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Balon attacking the North


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#1 TheDoomOfValyria

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:47 PM

There has been alot of debate as to why in fact Balon decided to attack the north and the Starks instead of the Lannisters. Alot of different things have been brought up. But the more I think about it the reason balon did it was his own pride.

Balon had about 8 years to stew about being defeated by Robert and his longtime buddy Ned, among others. To add to his anger, two of his sons were killed and his remaining son was sent to Winterfell.

So when given the opportunity it only made sense for him to want to attack these people. It was a chance for him to avenge bis failures on the eyes of history.

Also he had already defeated the Lannisters and destroyed their fleet. He had no resentment towards them because in bis mind he had already proved better than than them.

So looking back it really was the obvious decision that balon would attack the north. Balon was going to make that decision purely off emotion.

#2 Red Wedding Cake

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:52 PM

The Greyjoys make better villains anyway. Asha and Theon wouldn't be half as interesting if Balon attacked the Lannisters.

 

Now, however, the Seafoam Chair is in contention by a bunch of up and comers who would love nothing more than to grab more power.



#3 MyLittleFinger

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:02 PM

Nobody there to defend it, easy pickings. They plunked off Moat Caillin, Deepwood and the Stony Shore within seconds. The North has no ships to take the fight to the Iron Islands even in the event the Ironborn start to lose. The only two sea powers that can fight the Ironborn are Stannis on the other side of the world with no reason to help the North and the Arbor and why the hell would they care they support Renly. Somebody on the Iron Throne would try to deal with Robb as nobody would realistically allow him to keep the North AND the Riverlands as an independent kingdom regardless of it being King Joffrey, Renly or Stannis. He can then make a bargain as he offered to Tywin and the crown later. 



#4 Dany Girl

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:06 PM

Balon was stupid. His beat chance for independence was allying with the Starks, and then after defeating the Lannisters they could deal with their own issues. Instead he attacked the 1 person who wwas remotely on his side. He's dumber than a box of rocks. His petty issues with the Starks cost the Starks and himself the war, since just fighting the Starks never would have granted the II independence.

#5 JesterX

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:06 PM

Balon attacked the north out of pure opportunism.  Nothing more.

 

My question is why didn't Robert kill him when he put down his rebellion?



#6 Lord Joker Of FunLand

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:11 PM

Balon was stupid. His beat chance for independence was allying with the Starks, and then after defeating the Lannisters they could deal with their own issues. Instead he attacked the 1 person who wwas remotely on his side. He's dumber than a box of rocks. His petty issues with the Starks cost the Starks and himself the war, since just fighting the Starks never would have granted the II independence.

Definitely agree.

 

If he had any sense, he would have joined the North/Riverlands, destroy the Lannisters, get their own independence and then they can do whatever the hell they want, including having ships ready to take over the North as soon as the Lannisters were done.



#7 herr witz

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:14 PM

Balon attacked the north out of pure opportunism.  Nothing more.

 

My question is why didn't Robert kill him when he put down his rebellion?

Robert loved to beat his enemy, then hang out and drink with them afterwards. Outside of the Targs, this was his approach. Beat them, then get drunk with them and tell stories. It's referenced a few times in the books.

 

I think it might have been Cersei that referenced the IB specifically and Robert letting Balon live instead of doing what Tywin would have done - which would have been to kill every living soul there. 

 

Regarding the topic question - he was opportunistic and picked the low hanging fruit.


Edited by herr witz, 27 March 2014 - 03:15 PM.


#8 Fat King Robert

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:20 PM

Balon was stupid. His beat chance for independence was allying with the Starks, and then after defeating the Lannisters they could deal with their own issues. Instead he attacked the 1 person who wwas remotely on his side. He's dumber than a box of rocks. His petty issues with the Starks cost the Starks and himself the war, since just fighting the Starks never would have granted the II independence.

Petty? What the.....he lost two sons to the Starks (well, one died at Seagard) and the only living son got shipped to WF as a hostage. The North and the Ironislands has always quarrelled with eachother. The North (atm) was very weak and poorly defended with Robb going south. Why not deal with your enemy directly? Why would you team up with your enemy, against your enemies enemy? So that it could weaken yourself, and make it more advantagous for the North to recover before another war? I think not.

 

Balon wasn't the brightest of all the kings out there, but he wasn't a complete idiot. 



#9 MyLittleFinger

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:21 PM

Definitely agree.

 

If he had any sense, he would have joined the North/Riverlands, destroy the Lannisters, get their own independence and then they can do whatever the hell they want, including having ships ready to take over the North as soon as the Lannisters were done.

So he attacks the Lannisters and burns Lannisport and what not. Tywin rushes to Kingslanding with Littlefingers marriage contract between Marge and Joff, the Blackwater happens, now the only fleet capable of defeating the Ironborn is directly against them with a foe they need to end out in the West aka him. They sail the Arbor force and march across the Riverlands and the West with overwhelming forces. 

 

By attacking the North he knows they have no chance to deal him damage at his home, unless Robb won the Iron Throne there was no chance he could ever get the navy to hurt Balon where he could be hurt most. Plus with the Moat he can stop his return North. 



#10 MyaStoned

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:22 PM

There has been alot of debate as to why in fact Balon decided to attack the north and the Starks instead of the Lannisters. Alot of different things have been brought up. But the more I think about it the reason balon did it was his own pride.

Balon had about 8 years to stew about being defeated by Robert and his longtime buddy Ned, among others. To add to his anger, two of his sons were killed and his remaining son was sent to Winterfell.

So when given the opportunity it only made sense for him to want to attack these people. It was a chance for him to avenge bis failures on the eyes of history.

Also he had already defeated the Lannisters and destroyed their fleet. He had no resentment towards them because in bis mind he had already proved better than than them.

So looking back it really was the obvious decision that balon would attack the north. Balon was going to make that decision purely off emotion.

 

It was as dumb and as 'short-term thinking' a move as what the Freys and Boltons did. His House and his people may actually survive his decision (unlike the Freys and Boltons), but to the extent the "Old Way" ever had a chance of existing again (and that was not a very great extent), his decision ensured it never, ever will. The life of raiding and pillaging and raping is certainly going to be over forever, but more than that, the Ironborn's era of anything like self-rule or self-determination is over forever. They will never even be nominally independent again, once the dust has settled. So Euron and Victarion and the boys better be getting in all their fun now. 



#11 Darksnider05

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:24 PM

So he attacks the Lannisters and burns Lannisport and what not. Tywin rushes to Kingslanding with Littlefingers marriage contract between Marge and Joff, the Blackwater happens, now the only fleet capable of defeating the Ironborn is directly against them with a foe they need to end out in the West aka him. They sail the Arbor force and march across the Riverlands and the West with overwhelming forces. 

 

By attacking the North he knows they have no chance to deal him damage at his home, unless Robb won the Iron Throne there was no chance he could ever get the navy to hurt Balon where he could be hurt most. Plus with the Moat he can stop his return North. 

 

I don't believe you can hold Moat Cailin if you don't hold the North.



#12 MasterJack

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:25 PM

I have already discussed it for 10+pages and my conclusion is that Balon attacking North is the Smartest move if he didnt crown himself.

An Independant North or Iron Islands will never work long-term as long as the other 5-6 kingdoms are still/ill be united.

Robb was alone against all when Balon attacked North, the little land he could conquer would probably by officially given to him once Robb is defeated since Balon acted as an ally of the crown. But Balon crowned himself, making himself an enemy of everyone.



#13 Lord Joker Of FunLand

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:25 PM

So he attacks the Lannisters and burns Lannisport and what not. Tywin rushes to Kingslanding with Littlefingers marriage contract between Marge and Joff, the Blackwater happens, now the only fleet capable of defeating the Ironborn is directly against them with a foe they need to end out in the West aka him. They sail the Arbor force and march across the Riverlands and the West with overwhelming forces. 

 

By attacking the North he knows they have no chance to deal him damage at his home, unless Robb won the Iron Throne there was no chance he could ever get the navy to hurt Balon where he could be hurt most. Plus with the Moat he can stop his return North. 

Not really, Robb was in the Westerlands, if the IB was attacking the coast, Tywin wouldn't send all his troops away from his land, he'd send them towards it. 

 

Add Stannis in the mix, and Tywin doesn't have the luxury to send all his troops to attack the Riverlands anymore.



#14 MyLittleFinger

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:25 PM

 

I don't believe you can hold Moat Cailin if you don't hold the North.

He held the North, Victarion had the majority of their men at the Moat, him dying is the only thing that fucked up the plan. 



#15 MyaStoned

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:25 PM

Petty? What the.....he lost two sons to the Starks (well, one died at Seagard) and the only living son got shipped to WF as a hostage. The North and the Ironislands has always quarrelled with eachother. The North (atm) was very weak and poorly defended with Robb going south. Why not deal with your enemy directly? Why would you team up with your enemy, against your enemies enemy? So that it could weaken yourself, and make it more advantagous for the North to recover before another war? I think not.

 

Balon wasn't the brightest of all the kings out there, but he wasn't a complete idiot. 

 

No, he was a complete idiot. He refused long-term self-rule for a chance at petty revenge and short-term opportunistic benefit. He doomed his people, long-term. 

 

And his sons died in his own rebellion he chose to start. The Starks didn't kill them. Balon killed them with his first stupid decision.

 

The stupidity is in seeing the North as his enemies. They were offering him self-rule, when really all those islands deserve is to be eradicated. He'll find out (well, no he won't - he's dead - but the remaining islanders will) who the enemies are when the whole kingdom teams up to destroy or completely lock down those islands and their pirate inhabitants. 



#16 Ser Pollo Loco

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:28 PM


Also he had already defeated the Lannisters and destroyed their fleet. He had no resentment towards them because in bis mind he had already proved better than than them.

 

I just love his, oh no we can't attack Tywin Lannister reasoning in Clash.........uh what? you've already attacked him before 



#17 Lointain

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:29 PM

Balon wasn't stupid.

He atacked the North because:

1- The North doesn't have any navy in that sea.

2- The Iron Throne has the powerful Redwyne Fleet, plus the Lannister Fleet, in the region. 

3- The bulk of the northern forces are engaged, against the armies at the service of the Iron Throne, in the Riverlands.

4- The enormous size of the North, and the lack of any significative population centres in the west coast, works in favour of the Ironborn, giving them an easy job in bleeding the northernern forces.

5- The attacks of Asha, at Depwood Motte, and Victarion, at Moat Cailin, with the planned raids of Theon on the western coast, make sense in building some bridgeheads to later claim the western coast of the North.

6- Expecting the defeat or great weakening of the Starks in the war against the Iron Throne, and going for the spoils in the North.

7- The North is strong, but the South is stronger. 



#18 MyLittleFinger

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:32 PM

Not really, Robb was in the Westerlands, if the IB was attacking the coast, Tywin wouldn't send all his troops away from his land, he'd send them towards it. 

 

Add Stannis in the mix, and Tywin doesn't have the luxury to send all his troops to attack the Riverlands anymore.

Tywin didn't fall for Robb's feint the first time, why would he in this scenario? He never turned back to save Ashemark (Home of the trusted Addam Marbrand) or the Crag. Everybody agrees the Rock is untakeable without months and maybe years of siege like Storm's End, so Tywin knows that the freaking Throne is what is important to save. The Blackwater would happen 9 times out of 10, hell even if Tywin didn't show up and it is simply "Renly's Ghost" and the entire Reach host descending on Stannis alone Stannis likely loses what with the people turning on him and the overwhelming force. So after the Blackwater he has the luxury of sending forces into the Riverlands or in this case the West, with the entire Arbor Fleet having an actual enemy to fight on the sea.



#19 Lord Joker Of FunLand

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

Tywin didn't fall for Robb's feint the first time, why would he in this scenario? He never turned back to save Ashemark (Home of the trusted Addam Marbrand) or the Crag. Everybody agrees the Rock is untakeable without months and maybe years of siege like Storm's End, so Tywin knows that the freaking Throne is what is important to save. The Blackwater would happen 9 times out of 10, hell even if Tywin didn't show up and it is simply "Renly's Ghost" and the entire Reach host descending on Stannis alone Stannis likely loses what with the people turning on him and the overwhelming force. So after the Blackwater he has the luxury of sending forces into the Riverlands or in this case the West, with the entire Arbor Fleet having an actual enemy to fight on the sea.

I disagree, if the IB are raiding the Reach (like they are now, without any problems),  while the North continues around the Westerlands, i can't see the Reach sending it's entire army to save KL. So who knows what really happens after that.



#20 Winnief

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

 

 

 He can then make a bargain as he offered to Tywin and the crown later. 

 

Yeah, but Tywin Lannister was never EVER going to make a deal with him, as even Theon was able to predict.  The IB could never hope to hold the North indefinitely, and there was no great plunder there to speak of.   Robb offered them independence AND the gold of Casterly Rock but Balon was too blinded by his resentment of the Starks, (which I think originated mostly in his knowing deep down that his actions had directly resulted in the deaths of two of his sons and the captivity of another,) to take what was the best offer he could get.  

 

Now, with Euron and the gang in charge the IB are having a high old time raping and pillaging everybody...but there's no way they'll be allowed to continue.  Eventually they're going to put down and this time around I don't see the final occupant of the IT being quite so lenient on them as Robert Baratheon was.