The synopsis for tonight's episode of Game of Thrones, "Oathbreaker," teases that Ramsay Bolton "gets a gift." The preview video for the episode also showed a scene where someone is preparing to present Ramsay with this gift. So what could this gift be?
If we're going to unravel this mystery, let's start with trying to figure out who this person bringing Ramsay a gift is. Prior to the gift giving scene in Winterfell, the preview shows a shot of several riders flying banners featuring a sigil of four chains linked by a central ring, which is the Sigil of House Umber. This suggests that the person presenting Ramsay with a gift is an envoy from House Umber, most likely Smalljon Umber, son of Lord Greatjon Umber, the Lord of Last Hearth.
The Umbers were likely summoned by Ramsay himself. If you recall last week's episode, "Home," Ramsay tried to convince his father that they didn't need to unite the entirety of the North, but only the three Houses with the largest armies. One of those Houses is House Umber, meaning that Ramsay likely invited the envoy to solidify an alliance.
There's still the question of why the Umbers seem so willing to pledge fealty to the Boltons while most of the North remains loyal to only the Starks. In last week's episode we saw that House Karstark had already pledged loyalty to the Boltons, having become disillusioned with the Starks after Robb executed Lord Rickard Karstark in Season 3. Perhaps the new Lord of Karhold, Harald Karstark, has been sowing the seeds of dissent amongst key families.
So that tells us, most likely, who the gift giver is. But what about the gift itself? For that we need to go back to Season 3 once more. Bran Stark was making his journey to meet the Three-Eyed Raven beyond the Wall. Osha, the Wildling who had been travelling as part of Bran's party since leaving Winterfell, was unwilling to travel past the Wall, for fear of the White Walkers. As a happy compromise, Bran has Osha take his brother, Rickon, to Last Hearth, the seat of House Umber, confident that they would be safe there among loyal Stark bannermen.
However, the world has changed. A Bolton now sits at Winterfell, and some of the House Stark bannermen seem to be coming around to the idea of serving a new liege lord. Could Smalljon Umber be presenting Ramsay with Rickon himself, as a gift to the new lord? It was confirmed during the off season that Rickon would be back on the show in Season 6, so it seems likely.0comments
Will Rickon's capture solidify Ramsay's hold on the North, or serve as a rallying cry for those still loyal to the Starks…and perhaps even Jon Snow at the Wall?
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.