|This article's content is marked as Mature|
The page Mature contains mature content that may include coarse language, sexual references, and/or graphic violent images which may be disturbing to some. Mature pages are recommended for those who are 18 years of age and older.
If you are 18 years or older or are comfortable with graphic material, you are free to view this page. Otherwise, you should close this page and view another page.
Reek (whose real name may be Heke) is an unseen character in A Song of Ice and Fire. He is a servant in service of House Bolton. He is the personal servant and childhood friend of Ramsay Snow as well. He is known to be almost as cruel as Ramsay, and is also a necrophile. His nickname comes from his extreme stench and is said to never bathe. Lord Roose Bolton thinks he and Ramsay corrupted each other.
Roose Bolton says that Reek always smelled appalling, apparently born with that condition. The smallfolk say his smell is a curse from the gods. Reek tried to hide his smell by bathing 3 times a day, and wore flowers in his hair, but nothing succeeded to hide the stench. Reek tried to hide his smell with perfume stolen from Roose's wife Bethany Ryswell, but he was caught and whipped and even his blood had a terrible smell. A year later Reek tried again and drank the perfume, and almost died. A maester diagnosed the stench as the result of some sickness but Reek was healthy and strong. No one in the Dreadfort could stand near him, not even horses, so he slept in a sty with the pigs.
A common woman who had been raped by Lord Bolton some years ago arrived to the Dreadfort with Roose's bastard son Ramsay. She told him he became an angry problem child, wild and unruly, and needed a man to educate him. Roose gave her Reek as a jape and a way to mock Ramsay. Instead Ramsay and Reek became two inseparable friends and do everything together. Roose often wonders if Reek corrupted Ramsay, or if Ramsay corrupted Reek. According to Roose, Reek never had any training in arms, though he was Ramsay's tutor in martial prowess, which explains Ramsay's vicious and overly aggressive style of swordsmanship, a poor way of fighting due to Reek's lack of experience with proper combat.
Reek stayed with Ramsay until at some point Roose's son and heir Domeric Bolton came to visit his bastard half-brother. A short time later Domeric suddenly died under mysterious circumstances causing Roose to believe that he has been poisoned by Ramsay. In 297 AC Ramsay Snow was made Roose's unofficial heir and Reek returned to the Dreadfort with Ramsay. From that moment, it became difficult for Roose to rule his land, as Ramsay and Reek were causing havoc everywhere.
Ramsay and Reek became infamous in the region for the "hunts" they undertook together. When Ramsay saw a young girl he liked, he and Reek would torment her. They caught peasant girls, then set them free and told them to run for their lives. They then chased after the girls until they caught them, with Ramsay raping and killing the girls, then Reek having his way with the dead bodies while they were still warm. Only a few of the girls escaped.
After the death of King Robert I Baratheon, a war in the riverlands between the Lannisters and the Tullys starts and Robb Stark calls the banners of the north to join with the Tullys. Roose and his forces leave the Dreadfort with a garrison commanded by Ramsay. Without the lords Bolton and Harys Hornwood to control their regions, Ramsay and Reek grow wilder and by the time the War of the Five Kings infuriates in the realm, their actions became known by the entire north.
When Ramsay receives word of the deaths of Lord Harys Hornwood and his son Daryn Hornwood in the battles on the Green Fork and at the Whispering Wood, Ramsay sets his eyes on Castle Hornwood and its lands. He starts to rally his forces on the Dreadfort and this doesn't go unnoticed by the Hornwoods.
A Clash of Kings
The widow Lady Donella Hornwood (née Manderly) arrives at Winterfell for the harvest feast, a traditional celebration of the Seven Kingdoms, used as way for meetings with lords and their children. Donella meets Bran Stark, Maester Luwin, and Ser Rodrik Cassel and warns them about how Ramsay is massing men at the Dreadfort and she believes he's trying to take her lands by force. She also mentions Reek and says he never bathes and he's almost as cruel as Ramsay. She also explains the the two go hunting together, but "not for deer", and alludes to stories she has heard that defy belief, even for a Bolton. Ramsay does not join the lords at Winterfell for the harvest feast and unlike some other lords who sent formal apologies for their absence, Ramsay does not write anything for Bran. Bran gives Donella more men to protect the Hornwood and plans to have his brother King Robb legitimize Larence Snow, the bastard of Lord Hornwood fostered by the Glovers, to prevent the family to go extinct.
Later, one her way back to the Hornwood, Lady Donella is abducted by Ramsay Snow and Reek, and forced to marry Ramsay that very day, although he is young enough to be her son. Ramsay styles himself Lord of the Hornwood and locks Donella in a tower, where she eats her own fingers and starves to death. Lord Wyman Manderly does not stand and watch at this and various skirmishes between the Boltons and the Manderlys take place in the wolfswood. The Manderlys and the Hornwoods protect the Hornwood, while Winterfell sends Ser Rodrik Cassel to put an end to this.
Ramsay and Reek are pursued by the Cassels for their crimes. While Reek and Ramsay are raping and killing a girl are caught by Ser Rodrik's men. Reek's horse has lamed in the pursuit because the girl managed to run off so far, so when Ramsay spots Ser Rodrik's men just as Reek is raping the corpse, Ramsay realizes that both of them escaping is not an option. Ramsay, in an attempt to hide his true identity, pulls Reek off the dead body and gives him his own clothes and markings of identity, telling him to ride for help to the Dreadfort with the good horse. Reek had learned not to question Ramsay's orders so he obeys. Rodrik's men find Reek and kill him with no hesitation. The dead girl had soiled herself before she died, so Ramsay smears the filth over himself and dons Reek's clothes. Rodrik's men find Ramsay and he's taken as Reek by Rodrik, who brings him as prisoner to Winterfell. In the riverlands, Roose takes Harrenhal from the Lannisters and is informed of this. He claims to be well-rid of Ramsay.
Later Prince Theon Greyjoy and his Ironmen take Winterfell and find Ramsay, still posing as Reek, in the dungeons. Ramsay bends the knee to Theon, enters in service of House Greyjoy, and keeps playing this role, claiming that he's real name his Heke. Theon increasingly relies on Reek, even going so far as accepting his suggestion to fake the deaths of Bran and Rickon Stark. Ramsay kills the miller's boys and Theon orders him to kill his own loyal men who witnessed it. After the Battle of the Blackwater, Theon sets "Reek" free, after he promised to bring him men from the Dreadfort in support. While the northern army led by Ser Rodrik Cassel, Cley Cerwyn, and Ser Leobald Tallhart besiege Winterfell, the false Reek brings the Bolton forces and outside the castle they betray and kill Rodrik. During the first Battle of Winterfell they defeat the army and kill Cley and Leobald as well. After Theon allows the Boltons to enter the castle, Ramsay finally reveals his identity and what really happened at him and Reek. Winterfell is sacked and most of its people and animals are killed. The castle and Winter Town are set to the torch, but the fact that Ramsay ordered his men to leave alone Little Walder Frey and Big Walder Frey implies that Roose Bolton actually instructed Ramsay to take Winterfell and betray the Starks.
A Dance with Dragons
A prisoner named Reek is kept in the Dreadfort. Ramsay Bolton is now the official heir of Roose Bolton, legitimized by King Tommen I. Everyone in the Dreadfort only know the prisoner as Reek and only Ramsay knows that its actually Theon Greyjoy. Theon eats and is eaten alive by rats, his mind is broken and Ramsay uses him as his personal plaything rather than as a valuable hostage for the ironborn, though King Euron Greyjoy is as cruel as Ramsay and doesn't care about Theon's life anyway. Ramsay is angry for the loss of his companion, the original Reek, and takes his anger and desire of vengeance upon Theon, forcing him to become Heke's substitute. Theon is tortured and flayed, losing fingers, toes and teeth. His identity is lost to pain and torture and only "Reek" remains. The new Reek helps the northerners to liberate Moat Cailin from the surviving Ironborn forces and later follow Roose, Ramsay, and the northern-Frey army to Winterfell, to prepare for the imminent siege by King Stannis Baratheon. At that time Ramsay marries 'Arya Stark', actually Jeyne Poole, and forces Reek to join with them during their wedding night. Later Reek and Jeyne flee from Winterfell with the help of Mance Rayder and Theon finds his true identity again, while remaining still broken as Stannis's captive.