SPOILERS AHEAD, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
On last night’s episode of Game of Thrones we finally got to see what Rickon Stark, the youngest Stark child, has been up to – and it’s not much. Really. Since last we saw him he’s apparently been hiding out at the Umbers, a family loyal to the Starks, however in a rather unfortunate twist the Umbers have now turned him and Osha (his wildling babysitter, basically) over to Ramsay Bolton.
Rickon doesn’t seem any worse for wear, and the same goes for Osha – but what had fans up in arms was the fact that Rickon’s direwolf, Shaggydog…
However, there is a theory floating around that Shaggydog is in fact still alive and that the whole thing is part of “The Grand Northern Conspiracy,” a theory that claims the remaining northern houses who are still loyal to the Starks are trying to secretly overthrow the Boltons and bring the Starks back to power:
The Grand Northern Conspiracy revolves around the idea that the citizens of the North are enraged after Lord Walder Frey, together with Lord Roose Bolton, killed Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, and Robb’s men at the Red Wedding, even though they should have been protected by guest right (the tradition which protects guests from harm so long as they’ve partaken of salt and bread from their host).
The phrase “The North remembers” comes into play in a major way here. The Starks were Kings in the North before Aegon came with his dragons. After Torrhen Stark—known as the King Who Knelt—surrendered the Crown of the Kings of Winter to Aegon the Conqueror, the Starks were named Lords of Winterfell and Wardens of the North. They passed that title from one generation to the next for many years, and the Northerners got very used to it. Now, however, with Lord Eddard Stark dead and his heir Robb Stark murdered, the North is in a state of chaos. Winterfell has been razed and the betrayer Roose Bolton rules as Warden of the North.
With the backing of the Crown (mainly House Lannister) and the support of the Freys, House Bolton looked to secure its hold on the North by bringing the other Great Northern Houses to heel under its rule. But as I mentioned, the North remembers, and a certain Lord who happens to be too fat to sit a horse (Lord Wyman Manderly), is secretly leading a group of Stark loyalists who would see a Stark rule the North from Winterfell once again.
You can read more about it HERE, however it’s a theory that has more foundation in the books than the television show…but that doesn’t mean the show can’t start it up by putting Rickon in Winterfell. According to Redditor AledVillarosa, if the Umbers play their cards right the revolt is still possible:
Step 1: Refusing to officially aknowledge the bastard of Bolton as Warden of the North
Step 2: Gain the bastard’s trust by giving him Rickon (Actual goal: Get the Stark back in Winterfell, have him being seen and recognized by other people)
Step 3: Give the bastard a false impression that Rickon is helpless making him think the direwolf is dead and that Osha is just some poor wild woman (she could fuck up twenty good men in a second)
Step 4: Lure the bastard out of Winterfell on the pretext of Jon and the wildlings (who Umber knows to be a son of Ned and probably was approved by Rickon to be good), join his forces and walk North
Step 5: Shaggydog is freed, whatever Bolton Loyalist is still in Winterfell becomes wolf-food. Winterfell is now Rickon’s
Step 6: Jon coming from the North, Umbers following Boltons from the south. Betray the bastard and have the rest of the Umbers come out of Last Heart so the Boltons will have foes on 3 sides
At the very least, people are still hoping that Shaggydog is still alive and that Rickon won’t meet the same fate as Robb Stark:
You’ve got to admit – that would pose for one hell of a comeuppance for Ramsay Bolton. Keep your fingers crossed guys, there’s no way he makes it to next season…right? Right? RIGHT?