A Read of A Dance with Dragons – Part 33

Chapter 32 – Reek
Ramsay Bolton is staying at Barrowton. He’s been looking for someone he didn’t find. Usually this would mean that he’d want to hurt someone but he has to be careful around his father’s allies. Ramsay orders a feast and has Reek stand in the corner while they eat. All Ramsay’s dogs are named after peasant girls he’s hunted and raped and killed, but only the ones that gave him good sport. During the feast, Roose Bolton turns up. He tells Ramsay that Stannis has taken Deepwood Motte and given it back to the Glovers. Ramsay asks if he will march on the Dreadfort. Roose says no. They talk about the Frey’s that have gone missing. They were travelling with Manderly and they suspect Manderly has killed them, despite how distraught he appears to be and note that he didn’t bring hostages as he was supposed to. Roose tells Ramsay that his allies are disturbed by the things they hear about him and that he must be more discreet.
Roose tells Ramsay he will marry Arya Stark and it should be at Winterfell. This will send a message and Stannis will have to come to them. With Arnolf Karstark who is still their ally. Roose tells Ramsay he’s going back to where he is staying and that he is taking Reek with him. Ramsay whispers to Reek that he’s to keep quiet and tell him everything his father says. Ramsay says that when Reek gets back he’ll take another finger.
On the ride, Roose asks Reek what Ramsay said to him. Reek can’t speak because he’s so afraid. Roose says he knows anyway because he knows what his son is. All of Ramsay’s men are actually his. He tells Reek that Ramsay killed his trueborn son. Then he says to Reek that he will give him a bath and clean clothes and terrifies Reek all over again. He says he has wounds and is desperate not to be seen naked. They arrive at Barrow Hall where Roose introduces him to Lady Barbrey as Theon, heir to the Iron Islands.
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So many reasons to hate Ramsay. What an evil bastard. But interesting to hear what his father really thinks of him – and just how much he’s prepared to sacrifice for real politik. And what are they doing with Theon now?
I reckon Theon’s been castrated. There was a vague reference to this before. That, and possibly he’s afraid to reveal the full extent to which Ramsay has tortured him.
The Karstarks are playing both sides, like Manderly and the Umbers. I wonder how that will fall out but Roose Bolton seems to have a better grip of it than Stannis does. I guess it all depends whether Davos finds Rickon.

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