USSR teaming up against Nazi Germany.

      Besides, the surprise betrayal will come from the Manderlys, but it will only serve to balance out the two forces.

      Agree, well said

      Going off what Ramsay said about Karstarks, Umbers and Manderly’s being the biggest houses required

      I think Manderly going over to the Starks will balance the ledger as you say

      Of course this means that a RL force can swing the balance of power, in this case either the Freys, Tully’s or Vale who were the Switzerland of the Wo5K and are completely fresh as a result

      Will be interesting to see how the politics of it all pans out

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    173. Nymeria the wolf,

      it does make sense, you just don’t want to believe it. the Umbers lands are being raided, or they believe will be raided, by wildlings. the people in the north believe the wildlings are the real bad guys and the Umbers believe they have to protect their lands against them and no that they need help. they clearly don’t like the Boltons, and will not kneel or even swear fealty, but they are desperate enough to buy the Boltons help with Rickon. they don’t think there’s anything left of Starks anyway, so giving up Rickon in exchange for not losing their lands is a price they are willing to pay. it sucks, but it makes perfect sense.

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    174. Just because they have Shaggydogs head doesn’t mean they killed him. Maybe he died some other way and they used that opportunity. And it could still all be lie and it really isn’t Shaggydog.
      What undermines those possibilities is that it would be crazy to endanger Rickon that way. But it was one of the first things that came to my mind.

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    175. I’ve thought it must be amazing to be part of such an epic production as Game of Thrones, all the actors who have been in it for some time seem to have enjoyed it. I don’t envy the three eyed raven the task of keeping Bran in check. It’s difficult enough with ordinary kids, without having to deal with someone with Bran’s gifts. I, also, hope that between them, Osha and Rickon manage to give Ramsey what for. I had hoped that it wasn’t Shaggydog’s head, what a bummer.

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    176. I don’t consider that Ned was dishonourable or that Howland Reed was either. Ned certainly didn’t stab AD in the back, and if you were in such a fight, and your friend and colleague looked as if he was going to be killed, I think you would probably stab their opponent in the back if that was the only way to save them. If I was faced with that dilemma, I’m pretty sure I’d have done the same. You just don’t have time to think of honour in a life and death situation such as that.

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    177. Cock Merchant: Just because they have Shaggydogs head doesn’t mean they killed him. Maybe he died some other way and they used that opportunity

      His teeth were all bloodied, so he must have been in some kind of fight or attack scenario. Given the info in this thread that Shaggy was the most wild of the Dires, maybe he got into a mess with a roaming pack of wolves and went down, or something like that.

      We’ve been invested in the survival of these wolves since Season 1, Episode 1, when their lives were saved as tiny pups. It’s hard to see one go down at all, much less thinking someone killed it on purpose, to offer proof of fealty to the likes of Ramsay. Ramsay isn’t worth it. Ramsay is especially not worth Rickon’s life, either.

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    178. Re: Ned, Howland Reed, and Arthure Dayne being stabbed in the back.
      I’ve watched the episode several times, the latter times trying to keep track of who took HR down. Couldn’t keep track. But I don’t consider him rising up to stab AD an act of dishonor, either. It’s not like he or Ned skulked around in the dark and stabbed AD in the back. Nor did he remain on the edge of the fight, with the purpose of stabbing someone in the back.

      Reed went down from someone’s sword, probably Dayne’s. He was injured. Normally we’d cheer a man who was injured then had the strength to get up and retaliate. Many of these threads are dedicated to vengeance and how it will be had. I see nothing wrong in Reed’s rising up to take vengeance on those who injured him. The fact that he also saved Ned’s life in the process is a bonus. Maybe the dishonor Ned was feeling was because he took credit for the kill, and not because of the back-stabbing. AD would certainly have died from the wound Reed gave him, he was gushing blood. Ned just hurried the process.

      I’m laughing to myself as I type this. If, years ago, someone had told me that some day I’d be an avid fan of a fantasy series and typing the words “take vengeance, credit for the kill and gushing blood” as part of the discussion of that series, I would have scurried away from them in fear and loathing. How times have changed. Never too old to learn new things. lol

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    179. Josh L: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” There’s nothing more complicated than that.

      I might sadly agree with you, and everyone else that the Umbers have thrown in with the Boltons, using Osha and Rickon as pawns. And that Shaggy, for whatever reason, is indeed morte.

      But that phrase, enemy of my enemy. It might apply here, but in real life I’m always reluctant to give much credence to such sound-bites. I always find myself muttering: “yeah, but the enemy of your enemy might be just another asshole, too.”

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    180. Wimsey: I also would not be surprised if Osha is much (much!) more than he anticipates, and that she is able to escape and tell Jon or Sansa what is happening.

      Hope you are right about this, Wimsey. I can’t take any more torture scenes.

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    181. Rickon is not lord of winterfell, Bran is. And be won’t be on that cave forever. Even if Rickon does, Sansa won’t be the queen.

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    182. In season 1 Ned tells Jaime that he stabbed his king in the back, and Jaime asks if Ned would like him better if he has stabbed him in the belly. So clearly people in that society world see what Reed did as dishonourable. And Ned did take advantage of the backstabbing to finish him off.

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    183. MakeThemBurn,

      This makes some sense to me but the ages throw into question a bit. If Robb and Jon are both 14 at the start of GoT and Robb was conceived on Ned and Catelyns wedding night the night before Ned went to war with Robert, and we know that Ned didnt return as soon as Robb was born because the rebellion went on for several more months AND we know that Jon and Robb are the same age then we know they were conceived at the same time. For Dany to be Rhaegars child, born to Lyanna wouldnt she have to be 14 too? She is described as being 13 making her too young.

      Also isnt she already a ‘child of three’? Rhaegar, Viserys and Dany?
      MakeThemBurn,

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    184. Ginevra: Ned did strike after Dayne was backstabbed, although that may have been in mercy for a quick death.

      When Bran says, “Father beat him… I know he did.I heard this story a thousand times,” that implies that Ned bragged about defeating Dayne.That sounds completely unlike Ned, though, even without the circumstances.I can picture him reluctantly confirming, when asked, that he defeated Dayne with Reed’s help, and I can see why he wouldn’t want to dishonor the reputation of the man who saved his life.But it wasn’t the moment of shining glory and honor that Bran was expecting, and so I can also see how Bran’s image of his father might be cracked.

      Yes, it was a coup de grace, a mercy killing.

      As for Bran hearing the story a thousand times, no, I can’t picture Ned bragging about it. It’s more likely that Bran heard it from other people – his mother, Old Nan, Uncle Benjen perhaps. Old Nan would be a prime suspect for bigging it up.

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    185. Stargaryen:
      In season 1 Ned tells Jaime that he stabbed his king in the back, and Jaime asks if Ned would like him better if he has stabbed him in the belly. So clearly people in that society world see what Reed did as dishonourable. And Ned did take advantage of the backstabbing to finish him off.

      With Jaime, it wasn’t so much the stabbing in the back that was seen as dishonourable. It was because, as a member of the Kingsguard, he killed the man he had sworn to protect.

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    186. MakeThemBurn: Jon IS a bastard, but he’s the bastard of Robert which makes him his heir.

      There would have been zero need for Ned to try to pass Jon off as his own by-blow if Robert had been his father. You are missing the whole point of all the secrecy around Jon’s origins, which is the fact that Robert would have killed him in a heartbeat if he knew that he existed – because he was obsessed with obliterating every last living Targaryen.

      How tragic that Ned only had enough time to get that one message off to Stannis between Robert’s death and himself being thrown into a black cell. Once Robert was gone, he could have safely sent a couple more ravens – letting Jon know who he really was, and letting Cat know that he had not been unfaithful to her. I’m presuming that his promise to Lyanna was simply not to tell anyone while Robert yet lived – not necessarily forever.

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    187. Connor: That supposed head of Shaggydog looked smaller than a regular direwolf’s

      My hypothesis about that: The sketch submitted to the propmaking department was made on a cocktail napkin, and the designer (having had a few drinks too many whilst brainstorming) had hurriedly written ” (interpreted as inches) instead of ‘ (intended as feet).

      Now all they need is a dancing dwarf to make the direwolf head look bigger by contrast…

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    188. Thronetender: Wimsey: I also would not be surprised if Osha is much (much!) more than he anticipates, and that she is able to escape and tell Jon or Sansa what is happening.

      Hope you are right about this, Wimsey. I can’t take any more torture scenes.

      This gets me thinking hopefully about some flimsy-but-possible foreshadowing: We already know from previous scenes in books, TV series or both that 1) Osha does not flinch at using her womanly wiles to get someone to drop their guard before killing them, making an escape or both, and 2) wounds caused by human bites are nasty and particularly prone to festering.

      I hereby respectfully submit that an even more appropriate and gruesome end for Ramsay than being torn to pieces by his own hounds would be to rot slowly from his nether regions after being given the Reek treatment, orally. Osha would be killed in the process, but might consider it worth the sacrifice.

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    189. Thronetender: Hope you are right about this, Wimsey. I can’t take any more torture scenes.

      I could be right, and there still could be more torture scenes: this is not the last possibility!

      Moreover, this is a “I would not be surprised if…” scenario. There are a few scenarios here that would not surprise me. I suppose that I lean towards this one more than any other: but I would not bet a heck of a lot on it actually happening this way.

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    190. “I think it suddenly presents a bunch of new challenges for the Raven. He’s not only just trying to keep this teenager under control, but now he has a sort of time-traveling teenager to keep under control.”

      I certainly hope so. I’d hate to see the talent of a legendary actor like Max von Sydow wasted by having him just standing around cautioning “That’s enough for today” and “You can’t go there right now.”

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    191. Donna: You just don’t have time to think of honour in a life and death situation such as that.

      And that is a key point: in battle, people do not have time to think. But that is also part of the “lie” that goes into turning a brawl into some epic conflict. History makes for terrible story: so, things get tweaked and edited until “history” acts like it is supposed to according to the morals of the storyteller.

      But one of the recurring themes of SoI&F is that the fairy tales are all lies. If M,B&W did have Ned beat Dayne in some “epic” duel, then it would have been undercutting that theme. Learning that this great fight between supermen was nothing more than a brawl among real men is important for Bran: and I doubt that it will be the last “epic” myth that gets dashed by the cruel reality of history.

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    192. Stargaryen:
      Grandmaester Flash,

      Judging by Jaime’s reply, it’s at least part of the issue.

      I don’t think so. When Jaime asks Ned if he would like him better if he had stabbed Aerys in the belly, he expects the answer to be No. Because the issue is that he killed the man he swore to protect, and not the manner in which he killed him.

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    193. Wimsey: We need “like” buttons. I’d give this one….. 11.

      11 on a scale of 10? : )

      I’d send a rimshot back atcha, but that would bring me perilously close to becoming a drummer, and I have this phobia of spontaneous human combustion.

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    194. Is there any way the Freys would mobilise one way or the other in either support or opposition of the Bolton’s or are they really as immobile as they’re painted to be?

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    195. TFT:
      We get it, Ramsay is an asshole. I’m not interested at all in what he does to Rickon. Ramsay needs to do something new because he has outstayed his welcome in my opinion. His shocking deeds aren’t shocking anymore.

      Amen to that, Ramsay “Mary Sue” Bolton, is getting my nerves, but not just because he is The Evil PsycopathTM, but because is ridiculous lucky and everything goes well for him no matter how incredebly implausible it is. At this point you can´t even argue that losing Sansa was bad for him because “she is the key of the North), when he got the Karstarks, the Umber and the Manderlys by his side… ’cause reason. The only one that makes sense is the Karkstar, but the fact that he remained totally calm after Ramsay killed his father in front of him and then killed his step mother and little sibling is just a huge neon sign that the writer wants to piss off the audience.

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    196. Wimsey,
      Firannion,
      Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

      Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number?

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    197. Ice Spider,

      he had flaws and YES he may have allowed this part of the story to be changed to save Howland Reed’s honor but this goes hand in hand with GRRM’s thought process on all of the major character’s arc’s that no one is really all good or all bab.

      And then you have Ramsay Bolton

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    198. Book and Show Spoilers about Rickon/GNC

      It’s highly likely we see the Manderly’s switch sides. In the books, the foundation is laid by Wex. Since there is no Wex the show needed a different way for Wyman to know that Rickon was alive, right? Or would Wyman knowing that Sansa was alive be good enough? I think GNC works better with Rickon because Ramsay is attached to Sansa’s claim. I don’t know if SJ is conspiring with Wyman, conspiring on his own or not conspiring at all by Rickon being alive is the catalyst (in the books) of Wyman’s plan. I assume it’s the catalyst here as well.

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    199. MakeThemBurn,

      If jon’s parents are lyanna and anyone but rhaegar, why would the best swordsman in the kingsguard AND the Lord commander both be there with lyanna rather than with their prince or king?
      Makes no sense unless they are guarding a potential heir, and even then it doesn’t particularly make sense for the KG and Ned + Bros to fight over her. Couldn’t Ned have just asked to see her nicely, and just said he was concerned? Less of a story but much more rational. Silly boys.

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    200. Thnx to WotW for all you do.

      After reading many posts & links as well as looking into my glass candles, I’m hoping that:

      1. Shaggydog is alive. Enough time elapsed for a brood or two of mutts to be produced. A poor lil shaggydog & regular wolf offspring was sacrificed.
      2. Osha, rickon, & umbers are planning to deceive ramsey. The wf maester may be helping?
      3. Osha, rickon, & shaggydog will outsmart ramsey.
      4. It’s ramsey & lf who burn on the x’s 🙂

      A girl can dream

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    201. So doesnt anyone think Rickon is gonna kill Karstark? I think Karstark tries to rape Rickon only for his fierce nature to come out. Osha might play a part. Karstark dies brutally. Ramsey might even be impressed. “Do you like games little man?”

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