A Dance with Dragons-Chapter 20

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Reek II
A Dance with Dragons chapter
POV Theon Greyjoy
Place Moat Cailin
Page 253 UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Reek I
Davos III  ← Reek II →  Jon V

Reek III


Theon on his way to Moat Cailin.© Thrumugnyr

Theon travels to the siege of Moat Cailin under a peace banner to present Ramsay Bolton's terms of rendition to the ironborn garrison guarding its three towers.

The ironborn are in bad shape. They have been long isolated from supplies, apparently forgotten by Victarion who brought them there before leaving for the kingsmoot on Old Wyk. Crannogmen keep them under constant siege and their morale is so low that they no longer bother to even dispose of their dead.

Their nominal leader, Ralf Kenning,[1] is barely alive, suffering a slow, ugly death after being infected by a poisoned arrow. Theon, torn between his conditioning to think of himself as Ramsay's plaything "Reek" and his orders to present himself as Lord Balon Greyjoy's son, has glimpses of his past pride and identity. Theon actually mercy kills Ralf Kenning before making demands of the mostly Codd men that still survive in the garrison.

Reek and Ramsay Bolton.© Conor Campbell

Dagon Codd attempts to refuse Theon's terms, but Adrack Humble kills him. The ironborn surrender to Ramsay and hear empty promises of food and peace before being mercilessly killed and displayed at stakes along the road.

Ramsay, pleased with Reek’s success, offers him a reward of his choosing. Reek is wary of Ramsay’s offer of "freedom", and instead requests strong wine. Ramsay agrees, and further humiliates Theon by "rewarding" him with a "promotion" to the role of a dog. He meets Roose Bolton, Lord of the Dreadfort and new Warden of the North, as his own forces arrive at Moat Cailin. Roose is accompanied by a sizable number of Frey men, including Hosteen Frey and Aenys Frey, both of whom Theon recognizes from his time at their side as part of Robb Stark's war campaign. At this point only about a fifth of the northmen who went south with Robb during the War of the Five Kings have returned alive.

Theon recognizes the newly-arrived bride of Ramsay as an impostor; she is not Arya Stark as claimed, but rather Sansa's friend Jeyne Poole.[2]

Character List





Terms and places mentioned





References and Notes

  1. We learned in A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18 (The Iron Captain) that Kenning was left in charge by Victarion Greyjoy.
  2. The events of this chapter seem to happen during or shortly after those of A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17 (Cersei IV), where Cersei's small council discusses the taking of Moat Cailin and Jeyne/"Arya"'s travel to the north to marry Ramsay. Jeyne's last confirmed appearance was in A Game of Thrones, Chapter 51 (Sansa IV)