This is totally offtopic but I just realized I can't possibly understand how is it possible that book Stannis loses the Battle of Ice. It's easy on the show, where the Boltons have more men, but in the books...
Your tinfoil isn't so unrealistic.
BookStannis might not lose, he has men in the Bolton's army, he caught the Karstarks and now he's preparing a trap. Stannis might die during the battle though.
Half a year later, off topic and probably in the wrong thread but I must say this is one thing that makes me even more anxious about reading Winds. I can't imagine how he's going to die. Like Roose upthread I can't believe he'll lose the Battle of Ice considering the numbers are in his favor. Maybe though you hit the nail on the head with your speculation. During the Battle would probably be the answer but it still sounds odd because I imagined book Stannis to lead the army from behind. Like Tywin in his days.
Just musing on the odds of Stannis making it out alive.
But if I'm not mistaken, the Boltons are in the well-stocked castle while Stannis is starving and freezing out in the blizzard. So although Stannis will most likely have success with his battle on the frozen lake, it's not at all clear how he will win Winterfell without someone in Ramsey's camp helping them to get in, which is a definite possibility. Stannis' numbers will not help that much against the walls of Winterfell without some traitors from inside.
I had this theory (before it got show crushed!) that Theon might show him a way in thought the crypts of WF or something. It's because he seems to be visited by Bran. But other than that, no idea how he could do it. Probably just needs 20 good men!