Question about Game Of Thrones season 2 finale

Yes, I’m a bit behind in making my way through Game Of Thrones, so please, please, PLEASE, no spoilers beyond the end of season 2. Thank you.

I was puzzled by something in this episode. Theon’s men have taken him and fled Winterfell, burning much of it on their way out. So Bran and his little bunch come out of hiding, and Luwin insists they must travel to The Wall, where they’ll be safe.

  1. Why? What danger do they face if they stay in Winterfell? If there is no food, I’m sure Osha is capable of hunting and gathering to provide for them. I suppose I could see not wanting just these four people to be all alone in the city, but I’d choose that over the dangerous journey north.

  2. But they shouldn’t have had to be alone anyway. What the hell happened to all those “Men of the North” who had been surrounding the city walls earlier? Wouldn’t they want to stay and help their Lord rebuild? Even if they thought Bran and Rickon were dead, those loyal to the Starks would surely want to hold Winterfell for Robb’s eventual return. It makes no sense that the place was totally abandoned.

I’ll take a shot:

  1. I would guess that part of the deal for Theon sparing Bran and his brother was “and never been seen in these parts”. Because if it came to light that he had spared them, then Theon would be known to have lied about killing them.

  2. Though some of the men of the area would still be around, they just got their butts’ kicked by Theon’s troops. Those that survived would be off “licking their wounds” - not ready to risk hanging around to protect a gutted, burned out castle. If Theon hadn’t burned the castle, then you could make a case for those loyal to the Stark’s to help protect the castle for Robb’s return. But to guard a gutted castle doesn’t seem like such a good idea (like when Robb shows up, you have to say “oops” :wink:
    The kids opt to head to the Wall because that is where they know their closest kin/protector is: Jon Snow. So combine 1) not wanting to be seen and 2) wanting “family” protection, it makes sense to head that way.

I’m also just getting around to watching Game of Thrones. I’m just a little ahead of you (season 3, episode 5).

  1. They can’t stay at Winterfell all alone. They have no way to defend themselves against whomever might come along to kill them/take them hostage/what have you. So, as cormac says their best bet is to get to Jon Snow.

  2. I think this is supposed to be a bit of a mystery at this point. Presumably it will all become clear next season. All we’ve seen at this point is Theon’s men conking him on the head and saying let’s go home. We don’t really know what happened after that.

Theon didn’t “spare” them – he couldn’t find them after they escaped, so he killed the two boys of the family they ran into outside of Winterfell that were about the same age, and pretended they were Bran and Rickon.

The reason they left Winterfell is because there’s no one left there they feel they can trust. No Starks, no Maester Luwin – they don’t know who took it from Theon, but they don’t want to stay and find out.

This is correct. As of the end of season 2 you don’t yet clearly know what happened to Winterfell or who it was that was besieging Theon.

As for going north to Jon Snow, there would probably be some other possibilities (ie, go find the family of GreatJohn Umber, the guy who first called Robb the King in the North back in season 1), but Jon Snow is the one that Maester Luwin is most certain loves Bran and Rickon, and being at The Wall should also theoretically at least help keep them out of the clutches of anyone who wants them to be pawns.

  1. Even in modern times, even if we weren’t talking about very notable people who could be abducted, murdered, taken as hostage or for ransom, etc…, you wouldn’t let two small kids fend for themselves in the ruins of their house in a war-torn area. You would send themto a safe place, preferably under the custody of a close relative. So, I don’t really see what’s intriguing here.

  2. What happened exactly at Winterfell was left deliberatly unclear by the authors of the show. At least, you won’t have to wait for one year to know :wink: