Fans of the Game of Thrones books have a name for almost every important event and theory spawned by the series. Past seasons of the show included the Red and Purple Weddings, and now season six has shown us the beginning of The Tower of Joy and most recently, The Pink Letter.
For those who haven’t read the books, The Pink Letter is the letter sent to Jon Snow by Ramsay Bolton in episode four, encouraging Snow to “come and see” what awaits him at Winterfell. It got its name from the smudge of pink wax used to seal the letter in the books, which has led some readers to suspect it’s not from Ramsay at all.
According to these theorists, Ramsay Bolton typically sends pieces of flayed skin with his letters and writes them in the blood of his enemies. Typical Ramsay! And while the wording in the letter is certainly aggressive and violent enough to come from Ramsay, there’s just something suspicious about it. Did someone else write the Pink Letter? And if so, who?
That’s one question no one has had a good answer to… up until last week’s episode of Game of Thrones came out. Now there’s a new theory that explains who wrote it, and why.
So let’s take a look at what’s included in the Pink Letter on the TV show. It includes the following information: that Ramsay holds Rickon Stark captive in Winterfell, and that Ramsay plans to come north and murder all the Wildlings should Jon Snow refuse to face him. Oh, and he declares his intent to rape and kill Sansa Stark.
As far as tactics go, it’s not the smartest letter — Ramsay has just revealed there’s a trueborn Stark left alive, and that his marriage to Sansa Stark is a nightmarish sham — things that would rally the northern houses. His threats against the Wildlings give them a powerful incentive to join Jon and fight against the Boltons.
Then there’s a line that is repeated several times in the letter. “Come and see.” On the surface there’s an obvious implication to this. The line is goading Jon Snow into coming with a Wildling force to attack Winterfell, but it also connects us to who we think was really behind the Pink Letter.
Earlier in the same episode, Littlefinger arrives in the Vale with a present for Robin Arryn. “Come and see!” he tells Robin as he reveals a falcon for the little lord. A coincidence? A hint? Now consider the reason Littlefinger came to the Vale to speak with Robin.
Littlefinger wasted no time putting his plan into play. He reminds Yohn Royce that Robin Arryn would throw him out the moon door at one word from Uncle Petyr. The only way to stay alive? By serving faithfully as a general in the wars to come. Wait, what wars to come? Littlefinger then gets Robin Arryn to agree to raise the banners of the Vale and march for Winterfell.
So we have Petyr Baelish manipulating the situation in the Vale to bring war to Winterfell. Could he be the one behind the Pink Letter, which gives Jon Snow, the Wildlings, and the Northern Houses the big shove they need to finally unite and fight Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell as well?
It makes sense, and is exactly the kind of thing Littlefinger would do. His end game is still unclear, but as he’s said in the past, “A man with no motive is a man no one suspects. Always keep your foes confused. If they don’t know who you are or what you want, they can’t know what you plan to do next.”