Tag Archives: Arnolf Karstark

Counterintelligence: Using the Bolton Machine Against Itself

A Riddle from the The Winds of Winter

Sometimes we need to start at the end in order to understand the beginning…

In the Theon’s sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, we are led to believe that Jon’s letter arrived and informed Stannis of Arnolf Karstark’s planned betrayal. The first move we see Stannis take is to confront Karstark’s maester:

“Maester Tybald,” announced the knight of the moths.

The maester sank to his knees. He was red-haired and round-shouldered, with close-set eyes that kept flicking toward Theon hanging on the wall. “Your Grace. How may I be of service?”

Stannis did not reply at once. He studied the man before him, his brow furrowed. “Get up.” The maester rose. “You are maester at the Dreadfort. How is it you are here with us?”
— THEON I, THE WINDS OF WINTER

So I’d like to pose you one riddle before I get on with this essay…

How in seven hells did Stannis know that Tybald was the maester at the Dreadfort?
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