Near the end of Game of Thrones Season 4, the show made a point of letting us know that the Boltons are firmly in control of the North. Will their power expand in Season 5, or will support rise for a new challenger in Westeros’ largest kingdom?
Warning! This article contains spoilers from the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, click away now if you don’t want to know!
A marriage plan. In the books, the Boltons still aren’t accepted by all of the Northern lords. Roose realizes that to cement his power he needs to connect his family to the Starks. How? By marrying Ramsay Bolton to Arya Stark, duh! The main problem with this plan, of course, is that they don’t know where Arya is, but they get around this issue by having a random girl from Winterfell pose as her.
None of the Northern lords know the difference — after all, it's been a while since anyone has seen Arya, so all the Boltons need is someone who is generally the right age and coloring — so most of them attend the sham of a wedding at Winterfell.
Tensions arise. However, not all of the Northern lords are so easily fooled by the Bolton’s shenanigans.
Wyman Manderly, Lord of White Harbor — who, if he's included, will be new to the show — has a meeting with Davos prior to attending the wedding. He tells Davos that if the former smuggler can find and safely return Rickon Stark to the North, White Harbor will support Stannis. Wyman lost his son at the Red Wedding, so he mistrusts the Boltons and the Freys, who are also at Ramsay’s wedding (you’d think people would stop inviting them to weddings).
Fighting begins. After Ramsay’s wedding, there’s a lot of tension between the Manderlys and the Freys, which is amplified when Freys start dying. But it's not about the Manderlys who are doing the killing; it's Mance Rayder, who is there in disguise as a bard after being sent to Winterfell to rescue “Arya” by Melisandre, as a favor to Jon Snow.
Escape! Theon, still working as Ramsay's Reek, learns the truth about Mance, and is able to escape Winterfell with “Arya” during all the confusion, but he doesn’t get far. Stannis is outside of Winterfell waiting to attack, and he captures Theon.
We’re guessing that's where Season 5 leaves off in the North, with the battle between Stannis’ forces and the Bolton/Frey crew of villains looming.
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