From my understanding;

The whole camp is frustrated, worn out & would rather surrender than put up a fight against Ramsay coming from the North.

  1. Does the garrison at Moat Cailin know Ramsay betrayed the treaty he issued when taking Winterfell in which he had the men flayed? (It would make sense, word seems to spread quite far & wide)

  2. If they are aware of his betrayal, I assume that surrender & hoping for the best was their only option (+Believing Theon's word) I assume as anyone fleeing would have been caught?

  • 2
    I don't recall what information they had about Ramsay, but the only one who knew the truth about his betrayal was Theon. And perhaps some of Ramsay's men. But the official story was that Ramsay saved the day, not the other way around. There is no reason the Ironborn would know of his betrayal that I can see, except maybe some of the clever ones would realise that Theon did not have the strength to massacre a force the size of the one led by Ser Rodrik Cassel. – TLP Jul 15 '15 at 18:12
  • 1
    By the way, this sounds like a book question, but you have the tag for the tv-show. Which are you asking about? – TLP Jul 15 '15 at 18:14
  • I remember the scenes in the TV-series, I've only read the wiki page in regards to anything else. Both interpretations are welcome. I get the feel whenever an event happens on the TV series, everyone knows about it & assumed since Theon taking Winterfell was a big deal, word would have got back to all their forces. – Gooseberry Jul 15 '15 at 22:10

I am writing this with reference to the book, Ramsay Bolton did not sign any treaty in the book. He simply blamed sacking of Winterfell on Theon Greyjoy. Only 7 people (Bran Stark, Rickon Stark, Hodor, Osha, Meera Reed, Jojen Reed and Wex Pyke) survived the sacking of Winterfell. Baring Wex Pyke (who was mute) none of the others stayed back, so baring very people none knew what actually happen at Winterfell.

Reason garrison at Moat Cailin surrendered

1. Very few men knew what happen at Winterfell

This was the most widely circulated story:

Davos thought back on the tales they’d heard. “Winterfell was captured by Theon Greyjoy, who had once been Lord Stark’s ward. He had Stark’s two young sons put to death and mounted their heads above the castle walls. When the northmen came to oust him, he put the entire castle to sword, down to the last child, before he himself was slain by Lord Bolton’s bastard.”

A Dance With Dragons

2. They thought Ramsay Bolton had been kind to Theon Greyjoy and might let them go.

“I am ironborn,” Reek answered, lying. The boy he’d been before had been ironborn, true enough, but Reek had come into this world in the dungeons of the Dreadfort. “Look at my face. I am Lord Balon’s son. Your prince.” He would have said the name, but somehow the words caught in his throat. Reek, I’m Reek, it rhymes with squeak. He had to forget that for a little while, though. No man would ever yield to a creature such as Reek, no matter how desperate his situation. He must pretend to be a prince again.

His captor stared at his face, squinting, his mouth twisted in suspicion. His teeth were brown, and his breath stank of ale and onion. “Lord Balon’s sons were killed.”

“My brothers. Not me. Lord Ramsay took me captive after Winterfell. He’s sent me here to treat with you. Do you command here?”

A Dance With Dragons

3. The men at Moat Cailin were dying, there was no portable water so they drinking ale.

The guard stared at the dead man as if seeing him for the first time. “Him ... he drank the water. I had to cut his throat for him, to stop his screaming. Bad belly. You can’t drink the water. That’s why we got the ale.” The guard rubbed his face, his eyes red and inflamed. “We used to drag the dead down into the cellars. All the vaults are flooded down there. No one wants to take the trouble now, so we just leave them where they fall.”

A Dance With Dragons

4. Shortage of food

One of them picked it up and turned it over in his hands, picking at the pink wax that sealed it. After a moment he said, “Parchment. What good is that? It’s cheese we need, and meat.”

A Dance With Dragons

5. Their commander (Victarion Greyjoy) has not come back for them

The guard who had met him at the door seemed less certain. “Victarion commanded us to hold, he did. I heard him with my own ears. Hold here till I return, he told Kenning.”

“Aye,” said the one-armed man. “That’s what he said. The kingsmoot called, but he swore that he’d be back, with a driftwood crown upon his head and a thousand men behind him.”

“My uncle is never coming back,” Reek told them. “The kingswood crowned his brother Euron, and the Crow’s Eye has other wars to fight. You think my uncle values you? He doesn’t. You are the ones he left behind to die. He scraped you off the same way he scrapes mud off his boots when he wades ashore.”

Those words struck home. He could see it in their eyes, in the way they looked at one another or frowned above their cups. They all feared they’d been abandoned, but it took me to turn fear into certainty. These were not the kin of famous captains nor the blood of the great Houses of the Iron Islands. These were the sons of thralls and salt wives.

A Dance With Dragons

6. Some of them trusted Theon Greyjon (because of his royal bloodline)

“If we yield, we walk away?” said the one-armed man. “Is that what it says on this here writing?” He nudged the roll of parchment, its wax seal still unbroken.

“Read it for yourself,” he answered, though he was almost certain that none of them could read. “Lord Ramsay treats his captives honorably so long as they keep faith with him.” He has only taken toes and fingers and that other thing, when he might have had my tongue, or peeled the skin off my legs from heel to thigh. “Yield up your swords to him, and you will live.”

“Liar.” Dagon Codd drew his longsword. “You’re the one they call Turncloak. Why should we believe your promises?”

He might have said more, but suddenly his eyes gaped wide. A throwing axe sprouted from the center of his forehead with a solid thunk. Codd’s sword fell from his fingers. He jerked like a fish on a hook, then crashed face-first onto the table.

It was the one-armed man who’d flung the axe. As he rose to his feet he had another in his hand. “Who else wants to die?” he asked the other drinkers. “Speak up, I’ll see you do.” Thin red streams were spreading out across the stone from the pool of blood where Dagon Codd’s head had come to rest. “Me, I mean to live, and that don’t mean staying here to rot.”

A Dance With Dragons

7. Most of all, they wanted to go home

The one-armed man walked at the head of the procession, limping heavily. His name, he said, was Adrack Humble, and he had a rock wife and three salt wives back on Great Wyk. “Three of the four had big bellies when we sailed,” he boasted, “and Humbles run to twins. First thing I’ll need to do when I get back is count up my new sons. Might be I’ll even name one after you, m’lord.”

A Dance With Dragons

  • 2
    Good answer my good sir, very elaborate. – yondaime008 Aug 3 '15 at 14:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.