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? Continue reading →
This page is no longer current. I have revised the “Night Lamp” theory in a new essay that you can read here.
Jon turned to Melisandre. “My lady, fair warning. The old gods are strong in those mountains. The clansmen will not suffer insults to their heart trees.”
That seemed to amuse her. “Have no fear, Jon Snow, I will not trouble your mountain savages and their dark gods.”
First and foremost, this post would not be possible without the fantastic original analysis work done by /u/BryndenBFish at his blog, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire. He wrote a two-part analysis of the battle for Winterfell coming in The Winds of Winter and derived very interesting predictions. I highly recommend reading them before continuing with this post (read part 1 here, part 2 here).
BryndenBFish put forth a great theory that Stannis plans to fight the approaching Freys at the crofter’s village. I wholeheartedly agree, and was floored by his analysis.
However, in researching other issues I stumbled across some overlooked information that puts a radical spin on Stannis’s strategy. This information does not drastically alter the larger campaign that BryndenBFish’s essays propose, but rather modifies the fight at the crofter’s village to give an overwhelming tactical advantage to Stannis. Continue reading →