Category Archives: Mance Rayder

The Pink Letter: Finally Solved?

“You know somethin’, Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece.”


The end of Jon’s final chapter in A Dance with Dragons leaves readers mystified on several fronts. Obviously the mystery behind Jon’s death is foremost among them. However, let’s analyze one of the other conundrums introduced by this chapter:

  • ?
  • Why are the wildlings so eager to go to war for Jon Snow?

Some readers may have concluded that this topic was unimportant, unanswerable or some combination thereof. Others might have concluded that explanation is already known, and provided by the text, explicitly or otherwise.

I obviously wouldn’t be wasting your time with this inquiry if I thought the real answer was any of those things. This short essay is an effort to convince you of the following:

The wildlings rally to Jon’s cause because of readily recognizable wildling folklore found in both the Pink Letter and Jon’s statements at the Shieldhall; folklore that is only understood by wildlings.

Not only does Jon know this, but he himself knows who wrote the Pink Letter.

With that in mind, I want to start by proving as best as possible that the explanation behind why the wildlings rallied to Jon’s cause is of huge consequence. Continue reading

The Lost Mission of Mance Rayder

NOTE: This will probably be incorporated into the Mannifesto at some point but for now I’m posting as a mostly self-contained piece.

This essay serves one purpose and one only:

To reveal the secret mission that was Mance Rayder’s true goal in the north during the events of A Dance with Dragons.

Explain the relevance of that mission on other aspects of the plot.

Explore significant implications of its discovery.

Let’s get straight to business then.

Continue reading

Mance and Son: The Former King Knows

A few weeks back, there was a thread on /r/asoiaf regarding Mance and his fate. In the thread, /u/BryndenBFish made the claim that Mance does not know about his son, and I countered that he most certainly did. He expressed an interest in hearing my arguments.

This quick essay is my answer. First I want to determine the scope of my argument; what is the question I am answering?

Did Mance Rayder know about his true son’s fate before he left Castle Black?

How did he learn this and from whom?

This essay provides answers to both, which I can in superficial terms as follows:

Yes, Mance Rayder knew about his son’s fate.

There are several people who may have told him.

The most prominent of which are Stannis, Melisandre and Val.

Means, motive and opportunity conspire to provide Mance Rayder with an undeniable opportunity to discover his son’s fate. Continue reading

The Red Sun Rises, The Glass Candle Burns: The Lost Targaryen Prince

Mance Rayder is the son of Duncan “the Small” Targaryen and Jenny of Oldstones.

Depending upon your beliefs regarding the legitimacy of Jon and/or Aegon, this may render Mance to have a more legitimate claim.

Mance may have been fathered (directly or –more likely– otherwise) by Bloodraven.

The ‘evidence’ for these arguments is largely unconventional and will be disagreeable to many readers. I don’t deny this.

This is because a large portion of based on analysis of motifs, prose, patterns. It’s not the kind of hard “in-world” facts that most of us know and love. It draws from an understanding of Martin’s other works and the prominent, pervasive themes throughout his career. It has elements of SWAG (scientific wild-ass guesses) based on existing precedents. It invokes some analysis of the text that may be symbolic (thus scientifically untestable) allusions. The idea culminates with an examination of elements that tie things together like a rug in The Big Lebowski. Continue reading