A Clash of Kings-Chapter 66
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Page||670 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Maester Luwin warns Theon to yield when Ser Rodrik arrives, for there will be no siege. Theon has too few men to hold the castle against two thousand men. The maester advises that Lord Balon is concerned about Moat Cailin, because the North will be won or lost there, not at Winterfell. Luwin tells him to ask for mercy, but Theon will not hear of it. Only seventeen of his men stay with him; the rest desert along with all ten of Asha’s men. Even the men who remain loyal have contempt for him, and his plan to stay Rodrik’s hand. When the old castellan surrounds the castle, Theon comes out to parley. Rodrik gives him the chance to die honorably, but Theon pulls out his trump card: Rodrik's daughter, Beth Cassel, with a noose around her neck. Rodrik is horrified, but he is too honorable to withdraw, and tells Theon he has until sunset before he storms the walls.
Later, Theon is practicing archery, knowing he cannot win, when Luwin tells him there is a way he can live through this: yield, and take the black. Theon decides that he will take the black and perhaps save some of his dignity and honor, but he never gets the chance. Fighting has broken out in Winterfell's winter town between several hundred men from the Dreadfort and Rodrik’s army of near two thousand. The Dreadfort men win because they were at first accepted as allies until they began slaughtering Rodrik’s troops.
After the battle at Winterfell ends, Theon meets their leader, whom he identifies as Reek, but learns the man all along was Ramsay Snow. The bastard prefers to call himself Ramsay Bolton, however. Ramsay states he had a ring given to him by his father which allowed him certain authority at the Dreadfort. Ramsay also presents the bodies of Rodrik Cassel, Cley Cerwyn, and Leobald Tallhart. The Bastard of Bolton strikes Theon with a punch to the face, and then commands his men, "Save me the Freys and burn the rest. Burn it, burn it all." The last thing Theon sees during the sack of Winterfell is his horse Smiler afire.