Welcome back, my Lords and Ladies, to another edition of
Theorycraft. Today we are going to be discussing an event that I believe we will see in Season 6, something that will turn an already large battle between two noble Northern factions into a massive and chaotic mess.
We start with the Wall, and why it must fall. To understand the power of the magic used to build the Wall, one need look no further than Bran’s first chapter in
, where he realizes that Coldhands—his guide beyond the Wall—is in fact a dead person.
He’s some dead thing. The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands and the men of the Night’s Watch stay true, that’s what Old Nan used to say. He came to meet us at the Wall, but he could not pass.
Assuming Old Nan is right, let’s ride that train of thought to its natural conclusion: the Night’s King and his minions cannot pass through the Wall
. However, the men of the Night’s Watch forsook their vows and became false brothers when they decided to murder their Lord Commander. Jon Snow had not broken any laws of the Night’s Watch’s laws (even being with Ygritte wasn’t technically a violation, as he didn’t marry her or father any children with her), yet his men—led by Alliser Thorne—conspired to murder him because they hated that he wanted to protect the wildlings.
When using this line of logic, two questions always arise:
Think back to the first season, when the bodies of Benjen Stark’s fellow rangers were dragged through the tunnel in the Wall and rose again as wights at Castle Black. How could they pass under the Wall if it had magical protection against “monsters,” a term that certainly applies to wights?
Why didn’t the Wall’s defenses start to weaken when Lord Commander Mormont was murdered by the mutineers at Craster’s Keep? Were they not as guilty as the Night’s Watchmen who killed Jon Snow?
I believe the answer to the first question is simple: the two dead rangers had not been reanimated by the Night’s King (or whatever force reanimates dead bodies on this show)…yet. And, when night fell, the leader of the White Walkers/Others commanded the men to rise, thus turning them into wights. They were trojan horses, so to speak. They were not monsters when they were dragged through the Wall, but became monsters shortly thereafter.
The answer to the second question is just as simple. First, the Old Bear (Lord Commander Mormont) was killed north of the Wall. Second, the men who killed him had already turned their cloaks at the Fist of the First Men, and were no longer men of the Night’s Watch…not in their hearts. Therefore, Mormont was murdered by former brothers of the Watch, while others like Sam tried to defend him, and even save him after he had been stabbed. When Alliser Thorne and his fellow conspirators decided to betray Jon Snow, it was inside the confines of Castle Black, behind the protection of the Wall, and as they stabbed him, each man uttered “For the Watch,” thus using the ancient order as an excuse to hide their cowardly act.
So, how does this all play into Season 6? I believe that Season 6 will open right where Season 5 left off…panning over Jon Snow’s body. But, as the camera tilts up, we will know somehow that the Wall has lost its magical protection. Maybe it will begin to shake, or weep and melt, or perhaps we will see large chunks of ice and sections of the Wall itself begin to break away and fall to the ground. The men of the Night’s Watch are false, and now the Night’s King and his undead horde can and will pass through the Wall…but we’ll come back to this in a moment.
When considering how much content we know is going to be crammed into Season 6, I don’t think that executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss will stretch out resurrecting Jon Snow…there is just too much story to get through to hold that event off until Episode 5 or 6. Make no mistake: Melisandre was shown arriving at the Wall the very same night Jon was killed for a reason. Let’s take a step back to understand the Red Priestess’ role in Jon’s resurrection more clearly.
In Season 3’s “The Climb,”, Melisandre meets the Brotherhood without Banners, and more importantly, Thoros the Red Priest. She learns that he has dedicated himself to the Lord of Light and can now bring the dead back to life. Melisandre is fascinated by his tale, and speaks to Beric Dondarrion, who Thoros had resurrected six times before. The showrunners did not show us this scene by accident—I believe they knew Jon Snow’s turn at resurrection would come in Season 6.
So, with Melisandre at the Wall, I believe she will give Jon the Kiss of Life and resurrect him. But, once alive, what will Jon do, and where will he go? The on-set photos we’ve seen over the past few months provide clues. Jon will end Season 6 by participating in what many are referring to as the Battle of the Bastards.
Basically, the info available tells us that Jon will face off against Ramsay Bolton, with various factions lending their support to one side or the other. To understand why Jon goes into battle, one need look to
, and the infamous Pink Letter. In the books, before Jon is betrayed by his men, he receives a letter supposedly written by Ramsay
Season 5, but I believe that he will get it in Season 6, after he has been resurrected, and that this will be what drives him to lead an army into battle against the Boltons.
Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.
Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.
I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.
I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want this wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it.
Now, on the show, Mance actually was burned to death in
, and in the penultimate episode of the season, Shireen was sacrificed to the Red God, as well. This prompted Selyse to hang herself in the Season 5 finale, so we know for a fact that Ramsay does not have them…and since Melisandre was there when all this went down, she would know it to be a lie. So we can assume those parts of the letter won’t be included.
Now, we know that Stannis was killed by Brienne, and if Ramsay and his men scout the area, they would find his body and recover his “magic sword.” So, if the Pink Letter is used to lure Jon into open battle, then we could say that part would be true. (I feel I need to add an aside here: if Ramsay is going to put the bodies of someone recognizable on his Bolton crosses and burn them during or before the Battle of the Bastards, would Stannis and his wife not make the perfect pair? This sounds like something that fits perfectly in Ramsay Bolton’s sick little wheelhouse of horrors. Food for thought.)
We also know that Sansa and Theon (Reek) escaped Winterfell in the Season 5 finale. We’re not entirely sure where they’ll go, but it would make sense for Sansa to head for the Wall and try to reunite with her half-brother (remember, she has no way of knowing Jon was murdered). Ramsay could come to that conclusion as well, and send a raven to Castle Black demanding his bride and his Reek be returned.
So, skip to the end of the season, and we have Jon and his army meeting the Bolton army on the field of battle. From the photos of the war dead we’ve seen, I’m starting to get the feeling that Jon’s side wins the day….I mean, they do have a Wun Wun. But, this is
, so any victory is likely to be bittersweet. Just ask Jaime Lannister how he felt after having a tender father-uncle/daughter moment with Myrcella right before she died in his arms. There are no truly happy endings on this show.
So, what would be the perfect bittersweet ending to the Battle of the Bastards?
Well, let’s say that Jon and Ramsay do eventually meet in the midst of battle. Jon, being an expert swordsman, is more than up to the challenge of killing the Bastard of Bolton—I firmly believe this season will finally be the one where Ramsay gets his comeuppance. But, as Jon slays Ramsay, a white mist begins to blow, the snows begin to swirl, soldiers from both sides stop and turn their heads to the north as the Night’s King and his lieutenants arrive astride their undead steeds, heralding the arrival of death in the form of hundreds of thousands of wights, charging into the chaos of the Battle of the Bastards.
ending. The hopelessness we felt as Jon watched the Night’s King raise the dead at Hardhome has now engulfed Westeros in terror. The Wall has fallen or been breached, and the dead are scouring the land.
Jon Snow may turn out to be a Targaryen, or he may claim the Stark name, but until the Night’s King and his horde of wights have been ended once and for all, or at the very least, banished back to the Lands of Always Winter, then neither Jon nor his remaining siblings will ever be able to reclaim their home.
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It was pretty good until the very last part. I don’t think the wall starts crumbling right away and then the Nights’ king takes 8 episodes to find some battle to reinforce his army.
It was the jormunt trynpet that bellow the wall..used by euron greyjoy
The wall crumbling because of euron greyjoy when he used the jormunt trumpets
Check out this thought I just had a few posts ago.
Fact 1: the show introduced to us the fact that White Walkers can turn humans into new White Walkers. It is apparently how they reproduce.
Fact 2: Benjen has been missing for a long add time. If he were dead, they would just have showed him dead. He will probably returning on some capacity. My thought is he was turned into a White Walker by the Nights King.
Speculation: Alt Shift X recently posted a new YouTube vid on the nature of the others and Also elaborated on a very popular theory that suggests Jon Snow will be instrumental in forging a TRUCE with the White Walkers. The thought is that this very thing happened during the first Long Night. The last hero made a pact with the others to create a chance at peaceful coexistence. This fits GRRM’s storytelling philosophy a lot better than the final “good versus evil battle for the dawn.”
Another interesting note on that topic: GRRM has stated in multiple sources that the others are masters of ice and ice magics. They can do things with ice that we can’t even imagine. Who do you think built the wall made of ICE?? It only makes sense that the ice monsters are responsible. A few giants with sleds and a Stark couldn’t build a wall of that magnitude in any reasonable amount of time.
My conclusion: Benjen Stark will be reintroduced to us as a White Walker, this making him significantly more relevant to the story. Why would that be? He will be a huge influence on Jon’s decision to make peace with the others. He has already showed a penchant for making peace with seeming enemy’s ala the wildlings.
Sounds crazy, but with further thought and analysis of all variables, it starts to make a lot of sense. Thoughts?
P.s. I love this one Razor. You have the best insights and your theory is better than mine, but not incompatible. You do great work. Keep it up brother
I have always liked the theory that The Wall was to keep mankind out of the North and not the White Walkers out of the South and that Jon will forge a new truce. How exactly this plays out is a wonderfully tantalizing mystery!!
How would Benjen become a White Walker? Do you mean a wight?
No. An old stark became the nights king by mating with a female other. Gave her his seed and his soul. Yada yada. No proof that nights king can only turn infants into themselves. Did you even read what I wrote?
It probably won’t happen but sometimes when you put an idea out there other fans have new ideas that contribute to the fandom and it’s theories.
You know, I think this was a Preston Jacobs video too.
Makes a lot of sense, especially when you keep in mind GRRM’s comment about people misunderstanding the white walkers. I think in the end its going to be Jon and the White Walkers against an insane Dani and her dragons, but we have a ways to go before the end so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Have you guys ever come across this theory?
Once again a brilliant analysis ( or hope, lol) for season 6! Keep the speculations coming😉
You don’t need to bring eights across the Wall. Just oneWhiteWalker, a battlefield of dead soldiers, and there’s your wight army.
This theory would make sense if all of the Men of the Night’s Watch had betrayed Jon. Yet at least Sam (who was already away, but he counts as a man of the Night’s Watch) and Edd stayed true. In the books, those betraying Jon are the minority.
If anything, these people stayed loyal to the Night’s Watch, more so than the thieves or rapists at Craster’s Keep. It wasn’t an “excuse” to “hide” their treacherous nature. They actually believed it was the only way to stay true, both in the books and in the show.
“Staying true” means in my opinion simply manning the Wall. It doesn’t matter the numbers, or what their true intentions are. The Wall is impregnable. 40 Night’s Watch men managed to defeat 100 000 willings with giants and mammoths.
In addition to that, it isn’t specifically stated that wights cannot pass through the Wall. They actually can. The fact that they were “in sleep mode” when discovered in season 1 was part of the strategy. If the Night’s King could really turn corpses into wights from any distance , and even beyond the wall (using your logic), then why doesn’t he make zombies out of all the people who died during the war of the Five Kings and attack the wall from the south ? All human life would be wiped out in no time.
As I can infer by now, he can only turn into wights men that they killed.
If this is true, then why does the Night’s Watch burn the bodies of men who died of other causes, like Bannen, or even the dead wildlings after the battle of Castle Black ? Unless you say they simply don’t know and burn the bodies in a “better safe than sorry” tactic.
If anything, these people stayed loyal to the Night’s Watch, more so than the thieves or rapists at Craster’s Keep. It wasn’t an “excuse” to “hide” their treacherous nature. They actually believed it was the only way to stay true, both in the books and in the show.
In the show the men that killed Jon were not loyal at all. There was no reason for them to kill Jon. Specially not after what happened at Hardhome. The whole thing in the show was irrational.
In the books, on the other hand, they did the deed out of loyalty to their vows. Jon was letting in the wildlings when the Night’s Watch did not have enough food to last the winter. There wasn’t a huge massacre at Hardhome to really drive home the threat that the Others are. And, most importantly, Jon DID break his vows when he decided to get involved in the affairs of the realm and go against Ramsay.
Or at least, as far as they are concerned, Jon broke the whole “the Watch takes no part” stance that has developed (which isn’t a part of their vows).
The whole thing may have been irrational, but at least it was “for the watch”. We actually don’t know if Jon, Edd or the others actually told any of their brothers what happened. I don’t know which is more likely : The mutineers being told nothing for no good reason, or focusing on the genocide of people they have never met while completely ignoring the imminent threat of a massive army of ice zombies. Both equally dumb, so I assumed it was the former, or at least that they didn’t believe what the others saw.
Therefore, they simply thought that bringing the Wildlings to the Wall was an insult to their fallen brothers, and though Jon didn’t exactly break his vows, he might have done so by “wasting” time and resources (the lost dragonglass) to go to Hardhome to save, basically the enemy.
“The Night’s Watch takes no part”. True, but “we are the watchers ON THE WALL”, as well. Jon went to Hardhome himself, “forgetting” his duty to prepare for an upcoming siege. He wasn’t wrong though, but racist, unforgiving and stupid people such as the mutineers could argue what I listed above as well.
Actually the oath says “we are the watchers in the walls”. “Walls” being plural. So it isn’t just referring to The Wall. It also says that they are the shield that guard the realms of men. Again, realms being plural.
I do believe that the Night’s Watch lost their purpose over time. Something that Mormont realized shortly before he was killed.
It may be that the men of the Night’s Watch stopped “staying true” long ago and the magical protection is no longer effective. Assuming that Old Nan’s tale is actually true.
exactly, it was a minority of mutineers in both the books and show. Forcing evidence to fit the theory me thinks Razor is guilty of here.
We do know the last book was to be called A Time For Wolves so I think it’s going to turn out ok for House Stark, so relax.
No way in hell that the wall starts crumbling as a result of Jon being betrayed… In the books maybe, but on the show they’ll need the Horn of Winter or something magical
This^^, surely it would have been destroyed when the 12th lord commander became the nights king, or when a couple different LC’s tried to pass on command to their children.
“We’re not entirely sure where they’ll go, but it would make sense for Sansa to head for the Wall and try to reunite with her half-brother (remember, she has no way of knowing Jon was murdered). Ramsay could come to that conclusion as well, and send a raven to Castle Black demanding his bride and his Reek be returned.”
Theon knows how good hunter Ramsay is, he will try not to use a route Ramsay could guess. He probably will go through the wolfswood and meet Yara at Deepwood Motte.
This is why Winds of Winter is an awesome site for any and everything GOT. They’ve read the books, looked for the details, and always write some of the best theory articles on the web. Oh, and the spoilers are terrific.
What is the Winds of Winter site of which you speak, Ser?
Yes please let us know what is this new Winds of Winter site. Sounds too good to be true ;)
Maybe the magic of the Wall is reduced by each treason … not only treasons related to the Night’s Watch but also the Starks. Ned, Rob, Jon were murdered, Bran was almost murdered and Rickon could be murdered next season … A Stark should always be in Winterfel, right???? Maybe this was part of the former peace agreement…. But , What do the White Walkers want??? …. Who are they?????
I like a lot of the theory, but what does not make sense is the timing of doing this at the end of season 6 of an 8 season show. If this was still slated to be a 7 season show, I would be more comfortable with this plot line.
Once the Night King is south of the wall and presumably raising all of the casualties from the Battle of the Bastards, it would be a full scale invasion and the armies of the living will have to be mustered fairly quickly or there would be nothing left. So, two timing problems arise:
1. With 21 episodes left after the Battle of the Bastards, how would they possibly delay the Night King’s army of wights from wiping out everyone for long enough to present that ultimate battle in the later half of season 8? They aren’t exactly going to hole up for a couple of months.
2. What are they going to have the Night King doing until Danny decides to arrive with her dragons? Everything we know says she is going to spend Season 6 hanging with the Dothraki and extricating her people and dragons from Mereen. Even if she announces her intention to head to Westeros by the end of Season 6, wouldn’t it take most/all of Season 7 to get there (march to the sea, get ships, travel, deal with the Ironborne, etc)?
To me it makes much more timing sense for Danny to begin her journey to the sea in episode 10 of this year as the primary cliffhanger. Then, they can build up the tension throughout Season 7 leading up to the war for Westeros in Season 8.
The Night King can breach the wall later in Season 7 and Danny is crossing the sea. This also allows to the victorious Starks to celebrate liberating the North just long enough for the Night King invasion to be more of a gut punch to the audience, which Martin and HBO seem to revel in.
I simply don’t see the Others involved in the “Battle of the Bastards.” For one I agree with Dawgfan in that the timing of that occurring would not be right seeing as GOT will have at least have 8 seasons.
Secondly, if the Others were to turn up during the “battle of the bastards” then it would be an absolute slaughter of the remaining northerners involved in that battle. For anyone who has watched Hardhome you would know that without weapons to defeat the wights and Others, the westerosi will have no chance.
I think the Others breaching the wall will be more of a slow burn happening sometime in season 7 when the main protagonists in Westeros (Danearys and Jon and others) are more in place to deal with that threat. They won’t be totally prepared and they’ll still be taken by surprise but it won’t be a total blood bath as would occur if the Others invaded during the battle of the bastards.
My thoughts are is that season 6 will be a season when the protagonists of the overarching plot (a song of ice and fire) are put into their respective places for the fight against the Others. Kings landing will descend into chaos and leave an opening for Danearys (whose plot in Meereen will reach a conclusion) to return to Westeros to take advantage of the power struggle for the iron throne. Jon and his northern allies (maybe Sansa and Rickon included) will retake Winterfell and hopefully Jon will be able to convince the Northerners to take the threat of the Others seriously and unite the wildingings and northerners in the fight to come. The plot in the riverlands will be more about the “game of thrones” type stuff and revenge for the Starks in some form while I feel the Sam will be have an important role in Oldtown in finding a way to help defeat the Others.
P.S. From what I’ve read from WOTW there has been no suggestion that the Others (White Walkers) will be involved in the “Battle of the Bastards”. Does WIC have anything to suggest otherwise?
Good point, the northerners are not equipped to fight the others right now. The others showing up at the battle of the bastards would end up in Hardhome II, with no sea to escape on.
Yay! Theorycrafting by Razor is my favorite part about this site. All the possibilities make me obsess with delight and I Love hearing what my fellow Lords and Ladies have to say too. Jolly good show!
Which major character will die during the battle of bastards???? Will a Stark die next season ???
I’m not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, and also not positive that it happened in the show or just the book. When the bodies are found they have very bright blue eyes like wights. I think it’s Sam who comments on them, and another who says that their eyes used to be brown. So apparently they were already wights when they were brought through the wall.
Yes I agree with you. Plus, the massacre at Hardhome (in the shot where the wights throw themselves from a cliff, stop moving, and then start to run, therefore using the lemming strategy) showed that wights can go “dormant”. I believe that is how they infiltrated Castle Black.
Yes, they have blue eyes when they are found, and they were carried to Castle Black by Brothers of the NW. The latter could be another interesting factor to consider. The NW guards the Wall, opens and controls the gates (remember that Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor need Sam to open the gate for them in order to go North of the Wall – and this is true for both the books and the show). I think the “trick” has something to do with these dynamics.
So, with Melisandre at the Wall, I believe she will give Jon the Kiss of Life and resurrect him. But, once alive, what will Jon do, and where will he go?
Taking a few steps back… It has been suggested that the letter wasn’t written by Ramsay, for various reasons and minor details… maybe Littlefinger wrote the letter to pin Jon and Ramsay against each other?
The only con to that theory is them at the depth of information in that letter requires it to be only a handful of folks: (Book) Stannis, (Book) Mance, Ramsay, Melisandre, and a few others.
The letter was written by Ramsay. The other ideas stupid as hell. The fans boring and thinking because the sixth book still in under progress yet. But it was written by Ramsay.
Always told that Ramsay wrote the pink letter…other theories just…well…theories.
Although our story has told us many times again while we allude to everything else happening in Westeros that the Others and that eventually War of the Dawn is what really matters, you are jumping the gun and marginalizing everything else happening in the books and the show. This bittersweet ending isn’t coming for at least another two seasons/final book of the saga. Why is the theory so popular of Sansa travelling to the Wall? Yeah, she would want to find Jon (and Arya, Bran and Rickon too) but how the hell would she get there? Stannis could barely march towards Winterfell, there isn’t going to be forces or ANYONE travelling North to the wall now that winter is here. Have you forgotten Baelish? Littlefinger is at this point the only reliance Sansa has or knows (thinks) she can trust. If anything she will somehow fall back into his hands. Does anyone else also think Rickon and Osha got to the Umbers without any trouble? Littlefinger has a firm grasp on the North from behind the scenes and Sansa was the known key throughout multiple houses for Stark and North loyalty. Anyone else think it’s a little risky even for LF to gamble it all on the Bolton’s, who murdered his beloved Cat – without a plan B? I am thinking LF might have something to do with the whereabouts of Rickon as well. If not, I definitely think that his newly recreuited forces will somehow play a negative part in the big Northern battle at the end of this season.
Also the Others invading Westeros doesn’t fit the definition of “Bittersweet”..
Well it could they invade decimate westeros and even if the people prevail and defeat them there would be almost nothing left
This was terrible. Especially the last part about the bittersweet ending, this is Season 6, not 7 or 8 not the ending so by definition it can not be the bittersweet ending.
And the walkers not be there at Winterfell next season. I confirm that for you guys. It will be about Jon and Ramsay. Walkers season 7. 1000000%
I think the battle of the bastards is all about the Starks regaining control of the north so the region is organised enough to deal with the Others. It doesn’t make sense for the northerners to face the Others just yet.
It really does’nt i think the reason people beleive they will is more out of desire to see more of the white walkers (which i get not alot is known about them and they are pretty awesome) rather than actually following the story at the speed its been goin at. The white walkers are clearly waiting for something as they have been wondering around for 5 seasons
A well written piece with some convincing theories. I hope, however, that you are not too convinced by them because if it doesn’t play out the way you’ve imagined you’ll be disappointed by the show all over again.
There has been some suggestion on here that the wall may have been constructed to keep men out of the north and not to keep the Wildlings and/or Others in. I think this is a really quite a silly suggestion, given that the first attack on Castle Black came from Magnar of Thenn after climbing the wall and made the weakness of Castle Black to attack from the rear, REALLY obvious.
It seems people are getting really carried away with various ideas that are completely beyond justification. People need to slow up a bit and get the basics right before heading off down wildly misguided lines.
I don’t post on here much but that suggestion was so outside of fact I feel I had to comment.
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