Warning: Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones Season Six.
We all got to see how the show brought back young Rickon Stark whom we last saw in season 3. Rickon had left for the Last Hearth with Osha and Shaggydog (his direwolf) to seek protection from the Umbers who were pretty staunch Stark supporters.
But apparently things didn’t turn out too well for the youngest Stark kid as Umber broke his oath to Lord Stark. He killed Shaggydog and took Rickon and Osha as captives as was pretty clear from the latest episode.
Obviously most fans are upset with what Rickon’s storyline turned out to be. After all the Starks have suffered more than most characters on the show and we really don’t want another Stark and his direwolf dead.
This is how the theory goes
So, the latest theory on the block is that since the Umbers were fiercely loyal to the Starks its possible that Smalljon is just tricking Ramsay into believing that he is on the bastard’s team. Yes yes, way too optimistic for Game of Thrones (I can almost hear R.R. Martin’s mocking laughter!) however let me finish!
Now why would Umber do that and risk Rickon’s life knowing what a psychopath Ramsay is?
For this question to be answered I first need to talk about the character of Smalljon Umber from the books. Smalljon in the books was killed protecting Robb in the Red Wedding so its very probable that he is still a major Stark supporter and is only pretending for the sake of the north in the show.
The book has hinted at a ‘Grand Northern Alliance’ according to which all the houses in the North will come together and name Jon as their rightful king. We’ve heard the phrase ‘The North remembers’ quite a lot haven’t we!
Also in season 5, episode 2, we see Stannis Baratheon receive a letter from Layanna Mormont of Bear Island refuse aid to Stannis as they swore loyalty to only the Starks, the real rulers of the North. Another strong Stark supporter in the books, Wyman Manderly is soon going to appear on the show which almost proves this theory right. Edmure Tully, Catelyn’s brother who is presently the son in law of the Frey’s might also return in season 6 probably to avenge his sister’s death.
Going back to the episode, it was also very evident from Umber’s remarks that he had no respect for Ramsay and had no plans of swearing his sword to the bastard. Umber probably killed a different wolf (and not Shaggydog) just to make Ramsay believe that they were on the same team. A lot of fans are already commenting on the difference in the size of the wolf’s head shown in the episode and that of a direwolf.
However if none of this is true and it’s Martin at his best again then god save Rickon!