What Does Ramsay's Letter On 'Game Of Thrones' Mean For Jon Snow? He's Got A Mission


Episode 4 of Game of Thrones Season 6 gifted viewers with one long-awaited feel-good moment, the reunion of two Stark children. Accompanied by Brienne of Tarth and her loyal squire Podrick Payne, Sansa Stark arrived at The Wall, where she finally met up with one of her long-lost brothers, Jon Snow. The reunion was everything fans could hope for, emotional, touching, and punctured with levity as the siblings reminisced about formerly good times in which they squabbled at Winterfell. But this is Westeros we're talking about, and their happiness was short lived. Soon after Sansa's arrival, Jon Snow received a gruesome letter from Ramsay Bolton, which looks like it could be the catalyst for much of the action to come. But what does Ramsay's letter mean for Jon Snow in the coming episodes?

Here is the letter as read in the show in its entirety:

Helen Sloan/HBO

In forums across the internet, this letter is referred to as the "Pink Letter" as pink is the color of House Bolton, in reference to their sigil, the flayed man. Which, ugh. In the books, the letter reads quite differently:

In the books, we did not see the battle in which Stannis was killed, and many book theorists have wondered if the letter was a fake, written by Stannis to get Jon to come to his aid, or by Mance to convince him to come to Winterfell and save him. No matter who actually wrote the letter, Ramsay, Mance, or Stannis, it worked, and Jon was spurred into action to gather a host of Wildlings to take back Winterfell, and Jon received it before his assassination. Jon was prepared to break his oath not to get involved in the wars of men and this was the last straw that inspired his brothers of the Night's Watch to betray and murder him.

With the letter arriving after Jon's resurrection, the show appears to be simply speeding up Jon's timeline. Having already died, he is released from his Night's Watch oath, and Mance and Stannis are already dead, leaving his only motivation to rescue his brother Rickon and take back his family's seat as Warden of the North, thus helpfully removing a lot of complex and confusing plot points and streamlining the whole narrative.

Helen Sloan/HBO

So what does the letter mean for Jon (and Sansa's) future? Some have theorized that Ramsay Bolton will actually succeed in spooning out Jon's eyes, pointing out that in the promotional posters, Jon Snow has blood on his face, perhaps in reference to a brutal eye-injury he is about to sustain. It seems unlikely, but it's possible. The letter also threatens that if Jon does not deliver Ramsay's bride – Sansa – to him, he will let his dogs devour Rickon as he watches. So presumably Rickon is relatively safe until Jon arrives. We all know that Ramsay likes to play with his victims, so perhaps Rickon will remain for the most part unharmed until Ramsay gets to make Jon Snow watch as he is brutally murdered by wild dogs.

Other theories still maintain that Ramsay didn't actually write the letter. Some other possibilities? Petyr Belish and Lord Umber. In the show, Baelish says to Robin Arryn, "Come and see," an echo of Ramsay's line in the letter. Perhaps Baelish wrote the letter to spur Jon into action. In the books, Baelish is plotted to lead the men of the Vale into battle in the North to take back Winterfell, so it's possible. Lord Umber has also been theorized to be secretly loyal to the Starks, and perhaps he wrote the letter to get Jon to take back Winterfell and return a Stark to the position of Warden of the North.

But as in the book, A Dance With Dragons, no matter who wrote the letter, Jon Snow is definitely about to march south to Winterfell.