Wait, Big Walder killed Little Walder? I haven’t heard this before; how did someone deduce this?
Wait, wait… why is it that “Big Walder killed Little Walder, that’s a given”? Did they want an excuse to attack the Manderlys? Was it an action on his own or was he following orders?
Heh. As long as I’m dealing with ADWD theories, this is a good one that I believe in wholeheartedly. (I think it was Boiled Leather where I first heard the theory, though I had suspected it myself while reading the book the first time.)
He was Little Walder even though he was tall and stout, with a red face and a big round belly. Big Walder was sharp-faced and skinny and half a foot shorter. “He’s fifty-two days older than me,” Little Walder explained, “so he was bigger at first, but I grew faster.”
“We’re cousins, not brothers,” added Big Walder, the little one. “I’m Walder son of Jammos. My father was Lord Walder’s son by his fourth wife. He’s Walder son of Merrett. His grandmother was Lord Walder’s third wife, the Crakehall. He’s ahead of me in the line of succession even though I’m older.”
“Only by fifty-two days,” Little Walder objected. “And neither of us will ever hold the Twins, stupid.”
“I will,” Big Walder declared.
—A Clash of Kings, Bran I
Big Walder shrugged. “He was very old. Five-and-sixty, I think. Too old for battles. He was always saying he was tired.”
Little Walder hooted. “Tired of waiting for our grandfather to die, you mean. Does this mean Ser Emmon’s the heir now?”
“Don’t be stupid,” his cousin said. “The sons of the first son come before the second son. Ser Ryman is next in line, and then Edwyn and Black Walder and Petyr Pimple. And then Aegon and all his sons.”
“Ryman is old too,” said Little Walder. “Past forty, I bet. And he has a bad belly. Do you think he’ll be lord?”
“I’ll be lord. I don’t care if he is.”
—A Clash of Kings, Bran V
“Did you find your cousins, my lord?”
“No. I never thought we would. They’re dead. Lord Wyman had them killed. That’s what I would have done if I was him.”
—A Dance With Dragons, Reek III
Big Walder, the little one, fox-faced and skinny as a stick. His chest and arms and cloak were spattered with blood.
The body in Ser Hosteen’s arms sparkled in the torchlight, armored in pink frost. The cold outside had frozen his blood.
“My brother Merrett’s son.” Hosteen Frey lowered the body to the floor before the dais. “Butchered like a hog and shoved beneath a snowbank. A boy.”
“Where was the body found?”
“Under that ruined keep, my lord,” replied Big Walder. “The one with the old gargoyles.” The boy’s gloves were caked with his cousin’s blood. “I told him not to go out alone, but he said he had to find a man who owed him silver.”
“What man?” Ramsay demanded. “Give me his name. Point him out to me, boy, and I will make you a cloak of his skin.”
“He never said, my lord. Only that he won the coin at dice.” The Frey boy hesitated. “It was some White Harbor men who taught dice. I couldn’t say which ones, but it was them.”
—A Dance With Dragons, Theon I
Means, motive, opportunity. With a mysterious killer stalking Winterfell, with three of his other cousins missing and believed dead, with Freys being knocked off left and right by Lady Stoneheart and the BWB… nine-year-old Big Walder Frey decides now’s the time to move up in the line of succession. He murders his cousin (blood spatters), “finds” the body, and blames it on a man that almost certainly doesn’t exist. The fact that this accusation of dice-playing White Harbor men causes chaos between the Freys and the Manderlys… well, all the better.
Nine years old. And stone-cold.
To me, this isn’t even a theory, it’s fact. I love GRRM’s patient plotting, I do.